China's impending WTO entry will pose unprecedented economic and political challenges to the Chinese government. Initial adjustments to WTO entry are expected to increase the pains of reform and pressures on the government. U.S.-China relations could deteriorate as bilateral tensions over trade and human rights increase. Despite the long-term promises of WTO entry for China's economic and political reform, the Chinese government's ability to overcome these short-term difficulties is not assured because of the inherent weaknesses of the current Chinese political system and accumulated social and political stress in the Chinese society.
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About the Author
Minxin Pei, senior associate and codirector of the China Program, conducts research in Chinese politics, economic reform, East Asian politics, U.S. relations with East Asian countries, and democratization in developing countries.