简报NEWSLETTER
当前位置:首页>简报

史文:美国承担不起妖魔化中国的后果

作者:史文 文 逄天怡 译   来源:中美印象  已有 2996人浏览 字体放大  字体缩小
《中美印象》第170期   
   
美国和中国长久以来友好的交往关系正在以惊人的速度瓦解,而这样的现状急需双方做出有效的更正措施。尽管美国总统特朗普偶尔会提起他和中国国家主席习近平"非常友好"的关系,习近平也常常会形容双边会迎来共赢的结局,但是双方,尤其是美国,近期的政策和举动极大地伤害了两国关系的维系。
  就美国这边来看,这种破坏性的局面很大程度上是由美国官方的政策文件中对中国过度的批判,甚至是敌意导致的。例如前不久发表的国防安全报告,国家防御策略,以及高级官员的类似言论。同时,美国的经济政策的转变也加速了这种局面的形成,比如饱含着许多误解的关税政策-人们都将北京想象成一个会对美国民众带来威胁的"修正主义"势力。
  美国新闻记者更加强了这种对中美关系消极的看法。专家几乎是每天都在揭示中国背信弃义的新的方面。从中国试图削弱美国大学的思想自由,到中国为了陷害并控制其他发展中国家而设下恶意的债务陷阱。
  这种坚定的批判鼓点假设每一点中国的获利都是来自于美国的损失,并且假设美国过去的政策制定者和专家们都一直都忽略了中国政府的敌意。这些评论家总结说在任何与中国的合作中,美国都必须迫切地通过一切方式阻止这种越来越严峻的威胁。这种夸张的评论常常会达到很高的高度,华盛顿邮报的专栏作者乔希罗金(Josh Rogin)在去年十二月写到:
  华盛顿渐渐发觉中国共产党在美国国内的影响的巨大规模范围,这种影响已经渗透到了美国各种各类的机构中。中国的首要目的是首先要防止它的专制系统被攻击,并最好能在牺牲美国的代价下将这种系统输入到国外。
  不过如果北京方面不火上浇油的话,这种言论也不会流行起来。虽然北京不断主张中国绝不会给任何人带来威胁,但实际上常常做出一些相反的举动。中国依然在非公正地增加对外资企业在华经营的限制,继续对西方国家进行贸易上的窃取,扩大国内的政治和意识形态的控制的同时增加反外国的言论,并且对其近海的邻国越来越强硬。
  这些举动自然是会引起问题的,而且很多情况下需要更有效的对抗政策。不过,并没有人试图呼吁彻底地重新评判中美政策、迅速升温的修辞,以及我们现在看到的像大锤似的零和的美国政策。
  不过,事实上许多的情况并不能完全地被归类或者被给出一个单方面的结论。例如,美国的参与政策从来没有像很多人断言的那样,试图将中国转变成一个民主国家。不过美国最开始是想要和中国联合平衡对抗前苏联,并试图阻止中国的改革冲动,让中国社会对外更加开放。当然,这也是为了能给西方国家带来更多商业利益。不过我们忘记了直到上世纪七十年代和八十年代初期的中国的样子,一个仍然很大程度上闭锁的、有敌意的国家,一个希望传播毛泽东理论、斯大林模型的国家。美国的参与政策在很多方面已经大获成功。尽管最近有些倒退的迹象,不过比起参与政策之前,中国毫无疑问还是保持了很大程度的开放化、国际化和接受度。
  另外一个常常被扭曲的说法是中国试图排除美国在亚洲的影响力并且在亚洲称霸。事实上,并没有充分的证据能直接表明中国的这种目的。那些这样断言的人不是基于对某些行为的大胆推测(例如中国在南海扩大影响力)及对中国一窍不通的的中国观察者的评论,就是基于破绽百出的国大必将称霸的现实主义分析。如果中美关系继续剧烈恶化,中方可能真的会采纳这种灾难性的目标。不过现在就假设北京已经有了这种想法是非常草率和不负责任的。
  同样地,中国试图改变国际秩序的说法隐暗了一个非常狭隘并且有问题的、以民主国家为中心的世界秩序的定义,因此也极大地扭曲了对中国的谴责。事实上,中国支持很多现有国际秩序的成分,包括一些美国现政府拒绝或者破坏的成分,比如解决气候变化问题以及多边经济合作等。就经济问题而言,中国依然存在一些明显的保护主义措施(比如对国家通讯和金融业),制定了加强中共对经济的掌控的政策,强调国有企业的发展又重新抬头,但是,中国的经济增长主要还是由民营企业以及开放的贸易体系带动的。尽管世界贸易体系依然需要改革,总体来讲,即使北京没有严守世贸组织的精神,至少它基本上遵循世贸组织的条款。
