赵明昊:党的二十大对中美关系意味着什么

来源:观察者网

2022-10-28 07:39

赵明昊

赵明昊作者

复旦大学美国研究中心研究员,中国论坛特约专家

文/赵明昊

党的二十大,展现了一种显著的政策延续性。习近平继续担任党的最高领导人,他所提出的一系列标志性概念,如“中国式现代化”、“高质量发展”、“共同富裕”和“人类命运共同体”,成为二十大报告的关键词。华盛顿已将新时代的中国视为美国的最重要竞争者。拜登政府在党的二十大举行前夕,发布《国家安全战略报告》宣称,中国是唯一一个既有意愿也有能力重塑国际秩序的对手。这意味着美国针对中国的竞争性战略将会在未来数年变得更为强势。

中共领导人对此有着清醒的认知。习近平总书记在党的二十大报告中表示,“准备经受风高浪急甚至惊涛骇浪的重大考验”。在地缘冲突、高通胀、能源和粮食危机等多重因素的共同作用之下,全球经济形势正在变得日益危急,中国发展的外部环境也将更趋严峻。与此同时,中国国内也需要应对青年就业、老龄化、收入不平等、保护生态环境等诸多艰困挑战。在中共看来,这更加需要保持国内政治的稳定。党的二十大报告鲜明地强调了政权安全的重要性。

显然,美国正在经济、科技领域对华推动有管理的“脱钩”。拜登政府10月7日发布的前所未有的新举措,被认为是试图完全阻断中国在芯片产业以及超级计算等领域的进步。

美国总统拜登于今年签署《芯片和科学法案》(图源:IC Photo)

在此背景之下,北京正在重新考虑如何保障经济安全。党的二十大报告提出要建立“现代产业体系”,并且强调要增强内循环的“可靠性”。

中共领导人也对科技问题赋予了更高程度的重视。习近平总书记在党的二十大报告中提出:“坚持创新在我国现代化建设全局中的核心地位,健全新型举国体制。”拜登政府的《国家安全战略报告》也将科技视为中美竞争的首要领域。美国国务卿布林肯近日访问硅谷以动员美国科技企业更加积极地参与针对中国的“技术外交”。

在外交政策方面,党的二十大报告体现了中国将会更加进取地塑造自己的外部环境。习近平总书记称,未来要继续“旗帜鲜明反对一切霸权主义和强权政治,毫不动摇地反对任何单边主义、保护主义、霸凌行径”。这些话似乎表明,中国将会坚定应对来自美国的挑衅和压力。党的二十大报告把“坚持敢于斗争、善于斗争”确立为一种原则。越来越多的中国政治精英倾向于认为,即便作出妥协和让步,美国也不会改变阻滞中国崛起进程的战略意图。

未来数年,中美在台湾问题上的较量将会变得更加激烈。党的二十大报告基本延续了中共此前在台湾问题上的政策表述,称“我们坚持以最大诚意、尽最大努力争取和平统一的前景,但决不承诺放弃使用武力,保留采取一切必要措施的选项。”与此同时,习近平总书记强调,“武力”选项针对的是外部势力干涉和极少数“台独”分裂分子及其分裂活动,绝非针对广大台湾同胞。

美国过度渲染中国大陆的“武统”时间表是一种极为危险的策略。就在党的二十大举办期间,布林肯声称中国正在“大大加快”统一台湾的计划,美国海军作战部长、海军上将迈克尔·吉尔代(Michael Gilday)则在大西洋理事会举行的会议上警告,大陆甚至可能会在明年展开行动。拜登政府希望借助这些几无事实依据的猜测推动盟友整军备战,并对中国大陆进行一种政治威慑。但它很可能导致本不愿出现的后果——中美在台海兵戎相见。

在北京越来越多人担心,美国有意复制挑起俄乌冲突的戏码,炒作战争的可能性,并制造一个自我实现的预言,将中国拉入“战争黑洞”。如果美国采取“台湾政策法案”所提出的一系列重大挑衅举措,中国大陆不会坐视不管,北京坚持认为台湾问题是中美关系里最敏感的问题。

即便存在上述战略风险和挑战,中共领导人仍然展现出一种信心,并强调中国将致力于促进世界和平与发展。中美两国元首有可能在下个月举行的G20峰会期间举行面对面会晤,在巨大分歧和激烈竞争之下找到“和平共处”的道路,符合双方的长远利益。

我们这个时代最惨烈的悲剧将是世界上两个最大的强国之间爆发战争,世界期待中美拥有共同智慧来避免这样一场世界末日。

原文:

More than anything else, the message from the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was one of continuity. Xi Jinping continues to serve as the party’s top leader, and his signature concepts such as “Chinese modernisation”, “high-quality development”, “common prosperity” and “community with a shared future” remain prominent in the 20th national congress report.

