Illustration by Sam Ward Later this month, one of the oldest bilateral agreements between the U.S. and China is set to expire. Signed in 1979, in the same month that the U.S. and China normalized diplomatic relations, the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology has paved the way for four decades of research collaboration between the two countries. U.S. President Jimmy Carter called it part of an “irreversible course” in Chinese‐American relations. His successor, President Ronald Reagan, called it “a cornerstone in our expanding relationship.” The agreement has long been viewed as a bare minimum for engagement — the simplest contours to facilitate cooperation on matters that transcend politics, from public health to climate change. But Carter and Reagan couldn’t foretell the current nadir in U.S.-China relations, which threatens to finally reverse course and let the agreement — known as the STA — expire. Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter signing the agreement on cooperation in scSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.