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这场冲突可能持续100年,你有思想准备吗?

  • 作者:马丁·沃尔夫
  • 来源:《金融时报》
  • 发布时间:2019-09-19 15:58
  • 访问量:9

【概要描述】

这场冲突可能持续100年,你有思想准备吗?

【概要描述】

  • 分类:中美贸易摩擦
  • 作者:马丁·沃尔夫
  • 来源:《金融时报》
  • 发布时间:2019-09-19 15:58
  • 访问量:9
详情

《金融时报》刊登首席经济评论员马丁·沃尔夫文章《中美即将进入百年冲突》

 

文:Martin Wolf

译:Kris

中国经济体制改革基金会这场冲突可能持续100年,你有思想准备吗?

 

 

 

1991年苏联从政治版图上消失,留下了一个巨大的空洞。美国从此失去了敌人。尽管911事件之后美国发动了“反恐战争”,但后者毕竟远不足以填补苏联曾经占据的位置。然而,不论从意识形态、军事实力还是经济水平等各个方面来看,中国都满足许多美国人对敌人的需求。美国终于又遇到了一个与自己旗鼓相当的对手。这是我从今年的彼尔德伯格会议(译注:Bilderberg meeting,始于1954年的年度非官方会议,百余名与会者皆为商政两界顶级权贵,会议最初旨在促进欧美对话,后来在更多重大国际事务上施加决定性影响力,该会议不接受采访报道也不透露任何内容,被称为“全球影子政府”)中得出的主要结论。美国的经济、外交和安全政策统统开始把与中国全面敌对竞争作为核心原则

至于特朗普是否以此作为核心原则,其实并没有那么重要。这位美国总统只需要跟随他的民族主义和保护主义直觉。其他人将为他提供框架,填充细节。他们的目标是确保美国的主宰地位,实现该目标的手段是掌控中国或与中国脱钩。在这场冲突过程中,以规则为基础的多边秩序、经济全球化,以及国际关系的和谐都将成为牺牲品,任何对此怀有侥幸心理的人都被蒙蔽了。

6月2日,中国发布了令人震撼的《关于中美经贸磋商的中方立场》白皮书,证明了这一点。尽管我感情上不愿承认,但事实是,从许多方面来说中方立场都是正确的。美国抓住中美双边贸易失衡大做文章,这在经济学角度看来属于文盲行为。美方认为中国盗窃知识产权给美国造成巨大破坏,这个观点也很成问题。美国还指责中国严重违反2001年加入世贸组织时的承诺,这种提法同样属于言过其实。

美方指责中国“作弊”显得十分虚伪,因为特朗普政府采取的贸易政策几乎统统都违反了世贸组织的规则。美国极力破坏世贸组织的争端解决机制,等于从侧面承认了美国违规的事实。在中美贸易谈判当中,美国的立场可以总结为“强权即公理”。它坚持要求中国接受美方充当协议的审判员、陪审团和刀斧手这三重角色,恃强凌弱的态度体现得淋漓尽致。

双方如果对市场开放或知识产权保护的某些条款持有争议,可以通过慎重的谈判来解决。这种解决方式甚至可以说对中国有好处,因为它可以使“看得见的手”减轻干预,促进市场化改革。但现在摆在双方面前的问题太过于棘手,以至于这种解决方式已经无法奏效。造成当前这种状况的原因一部分是谈判破裂,双方不欢而散;更主要的原因是美国已经开始质疑要不要与中国的国家主导型经济融合,这种融合对美国有没有好处。美国之所以对华为充满恐惧,是因为它触及了国家安全和技术自主的敏感神经。在美国眼里,自由经贸活动已经越来越等同于“与敌人做生意”。

美国正在出现一种新的思潮,将中美关系限定在零和冲突的框架里。不久前,作为美国国务院政策规划主管(该职位曾经由冷战战略家乔治·凯南担任)的凯润·斯金纳在新美国基金会组织的论坛上发表了一通言论,非常说明问题。她提出,中美之间的敌对关系是“美国与一个很不同的文明和不同的意识形态之间的争斗,是美国过去从未遇到的”。她补充道,这是“美国首次以一个由非高加索人种构成的大国作为竞争对手”。她显然忘记了美国与日本的战争。但更重要的是,她透过文明和种族战争的框架来看待中美关系,而文明和种族战争是不可调和的冲突。这绝非偶然。美国方面也没有调整斯金纳女士的职位。

除了文明和种族,还有许多人将中美冲突描述为一场围绕着意识形态和权力展开的斗争。强调意识形态的人认为中国官方强化了马克思主义话语,党扮演的角色也变得更加突出。强调权力的人则注意到中国经济实力的崛起。这两种观点都指向中美长期冲突

这是当前时代最重要的地缘政治发展趋势。特别关键的一点在于,中美长期冲突将迫使其他所有国家选边站队,保持中立将越来越难。这个趋势不仅重要,而且十分危险。中美关系原本虽然棘手但仍处于可控范畴以内,但如今的风险在于,它有可能莫名其妙地演变为一场全盘冲突。