Washington has already cast Xi’s China as the most serious geopolitical challenge the United States is facing. The Biden administration’s latest national security strategy, released on the eve of the 20th congress, asserts that China is the only competitor with the intent and ability to reshape the international order. This means America’s competitive strategy vis-à-vis China will only increase in scope and intensity.

Beijing is fully aware of this. In his report to the 20th national congress, Xi said that China must be “be ready to withstand high winds, choppy waters, and even dangerous storms”. Given rising geopolitical conflict, high inflation and energy and food crises around the world, the global economic situation is becoming incredibly grim, and China is not immune.

At the same time, China also has to deal with daunting challenges at home, such as youth unemployment, an ageing population, income inequality and ecological sustainability. In the CPC’s view, these adverse factors are exactly why domestic political stability is needed, to weather the coming storms; this point was repeatedly hammered home in the 20th national congress report.

It is at this juncture that America is attempting a managed economic and technological “decoupling” from China. In particular, the Biden administration issued unprecedented chip export controls on October 7, which were widely seen as an attempt to halt China’s progress in chip manufacturing and other advanced electronic industries.

中方将坚决应对来自美国的压力(作者供图)

In light of such developments, Beijing is reconsidering how to safeguard economic security. The 20th national congress report calls for the modernisation of the industrial system and emphasises the need to enhance the reliability of the domestic economy.

The party is also focusing more on technology. In his report to the national congress, Xi stated that “innovation will remain at the heart of China’s modernisation drive”, and proposed an improved “new system for mobilising resources nationwide to make key technological breakthroughs”.

The Biden administration also views technology as a primary area of competition between the US and China. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently visited Silicon Valley to highlight the importance of “technology diplomacy”.

On the foreign policy front, the national congress report indicates that China will continue to be more active in shaping its external environment. Xi said that China has “taken a clear-cut stance against hegemonism and power politics in all their forms, and we have never wavered in our opposition to unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying of any kind”.

These words mean that China will firmly respond to pressure from the US, which it perceives to be manifestations of the aforementioned “hegemonism”, “unilateralism” and “bullying”. The congress report also said that China would adhere to principles including harnessing its “fighting spirit”.

A growing number of Chinese political elites have reached the conclusion that even if China makes compromises and concessions, the US will not change its strategic intent to contain or even reverse China’s rise.

In the coming years, Taiwan in particular is likely to emerge as a key flashpoint in this competition. The 20th national congress report mostly maintains the party’s policy on Taiwan, stating that China will “continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary”.

At the same time, Xi emphasised that such an option is aimed “solely at interference by outside forces and the few separatists seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ and their separatist activities”, and not at most people in Taiwan.

The US playing up China’s supposed timetable for armed reunification is an extremely dangerous tactic. In the week of the national congress in Beijing, Blinken said in Silicon Valley that China was accelerating its plans to reunify Taiwan, while Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of US naval operations, warned at the Atlantic Council that China could make a move as soon as this year.

The Biden administration may be hoping that such unsubstantiated speculation would push America’s allies to prepare for war, thus serving as a political deterrent to China. But it could increase the chances of inadvertent consequences that neither side wants, such as armed US-China conflict in the Taiwan Strait.

There is growing concern in Beijing that the US is intent on replicating the playbook of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: hyping up the possibility of war, and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that pulls China into the black hole of war. If the US takes a series of provocative steps as outlined in the Taiwan Policy Act, China will not sit idly by, as Beijing considers the issue of Taiwan to be the most sensitive one in US-China relations.

Even faced with these strategic risks and challenges, the Communist Party leadership has demonstrated its confidence in the future, and emphasised China’s commitment to world peace and development.

It is in the long-term interest of both sides that the Chinese and US heads of state meet face to face, possibly on the sidelines of the G20 summit next month, to find a path towards peaceful coexistence, amid deep differences and fierce competition.

The greatest tragedy of our age would be a war between the world’s two largest powers, for they are expected to have the collective wisdom to avoid such an Armageddon.

Zhao Minghao is a professor at the Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, and a China Forum Expert

This Article was first published on South China Morning Post on Oct. 25, 2022.

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