Nauman Asghar In 1992, US Defence Policy Guidance spelled out the 'permanent dominance' doctrine. The doctrine emphatically stated that the US would mobilise the available resources and direct all efforts towards preventing the emergence of a new rival posing formidable threat once again. Since then the said doctrine has worked as a guiding principle of US foreign policy and the policy makers in Washington have consistently pursued the goal of perpetuating America's sole superpower status. When first enunciated in 1992, the 'permanent dominance' doctrine was non-specific but soon the rising economic power of China was perceived by the US as a serious challenge to its strategic dominance. The advocates of permanent US hegemony espoused the adoption of policy of containment towards China. Later Condoleezza Rice highlighted the potential of China to challenge the US imposed global order. After 9/11, US attention was distracted by the War on Terror and it could not press with its China-target strategy. Meanwhile, China became an economic giant no longer hiding its aspirations to carve out strategic influence in areas with huge energy resources. US also looked with suspicion at China's increasing investment in military capabilities and its increasing economic clout in South East Asia. To counter the China threat, US embarked on a new course of building alliances incorporating Japan, India and Australia with the purpose to encircle China and also launched a vigorous effort to bolster its military capabilities in Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, the US-China economic interdependence increased at a fast pace leading analysts to rule out the possibility of high-scale confrontation. This finding was premised on tenable grounds as any scenario of military confrontation would seriously jeopardise the economic interests of both nations which their leadership cannot afford to risk. It is argued that the US-China interdependence has created win-win, lose-lose strategic relationship between the two countries. Currently there are avenues of joint efforts by the US and China in respect of a number of issues that pose common challenges to both of them. Curbing climate change, tackling financial crisis, preventing nuclear proliferation, countering terrorism and addressing other transnational problems like piracy and outbreak of pandemic diseases are some identified areas where a concerted plan of action by the two countries can prove helpful in creating ambience conducive to foster mutual cooperation. In current financial crisis, China has largely remained immune from harmful effects of global economic meltdown but the US is in dire need of China's help to set off on a path to economic recovery. China has $2.2 trillion reserves of foreign exchange and holds the US treasury bonds worth $ 1.5 trillion. The US is of the view that such a large-scale economic crisis cannot be tackled by individual countries and therefore the leading economic powers should join hands to resurrect the growth of world economy. China is ready to extend its cooperation but on its own terms which include an increased voice in economic decision making at the international level. China has recently asserted its economic importance by floating the idea of abandoning dollar as global reserve currency. If China is given a role in international financial institutions proportionate to its economic leverage, China can be persuaded to act jointly with the US and other major economic powers for creating a balanced and sustainable world economic growth. Such US-China collaboration would also mark a shift from a 'balance of power' strategy to 'pooling of power' strategy to enhance international security and prosperity. But the divergent geo-strategic interests and conflicting political ideologies of both nations often become a hindrance in the way of launching concerted efforts in non-controversial fields amenable to mutual co-operation. The thorny issues in Sino-US relations include human rights, Taiwan and strategic influence in Asia-Pacific region. The US criticises China for not implementing western human rights standards and imposing restrictions on the freedom of expression. China considers US criticism as undue interference in its internal affairs. Moreover the two countries may slip into conflict over energy resource in Central Asia in near future. Against such backdrop, it will require great vision on the part of leadership of both countries to reconcile their strategic interests without embroiling themselves in a serious conflict. The recently held US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue is an important development in this regard. The writer is freelance columnist E-mail: