美印联手对华施压,三方如何重建基本信任?

2021-06-23 07:17


01

当今世界正处于百年未有之大变局,突出表现在:世界力量平衡变化和地缘政治竞争等传统安全威胁,与气候变化和疫情蔓延等非传统安全威胁相互叠加;科技革命飞速发展改变了人们的生活和生产方式;全球化与逆全球化的博弈加速推动全球化内涵外延的调整。
大国关系更趋紧张敏感,不确定性和不稳定性凸显,陷入零和博弈的恶性战略竞争成为维护世界和平与稳定的现实威胁。如何消除误判,建立最低限度的战略互信,防止大国竞争滑入全面对抗,具有重要的现实意义。我们尤其需要关注当前陷入困境的中美和中印关系。
中美关系是全球最重要的双边关系,中美同为安理会常任理事国,两国GDP占全球40%左右,是世界上最有影响力的大国。中美关系走向对世界新格局和国际新秩序的形成十分关键。
中美建交40多年,大部分时间合作与竞争并存,以合作和“战略接触”为主。近年来美国对华战略发生根本性转变,特朗普政府发布《国家安全战略》报告,确立中国为美国的“主要战略竞争对手”。拜登政府上台后,对话窗口重新开启,但基本继承了对华强硬的战略竞争政策,以两党一致的《2021战略竞争法案》和《无尽前沿法案》为代表的全面打压中国政策正在逐步成形。
拜登政府将中国视为“最严峻的竞争对手”,其高级官员宣称“对华接触期已经结束”,将处理与中国的关系定义为“20世纪最大的地缘政治考验”。美国对华战略竞争已经进入实质化阶段,主要表现在经济科技脱钩、地缘政治军事遏制和意识形态妖魔化三个方面。
中印人口都在14亿左右,是最大的发展中国家。中印关系对亚洲和平与发展有重要影响,在各自对外关系中地位重要。近年来,印度内外环境变化,出于自身战略考虑并受美国对华遏制战略影响,其对华政策出现重大变化,中印关系严重下滑,两国在南亚和印度洋地区利益碰撞增多,在“一带一路”倡议、印度加入核供应国集团等问题上分歧累积,洞朗对峙事件、加勒万河谷冲突等边界冲突持续冲击两国关系,紧张局势升温。
中美、中印关系不是一个层面的问题,但是确实相互有关联。中美印三角关系需要放在全球地缘政治竞争和博弈加剧、国际权力结构变化的大背景下来审视。美印联手对付中国,无论是“美日澳印四国联盟”还是包括印度的“技术12国”(T12),并非一时心血来潮,而是美印出于各自战略,经过深思熟虑的政策选项,其中当然有对中国发展走向和对外政策的严重误判,但主要还是两国战略目标的契合催生了相互利用的准结盟关系。不认识这一点就难以真正了解美印关系的实质和美印联手对华战略的实质。
中国始终认为,合作和竞争都是国家关系的常态,大国之间避免不了竞争,同时存在广阔的合作空间,只要是良性、和平竞争,就不会陷入“零和博弈”的修昔底德陷阱。随着全球传统和非传统安全威胁增多,没有一个国家可以独善其身、单打独斗。大国维护世界总体和平、经济可持续发展的共同利益始终存在。从这个意义上看,中美和中印虽然竞争加剧,合作空间和可能性依然存在。但是,美印未必认同这样的思路,两国不少人包括高层不是从双赢或者多赢的高度来看待双边和三边关系,而是始终抱着对立与对抗的心态,对中国的发展有深深的疑虑和焦虑。

