BEIJING — The Chinese leader, wearing a dark Mao suit, and the American president, in a black tuxedo, stood side by side with arms aloft at the Kennedy Center. Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter smiled broadly as the orchestra played “Getting to Know You,” signaling the dawn of a new era of friendship and cooperation between their two nations.
北京——在肯尼迪中心,中国领导人身着深色中山装,美国总统穿着黑色燕尾服,他们肩并肩站在一起,手臂高高举起。管弦乐队演奏着《渐渐认识你》(Getting to Know You)时,邓小平和吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter)满面笑容,标志着两国友谊与合作新时代的开始。
Over the next 40 years, China and the United States built the most important economic relationship in the world and worked together on issues such as regional security, counterterrorism and climate change. Taking Mr. Deng’s lead, China played the junior partner, if not always deferential then at least soft-pedaling its ambitions and avoiding conflict with the much stronger United States.
在接下来的40年里,中美两国建立了世界上最重要的经济关系,并在地区安全、反恐气候变化等问题上进行了合作。在邓小平的带领下,中国扮演着资浅合伙人的角色,即使不是始终恭敬,至少也会软化自己的雄心,避免与强大得多的美国发生冲突。
Now, faster than many in either nation expected, that has all changed.
现在,这一切都变了,其速度快于两国许多人的预期。
On Monday, the United States will begin taxing $200 billion in imports from China, the biggest round of tariffs to take effect yet in an escalating trade war. President Trump says the measures are necessary to fight an economic model that requires American companies to hand over technology in exchange for market access and provides state subsidies to Chinese competitors.
周一,美国将开始对来自中国价值2000亿美元的进口商品征税,这是在不断升级的贸易战中目前已生效的最大一轮关税。特朗普总统表示,这些措施是必要的,以对抗当前的经济模式——美国公司被要求交出技术以换取市场准入,而中国政府向美国公司在华的竞争对手提供国家补贴。
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China’s strongman leader, Xi Jinping, presiding over an economy gaining quickly on the United States, has openly challenged American leadership abroad while dashing hopes of any political thaw at home. During this time, both Republicans and Democrats in Washington have turned on Beijing, accusing it of imperial ambitions in Asia, aggression in disputed waters, persecution of ethnic minorities and unscrupulous trade policies aimed at dominating the industries of the future.
中国的铁腕领导人习近平在中国经济上迅速赶超美国的情况下,公开挑战美国在海外的领导地位,同时也破灭了国内政治解冻的希望。在此期间,华盛顿的共和党人和民主党人都把矛头指向北京,指责其在亚洲的帝国主义野心、对有争议水域的侵略、对少数民族的迫害以及旨在主宰未来产业的、肆无忌惮的贸易政策。
In a fundamental shift, the Trump administration has formally described China as a “revisionist power” and “strategic competitor” in the past year. China has been saying similar things about the United States for even longer. But as relations have deteriorated in recent months, many Chinese are now asking if their country is really prepared to take on the world’s most powerful nation.
在一个根本性的转变中,特朗普政府在过去一年正式将中国描述为一个“修正主义国家”和“战略竞争对手”。中国对美国的类似评论更是由来已久。但随着近几个月来两国关系的恶化,许多中国人现在都在问,他们的国家是否真的准备好了挑战世界上最强大的国家。
China has abruptly canceled not only trade talks that were planned this week in Washington but also military-to-military talks scheduled to begin Tuesday. The latter move was made to protest American sanctions imposed last week on a Chinese military department for buying warplanes and missile equipment from Russia.
中国不仅突然取消了计划于本周在华盛顿举行的贸易谈判,还取消了定于周二开始的军事对话后者是为了抗议美国上周因中国军事部门从俄罗斯购买战机和导弹设备而实施的制裁。
In a sign of Beijing’s growing international influence, though, the Vatican and the Chinese government said Saturday that they had reached a breakthrough agreement on the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops in China, taking a step toward normalizing relations.
然而,梵蒂冈和中国政府周六表示,他们就在中国任命罗马天主教主教达成了突破性协议,朝双方关系正常化迈出了一步——这表明了北京日益增强的国际影响力。
As the acrimony and rivalry with the United States have intensified, the immediate worry in Beijing is how the Chinese public, accustomed to a fast-expanding economy, will handle the trade war, and what impact it might have on the ruling Communist Party’s overriding concern of domestic stability.
