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Sino-American or Chinese–US relations refers to international relations between the government of the United States of America and the government of People's Republic of China. Most analysts characterize present Sino-American relations as being complex and multi-faceted. The United States and the People's Republic of China are usually neither allies nor enemies; the US government and the military establishment do not regard the Chinese as an adversary but as a competitor in some areas and a partner in others. Until January 1979, the United States recognized the Republic of China on Taiwan as the legitimate government of China, and did not maintain diplomatic relations with the communist regime of the People's Republic of China on the mainland. In midst of the Cold War, the Sino-Soviet split provided an opening for the US to establish ties with mainland China and establish it as a counter to the Soviet Union and its influence. As of 2011, the United States has the world's largest economy and China the second largest. China has the world's largest population and the United States has the third largest. The two countries are the two largest consumers of motor vehicles and oil, and the two greatest emitters of greenhouse gases. (via Freebase)