02

目前中美、中印关系的主要问题,一是缺乏基本互信,不能真正理解对方的战略意图,或者不愿相信中国和平发展的战略;二是三国战略目标确有异同,有利益的冲突。后者是客观存在,而且由来已久,前者则是缺乏深入坦诚沟通,战略疑虑导致战略竞争,或者有意而为之,认定对方是主要战略竞争对手。
这两个问题有没有解决办法?当然是有的,关键是想不想去做,怎么做?有几点建议:
1.重新建立最低的战略互信,就是承认两国战略取向异同问题和存在的各种分歧,放弃零和博弈的恶性战略竞争,通过对话和谈判,寻求合作的空间和时间。
2.以“相互尊重”为基础进行务实认真的对话和谈判,有选择地在两国共同关心的领域进行适度合作,譬如气候变化、网络安全、防控疫情等,并通过合作采取建立信任措施,为重建战略互信铺路。
3.相互尊重首先要求两国不抱偏见地看待对方,尊重对方的发展道路、政治经济文化选择及其制度安排,尊重对方的核心利益、民族尊严和发展权利。有分歧是正常的,关键是在平等基础上讨论如何解决分歧。
4.对于中印而言,双方需要认同“互为发展机遇”、“互不构成威胁”的基本判断,以积极、开放、包容的心态,正确分析认识彼此意图,相互尊重和照顾对方的核心利益和重大关切。
5.中美、中印对待竞争要有客观、务实认识。中美、中印客观上存在竞争关系无可厚非,这是国家间关系常态。关键是两国要努力确保这种竞争关系是良性的,而不是恶性的。良性竞争有助于推动两国和世界的发展和进步,而恶性竞争只能导致互相伤害并损害国际社会的利益。对于中美这样的大国而言,两国尤其需要合作,确保在竞争中不会出现“不是你死就是我亡”的零和博弈。
最后,无论中美关系如何恶化下滑,加强对话、及时沟通始终是需要的。拜登政府上台后,中美两国元首有过除夕通话,双方在阿拉斯加举行高级别会谈,最近双方代表就经贸问题举行通话,这些都是正确的做法。只有正确了解对方的需求、意图,才能避免对抗,才能找到双方合作的契机。
对于中印关系也是如此。由于受到政治环境和新冠疫情双重影响,两国从官方到民间,从经贸合作到人文交流严重受阻,双边对话和沟通亟需恢复。考虑到中印边界出现问题随时可能引爆两国民众民族主义情绪,两国应坚守“不脱轨、不对抗、不失控”的底线,将边界分歧放在两国关系的适当位置,而不是视为全部内容,以便为恢复沟通对话创造有益的政治环境。
惟有包容才能共存,惟有合作才能共赢,惟有开放才能发展,惟有和平才能繁荣。只有做到了真正的相互尊重,并加强接触和沟通,中美、中印关系才能得到改善,其发展才能行稳致远。

以下为英文版

Time to End the Gamesmanship

By He Yafei


Major country relations tend to become tense and sensitive, uncertainty and instability become prominent and vicious strategic competition in which rivals sink into zero-sum games has become a realistic threat to world peace and stability. How to eliminate misjudgments, build minimum strategic mutual confidence and prevent major countries from sliding into all-around confrontation have important pragmatic significance.We should be particularly concerned about the current China-U.S. and China-India relations, which are now in deep water.The world is witnessing great changes unseen in a century: changes in the global balance of power, traditional security threats from geopolitical competition and such nontraditional security threats as the spread of the pandemic that have converged like never before. Add to that the rapid progress brought by the technological revolution, which has changed ways of life and production, and the wrangling between globalization and deglobalization that has accelerated adjustments in the very meaning of the terms.

The China-U.S. relationship is the most important bilateral one in the world. As both countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and their combined GDP accounts for 40 percent of the world economy, they are highly influential. The course of the relationship is of critical significance to the formulation of a new world order.In much of the past four decades or more of China-U.S. diplomatic relations, cooperation and competition coexisted, with cooperation and “strategic engagement” in a dominant role. U.S.-China strategy saw fundamental changes over the past few years, with the Trump administration's National Security Strategy report identifying China as the main strategic competitor of the United States.

The window for dialogue opened again after the election of U.S. President Joe Biden. But the Biden government has largely carried on its immediate predecessor's policy of fierce strategic competition. Policies meant for all-around suppression of China, such as the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 and Endless Frontier Act based on bipartisan consensus are gradually taking shape.

The Biden administration sees China as its toughest competitor. Ranking U.S. officials claimed the era of engaging China has come to an end and defined handling relations as the biggest geopolitical test of the 20th century. U.S. strategic competition with China has made substantial headway, mainly in three aspects: economic and technological decoupling, geopolitical and military containment and ideological demonization.

Both China and India have a population of around 1.4 billion, being the biggest developing countries and emerging economies. China-India relations exert important influences on Asia's peace and development, and each holds an important position in the other's foreign relations. In recent years, as India's internal and external environments changed based on its own strategic considerations and affected by U.S. containment of China, its China policies have undergone significant metamorphosis.

China-India relations have slid seriously, and bilateral conflicts are on the rise in South Asia and the Indian Ocean areas. The two countries' differences on the Belt and Road Initiative and on India's participation in the Nuclear Suppliers Group have accumulated, and border spats, such as the Donglam standoff and the Galwan River Valley conflict, have dealt constant blows to bilateral ties. Tensions continue to escalate.China-U.S. and China-India relations are not on the same level, yet they are indeed interconnected. The China-U.S.-India triangle needs to be scrutinized against the overall backdrop of worsening global geopolitical competition and gaming as well as the changing international power structure. That the U.S. and India have joined hands against China — from the Quad alliance of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia to the T12, which includes India — is not the result of a sudden impulse but a well-thought-out policy choice based on individual strategic needs. There certainly were serious misjudgments about China's course of development and foreign policies, but it was mostly their overlapping strategic goals that resulted in the quasi-alliance relationship in which each takes advantage of the other for its own benefit. One wouldn't be able to truly understand the essence of the U.S.-India relationship and that of their common strategy against China without seeing this.

