In This Review

China's Futures: Scenarios for the World's Fastest Growing Economy, Ecology, and Society
China's Futures: Scenarios for the World's Fastest Growing Economy, Ecology, and Society
By James A. Ogilvy and Peter Schwartz, with Joe Flower
Jossey-Bass, 2000, 159 pp

Ogilvy and Schwartz founded a firm in the 1980s to help businesses plan long-term strategies in an uncertain, rapidly changing world. In this short, breezy, and thought-provoking book, they now imagine China in 2022. Rather than offering one forecast, they describe three possible scenarios, each of which depicts a radically different evolution. The first foresees a widely prosperous, thriving, and increasingly democratic China. The second predicts that China will be economically successful but dominated by around 50 extended families with international connections and threatened by regional factions, perhaps even courting civil war. A third sees corruption and inefficient distribution becoming so pervasive that a popular general seizes political control after regaining oil-rich territory in Russia's Far East -- and proceeds to restore order, reduce crime, and reestablish a tough, authoritarian state. The authors urge Western firms to test their business plans against all three scenarios, since in their view none can be ruled out.