随着与美国的敌意和竞争加剧,北京方面眼下的担忧是,习惯了快速增长的经济的中国公众将如何应对贸易战,以及贸易战对执政的共产党最关注问题——国内稳定——可能产生何种影响。
The government has sought to project confidence.
政府一直试图表现出信心。
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“Maybe the growth rate will slow 1 percent. We can accept it. That’s not terrible for us,” said Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of The Global Times, a state-run newspaper known for its nationalist tone. He added that Washington would soon realize that its mobile phone and auto manufacturers could not survive without Chinese customers.
“也许增长率会降低1%。我们可以接受。这对我们来说并不可怕,”《环球时报》总编辑胡锡进说,这家国有报纸以其民族主义腔调著称。他补充说,华盛顿很快就会意识到,没有中国顾客,它的手机和汽车制造商就无法生存。
“As long as our market is expanding economically and growing, China will win the trade war,” he said.
“只要我们的市场在经济上不断扩大和增长,中国就能打赢贸易战,”他说。
老挝万荣附近,中老铁路某隧道入口处的中国工人。
老挝万荣附近,中老铁路某隧道入口处的中国工人。 Adam Dean for The New York Times
Charles S. Y. Liu, a private equity investor who sometimes advises the government, said the Chinese people were prepared to endure a protracted trade conflict.
查尔斯·刘(Charles S. Y. Liu)是一位私募基金投资人,偶尔为政府提供咨询服务。他表示,中国人准备好了承受一场旷日持久的贸易冲突。
“The Chinese are more tolerant of pain because we have been poor for so long,” he said. “Wealth has only arrived in the last decade.”
“中国人更能忍受痛苦,因为我们穷了这么久,”他说,“财富是在过去10年才出现的。”
But many others are worried, and some have urged the Chinese leadership to seize the moment and shift the economy even further toward open markets and private enterprise rather than allowing an inefficient state sector to dig in.
但也有许多人对此感到担忧,一些人敦促中国领导层抓住时机,将经济进一步转向开放市场和私营企业,而不是让效率低下的国有部门插手。
“A closed approach will lead to a decline in the rate of national competitiveness,” wrote Yan Xuetong, dean of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University, in a recent paper. He warned that China risked returning to the stagnation it suffered in isolation during the Mao era.
“封闭的做法将导致国家竞争力的下降,”清华大学国际关系学院院长阎学通在最近的一篇论文中写道。他警告称,中国有回到毛泽东时代孤立无援的停滞状态的危险。
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“When Trump adopts a protectionist strategy, China should have an open door and force the state-owned enterprises to reform,” Professor Yan added in an interview. But he said his advice was being ignored. “I get no reaction. Nobody listens to me.”
“当特朗普采取保护主义策略时,中国应该打开大门,迫使国有企业改革,”阎学通在接受采访时补充说。但是他说他的建议被忽视了。“我没有得到回应。没人听我的。”
Other Chinese are arguing that the spike in hostility from the United States could have been avoided if President Xi had continued the policy of “hiding strength, biding time” followed by his predecessors and originally set by Mr. Deng.
另一些中国人则认为,如果习近平主席继续采取由邓小平制定、被习的前任沿袭的“韬光养晦”政策,那么美国敌意的加剧本来是可以避免的。
Mr. Xi instead has flaunted two ambitious programs: the global infrastructure plan known as the Belt and Road Initiative and the effort to dominate advanced industries known as Made in China 2025, both of which have drawn criticism by the Trump administration.
相反,习近平炫耀了两项雄心勃勃的计划:被称为“一带一路”的全球基础设施计划,以及为主导先进产业而打造的所谓“中国制造2025”。这两项计划都遭到了特朗普政府的批评。
“The same things can be done without such arrogance,” said Yun Sun, an analyst at the Stimson Center, a think tank in Washington. “I believe the Chinese policy community does wish to see more actions and more assertiveness but Xi went too far.”
“同样的事情也可以在不这么狂妄的情况下完成,”华盛顿智库史汀生中心(Stimson Center)的研究员孙云表示。“我相信中国的政策团体确实希望看到更多的行动和自信,但习近平做得太过了。”
The party has sought to censor criticism of Mr. Xi but there have been glimpses of anxiety online about the potential impact of the trade war as well as anger at the Belt and Road Initiative, which has earmarked hundreds of billions of dollars for overseas projects intended to lift China’s clout abroad.
