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Is America Preparing for Conflict with China?

美国正在准备与中国发生冲突吗?



Zhiqun Zhu
January 23, 2018

2018年1月23日

A lack of public debate on China may lead to a short-sighted policy that will hurt American interests in the long term.

缺乏对中国问题的公开辩论可能会导致短视的政策,损害美国的长期利益。

The delicate U.S.-China relationship survived President Donald Trump’s first year in office without too many surprises. However, at the start of his second year in the White House, some dark clouds are hovering over the relationship.

美国总统唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)上任的第一年,微妙的美中关系没有出现太多意外。然而,在他入主白宫的第二年初,这段关系正被一些乌云笼罩着。

Recent developments in Washington make one wonder whether some people in the U.S. government are actively seeking confrontation with China. On January 9, 2018, the House of Representatives passed the Taiwan Travel Act, indicating that it wants the U.S. government to “encourage” visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials “at all levels”—including officials from the State Department and Defense Department. If the Senate were to pass a similar act, and if President Trump were to sign it into law, then the unofficial U.S.-Taiwan relationship would be upgraded to an official level, which would surely send U.S.-China relations into a tailspin. The Taiwan Travel Act arguably violates the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, a U.S. law which set up the American Institute in Taiwan as a “nongovernmental entity” to promote “commercial, cultural and other relations” between the United States and Taiwan.

华盛顿最近的事态发展让人怀疑,美国政府中的一些人是否在积极寻求与中国对抗。在2018年1月9日,众议院通过了《台湾旅游法案》,表明它希望美国政府“鼓励”美国和台湾官员之间的“各级”互访,包括国务院和国防部的官员。如果参议院通过类似的法案,特朗普总统签署该法案成为法律,那么非官方的美国-台湾关系将升级到官方的级别,这肯定会让美中关系陷入混乱?!短ㄍ迓糜畏ò浮房梢运滴シ戳?979年的《台湾关系法》,该法案规定美国在台协会是一个以促进美国和台湾之间的“商业、文化和其他关系”的“非政府实体”。

The House passed “Taiwan Travel Act” on the heels of President Trump’s signing of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act win December 2017. The act contains some important items related toTaiwan. For example, it suggests that the United States “should” invite Taiwan to joint military exercises with the U.S. military and consider the advisability and feasibility of reestablishing port of call exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan navies. This undoubtedly raises a big red flag in U.S.-China relations.

在特朗普总统签署2018年国防授权法案后,众议院紧跟着通过了“台湾旅游法案”。该法案包含一些与台湾有关的重要事项。例如,它建议美国“应该”邀请台湾与美国军方进行联合军事演习,并考虑重新恢复美国和台湾海军之间的港口互访的合理性和可行性。这无疑使中美关系产生了巨大的风险。

Taiwan is not the only issue which the United States is using to irritate China now. While complaining about unfair Chinese trade practices and threatening a trade war with China, the Trump administration ignores the fact that the U.S. market is not completely open to China. Before Trump took office, he met in New York with Alibaba’sJack Ma, who agreed to help Trump create jobs. However, earlier this month Ma’s Ant Financial was forced to withdraw its offer to buy money-transfer company MoneyGram. Ma reportedly lobbied Trump officials for months for this merger, pledging to create jobs in the United States, but some members of Congress expressed concerns that the Chinese government had a15 percent stake in Ant, a claim that Ant denies. Consequently the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States blocked the bid on national-security grounds. Last year, Congress advised the committee to further scrutinize acquisitions of U.S. assets by China’s state owned businesses or firms with ties to the Chinese government.

现在台湾不是美国用来刺激中国的唯一问题。在抱怨中国的不公平贸易行为并威胁与中国进行贸易战的同时,特朗普政府忽视了一个事实,即美国市场并非完全向中国开放。在特朗普上任之前,他在纽约与阿里巴巴的马云(Jack Ma)会面,马云同意帮助特朗普创造就业。然而,本月早些时候,马云的蚂蚁金服被迫撤回了收购汇金公司MoneyGram的报价。据报道,为了这一合并,马云游说了特朗普政府官员几个月,并承诺在美国创造就业机会,但一些国会议员对中国政府持有蚂蚁金服的15%股份表示担心,而蚂蚁否认这一说法。结果,美国的外国投资委员会以国家安全为由阻止了这项收购。去年,国会建议这个委员会进一步仔细审查中国国有企业或与中国政府有关系的公司收购美国的资产。

Other Chinese businesses such asHuawei and ZTE also hit the wall recently in their plan to expand business in the U.S. Huawei is a multinational telecommunications company but has had difficulty entering the U.S. market because its founder Ren Zhengfei was a former People’s Liberation Army soldier. No convincing evidence has been produced to show that Huawei has ties to the Chinese military.

