从未来看现在的中国风险

2021-03-24 07:47

本文英文版在 Global Times 的版面截图

中美高层阿拉斯加会晤前,不少记者采访我对此的期待。我的回答是,没有什么期待,但见面就是好事。果然,拜登执政以来的中美第一次战略对话,没有微笑握手照片,没有共同声明,留给世界的似乎只有争吵。

其实,这是预料之内的。中美关系陷入建交40多年最恶化的紧张关系中。拜登执政后,明确以“战略耐心”将中国视为最大竞争者,将特朗普对华遗产视为新一轮对华博弈的筹码,美国社会对中国崛起的消极看法前所未有,两党对华遏制策略空前一致,拜登政府内少壮派官员对华“鹰派”架式明显,科技压制、贸易脱钩、人权挑衅、主权干预仍将是美国对华惯用手段。阿拉斯加的紧张氛围,只是中美较长时间内的紧张常态的一个序曲而已。

除了中美紧张关系,中国崛起面临的外部风险还有许多。最令人担心的是,周边军事安全困境。近年来,美国对中国边海抵近侦察与军事骚扰之势未减,限制中国军力于第一岛链的战略企图不变。“台独”势力高涨,边境争端频繁,中国在台海、南海、边疆卷入军事冲突的风险概率在加大,加之数字时代军事科技更新迭代节奏加快,一些境外极端势力也盯上中国,中国不得不面对来自多方因素的“诱战”、“耗战”、“混战”的安全困境。
大国责任陷阱也需要关注。近年来,西方长期对异质文明存在的偏见与傲慢,常借气候变化、生态环境、人权标准、债权陷阱等议题,炒作中国所谓“大国责任”,尤其是拿一些中国企业走出去的纰漏与瑕疵借题发挥,以双重标准,试图强化西方话语霸权,掌控“中国是否负责”的评判权,抹黑“一带一路”,扭曲中国战略意图,转移国际舆论注意力,推卸本国应有责任,增加中国发展成本,抑制中国崛起速度。
跨国投资风险也在加大。近年来,中国对外投资规模、范围与深度均不断扩大。截至2019年底,中国境外企业已超过4.4万家,分布在全球188个国家地区,境外资产总额7.2万亿美元,其中60%以上都集中在租赁商务、建筑制造、采矿能源、交通基建、批发零售业等“重资产”,存量大,周期长,套现难,风险系数高,很容易成为当地极端势力、仇华势力、不法势力的冲击目标。稍有不慎,就可能血本无归,还有可能搭上性命。
海外公民威胁在增多。近年来,超过半年以上的海外学习、务工、就业的中国国籍人口据估计已超过500万。中国年均境外旅游人数已超过1.5亿人次,且深度游、偏远地区游的人数在增加。国家崛起与文化习惯所致,全世界对中国人的财富印象往往是“有钱,且爱带现金”,这导致海外公民受到偷窃、抢劫、绑架、恐袭的现象层出不穷。外交部全球领保与服务电话12308日均人工接近海外中国公民所难求助电话1100通,可以预见,未来海外人身安全的保护仍将是中国捍卫国家利益的重中之重。
同时存在的,还有许多倒灌的外部风险。新型传染病毒、跨国犯罪、资本市场波动频繁,汇率战、货币战、反全球化浪潮、极端主义、恐怖主义与分裂主义等等,都有可能伺机破坏中国发展。
在这篇专栏中,罗列那么多外部风险,是希望客观地与读者分享,对崛起的难度,中国决策层是有战略预判的。3000年中华民族史从未像现在这样与世界广泛交融,从未像当下这样具有广泛的全球影响力,也从未像如今这样在国家崛起进程中牵扯过多的外部头绪。
对这些风险的战略判断,决不是对未来不确定性的恐慌与惧怕,更不是对长久以来的发展积累、当前的经济社会繁荣的否定与懊恼,相反,是评估现实境况与未来走势的客观冷静与实事求是,更是对外部风险与潜藏危机的坦然与自信。
近年来,中国加速走近世界舞台中心,但中心区往往也是风暴眼。回顾大国史,那些曾在世界舞台中心的大国,肯定是国际聚光灯的受瞩目者,同样也是与矛盾、风险、利益纠葛最多的策源国。
但中国人有自信,过去十年,中国相继成为全球最大制造业国家、全球最大货物贸易国家、全球最大消费市场,未来5-10年,中国极可能超过美国跃升为全球最大经济体。等那个时候,再回过头看阿拉斯加会谈,就根本不算是什么风险了。