中国共产党试图审查对习近平的批评,但是网络上已经出现一些关于贸易战潜在影响的焦虑,以及对于一带一路计划的愤怒——一带一路已拨款数千亿美元用于海外项目,旨在提升中国的海外影响力。
习近平主席与南非总统拉马福萨本月在北京出席中非合作论坛峰会。
习近平主席与南非总统拉马福萨本月在北京出席中非合作论坛峰会。 Pool photo by Lintao Zhang
Echoing a popular opinion on social media, a retired economics professor, Sun Wenguang, has argued that it is wrong to spend so much money in other countries given the problems that China faces at home.
退休经济学教授孙文广赞同一个在社交媒体上广为流行的观点,即鉴于中国在国内面临的问题,在其他国家花这么多钱是错误的。
“Some are too poor to see a doctor, some are too poor to have pensions after retirement, and some too poor to go to school,” Professor Sun said in an interview on the Voice of America last month. “Under such circumstances, if you still choose to throw money at other countries, domestic backlash is almost guaranteed.”
“有的看不起病,有的无法养老,有的无法上学,”孙文广在上个月接受美国之音采访时说。“那么在这种情况下,到外面去撒钱啊,这个本身会激起明显的一种反弹。”
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As he was speaking, the police entered his home and forced him off the phone.
就在他说话的时候,警察进了他的家,强迫他放下电话
Professor Sun’s criticism reflects a broader concern in China about the government’s efforts to win over allies. The subject is important because the United States has long touted its alliances as key to its national strength generally and its ability to counter China’s rise in Asia in particular.
孙文广的批评反映了中国国内对政府争取盟友的行动存在更广泛的担忧。这一话题之所以重要,是因为美国长期以来一直将同盟关系视为其国家实力的关键,尤其是其对抗中国在亚洲崛起的能力。
China enjoys significant advantages in the region. It is the largest trading partner of almost every country in Asia while President Trump has strained relations with allies around the world. Even Japan, America’s most important ally in Asia, appears to be drifting closer to China as Mr. Trump threatens the nation with tariffs.
中国在亚太地区具有显著优势。中国是亚洲几乎所有国家最大的贸易伙伴,而特朗普总统与世界各地的盟友关系紧张。就连美国在亚洲最重要的盟友日本,在特朗普以关税威胁中国之际,似乎也在向中国靠拢。
In a rapprochement between the two Asian rivals, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to travel to Beijing next month, the first visit to China by a Japanese leader since 2011.
日本首相安倍晋三定于下月访问北京,这是自2011年以来日本领导人首次访问中国,标志着这两个亚洲竞争对手之间友善关系的重建。
“Trump said recently, ‘Japan, you’re next for tariffs,’” said Mr. Liu, the private equity manager. “Thank you, Donald Trump.”
“特朗普最近说,‘关税下一个轮到你了,日本’”,私募基金经理查尔斯·刘说。“谢谢你,唐纳德·特朗普。”
But some say China is fumbling the opportunity presented by the Trump administration and alienating neighbors by throwing its weight around too aggressively. There has been a backlash in several countries against Belt and Road projects that have left governments in deep debt, created few jobs for local residents or damaged the environment. Others have raised an alarm about Chinese efforts to interfere in politics of smaller nations.
但一些人表示,中国正在错失特朗普政府提供的机会,过于咄咄逼人地施加影响力,疏远了邻国。一些国家对“一带一路”项目表示反对,这些项目使这些政府债台高筑,为当地居民创造的就业岗位寥寥无几,还破坏了环境。其他国家则对中国干预小国政治的举动提出了警告。
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In an essay that has been widely shared on Chinese social media, a prominent Communist Party scholar warned against national arrogance and overreach, noting the fate of rising powers that succumbed to “recklessness and impetuousness” in the 20th century: Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union.
在一篇中国的社交媒体上广为流传的文章中,一位知名的共产党学者警告国民要谦虚谨慎、韬光养晦,并指出20世纪一些崛起中的国家——德国、日本和苏联——因“鲁莽和冲动”而败。
“I recall a topic hotly debated on line by young internet users: Who is really China’s enemy? Is it America? Japan? Russia?” wrote the scholar, Luo Jianbo, head of the China Foreign Policy Center at the Central Party School. “If we think about things coolly, perhaps none of them are. China’s enemy is itself.”
