Wu Shichun is one of countless Chinese entrepreneurs who over the past four decades have prospered from access to American customers and money.
过去四十年来,无数中国创业者凭借美国客户和资本资源致富,吴世春是其中一位。
Today, as the American government threatens to take that away, the serial entrepreneur and venture capital investor is fundamentally rethinking how he does business.
如今美国政府在威胁要拿走这一切,这位连续创业者和风险投资人开始从根本上重新思考他开展业务的方式。
One of his portfolio companies designs and makes fashion products in China, then sells to American consumers on Amazon.com. Another, a vape device maker, sells most of its products in the United States. The third, which makes metal materials for electronic manufacturers, exports 40 percent of its production there. All three would be hit by new American tariffs.
他投资的其中一家公司在中国设计和制造时尚产品,然后在亚马逊网站上销售给美国客户。另一家电子烟设备制造商大部分产品在美国销售。第三家为电子产品制造商制造金属材料,40%的产品也出口到美国。所有三家公司都会遭受美国关税的打击。
“From now on I’ll have to invest in companies that focus on the Chinese market,” said Mr. Wu, 42.
“我以后要选择以中国市场为主的公司了,”42岁的吴世春说。
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“I hope China and the U.S. can find a better way to coexist,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be mutually destructive.”
“我希望中美能找到更好的相处方式,”他说。“不一定要两败俱伤。”
The Chinese government has struck a defiant tone since President Trump ratcheted up the trade war on Friday by raising tariffs on Chinese exports worth $200 billion a year. “If the U.S. wants to talk, our door is open,” said a commentary on state-controlled China Central Television on Monday night that quickly went viral. “If the U.S. wants to fight, we’ll be with them till the end.”
自特朗普总统上周五提高每年2000亿美元中国出口产品的关税、加大贸易战力度以来,中国政府便采取了对抗口吻。“谈,大门敞开;”官方媒体中国中央电视台周一晚间一则迅速传开的评论说道。“打,奉陪到底。”
Many entrepreneurs and intellectuals, by contrast, are hoping for a deal. China’s rise out of the stark terror of the Cultural Revolution was fueled in part from connections to the United States, an early diplomatic partner that offered investment, markets and opportunity. There’s even a word going around the Chinese internet for the tight economic bonds that have formed between the world’s two largest economies: “Chimerica.”
相比之下,许多创业者和知识分子却希望能达成协议。中国得以走出文化大革命的极度恐怖时期,部分是因着与美国的往来的推动,作为早期的外交伙伴,美国提供了投资、市场和机会。关于世界最大的这两个经济体之间形成的紧密的经济联系,中国的互联网上甚至传播着一个名词:“Chimerica”(中美国、又译中美共同体)。
The trade war is taking direct aim at Chimerica. New tariffs, if they stick, threaten to cut off a big market for many Chinese companies.
贸易战正将矛头直接指向中美国。新的关税一旦长期实施,恐将削掉许多中国企业的一大片市场。
2017年11月,特朗普总统和习近平主席在北京。
2017年11月,特朗普总统和习近平主席在北京。 Doug Mills/The New York Times
Beyond tariffs, trade hawks within the Trump administration are pursuing what they call decoupling, or breaking up a relationship that they now feel poses a long-term strategic threat to the United States. The trade hawks hope to get American companies to shift their factories to friendlier countries. They are pushing to restrict Chinese investment in the United States and cut academic and other bonds.
除关税外,特朗普政府内部的贸易鹰派人士正在实行他们称之为“脱钩”(decoupling)的政策,即打破他们如今感到会给美国构成长期战略威胁的关系。贸易鹰派人士希望能让美国企业将工厂迁到更友好的国家。他们还在敦促限制中国在美国的投资,割裂学术及其他联系。
Now many people in China are wondering what will happen if the countries decouple. They question whether the country can continue its miraculous rise as borders and barriers go up.
许多中国人眼下在想,两国若是“脱钩”会发生什么。他们质疑随着边界和壁垒高筑,中国奇迹般的崛起能否继续。
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“From the day we were born, my generation has always seen the country’s economy heading for the better,” Feng Dahui, an early Alibaba employee and an internet entrepreneur in the city of Hangzhou, wrote on his timeline on WeChat, the Chinese social media service, on Monday evening.
“我这一代人,从出生开始,所经历的就是国家经济一路向好,”阿里巴巴早期员工、杭州的互联网创业者冯大辉周一晚在中国社交媒体服务、他的微信朋友圈里写道。
“We’ve experienced the internet revolution and enjoyed the benefits of globalization,” he continued. “Now this type of optimism seems to be deserting us. Everything seems to be ending abruptly.”
“我们经历了互联网革命,享受着全球化带来的红利,”他继续写道。“而现在,这样的乐观似乎要远离我们而去,一切似乎要戛然而止。”
Their concerns are unlikely to sway the Chinese government. Most political analysts believe that the only effective pressure will have to come from within the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership, and official voices have been uniformly strident. Negative commentaries have been stricken from China’s heavily censored internet.
他们的疑虑不大可能动摇中国政府。大部分政治分析人士认为,唯一有效的压力将必须来自中国共产党领导层内部,但官方声音一律都很坚决。负面评论已被从中国受严重审查的互联网上删除。
Still, some entrepreneurs are expressing their worries.
但一些创业者仍在表达他们的担忧。
Xiao Yu said the e-commerce business he founded, OFashion, which sells luxury goods from Europe and the United States to Chinese consumers, saw growth slow in the second half of last year partly because of the trade war. While only about 10 percent of its merchandise comes from American brands like Michael Kors or Coach, the trade war has hit China’s stock market and hurt consumer confidence.
