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周波: 中美现在需要一份专业清单管控战略分歧

周波

周波

清华大学战略与安全研究中心高级研究员、中国论坛特约专家 来源:中国论坛 2021-02-06 10:23:11
导读
上周,美国“前政府某高官”模仿美国驻苏联大使馆临时代办乔治·凯南1946年的“长电报”提出的“遏制苏联”战略思想,发表了一篇“更长电报”文章提出,华盛顿迫切需要一项全面和跨党派的国家战略,来应对中国的战略挑战。 清华大学战略与安全研究中心高级研究员、中国论坛特约专家周波今天在《南华早报》发表英文评论表示,为管控战略分歧,中美之间现在需要的,是一份专业务实的“长清单”。中、美应该吸取的冷战教训,包括但不限于美苏通过建立信任措施,保持专业精神,避免核大战,并在从传统安全领域到网络、人工智能和太空等的新安全领域,维持战略平衡。

去年10月,中美两国的国防部官员召开了首次危机沟通工作组会议,讨论危机的预防和管控。这次会议非比寻常,双方开始讨论“危机”,而不是“意外事件”。这表明,当中美关系直线下降时,两军开始担心事态出现失控。

二十多年来,中美军事谈判经常陷入一种最终又回到原点的“弯弯绕”:美方希望进行技术性讨论,比如如何避免舰机发生近距离的、危险的相遇;而中方则指出,这些相遇发生在中国水域,应该完全停止。然后,美国人就会援引他们的航行和飞越自由权,并要求监视美国军舰的中国军舰保持安全距离。中国的回应?你离得远远的最安全。

那么,如何才能避免双方都不想要的冲突呢?答案是:专业主义。冷战期间,专业主义帮助避免了美苏两个死敌间的核战争。专业主义体现在越来越多的信任措施中,包括限制战略武器谈判、《反弹道导弹条约》和《削减战略武器条约》。

中美两国不是敌人,但降低两者间的风险可能比降低美苏之间的风险更具挑战。

首先,华盛顿和莫斯科之间有明确界定的势力范围,这使他们可以避免直接对抗。但是,在北京和华盛顿之间,甚至连个缓冲区都没有。美国海军舰艇定期在中国南海岛礁附近水域和台湾海峡航行。

其次,美苏通过相互确保摧毁来制约彼此,北京和华盛顿的情况却非如此。中国人民解放军实力远不如美军,尽管在西太平洋,这个差距正在缩小—以至于让美国觉得一个越来越自信的中国要把它赶出印太地区。因此,华盛顿正在加大对该地区的军事投入,并呼吁其全球盟友和伙伴成群结队来对付中国。这反过来又惹恼了中国人,使局势更加动荡。

北京和华盛顿要避免冲突,第一步是遵守已经达成的协议。最危险的地方是在海上,海上最关键的是让舰机保持安全距离。但是安全距离到底是多少呢?这必须要考虑许多因素,包括能见度、舰船机动性和对其他舰船行动意图的解读。

双方不仅要展开对这些因素的严肃讨论,还需要定期培训军人以确保良好的航海技能。两军在2014年、2015年和2016年都进行了旨在避免海上意外相遇的联合演习,这类演习应该继续进行,部分原因在于,中国人民解放军海军现在更强大了,所以会更频繁地与美国海军在国际海域相遇。

在事件发生之后,更需要以专业精神来缓和局势。例如2001年中美撞机事件和2018年两艘军舰险些相撞事件。危机沟通工作组最重要的讨论,就是在事件发生后双方应该做什么,这是以前从未讨论过的,可有助于防患于未然。

随着中美军事实力差距缩小,两国需要在网络、人工智能以及太空等新领域讨论战略平衡。现在很难区分网络事件到底是间谍活动还是网络战。但底线是不能攻击关键信息网络,比如军事指挥和控制系统。2013年,华盛顿和莫斯科在各自的计算机应急响应小组之间建立了联系,同意通过核风险降低中心(Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre)就网络演习向对方发出警报,并在白宫和克里姆林宫之间建立了一条直通热线。

北京和华盛顿也设有政府和军队层级的热线。最终,两国可能会希望交换一份在任何情况下都不应受到攻击的敏感目标清单。

在人工智能领域,如果阻止人工智能武器化的可能性很小,中国和美国可以带头建立国际规范,降低与人工智能军事系统相关的风险。鉴于人工智能方兴未艾,建立规范越早越好。

正如布鲁金斯学会会长约翰·艾伦所言,一旦人工智能被嵌入军事系统并开始应用,人们就越不情愿削减他们所能建立的任何新能力,尤其是考虑到开发这种系统的成本有多昂贵。

2011年的《沃尔夫修正案》限制了美国国家航空航天局等美国政府机构与中国商业或政府机构合作,但无法阻挠中国航天工业自主创新发展。中国空间站将于2022年建成,而且在2030年美国的国际空间站报废后,将可能是唯一在轨的国际空间站。

美国一直拒绝中国宇航员进入其空间站,届时会要求搭中国的便车吗?北京又会同意吗?特朗普在2019年成立美国太空部队引发太空军备竞赛,但是在民用空间探索中,伙伴关系仍然是首选。既然太空不属于任何一方,何不联合起来进行火星探测呢?

