China’s political, economic, and social prospects have all been the source of endless speculation for academics, journalists, and policymakers alike. This week I talk with David Shambaugh, professor of political science and international affairs and director of the China Policy Program at the George Washington University, who provides a concise take on these questions and introduces his excellent new book, China’s Future. Shambaugh lays out four pathways for alternative futures toward which China could be headed: neo-totalitarianism, hard authoritarianism, soft authoritarianism, and semi-democracy. Which of these paths China opts to follow will have enormous domestic implications, although the effect on foreign policy may be more limited. Listen in as Shambaugh discusses the hard choices facing China’s leadership and whether U.S. policy has kept up with a changing China.