China is becoming a more powerful nation -- and more willing to spar with the United States over a range of issues. But nothing has the potential to bring the two countries into conflict like Taiwan. While the U.S. officially supports the island's reunification with the mainland, it has warned China not to threaten a takeover if Taiwan seeks independence. Moreover, some American policy-makers urge the U.S. to adopt a tougher line against Beijing and to abandon its “one China” policy in favor of one backing Taiwan's right to self-determination. Meanwhile, despite continuing controversy, China's admission to the World Trade Organization next year appears inevitable. While many say WTO membership will turn China into a more open society, others say it could lead to greater political repression.