肖宇创办的电商企业迷橙(OFashion)向中国顾客销售来自欧美的奢侈品,他说由于贸易战,去年后半年以来增长缓慢。虽然它只有一成商品来自迈克高仕(Michael Kors)和蔻驰(Coach)这类美国品牌,但贸易战已打击了中国股市,破坏了消费者的信心。
The trade war could jeopardize his dreams of raising money from American investors and perhaps even taking his start-up public on an American stock exchange, he said.
他说,贸易战可能会殃及他向美国投资人融资、甚或让他的初创公司在美国股票交易所上市的梦想。
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“As an entrepreneur, our fate is tightly bound to the country,” Mr. Xiao said. He hopes and is confident that the two countries can reach a deal.
“作为创业者,我们的命运和国家紧紧绑在一起,”肖宇说。他希望并相信两国能够达成协议。
“China and the U.S. don’t have to have strained relations,” he said.
“中美没有必要搞得那么僵。”他说。
Many also appear worried that the trade war and the government’s tightening control over the private sector could halt or even reverse its progress. In a country only a couple of generations removed from starvation, the possibility doesn’t seem far-fetched to many. One 2017 post online, called “A Guide to Eating Tree Bark,” described how people in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia survived during the starvation of the Great Leap Forward. It has recently gone viral again, with more than 100,000 page views.
许多人似乎还担心贸易战和政府收紧对私营部门的控制,可能会阻止甚至逆转私营企业的发展。在一个摆脱饥饿才几十年的国家,这种可能性对许多人来说似乎并不遥远。2017年,网上一篇名为《树皮吃法指南》的帖子描述了中国内蒙古地区的人们如何在大跃进的饥荒中幸存。最近它再次爆红,浏览量超过10万。
The two sides have plenty of reasons to distrust each other. The United States blames China for heavy job losses, theft of corporate secrets and cheating at the rules of global trade. China credits the hard work and sacrifices of its people for its success and sees the trade war as driven by American fears of a prosperous Chinese nation.
双方有充足的理由互不信任。美国指责中国造成了严重的失业、窃取企业机密和违反全球贸易规则。中国将其成功归功于人民的辛勤劳动和牺牲,并将贸易战视为美国对繁荣的中华民族的恐惧。
But the doves in China say both sides benefit from the relationship more than they admit. Foreign investors were early backers and inspirations for Chinese internet giants like Alibaba and Tencent, for example. And many American companies and investors have profited handsomely from China’s rise.
但中国的鸽派人士表示,双方从两国关系中得到的好处,比它们实际承认的要更多。例如,阿里巴巴和腾讯等中国互联网巨头早期从外国投资者那里得到了资金和启发。许多美国公司和投资者也从中国的崛起中获得了丰厚的利润。
Those hoping for a deal worry that the Chinese government has fundamentally misjudged the Trump administration. At three top-level economic and monetary meetings in April, an economist at a Chinese investment bank said, government officials sent the signals that the leadership was optimistic about a trade deal.
希望达成协议的人们担心,中国政府从根本上误判了特朗普政府。中国一家投资银行的一位经济学家表示,在4月举行的三次高层经济和货币会议上,政府官员发出信号,表明领导层对达成贸易协议持乐观态度。
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Some people are resurrecting old articles online about the Chinese-American relationship that are now going viral. One of them was a January speech by Li Ruogu, a former chairman of the Export-Import Bank of China and former deputy governor of China’s central bank. Mr. Li argued that many Chinese, including some senior officials, didn’t realize that the relations had shifted fundamentally. The conflict wasn’t about the United States being threatened by China’s growth, he said, but by its vision of state-led capitalism.
一些人又翻出网上一些关于中美关系的老文章,它们正在快速传播。其中之一是前中国进出口银行行长、前央行副行长李若谷今年1月的一次讲话。他说,包括一些高级官员在内的许多中国人没有意识到,中美关系已经发生了根本性的转变。他说,这场冲突并不是因为美国受到中国经济增长的威胁,而是因为受到中国的国家主导资本主义构想的威胁。
“This is the conflict of systems,” he wrote. “It won’t end easily.”
“这就是制度之争,道路之争,”他写道。“不会轻易结束。”
Another popular, and subsequently censored, article had the headline “The Reasons Behind the Chimerica Breakup.” The popularity of the article, whose author is anonymous, reflects a growing realization that the two countries’ conflicts go beyond trade and may not have an easy solution.
另一篇广受欢迎、随后遭到审查的文章的标题是《Chimerica分手的原因分析》。文章作者不愿透露姓名,它的受欢迎程度表明,人们越来越认识到两国的冲突不仅限于贸易,可能不会有一个简单的解决方案。
The article argues that China’s system of low human rights-based mercantilistic state capitalism negatively affected the pricing and wage structures in the United States and other developed economies. Now the United States wants China to change its economic growth model, the author argued, while China only wants to buy more American products to solve short-term trade imbalances.
文章认为,中国以低人权为基础的重商主义国家资本主义制度,对美国和其他发达经济体的定价和工资结构产生了负面影响。作者认为,现在美国希望中国改变其经济增长模式,而中国只想购买更多的美国产品,以解决短期贸易失衡。
“Chimerica parted ways on May 10,” the author wrote. “Now it’s time to decide whether to adopt the U.S. rules or the Chinese rules.”
“5月10号,这个崛起不到20年的Chimerica就此分道扬镳了,”作者写道。“如今,是采用美国规则还是采用中国规则,已经到了决断的时候。”