  这些记者和官员言论最为极端的就是要讲述一个令人恐惧的故事,而这个故事无疑可以增加军费开支、提高报纸的销售量、聚焦前任政府"失败的"对华政策并转移百姓对巨幅预算赤字、贫富不均和基础设施老化这些国内问题的关注。
  对中国过分的敌对态度在很大程度上背离了上世纪70年代"改革开放"时代中美关系的务实主义。无论是在当时还是现在,这种务实主义远比现在单维的观点更加注重现实。务实主义注意到了平衡中美就解决共同关注问题上的合作以及谨慎的防范性竞争之间的关系的的必要性。这种双管齐下的策略至少在对亚洲政策手机昂已经被抛弃,取而代之的是一个零和的印度洋-太平洋策略。这种策略更像是一个空口号,呼吁亚洲的民主国家联合起来对抗中国。
  那么,又如何解释在美国兴起的将中国妖魔化的新常态呢?除了以上提到的狭隘的官僚政治利益以外,借用历史学家理查德·霍夫施塔特(Richard Hofstadter)1964年提出的表述,最主要的因素是美国根深蒂固的"妄想型"政治思维。这种倾向的特点,用霍夫施塔特的话来说,就是"高度的夸张、猜忌和阴谋论妄想"。特朗普加剧了美国人的这一性格,因为他几乎将一切美国自身的问题都归咎于外部因素。尽管特朗普声称与习近平有着很好的关系,并且看好中美间未来"极好的"双边关系,事实上,他对美国人不安全感的狡黠的玩弄在习近平的中国为他的跟随者(如果不是为他自己的话)找到了目标。
  更重要的是,在特朗普定义的政治背景下,这些敌对的言论和做法彻底遮盖了中美合作的需要。中美之间显然迫切地需要就气候问题、大规模杀伤性武器、传染病、全球经济问题、亚洲稳定等领域进行合作。然而,这些需求在现在的华府中鲜有提到。
  中国的强硬态度和中美两国的不安感共同导致了一个前所未有的挑战性局面,而这种挑战是否定和妖魔化所不能解决的。如果美国继续全方位地抵制并抗衡中国,那就只会使自己更被孤立,正如美国和同盟国之间的贸易问题一样。并且这会分散解决其他问题的资源和注意力。另一方面,假如中国继续把美国在亚洲区域的利益当作靶子,那只会加剧美国的不安和妄想,甚至可能会导致与美国的冲突并被其他外交和贸易伙伴所孤立。
  在这样一个关键时刻,两个国家都必须扭转双边关系极速下旋的势头,在不伤害两国根本利益的前提下,通过就关键问题上实际的而不是口头的保证和妥协给中美关系注入正能量。从目前两国政府的言行来看,这在中短期内几乎不太可能实现,不过若是想要避免双方未来可能发生严重的危机和冲突,这也是迫切的需要。要达到这样的目的,首先,需要双方从事实出发,使两边的目标与资源相配,区分根本和次要利益,并且确认双方都不会追求亚洲或是世界的霸权。现在世界资源越来越紧缺,国家间的相互依赖也越来越深,实力已被分散到全世界各国当中。这更需要国家间努力达到平衡与合作,而不是排除和彼此削弱。
  其次,华盛顿需要认识到中国政府并不是铁板一块,想要动员到它必须要给体制改革的支持者带来正向的刺激。这样的个体存在各个领域都有,而且随着时间的推移,他们的影响会越来越大。相反,现在对北京的动机和做法的妖魔化只会让这些人处在更为不利的位置,因为这样的妖魔化给那些为以应对"境外敌对势力"为由为自己的敌对政策提供辩解人提供了的机会。
  同样,如果北京的官员一面妄谈合作共赢,一面阔论境外势力的渗透,拒绝承认它日益增长的实力正在制造不安全感,而这种不安全感对其他国家、特别是亚洲国家,只能通过政治、经济和安全上的保证和有实际意义的行动才能得到缓解。这种转变并不是不可能实现,但双方都需要停止继续装腔作势,真正地投身到建设一个双赢的双边关系的事业中去。(文章发表于美国《外交政策》(Foreign ;史文为美国卡内基和平基金的高级研究员;逄天怡是卡特中心中国项目的志愿者)