以下为英文版

A fair look at risks China faces shows country's confidence

By Wang Wen

China-US relations Photo: GT
Before the China-US high-level meeting in Alaska, many reporters asked me about my expectations. My answer to them was simple: "I expected nothing, but it's always a good thing as long as the two sides are still meeting with each other." As anticipated, there was no photo of smiling and shaking hands, no joint statements at the first strategic dialogue between China and the US since US President Joe Biden took office. And the world seemed to be left with only a tit-for-tat confrontation between the two countries as their news. 
China-US relations are at their worst place since diplomatic relations were established. After taking office, Biden has made it clear that he views China as the "most serious competitor" to the US. He takes Donald Trump's legacy as a bargaining chip in a new round of games with China. Negative views of China's rise in America are unprecedented, and the two US political parties' containment strategies against China have never been more consistent than now. 
Young officials in the Biden administration are clearly hawkish toward China. Science and technology suppression, trade decoupling, human rights provocations, and sovereign intervention remain the conventional tools of the US to deal with China. The tense atmosphere in Alaska is just a prelude to a seemingly much longer period of tensions between China and the US.
Beyond the friction with the US, there are many external risks to China's rise. The most worrying one is the military security dilemma in the region. In recent years, Washington has constantly conducted reconnaissance missions and military harassment around China's border and coastal areas. Its strategic attempt to restrict China's military power in the first island chain remains unchanged. "Taiwan independence" forces are on the rise, and the risk of China being involved in military conflicts in the Taiwan Straits, South China Sea and on its border is increasing. In addition, in the digital age, the pace of upgrading military technology is accelerating. Some foreign extremist forces are also eyeing China. 
The trap of great power responsibility also needs attention. The West has long been biased and arrogant toward heterogeneous civilizations. They often make use of issues such as climate change, ecological environment, human rights and debt traps to hype up China's responsibility as a great power. In particular, they take advantage of the negligence of some Chinese enterprises abroad. They also try to strengthen their discourse hegemony in the West with double standards. At nearly every turn, they smear the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, distort China's strategic intention, divert the attention of international public opinion and shirk their own responsibility.
The risk of transnational investment is also increasing. In recent years, China's foreign investment has been expanding in scale, scope and depth. By the end of 2019, there were more than 44,000 overseas Chinese enterprises in 188 countries and regions around the world. This amounted to total overseas assets valued at $7.2 trillion, of which 80 percent were concentrated on "heavy assets" such as leasing business, transportation and infrastructure, wholesale and retail business, etc. These businesses usually have huge stocks, a long payback period, as well as difficulty in cashing out. As a result, they are easily targeted by local anti-China extremist forces. The owners of these businesses may suffer heavy losses and even lose their lives if they are not careful.
Chinese overseas citizens are also under increasing threat. In 2019, Chinese tourists have made more than 155 million outbound trips, and the number of tours and trips to remote areas in China is increasing too. As a result of the growing economic prosperity in China and cultural habits of Chinese people, people all over the world think Chinese are "rich and love to carry cash." This has led to numerous crimes against Chinese overseas citizens, including thefts, robberies, kidnappings, and terrorist attacks. It is foreseeable that the protection of personal safety overseas will remain the top priority for China to defend its national interests.
At the same time, there are many external risks that may have an impact on the country. These include the COVID-19 pandemic, transnational crime, frequent fluctuations in capital markets, currency wars, anti-globalization waves, extremism, terrorism and separatism.
In China's thousands of years of history, the country has never been so widely intertwined with the world. The country has never had such a wide global influence, and there were never so many external factors involved in the process of the country's rise as there are today.
The strategic judgment of these risks is in no way a panic and fear of uncertainty. Nor is it a denial or cause for chagrin in the face of long-standing development, plus current economic and social prosperity of China. On the contrary, it is an objective, calm and realistic assessment of the real situation and future trends. It is also a frank and confident assessment of overcoming the external risks and potential crises.
In recent years, China has accelerated its move to the center of the world stage. However, the center is often also in eye of the storm. Looking back at the history of great powers, those that have been at the center of the world stage have certainly been the ones in the international spotlight. They are likewise the ones with the most conflicts, risks, and interests entangled in current affairs. 
But Chinese people have confidence. In the past decade, China has become the world's largest manufacturing country, the world's largest goods trading country, and the world's largest consumer market. In the next 5-10 years, China will most likely surpass the US to become the world's largest economy. When that time comes, looking back at the Alaska talks, they may not be remembered as a risk at all.


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