美媒:与中国开战? 战争已经开始了!A

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In his highly acclaimed 2017 book,Destined for War, Harvard professor Graham Allison assessed the likelihood that the United States and China would one day find themselves at war. Comparing the U.S.-Chinese relationship to great-power rivalries all the way back to the Peloponnesian War of the fifth century BC, he concluded that the future risk of a conflagration was substantial. Like much current analysis of U.S.-Chinese relations, however, he missed a crucial point: for all intents and purposes, the United States and China are already at war with one another. Even if their present slow-burn conflict may not produce the immediate devastation of a conventional hot war, its long-term consequences could prove no less dire.

哈佛大学教授Graham Allison在其备受好评的2017年著作《注定一战》中评估了中美两国有朝一日陷入战争的可能性。将中美关系与公元前5世纪强国之间的伯罗奔尼撒战争做比较,他认为未来爆发冲突的风险是巨大的。然而,正如目前对美中关系的许多分析一样,他也忽略了一个关键点:无论出于何种目的,美国和中国已经在相互交战。即使他们目前微小的冲突可能不会立即造成常规热战的破坏,其长期后果也同样可怕。

To suggest this means reassessing our understanding of what constitutes war. From Allison’s perspective (and that of so many others in Washington and elsewhere), “peace” and “war” stand as polar opposites. One day, our soldiers are in their garrisons being trained and cleaning their weapons; the next, they are called into action and sent onto a battlefield. War, in this model, begins when the first shots are fired.

提出这一建议意味着重新评估我们对战争构成要素的理解。从Allison的观点(以及华盛顿和其他地方的许多人的观点)来看,“和平”和“战争”是对立的两极。前一天,我们的士兵在他们的驻地接受训练,清洗他们的武器;第二天,他们被召集起来行动,并被派往战场。在这个模型中,战争从第一枪打响开始。

Well, think again in this new era of growing great-power struggle and competition. Today, war means so much more than military combat and can take place even as the leaders of the warring powers meet to negotiate and share dry-aged steak and whipped potatoes (as Donald Trump and Xi Jinping did at Mar-a-Lago in 2017). That is exactly where we are when it comes to Sino-American relations. Consider it war by another name, or perhaps, to bring back a long-retired term, a burning new version of a cold war.

好吧,在这个大国斗争和竞争日益激烈的新时代,再想想吧。如今,战争的意义远不止军事斗争,甚至可以发生在交战大国的领导人开会谈判、分享干熟牛排和土豆泥的时候(就像唐纳德·特朗普和习2017年在海湖庄园所做的那样)。这正是我们在中美关系上所处的位置。换一个名字来看待战争,或者,拿回来那个早已退休的术语,冷战的新版本。

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Why China?

为什么是中国?

The media and many politicians continue to focus on U.S.-Russian relations, in large part because of revelations of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 American presidential election and the ongoing Mueller investigation. Behind the scenes, however, most senior military and foreign policy officials in Washington view China, not Russia, as the country’s principal adversary. In eastern Ukraine, the Balkans, Syria, cyberspace, and in the area of nuclear weaponry, Russia does indeed pose a variety of threats to Washington’s goals and desires. Still, as an economically hobbled petro-state, it lacks the kind of might that would allow it to truly challenge this country’s status as the world’s dominant power. China is another story altogether. With its vast economy, growing technological prowess, intercontinental “Belt and Road” infrastructure project, and rapidly modernizing military, an emboldened China could someday match or even exceed U.S. power on a global scale, an outcome American elites are determined to prevent at any cost.

媒体和许多政治家继续关注美俄关系,这在很大程度上是因为莫斯科插手2016年美国总统选举和穆勒调查的曝光。然而,在幕后,华盛顿的大多数高级军事和外交政策官员都把中国,而不是俄罗斯,视为该国的主要对手。在乌克兰东部、巴尔干半岛、叙利亚、网络空间以及核武器领域,俄罗斯确实对华盛顿的目标和诉求构成了各种威胁。尽管如此,作为一个经济上举步维艰的石油国家,它缺乏真正挑战这个国家作为世界主导力量地位的力量。中国则完全是另一回事。凭借其庞大的经济、不断增长的技术实力、洲际“一带一路”基础设施项目,以及快速实现军事现代化,一个更有胆量的中国有朝一日可能在全球范围内与美国实力相媲美甚至超过美国,美国精英们决心不惜任何代价阻止这一结果。

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In other words, there can never be parity between the two countries. The only acceptable status for China is as a distinctly lesser power. To ensure such an outcome, administration officials insist, the U.S. must take action on a daily basis to contain or impede its rise.

换言之,两国之间永远不可能存在平等。中国唯一可被接受的地位是作为一个明显较弱的大国。为了确保这样的结果,政府官员坚持认为,美国必须每天采取行动遏制或阻碍其崛起。

In previous epochs, as Allison makes clear in his book, this equation — a prevailing power seeking to retain its dominant status and a rising power seeking to overcome its subordinate one — has almost always resulted in conventional conflict. In today’s world, however, where great-power armed combat could possibly end in a nuclear exchange and mutual annihilation, direct military conflict is a distinctly unappealing option for all parties. Instead, governing elites have developed other means of warfare — economic, technological, and covert — to achieve such strategic objectives. Viewed this way, the United States is already in close to full combat mode with respect to China.

正如Allison在他的书中明确指出的那样,在以前的时代,这个等式——一个寻求保持领先地位的主导力量和一个寻求克服其从属地位的崛起的力量——几乎总是导致常规冲突。然而,在当今世界,大国的武装战斗可能以核打击和相互毁灭告终,直接的军事冲突对各方来说显然是一个不受欢迎的选择。相反,执政精英们开发了其他战争手段——经济、技术和秘密——来实现这些战略目标。这样看来,美国对中国已经接近全面作战模式。

Trade War

贸易战

When it comes to the economy, the language betrays the reality all too clearly. The Trump administration’s economic struggle with China is regularly described, openly and without qualification, as a “war.” And there’s no doubt that senior White House officials, beginning with the president and his chief trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, see it just that way: as a means of pulverizing the Chinese economy and so curtailing that country’s ability to compete with the United States in all other measures of power.

当涉及到经济问题时,这种说法太明显地偏离了现实。特朗普政府与中国的经济斗争经常被公开、无条件地描述为一场“战争”。毫无疑问,总统及其首席贸易代表Robert Lighthizer,就是这样认为的:这是粉碎中国经济的一种手段,从而削弱了该国在所有其他权力措施上与美国竞争的能力。

Ostensibly, the aim of President Trump’s May 2018 decision to impose $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports (increased in September to $200 billion) was to rectify a trade imbalance between the two countries, while protecting the American economy against what is described as China’s malign behavior. Its trade practices “plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy,” as the president put it when announcing the second round of tariffs.

表面上看,特朗普总统2018年5月决定对中国进口商品征收600亿美元的关税(9月增至2000亿美元),其目的是纠正两国之间的贸易失衡,同时保护美国经济不受所谓中国恶意行为的影响。正如总统在宣布第二轮关税时所说,中国的贸易行为“显然对美国经济的长期健康和繁荣构成了严重威胁”。

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In fact, this should be considered a straightforward declaration of economic war. Acquiescing to such demands would mean accepting a permanent subordinate status vis-à-vis the United States in hopes of continuing a profitable trade relationship with this country. “The list reads like the terms for a surrender rather than a basis for negotiation,” was the way Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell University, accurately described these developments.

事实上,这应该被视为直接的经济战争宣言。默许这些要求将意味着接受相对于美国的永久从属地位,以期继续与这个国家保持有利可图的贸易关系。康奈尔大学经济学教授EswarPrasad准确地描述了这些进展:“这份清单读起来像是投降的条件,而不是谈判的基础。”
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