五月花寫作組 ｜ 翻譯：紫丁香、虹陵 ｜ 校對：jiasen、傘兵 ｜ 編輯：jamie(文胤) ｜ 美工、發稿：滅共小宇宙
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.
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.
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.
幾十年來，中共國的游說團主導了立法，因為兩黨政府都試圖接觸和平衡一個崛起中的中共國——但實際上，前者比後者做得更多。例如，老布希總統對1989年的天安門廣場大屠殺作出了溫和的回應。屠殺發生幾天后，他說：”現在是時候超越當下，著眼於這種對美國至關重要的關系的重要性和持久性方面。”比爾-柯林頓總統在執政初期曾承諾，他將以在人權方面取得實際進展作為延長中共國最惠國貿易地位的條件，但面對中共國的不妥協和商業利益的壓力，他最終違背了這一承諾。柯林頓以為中共國倡導建立永久正常貿易關系和加入世貿組織的政績而結束總統任期，他稱之為 “雙贏”，將 “保護我們的繁榮”，同時 “促進中共國的正確變革”。小布希政府同樣承諾對中共國採取更強硬的路線，稱中共國必須成為世界上 “負責任的利益相關者”。然而，該政府進一步擴大了與中共國的商業關系，在2001年中共國加入世貿組織後，主導的 “中共國貿易沖擊 ” 使美國的工業界受到重創。如果說有什麼，就是盡管中共國的政治局勢惡化有明顯的警示信號，奧巴馬政府仍表明比前任們更致力於與中共國的交往。充其量，這一代的接觸努力只是一個實驗，看看更深的經濟一體化是否會在中共國產生政治變革。結果已經非常明瞭。
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，中國比幾十年前富裕得多。 經濟一體化已使中國成為一個工業強國，而且正如其擁護者經常指出的那樣，它使數百萬人擺脫了日益加劇的貧困。 但是，原本應該由這種轉變帶來的政治變革卻未能實現。 相反，習近平領導的中共比以往任何時候都更強勢和挑釁，中止了早期的嘗試性改革，並致力於與“假趨勢”作鬥爭，例如“西方憲政民主”，“普世價值”和“公民社會”。 幾十年來的交涉，投資和鼓勵並沒有使中國共產黨還權於民，反而使該黨的獨裁統治稱霸全球。
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.
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.
最近發生的兩個事件說明瞭中美之間相互依存的程度。 首先，CCP病毒大流行揭示了與中共國的相互依存如何威脅到美國。 其次，川普總統更強硬的貿易方式揭示了相互依存給中共國帶來了風險。
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國供應鏈的主要弱點以及個人防護裝備等基本商品的國內生產能力。 在大流行初期，中共國一再阻止美國公司將其在中國工廠生產的產品出口到美國。 中共國還威脅要採取其它措施來扣留基本物資。
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時期可以容忍的經濟關系，在危機時刻卻可能暴露出它的愚蠢性。 當發生世界範圍的緊急情況時，各國在顧及它國，甚至盟國的需求之前，在邏輯上首先要保護自己的利益。 同時，像中共國這樣的機會主義和侵略性大國則利用緊急狀況來剝削其它國家。 這些是過去的歷史教訓，最近的事件已使人們無法忽視。
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.
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.
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.
這是一項艱巨的任務。 好消息是，相比我們需要中共國，中共國最終更需要我們。美國的力量比很多人想象的要大，可以按照我們自己的意願來重塑與中共國的經濟關系。 我們必須利用這種力量制定一項新的美國經濟政策，從長遠來看，該政策將擊敗中共。
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.
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.