中国的意识形态不像苏联那样,它对自由主义民主没有什么威胁。西方的右翼煽动分子反倒比中国更危险。任何企图阻拦中国经济和技术崛起的尝试几乎肯定会遭遇失败。更糟糕的是,它会引起中国人民深深的敌意。随着中国人民生活越来越富足、受教育程度越来越高,他们要求掌握自己的命运。从长远来看,这样的要求终究会得到满足,但如果中国自然崛起的进程受到威胁,那这个进程就会大受挫折。此外,中国的崛起并不是导致西方弊病缠身的重要原因。相比之下,西方国家精英阶层的冷漠和无能才是关键。什么叫做知识产权盗窃?它其实在很大程度上反映了一种事实,即崛起当中的经济体必然试图掌握时下最先进的技术。说到底,企图永远维持4%的人对全人类的统治才是非法的

这当然不是说,中国说什么做什么我们都应该接受。相反,西方对待中国的最佳方式是矢志不渝地坚持自由、民主、以规则为基础的多边主义,以及全球合作等价值观。这些思想曾经在全球范围内团结了许多人,使他们成为美国的支持者。其中许多理念至今仍然吸引着许多中国人。今天,与从事环境、商业与和平事业时一样,西方在与崛起的中国携手合作的同时,也完全可以坚持这些思想,而且还要比过去更加坚定,这至关重要。

竞争与合作并重的相处之道才是中国与西方正确的前进方向。西方在应对中国崛起时,既要与志同道合的盟友密切合作,也要给予中国足够的尊重。当前状况的悲剧之处在于,特朗普政府在发动中美冲突的同时,还在攻击盟友,摧毁美国主导的战后秩序。美国对中国发起的攻击是一场在错误的战场上发起、以错误的方式进行的错误的战争。唉,这便是我们现在所处的位置。

 
  

 

The looming 100-year US-China conflict

 

The disappearance of the Soviet Union left a big hole. The “war on terror” was an inadequate replacement. But China ticks all boxes. For the US, it can be the ideological, military and economic enemy many need. Here at last is a worthwhile opponent. That was the main conclusion I drew from this year’s Bilderberg meetings. Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.

Whether it is Donald Trump’s organising principle is less important. The US president has the gut instincts of a nationalist and protectionist. Others provide both framework and details. The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China. Anybody who believes a rules-based multilateral order, our globalised economy, or even harmonious international relations, are likely to survive this conflict is deluded.

The astonishing white paper on the trade conflict, published on Sunday by China, is proof. The — to me, depressing — fact is that on many points Chinese positions are right. The US focus on bilateral imbalances is economically illiterate. The view that theft of intellectual property has caused huge damage to the US is questionable. The proposition that China has grossly violated its commitments under its 2001 accession agreement to the World Trade Organization is hugely exaggerated.

Accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules, a fact implicitly conceded by its determination to destroy the dispute settlement system. The US negotiating position vis-à-vis China is that “might makes right”. This is particularly true of insisting that the Chinese accept the US role as judge, jury and executioner of the agreement.

A dispute over the terms of market opening or protection of intellectual property might be settled with careful negotiation. Such a settlement might even help China, since it would lighten the heavy hand of the state and promote market-oriented reform. But the issues are now too vexed for such a resolution. This is partly because of the bitter breakdown in negotiation. It is still more because the US debate is increasingly over whether integration with China’s state-led economy is desirable. The fear over Huawei focuses on national security and technological autonomy. Liberal commerce is increasingly seen as “trading with the enemy”.

A framing of relations with China as one of zero-sum conflict is emerging. Recent remarks by Kiron Skinner, the US state department’s policy planning director (a job once held by cold war strategist George Kennan) are revealing. Rivalry with Beijing, she suggested at a forum organised by New America, is “a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology, and the United States hasn’t had that before”. She added that this would be “the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian”. The war with Japan is forgotten. But the big point is her framing of this as a civilisational and racial war and so as an insoluble conflict. This cannot be accidental. She is also still in her job.

Others present the conflict as one over ideology and power. Those emphasising the former point to President Xi Jinping’s Marxist rhetoric and the reinforced role of the Communist party. Those emphasising the latter point to China’s rising economic might. Both perspectives suggest perpetual conflict.

This is the most important geopolitical development of our era. Not least, it will increasingly force everybody else to take sides or fight hard for neutrality. But it is not only important. It is dangerous. It risks turning a manageable, albeit vexed, relationship into all-embracing conflict, for no good reason.

China’s ideology is not a threat to liberal democracy in the way the Soviet Union’s was. Rightwing demagogues are far more dangerous. An effort to halt China’s economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China’s natural rise is threatened. Moreover, the rise of China is not an important cause of western malaise. That reflects far more the indifference and incompetence of domestic elites. What is seen as theft of intellectual property reflects, in large part, the inevitable attempt of a rising economy to master the technologies of the day. Above all, an attempt to preserve the domination of 4 per cent of humanity over the rest is illegitimate.

This certainly does not mean accepting everything China does or says. On the contrary, the best way for the west to deal with China is to insist on the abiding values of freedom, democracy, rules-based multilateralism and global co-operation. These ideas made many around the globe supporters of the US in the past. They still captivate many Chinese people today. It is quite possible to uphold these ideas, indeed insist upon them far more strongly, while co-operating with a rising China where that is essential, as over protecting the natural environment, commerce and peace.  

A blend of competition with co-operation is the right way forward. Such an approach to managing China’s rise must include co-operating closely with like-minded allies and treating China with respect. The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order. Today’s attack on China is the wrong war, fought in the wrong way, on the wrong terrain. Alas, this is where we now are. 

 

(End)

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