China has always believed that both cooperation and competition are normal in state-to-state relations. Competition is unavoidable between major countries, but at the same time there is broad room for cooperation so long as the competition is benign, peaceful and doesn't sink to “zero-sum” competition or slide into the so-called Thucydides Trap.With traditional and nontraditional threats increasing globally, no country can stay well all on its own. Major countries always share a common interest in making sure the world remains generally peaceful and the economy sustainable. From such a perspective, despite the increase in competition between China and the U.S. — as well as between China and India — room for cooperation still exists. Yet the U.S. and India may not identify with this way of thinking. Quite a few people in the two countries, including at higher levels, are not seeing bilateral or trilateral ties from a win-win or all-win perspective, but rather with a mindset of opposition and even confrontation. As a result, they have deep suspicion and anxiety about China's progress.

The main troubles today for China-U.S. and China-India relations are, on one hand, an insufficient foundation of basic mutual trust. The two parties can't truly understand each other's strategic purposes, or the other side isn't willing to believe China's strategy of peaceful development. On the other hand, their strategic goals do differ, and their interests conflict. The latter is an objective fact and has a long history, while the former derives from a lack of in-depth, candid communication, so much so that strategic suspicion has led to strategic competition, or identifying the other side as a primary strategic rival.

Of course there is a way to break the impasse. But it all boils down to whether the parties want to get rid of it, and how. Following are some suggestions:

1. Rebuild minimum strategic mutual confidence, i.e. acknowledging differences in strategic orientations and various disagreements. Forsake the vicious strategic competition of zero-sum games, and seek space and time for cooperation through dialogue and negotiation.

2. Carry out serious pragmatic dialogue and negotiation based on mutual respect. Collaborate in selected areas of common concern, such as climate change, cybersecurity and pandemic control. And take confidence-building steps through cooperation, paving way for rebuilding strategic mutual trust.

3. Mutual respect means first that both countries see the other side without prejudice. They respect the other's development paths, political, economic and cultural choices and institutional arrangements, and respect each other's core interests, national dignity and development rights. Disagreements are nothing unusual, and the crux is to discuss solutions on equal footing.

4. China and India should both proceed from the basic judgment that says development opportunities do not constitute threats. They should correctly analyze each other's purposes with a positive, open and inclusive mindset, and respect and take care of each other's core interests and significant concerns.

5. China, the U.S. and India should all see competition from an objective, pragmatic perspective. Competition is undeniable between China and the U.S. and between China and India: It's the normal state of international relations. The key is that in bilateral ties they should strive to guarantee that such competitive relations are benign, not malicious. Benign competition is good for all parties, as well as the world's development and progress. Malicious competition by contrast will only result in mutual harm and damage the interests of the international community. Cooperation is indispensable between major countries like China and the U.S., and both parties should work hard to prevent the zero-sum game scenario.

Finally, no matter how China-U.S. relations deteriorate, it is always necessary to enhance dialogue and timely communication. Since the Biden inauguration, the two countries' leaders have talked over the phone, fittingly on Chinese New Year's Eve. Then a high-level meeting was held in Alaska, followed by talks between trade representatives. All these are good things to do. Only when the two sides correctly understand each other's needs and intentions can they avoid confrontation and remain open to opportunities for collaboration.

The same is true in China-India relations. Because of the dual impacts of the political environment and the pandemic, bilateral exchanges from governmental to nongovernmental, from economic and trade to people-to-people, have been severely frustrated, and so an imperative exists for restoring dialogue and communication. Considering that border spats may fuse nationalist feelings at any time in both countries, both governments should adhere to the bottom line of “no derailment, no confrontation, no loss of control,” and position border disputes properly in the bilateral relationship instead of considering the matter as the whole picture. This will create a political environment conducive to restoring communication and dialogue.

Only inclusiveness can facilitate coexistence. Only when countries collaborate can they win together. Only openness can promote development. And prosperity is likely only in peace. Only with real mutual respect and closer engagement and communication can the China-U.S. and China-India relationships ease and improve, and their development proceed steadily and far.


本文转载自微信公众号:人大重阳

作者:何亚非


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