冷战没有演变为一场热战并不完全是运气使然。尽管存在敌对行动,但通过可核查的信任措施,美苏之间的专业沟通得以保持并加强。

没有人知道中美关系会如何演进,但为了让竞争对手在新的冷战中不成为敌人,双方需要拉一个长长的信任措施清单。单子越长,战争风险越小。

(中国论坛许馨匀译自《南华早报》韩桦校译,翻页阅读英文原文)


US and China should learn from the Cold War to avoid an arms race and conflict

Last October, US and Chinese defense officials convened their first Crisis Communications Working Group to discuss crisis prevention and management. The meeting was unusual in discussing “crisis” for the first time, rather than “accidents”. It showed that the two militaries have begun to worry about things getting out of hand when bilateral ties go into free fall.

For over two decades, China-US military discussions have often been in a Catch-22 situation: Americans wanted technical discussions, say, on how to avoid close and dangerous encounters between ships and aircraft, while the Chinese would point out that these encounters in Chinese waters should simply stop.

Americans would then cite their right to freedom of navigation and overflight, and ask Chinese ships monitoring American vessels to keep a safe distance. The Chinese response? You are safest when you stay away.

So, how can they avoid unwanted confrontation? The answer is: professionalism. During the Cold War, professionalism helped to avoid a nuclear fallout between two bitter enemies. This is reflected in the growing list of confidence-building measures that include the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

China and the US are not enemies. But reducing the risks between them could be more challenging than it was for the US and the Soviet Union. First, there were clearly defined spheres of influence between Washington and Moscow, which allowed them to avoid direct confrontation.

But there isn’t even a buffer zone between Beijing and Washington. American naval vessels regularly sail through the waters off Chinese islands and rocks in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.

Secondly, the US and the Soviet Union were balanced by mutually assured destruction. This is not the situation with Beijing and Washington.

The People’s Liberation Army lags far behind the US military, although in the Western Pacific, the gap is closing – to the extent that the US believes an ever-confident China wants to drive it out of the Indo-Pacific.

Therefore, Washington is investing more militarily in the region and calling on its global allies and partners to gang up on China. This in turn irks the Chinese and makes the situation more volatile.

For Beijing and Washington to avoid conflict, the first step is to observe the agreements already made. The most dangerous place is at sea. The key is for ships and aircrafts to keep a safe distance.

But what exactly is a safe distance? Many factors including visibility, vessel maneuverability and an understanding of the maneuvering intentions of the other vessel have to be considered.

They require not only serious discussions, but also regular training to ensure good seamanship. The two militaries conducted joint drills to avoid unplanned encounters at sea in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Such exercises should continue, in part because a stronger PLA Navy now meets the US Navy more regularly in international waters.

Professionalism is more needed in de-escalating incidents after they occur, such as the deadly collision between two military aircrafts in 2001 and a narrowly avoided collision of two naval vessels in 2018.

The most significant discussion of the Crisis Communications Working Group meeting was what to do after an incident, which had not been discussed before. This might help to prevent incidents from happening in the first place.

As the gap in strengthing between the Chinese and American militaries becomes smaller, both countries need to discuss strategic equilibrium in new areas such as cyber and artificial intelligence, and space. It is difficult to tell whether cyber incidents are espionage or cyberwarfare.

But the bottom line is not to attack critical information networks, such as military command and control systems. In 2013, Washington and Moscow established links between their national computer emergency response teams, agreed to warn each other of cyber exercises through the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre and set up a direct hotline between the White House and the Kremlin.

Beijing and Washington also have hotlines at governmental and military levels. Eventually, both countries might wish to exchange a list of sensitive targets that should be forbidden from coming under attack in any circumstances.

In artificial intelligence, if preventing AI from being weaponized is not possible, China and the US could lead in building international norms and reducing risks related to AI-enabled military systems. The sooner this is done, the better, while AI is still a nascent development.

As Brookings Institution president John R. Allen put it, once AI is embedded into military systems and applied, there will be less willingness to roll back any new capabilities they afford, particularly given how costly such systems are to develop.

The 2011 Wolf Amendments limit US government agencies such as Nasa from working with Chinese commercial or governmental agencies, but could not handicap the self-reliant Chinese space industry.

A Chinese space station will be built in 2022, and might be the only space station left in orbit after the International Space Station built by the US comes to the end of its life in 2030.

Will the US, which has refused Chinese astronauts’ entry into its space station, ask China for a ride then? And would Beijing agree?

Donald Trump’s establishment of the US Space Force in 2019 has ushered in an arms race in space. But in civil space exploration, partnerships are still preferable. Since space belongs to no one, why not make the exploration of Mars a joint effort?

That the Cold War did not become a hot war was not down to sheer luck. In spite of hostilities, professional communications were maintained and strengthened through verifiable confidence-building measures.

No one knows how the China-US relationship might evolve, but for competitors to not become enemies in a new cold war, they need a long list of confidence-building measures. The longer the list, the smaller the risk of war.

Senior Colonel Zhou Bo (ret) is a senior fellow of Center for International Security and Strategy Tsinghua University and a China Forum expert

作者
周波

周波

清华大学战略与安全研究中心高级研究员、中国论坛特约专家
责任编辑
杨晗轶

杨晗轶

别怪我拖延症,只怪我太好奇

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