The next decade is likely to be the decisive period determining the future course of U.S.-China relations. Unless China and the United States can find ways to block the current drift toward strategic rivalry, tensions will rise. This will make it more difficult to preserve the climate of peace and prosperity that has fostered China’s rise and made East Asia such a dramatic success story. Moreover, if China's economy continues to surge ahead while the United States remains mired in the struggle to bring its burgeoning budget deficit under control, the PRC could emerge from this coming decade with the largest GDP in the world. This will have both psychological and strategic significance and could roil the waters of the bilateral relationship.