The United States Cannot Afford to Demonize China

Michael Swaine, Senior Fellow, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The United States and China’s lengthy track record of constructive engagement is disintegrating at an alarming rate, requiring a major correction by both sides. Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s occasional talk of his “truly great” connection with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Xi’s constant references to “win-win” outcomes all round, recent policies and actions — especially on the U.S. side — have created an enormously destructive dynamic in the relationship.

In the case of the United States, this dynamic is most clearly driven by excessively critical, often hostile, authoritative U.S. strategy documents such as the recently issued National Security and National Defense Strategies, similar statements by senior U.S. officials, and U.S. economic policy shifts — including grossly ill-conceived tariffs — that all envision Beijing as a “revisionist” power that threatens all Americans hold dear.

American journalists reinforce this dim view of U.S.-Chinese relations. Almost daily, pundits unveil new aspects of China’s perfidy, ranging from Chinese attempts to undermine intellectual freedom at U.S. universities to China’s sinister debt traps designed to ensnare and control developing countries.

This steady drumbeat of criticism assumes that every Chinese gain comes at American expense, and that past U.S. policymakers and experts have long overlooked the hostility of the Chinese regime. These critics conclude that any cooperation with China must take a back seat to the imperative of pushing back against the growing threat through all means possible. This hyperbole often reaches stratospheric heights, as Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin wrote last December:

Washington is waking up to the huge scope and scale of Chinese Communist Party influence operations inside the United States, which permeate American institutions of all kinds. China’s overriding goal is, at the least, to defend its authoritarian system from attack and at most to export it to the world at America’s expense.

Such language would be less popular if Beijing did not also add fuel to the fire. While endlessly asserting that China poses no threat to anyone, Beijing takes actions that sometimes suggest otherwise. China is unjustly increasing constraints on foreign corporations operating there, continuing commercial theft directed against Western countries, growing its domestic political and ideological controls while increasing anti-foreigner propaganda, and becoming more assertive in its maritime neighborhood.

These actions are certainly troubling and in many cases require more effective counter-policies. However they do not come close to justifying the calls for a fundamental reassessment of U.S.-China policy, the heated rhetoric, and the sledgehammer-like, zero-sum U.S. policies we now see.

Never mind that in many cases the facts don’t support such categorical and one-sided conclusions. For example, engagement was never intended to turn China into a democracy, as many now assert. It originated from a strategic imperative to join with Beijing to balance against the former Soviet Union, to end China’s revolutionary impulses, to make its society more open to outside influence, and, of course, to serve Western business interests. We forget what China was until the 1970s and early 1980s: a largely closed, hostile power with a desire to spread its Maoist, Stalinist model to others. Engagement has largely succeeded in all of these areas. Despite recent setbacks, China remains vastly more open, globalized, and tolerant today than it was prior to engagement, no question.

Another hugely distorted notion is the now all-too-common assumption that China seeks to eject the United States from Asia and subjugate the region. In fact, no conclusive evidence exists of such Chinese goals. Those who assert it base their arguments either on wild extrapolations from individual actions (such as the extension of Chinese influence in the South China Sea), statements by decidedly not authoritative Chinese observers, or problematic realist-based assumptions about the supposedly open-ended power maximization behavior of large nations. Beijing might eventually adopt such disastrous goals if the Sino-U.S. relationship deteriorates sufficiently, but to assume they already exist is reckless and irresponsible.

Similarly, the notion that Beijing is committed to overturning the global order invokes an exceedingly narrow and questionable democracy-centered definition of that order and thus grossly distorts the scope of the Chinese criticisms. Actually, Beijing supports many elements of the existing order, including some that the current U.S. administration rejects or undermines, such as the fight against climate change and the value of multilateral economic agreements. On the latter point, despite some significant protectionist measures (e.g., in telecommunications and financial services), policies calling for increased party controls in economic sectors, and a resurgent stress on state-owned enterprises, China’s economic growth remains driven primarily by private companies and a largely open trading system. Although the World Trade Organization system certainly needs reforming, Beijing has largely complied with the letter, if not always the spirit, of that regime.

