Signed in 1979 by president Jimmy Carter and China's leader Deng Xiaoping, the Science and Technology Agreement has led to exchanges between scientists and universities, with the United States seeing a way to cooperate with a then low-developed China when the countries established relations.
The agreement has governed scientific cooperation and has been renewed about every five years without drama, most recently in 2018, but is due to expire on Saturday.
The State Department said it was asking Beijing, formally known a the People's Republic of China, to agree to an extension but only for six months.
"This short-term six-month extension will keep the agreement in force while we seek authority to undertake negotiations to amend and strengthen the terms," a State Department spokesperson said.
"It does not commit the United States to a longer-term extension. We are clear-eyed to the challenges posed by the PRC's national strategies on science and technology, Beijing's actions in this space, and the threat they pose to US national security and intellectual property."
Lawmakers from the rival Republican Party have urged President Joe Biden's administration to let the accord expire, pointing to the Chinese military's links to civilian science and President Xi Jinping's vows to build indigenous technology.
"It should come as no surprise that the PRC will exploit civilian research partnerships for military purposes to the greatest extent possible," said Mike Gallagher, chairman of a committee on China, and Elise Stefanik, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House.
"The United States must stop fueling its own destruction," they wrote in a June letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Tensions have risen sharply between the world's two largest economies in recent years with both Biden and his Republican predecessor Donald Trump identifying a growing China as the greatest long-term threat to US primacy in the world.
Biden has maintained Trump's pressure on China and in some areas has expanded it, including by restricting exports of advanced semiconductors and barring US investment in sensitive Chinese sectors.
The moves have enraged Beijing, which has accused the United States of violating principles of free trade.
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters|
Indian lunar lander splits from propulsion module in key step
NASA challenges students to fly Earth and Space experiments
US seeks to extend China science accord, but only briefly for now
Embracing the future we need
Rocket Lab inks dedicated launch deal with Japanese EO company iQPS
NASA SpaceX Crew-7 'Go' for August 25 Launch
Rocket Lab Launches 40th Electron Mission, Successfully Flies Reused Engine
Elon Musk arrives in Japan for first visit since 2014
Martian Tapas With a View: Sols 3926-3927
Delight at Dream Lake
Scientists proposed to adapt a Mars ISRU system to the changing Mars environment
A 'Blissful' Martian Rock Paradise, Straight Ahead: Sols 3919-3920
From rice to quantum gas: China's targets pioneering space research
China to launch "Innovation X Scientific Flight" program, applications open worldwide
Scientists reveal blueprint of China's lunar water-ice probe mission
Shenzhou 15 crew share memorable moments from Tiangong Station mission
Atlas Credit Partners provides $100M strategic financing to AST SpaceMobile|
Momentus announces reverse stock split
Pentagon awards contracts for next 'swarm' of tiny missile defense satellites
Intelsat completes C-Band spectrum clearing for 5G Deployment
True Anomaly opens GravityWorks; gains federal clearances for space operations
MIT engineers use kirigami to make ultrastrong, lightweight structures
China's new rules on AI-generated content
Taiwan's antique jade dealers see trade losing lustre
Size dependence and the collisional dynamics of protoplanetary dust growth
A "Jupiter" hotter than the Sun
Study explains how part of the nucleolus evolved
Watch an exoplanet's 17-year journey around its star
Neptune's Disappearing Clouds Linked to the Solar Cycle
The Road to Jupiter: Two decades of trajectory optimization
NASA's Europa probe gets a hotline to Earth
All Eyes on the Ice Giants
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters|