五月花写作组 | 翻译:紫丁香、虹陵 | 校对:jiasen、伞兵 | 编辑:jamie(文胤) | 美工、发稿:灭共小宇宙

Beat China: Targeted Decoupling and the Economic Long War 战胜中共国:针对性脱钩与经济持久战





SECTION ONE: The State of the U.S.-China Economic Relationship 


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should be worried. The U.S.-China trade war and the coronavirus pandemic have shattered an elite narrative about the benefits of economic integration between our two countries. This account had dismissed China’s unfair and deceptive practices as irritations that would melt away once China reached the nirvana of political and economic liberalization. It also deemphasized national security interests in return for unevenly distributed economic gains. The narrative served to normalize the CCP’s rule, enable China’s rise, and deeply entangle our two economies, generating points of reliance—and leverage—in both directions. 

中国共产党(CCP)应该感到担忧。美中贸易战和CCP病毒大流行已经粉碎了精英们关于我们两国之间经济一体化好处的论述。这一说法忽视了中共国的不公平和欺骗性做法,只将其看作是一种困扰,认为一旦中共国实现了政治经济自由化的涅槃,困扰就会化为乌有。 它还淡化了国家安全利益,以换取分配不均的经济利益。这一论调服务于使中共的统治正常化,让中共国得以崛起,并使我们两个经济体深深地纠缠在一起,产生了双向的依赖点和杠杆作用。

China has developed into an industrial and technological powerhouse relatively unchallenged, with the aid of American capital, technology, managerial expertise, and market access. China undeniably needed the United States in order to hit its ambitious economic-growth targets. It’s less obvious that the United States needed China, yet it was conventional wisdom for decades that we did.1,2 


President Nixon’s opening to China in 1972 followed from a calculated decision to cultivate a partner bordering the Soviet Union and to thereby drive a deeper wedge between Beijing and Moscow. What began primarily as a strategic calculation turned into a gold rush for U.S. businesses after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms. Following the Soviet Union’s collapse, with globalization ascendant and great-power politics seemingly in the past, American businesses promoted integration with China as an opportunity to offshore manufacturing and open China’s vast market to American goods, services, and capital. U.S. investment flooded China in the 1990s, helping transform its  largely backward economy, reliant on agriculture and decrepit state-owned enterprises, into a hub  of low-cost, low-value manufacturing.3 Deeper ties followed China’s 2001 accession to the World  Trade Organization (WTO).4 This economic relationship in turn created a powerful, new “China  Lobby” composed of those working to protect their China-related interests from national-security  hawks, human-rights activists, labor organizers, and protectionists who supported a harder line  against Beijing.            

尼克松总统1972年对中共国的开放,是经过深思熟虑的决定,目的是培养一个与苏联接壤的伙伴,从而加深中共国和莫斯科之间的隔阂。但在邓小平改革后,最初的战略谋划转变成了美国企业的淘金热。苏联解体后,随着全球化的兴起,大国政治似乎成为过去,美国企业推动与中共国的一体化,认为这是制造业离岸的机会,同时打开中共国的巨大市场向美国商品、服务和资本开放。20世纪90年代,美国投资涌入中共国,帮助中共国将其依赖农业和破败国有企业的大规模落后经济,转变为低成本、低价值的制造业中心。2001年中共国正式加入世界贸易组织(WTO)后,双方关系更加深入。这种经济关系反过来又创造了一个强大的、新兴的 “中共国游说团”,其成员包括那些致力于保护其在华利益的人,他们不受国家安全鹰派、人权活动家、劳工组织者以及支持对中共国采取更强硬路线的保护主义者的影响。

This China Lobby dominated policymaking for decades, as administrations of both parties attempted to engage and balance a rising China—but in practice did more of the former than the latter. For example, President George H.W. Bush offered a muted response to the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989. Days after the slaughter, he stated, “now is the time to look beyond  the moment to important and enduring aspects of this vital relationship for the United States.”6 President Bill Clinton pledged early in his presidency that he would condition renewal of China’s  Most Favored Nation trading status with tangible progress on human rights, but ultimately broke that promise in the face of intransigence from Beijing and pressure from business interests.7 Clinton  ended his presidency championing Permanent Normal Trade Relations and WTO membership  for China, which he called a “win-win” that would “protect our prosperity” while “promot[ing] the  right kind of change in China.”8 The George W. Bush administration likewise promised a tougher  line with Beijing, stating China must become a “responsible stakeholder” in the world.9 However,  the administration further expanded commercial ties with China. It presided over the “China trade shock” that devastated America’s industrial communities following China’s accession to the WTO in 2001.10 If anything, the Obama administration proved more committed to engagement than its predecessors, despite unmistakable warning signs of the deteriorating political situation in China.  At best, this generational effort at engagement was an experiment to see whether greater economic integration would generate political change in China. The results are in. 

几十年来,中共国的游说团主导了立法,因为两党政府都试图接触和平衡一个崛起中的中共国——但实际上,前者比后者做得更多。例如,老布什总统对1989年的天安门广场大屠杀作出了温和的回应。屠杀发生几天后,他说:”现在是时候超越当下,着眼于这种对美国至关重要的关系的重要性和持久性方面。”比尔-克林顿总统在执政初期曾承诺,他将以在人权方面取得实际进展作为延长中共国最惠国贸易地位的条件,但面对中共国的不妥协和商业利益的压力,他最终违背了这一承诺。克林顿以为中共国倡导建立永久正常贸易关系和加入世贸组织的政绩而结束总统任期,他称之为 “双赢”,将 “保护我们的繁荣”,同时 “促进中共国的正确变革”。小布什政府同样承诺对中共国采取更强硬的路线,称中共国必须成为世界上 “负责任的利益相关者”。然而,该政府进一步扩大了与中共国的商业关系,在2001年中共国加入世贸组织后,主导的 “中共国贸易冲击 ” 使美国的工业界受到重创。如果说有什么,就是尽管中共国的政治局势恶化有明显的警示信号,奥巴马政府仍表明比前任们更致力于与中共国的交往。充其量,这一代的接触努力只是一个实验,看看更深的经济一体化是否会在中共国产生政治变革。结果已经非常明了。

Today, China is far richer than it was several decades ago. Economic integration has turned China into an industrial powerhouse and, as its advocates note so often, lifted many millions out of grinding poverty. But the political change that was supposed to come from this transformation has failed to materialize. To the contrary, the CCP under Xi Jinping is more powerful and provocative than ever, rolling back the tentative reforms of earlier eras and recommitting to struggle against “false trends” such as “Western Constitutional Democracy,” “universal values,” and “civil society.”11 Instead of weakening the CCP and empowering the Chinese people, decades of engagement, investment, and encouragement have helped make the Party’s dictatorship a global force.  

今天,中国比几十年前富裕得多。 经济一体化已使中国成为一个工业强国,而且正如其拥护者经常指出的那样,它使数百万人摆脱了日益加剧的贫困。 但是,原本应该由这种转变带来的政治变革却未能实现。 相反,习近平领导的中共比以往任何时候都更强势和挑衅,中止了早期的尝试性改革,并致力于与“假趋势”作斗争,例如“西方宪政民主”,“普世价值”和“公民社会”。 几十年来的交涉,投资和鼓励并没有使中国共产党还权于民,反而使该党的独裁统治称霸全球。

The United States is waking up to the reality that we are not in a cooperative and constructive partnership with China, but rather a strategic competition that could be even more protracted and difficult than the Cold War. China is already wealthier than the Soviet Union at its peak relative to the United States, and is far more entangled with us economically. 

美国正在意识到,我们并未与中共国建立了合作和建设性的伙伴关系,而是建立了一种比冷战更加持久和艰难的战略竞争关系。 对美国来说,中共国的富裕已经超过前苏联最发达的时期,并且在经济上与我们有更多瓜葛。

Two recent events illustrate the extent of interdependence between China and the United States. First, the coronavirus pandemic reveals how interdependence with China threatens the United States. Second, the tougher approach to trade initiated by President Trump reveals how interdependence also poses risks for China. 

最近发生的两个事件说明了中美之间相互依存的程度。 首先,CCP病毒大流行揭示了与中共国的相互依存如何威胁到美国。 其次,川普总统更强硬的贸易方式揭示了相互依存给中共国带来了风险。

The pandemic exposed major weaknesses in America’s supply chains and domestic manufacturing capacity for basic goods like personal protective equipment. In the early days of the pandemic, China repeatedly prevented American companies from exporting products made in their China-based factories to the United States. China also threatened to initiate other measures to withhold essential supplies.12,13 

病毒大流行暴露了美国供应链的主要弱点以及个人防护装备等基本商品的国内生产能力。 在大流行初期,中共国一再阻止美国公司将其在中国工厂生产的产品出口到美国。 中共国还威胁要采取其它措施来扣留基本物资。

The pandemic illustrated how an economic relationship that appeared tolerable in normal times could be exposed as foolish in times of crisis. When worldwide emergencies occur, nations logically protect their own interests before attending to the needs of others, even those of allies.  Meanwhile, opportunistic and aggressive powers like China exploit emergencies to weaken other nations. These are old lessons of history that recent events have made impossible to ignore. 

