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Foresight or fantasy? A review of 'Current Trends and the World of 2020'

Shen Dingli

Wenhui Post 2007-08-18

(First published in Wen Huibao newspaper)
   http://www.news365.com.cn/wxpd/ds/sp/200708/t20070820_1541904.htm

 In the field of strategic research one recent publication warrants special mention. ¡®Mapping the Global Future: Report of the National Intelligence Council¡¯s 2020 Project¡¯, first published December 2004 in the United States, is now available in a Chinese translation by Xiang Lanxin, Professor at the Fudan University International Relations Research Institute. This edition is published by Huadong Normal University Press under the Chinese title of ¡®Current Trends and the World of 2020¡¯.

 This publication deserves recommendation for three reasons. First, it offers valuable insights into the fields of American government, intelligence, domestic policy, and international strategy. This is particularly important information given the potentially grave implications of misinformed decisions in terms of global international relations. Second, the authors have adopted a ¡®predictive¡¯ method of enquiry. Although this means is already in use in the military affairs of every country, in the field of Chinese international relations it has not yet been widely accepted. Indeed, even though this method could be of significant use in predicting possible future scenarios, its widespread application has hitherto been rather limited by current Chinese thinking and theory. Hence, the opportunity to study and research this method is of obvious value. Third, for the above reasons, it is therefore of particular significance to us to ponder the various future scenarios posited by the authors.

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