China is playing an important role in global agricultural markets as it emerges from isolation, liberalizes its economy, and experiences rising living standards. Policymakers, analysts, researchers, and the public need information about China's growing, multifaceted role in agricultural markets. This report examines China's recent emergence as a major agricultural importer and its implications for global markets. It analyzes trade patterns employing U.S. and Chinese trade statistics, summarizes alternative projections of future imports, and discusses how Chinese officials are adjusting their strategic approach to agricultural trade as imports grow. A strong agricultural trading partnership has developed between China and the United States that is likely to persist into the future. However, Chinese interventions to preserve self-reliance create volatility and uncertainty that can disrupt markets.