What the most extreme among these journalists and officials are providing is an arresting narrative that will no doubt increase defense outlays, sell papers, strike a contrast with the allegedly “failed” China policies of previous administrations, and distract Americans from the many domestic problems they face, such as huge budget deficits, income inequality, and collapsing infrastructure.

This excessively belligerent perspective on China departs greatly from the pragmatism of the “reform and opening” era of U.S.-China relations that began in the 1970s. Based far more in reality, both then and now, than the current one-dimensional stance, this view recognized the need to balance necessary efforts at problem-solving cooperation with Beijing in handling common concerns with prudent hedging and bounded competition. Such a two-pronged approach has now been rejected — at least for Asia — in favor of a zero-sum Indo-Pacific strategy that is thus far mostly an empty slogan calling for a supposed alliance of democratic Asian nations against China.

So what accounts for the emergence in the United States of the new normal of China demonization? Aside from the narrow bureaucratic and political interests noted above, the most significant factor derives from a deep-rooted “paranoid style” evident within the U.S. political mindset, to borrow a phrase from a seminal 1964 article by historian Richard Hofstadter. This disposition, characterized by a “sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy,” to quote Hofstadter, is stoked by Trump, who blames outsiders for almost all of America’s ills. Although Trump claims to have a wonderful relationship with Xi and predicts a “great” bilateral relationship in the future, in fact, his cynical manipulation of America’s insecurities finds a logical target for his subordinates, if not always for himself, in Xi’s China.

More importantly, within the Trump-defined political context, these hostile words and actions completely overshadow the obvious and pressing need for continued cooperation between Washington and Beijing in addressing common problems and concerns, including climate change, weapon of mass destruction proliferation, pandemics, the state of the global economic system, and stability in Asia. These imperatives are rarely if ever even mentioned by Washington now.

The intersection of Chinese assertiveness and both U.S. and Chinese insecurity is creating an unprecedented challenge that cannot be met by denial and demonization. If Washington continues to focus on containing and undermining Beijing on virtually all fronts, it will simply further isolate itself — as it is doing with its allies on trade issues — and divert attention and resources away from handing its many other problems. On the other hand, if Beijing pursues actions that target U.S. interests in the region and beyond, it will simply further fuel Washington’s insecurity and paranoia, possibly courting conflict with the United States while alienating both diplomatic and trading partners.

At this critical moment, both nations need to reverse the downward spiral in relations by creating positive momentum through substantive (and not merely rhetorical) assurances and compromises on key issues, without, however, undermining vital national interests. This difficult task is virtually impossible over the near to medium term under the current U.S. and Chinese governments, but it will nevertheless remain an imperative if we are to avoid serious crises or even clashes in the future. It requires, first, a fact-based matching of goals with resources over time, a differentiation between vital and secondary interests, and a clear-eyed recognition that neither country will dominate either Asia or the world at large. Power is now diffusing across the globe as interdependence deepens and resources are strained. This demands efforts to balance and cooperate rather than exclude and weaken.

Second, Washington must recognize that despite Xi’s now-dominant position, the Chinese government is not a monolithic entity and motivating it requires creating positive incentives for supporters of greater reform, openness, and accommodation within the system. Such individuals exist in many sectors, and their influence could grow if the Xi regime’s more repressive policies create serious social and economic unrest. But the current demonization of Beijing’s motives and behavior will simply weaken their position by helping those in China who play to the specter of the “foreign threat” to justify their own hostile policies.

Similarly, Beijing will get nowhere with U.S. officials if it continues to mouth platitudes about win-win outcomes and stoke domestic fears of foreign infiltration instead of recognizing that its growing strengths create insecurities that can only be addressed through the offering of substantive political, economic, and security assurances — backed by meaningful actions — to outsiders, especially in Asia. Such changes are not impossible, but both sides need to stop the posturing and get down to the business of creating a stable relationship from which both can benefit.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/29/the-u-s-cant-afford-to-demonize-china/

发布时间:2018年07月13日 来源时间:2018年07月13日
分享到:

留 言

网友留言为中美印象网网友个人的看法和感受,不代表本站观点

简报NEWSLETTER
微博WEIBO

中美印象
官方微信