The Clinton administration's China policy has come under attack from many quarters for being too conciliatory, too optimistic and too compromised by a nexus of money and insider politics. But the President and his aides deflect each jab by contending that, despite episodic problems and pratfalls, a policy of engaging China on a broad range of issues has the best chance of maximizing American influence and impelling China toward positive change. The key dynamic is assumed to be rapid economic growth, which, it is tenaciously held, will result ultimately in political liberalization. That, in turn, would not solve all problems between the United States and China, but it would conventionalize those problems and, presumably, make them easier to manage.