病毒大流行展示了在正常时期可以容忍的经济关系,在危机时刻却可能暴露出它的愚蠢性。 当发生世界范围的紧急情况时,各国在顾及它国,甚至盟国的需求之前,在逻辑上首先要保护自己的利益。 同时,像中共国这样的机会主义和侵略性大国则利用紧急状况来剥削其它国家。 这些是过去的历史教训,最近的事件已使人们无法忽视。

The U.S.-China trade war also revealed an asymmetry in the two countries’ reliance on one another for foreign trade under normal conditions. The American economy grew at a healthy  clip from 2017 to early 2020 despite trade tensions.14 China’s official economic growth during  this period, though still higher than that of the United States, slowed to its lowest rate in  decades, even before the onset of the pandemic.15 Chinese industrial output growth fell to  nearly 18-year lows while its total debt ballooned to over 300 percent of Gross Domestic  Product (GDP).16,17 Despite the “Phase One” trade agreement, the trade war hastened the  closing of China’s strategic window of opportunity, the period of advantage Beijing enjoys  before the likely onset of a demographic crisis and all-but-inevitable balancing measures by  its foreign adversaries.18 The trade war also revealed the extent to which Chinese economic  growth relies on the U.S. consumer market, a reliance which cannot comfort the strategic  thinkers in Beijing. 

中美贸易战也显示,在正常情况下,两国相互依存的对外贸易不对称。尽管存在贸易紧张局势,美国经济在2017年至2020年初仍保持健康增长。在此期间,中共国的经济增长官方数据尽管仍高于美国,但已放缓至数十年来的最低水平,甚至在病毒大流行之前就已经放缓了。 中共国工业生产总值跌至近18年来的最低点,而其总债务却激增至国内生产总值(GDP)的300%以上。尽管达成了“第一阶段”贸易协议,但贸易战仍加速关闭了中共国的战略机会之窗,即中共国在人口危机可能爆发和外国对手不可避免的平衡措施之前享有的优势时期。贸易战还揭示了中共国经济在多大程度上依赖于美国消费市场,这种依赖令北京的战略家深感不安。

It is now clear that the U.S. and Chinese economies are too entangled, particularly in critical sectors such as medicine, defense, and technology. The urgent task for policymakers and businesses is to end our dependence on China and build new capabilities in America.  

现在很明显,中美经济纠缠不清,特别是在医药、国防和技术等关键领域。 决策者和企业的当务之急是消除我们对中共国的依赖,并在美国建立新的产能。

This is a major undertaking, fraught with difficulty. The good news is that China ultimately needs us more than we need China. The United States has more power than many realize to reshape the economic relationship with China on our own terms. We must use this power to forge a new American economic policy that will beat the CCP in the long run.  

这是一项艰巨的任务。 好消息是,相比我们需要中共国,中共国最终更需要我们。美国的力量比很多人想象的要大,可以按照我们自己的意愿来重塑与中共国的经济关系。 我们必须利用这种力量制定一项新的美国经济政策,从长远来看,该政策将击败中共。

The U.S. government needs to pursue targeted decoupling with China. America can reduce its dependence on its chief global rival by, for example, cutting off China from high-end semiconductor designs and equipment, sanctioning Chinese companies that steal and benefit from U.S. intellectual property, and preventing the federal government from buying products that contain Chinese active pharmaceutical ingredients and Chinese rare earths and critical minerals. 

美国政府需要与中共国进行有针对性的脱钩。 美国可以通过以下方式来减少对全球主要竞争对手的依赖,例如,切断中共国获取高端半导体设计和设备,制裁窃取美国知识产权并从中受益的中共国公司,阻止联邦政府购买含有中共国活性药物成分以及中共国稀土和重要矿物质。

At the same time, the United States can make investments to mitigate the effects of decoupling by, for example, boosting federal research and development (R&D) funding, rebuilding the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) talent pool, and restoring secure, scalable, domestic manufacturing in key sectors. Finally, this strategy demands a careful look at how key elements of the federal bureaucracy are organized and incentivized to fight the economic long war.

同时,美国可以进行投资以减轻脱钩的影响,例如,增加联邦研究与开发(R&D)资金,重建STEM(科学,技术,工程,数学)学科的人才储备,并且在一些关键领域重建安全的、大规模的国内制造。 最后,该战略需要仔细研究如何组织和激励联邦官僚机构的关键要素,以抗击长期的经济战争。


Beat China: Targeted Decoupling and the Economic Long War




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