“想起平日里年轻网民们热议的话题:中国的敌人究竟是谁?是美国、日本,还是俄罗斯?”该学者、中央党校中国外交研究室主任罗建波写道。“其实冷静想来,它们或许都不是,中国的敌人是中国自己。”
去年,中国安徽刘龙村一个废弃煤矿塌陷形成的湖泊的湖岸上,阳光电源的工人正在将太阳能板和特制的浮标连接起来。
去年,中国安徽刘龙村一个废弃煤矿塌陷形成的湖泊的湖岸上,阳光电源的工人正在将太阳能板和特制的浮标连接起来。 Adam Dean for The New York Times
In many ways, the Chinese political elite has been caught off guard by how quickly relations have deteriorated with the United States, which has long been a source of envy and inspiration for many Chinese as well as a leading destination for education and immigration.
从很多方面来说,中国的政治精英都对与美国关系的恶化感到措手不及;很长时间以来,美国一直是许多中国人羡慕和鼓舞之源,也是受教育和移民的主要目的地。
Chinese scholars often observe that new American presidents usually take a hard line against China but seek cooperation after realizing how the two nations need each other. President Trump has stunned them by defying that pattern.
中国学者总是说,新当选的美国总统通常会对中国采取强硬立场,但在意识到两国需要彼此之后,就会寻求合作。特朗普不按常规出牌的做法,令他们大跌眼镜。
“I personally feel surprised by the fact that Trump is taking such radical measures,” said Mr. Hu, the newspaper editor. “I initially thought it was a joke, but it turns out to be a real policy, putting tariffs on all these products.”
“我个人对特朗普采取如此激进的措施感到惊讶,”胡锡进说。“一开始我还认为是开玩笑,结果真是一个政策,对所有这些产品征税。”
Some Chinese analysts have sought to explain the escalating conflict with the United States by focusing on the personal qualities of the nation’s two leaders. Mr. Trump is a viewed as a fickle, transactional businessman who may retreat after the midterm elections in November. They note he has repeatedly spoken out against China’s trade practices but said little about human rights or military issues.
中国的一些分析人士试图拿两位领导人的个性来解释与美国不断升级的原因。特朗普被视为一个反复无常、热衷于做交易的生意人,可能会在11月份的中期选举之后软下去。他们注意到,特朗普反对中国在贸易上的一些做法,却几乎没有提过中国的人权和军事问题。
Mr. Xi, on the other hand, is said to have invested too much politically in his signature programs to back down under foreign pressure.
另一方面,据说习近平在其标志性的项目上投入了太多的政治资本,以至于在外国的压力下不敢做出让步。
“Personality matters in this relationship,” said Wu Xinbo, the director of the American Studies Center at Fudan University. “The biggest problem is Trump’s credibility.”
“性格在这个关系中很重要,”复旦大学美国研究中心主任吴心伯说。“最大的问题是特朗普的信誉。”
Though Beijing devotes tremendous resources to studying the United States, there seems to be little understanding that the hostility against China in Washington is bipartisan, that trade concessions alone may be insufficient and that many frustrated business leaders, once defenders of good ties with China, now favor tougher measures against it as well.
尽管北京投入了大量资源来研究美国,但似乎很少有人意识到在华盛顿,对中国的敌意来自两党,单靠贸易上的让步可能是不够的,许多曾经主张与中国保持良好关系的商界领袖,现在也倾向于对它采取更严厉的措施。
Teng Jianqun, director of American studies at the China Institute for International Studies, said the government needed to accept the new reality and tell the Chinese public that the coming struggle could be the beginning of a long fight for the country’s survival as a great power.
中国国际问题研究院美国研究所所长滕建群表示,中国政府需要接受新的现实,并且告诉中国民众,即将到来的斗争可能是中国作为大国生死存亡的长期斗争的开始。
“We should let our people fully know that this trade war is not a short-term contest,” he said, “but a contest that will determine the future of the Chinese nation.”
“我们要让老百姓充分地意识到这是一场长期,而不是短期的较量,”他说,“这是一个决定我们中华民族未来的较量。”