另外,华为(Huawei)和中兴通讯(ZTE)等其他中国企业最近也在进军美国市场的计划中遭遇挫折?;且患铱绻缧殴?,但由于其创始人任正非曾是中国人民解放军(pla)士兵,导致其进入美国市场时困难重重。没有令人信服的证据表明华为与中国军方有关系。

Deep trouble is also spilling to the strategic field. The newNational Defense Strategy that was released last Friday identifies China and Russia as America’s biggest threats, replacing terrorism for the first time since 9/11. The document points to China’s military actions in the South China Sea as evidence of Beijing’s aggressiveness. But China and other claimants in the region have been working to lower tensions, and most notably relations between China and the Philippines have greatly improved over the past couple of years.

深层次的问题也蔓延到了战略领域。上周五公布的新国防战略将中国和俄罗斯列为取代恐怖主义的美国最大的威胁,这是自9/11以来首次。这份文件指出,中国在南中国海的军事行动证明了北京的挑衅行为。但是,中国和该地区的其他国家一直致力于缓和紧张局势,特别是中国和菲律宾之间的关系在过去几年里有了很大的改善。

In the Washington policy and think-tank circles, there used to be two camps regarding U.S. approach towards China: the “panda-huggers” who promote engagement and friendly relations between the two powers, and the “dragon-slayers,” who advocate tough handling of China through deterrence, sanctions and military confrontation. The existence of the two camps and their rational debate have been healthy for U.S. policymaking. Today “dragon slayers” are sharpening their knives while “panda-huggers” seem to have either been sidelined or gone hiding.

在华盛顿的政策和智库圈子里,关于美国对中国政策,曾经有两大阵营:“熊猫拥抱者(panda-huggers)”提倡两国之间的接触和友好关系,以及“屠龙者(dragon-slayers)”主张通过威慑、制裁和军事对抗来对中国进行强硬的处理。两个阵营的存在以及他们的理性辩论对美国的政策制定是有益的。今天的“屠龙者”正在磨刀,而“熊猫拥抱者”似乎要么被边缘化,要么躲藏起来。

There is an urgent need to return to a sensible and pragmatic approach to China based on common interests that has guided U.S. policy since President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. The rise of China and President Xi Jinping’s strong leadership certainly present a serious challenge for the United States. But is poking China in the eye on issues like Taiwan and trade the best way to deal with China? Lack of public debate on China may lead to a short-sighted policy that will hurt American interests in the long term.

自尼克松总统1972年访问中国以来,基于共同的利益一直引导着美国的政策,现在是迫切需要回到对中国采取明智和务实的态度的时候了。中国的崛起和习主席的强势领导,无疑给美国带来了严峻的挑战。但在台湾和贸易等问题上挑拨中国,是解决中国问题的最佳方式吗?缺乏对中国问题的公开辩论可能会导致短视的政策,损害美国的长期利益。

Amidst the turbulences, Trump and Xi spoke on the phone last week, suggesting that the two leaders are still committed to maintaining a stable relationship and settling the disputes through dialogue. Is the rapport between Trump and Xi strong enough to smooth bilateral ties? Prudence must prevail when conducting this most important bilateral relations because the stakes are too high for the two countries as well as the international community.

在动荡的关系中,特朗普和习上周在电话中表示,两国领导人仍致力于保持稳定的关系,并通过对话解决争端。特朗普和习之间紧密的关系是否足以缓和双边关系?在处理这一最重要的双边关系时,必须谨慎行事,因为对两国和国际社会来说,利害关系太大。

Zhiqun Zhu, PhD, is a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University. He is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. The views here are his own.

朱志群博士是巴克内尔大学政治学和国际关系学教授。他是美国全国委员会中美关系协会的成员。。这里仅代表他的个人观点。