经济学人 | 贸易战表面看中美在争夺科技,其实打的是未来

When China and America spar over technology, it is about far more
表面看中美在争夺科技,其实打的是未来

经济学人 | 表面看中美在争夺科技,其实打的是未来

Nearly all high tech has military implications, and stirs national pride
译文:几乎所有的高科技都具有军事意义,并激起民族自豪感

May 3rd 2018

WHEN President Donald Trump threatened punitive tariffs in the spring on $150bn of Chinese goods, some Chinese observers thought this was a trade war that could be finished before it really began. To weaken America’s resolve(决心), robust(强劲) retaliation(报复) was threatened against American goods, from soyabeans to bourbon. To overcome it entirely, barriers to certain Chinese markets, such as for cars and credit cards, could be dismantled. China could even offer to cut America’s $375bn bilateral trade deficit, over which Mr Trump obsesses, without too much loss of face.

译文:今年春天,当唐纳德•特朗普威胁要对150亿美元的中国商品征收惩罚性关税时,一些中国观察人士认为,这是一场贸易战,还没开始就会结束。为了削弱美国的决心,强劲的报复行为威胁到美国商品,从大豆到波旁威士忌。为了彻底解决中美贸易冲突,中国可能会开放部分市场,比如汽车和信用卡的市场壁垒。中国甚至可以提出削减美国375亿美元的双边贸易赤字,以便让应对特朗普对这一问题的看法,而且不失颜面。

Oh halcyon days! As The Economist went to press, Mr Trump’s senior economic officials, including Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, and Robert Lighthizer, the United States Trade Representative, were about to sit down in Beijing with their Chinese counterparts. The aim was to avert a trade war that now seems increasingly likely. The notion that Mr Trump will declare victory after a few polite Chinese concessions appears less plausible. His beef with China, shared by many American policymakers and business folk, goes deeper.

译文:噢,太平盛世!在本期经济学人出版之时,特朗普的高级经济官员,包括财政部长史蒂芬姆钦,商务部长威尔伯罗斯,以及美国贸易代表罗伯特Lighthizer,即将在北京与中国同行座谈。以便避免一场看起来越来越有可能发生的贸易战。在中国做出一些礼貌的让步之后,特朗普将宣布胜利的想法似乎不那么可信。他与中国怨气,被许多美国的政策制定者和商界人士所认同,变得更深。

At issue, in American eyes, is a system of economic governance at odds with the West’s. It shuts off whole sectors to foreigners—or allows them in only after they hand over their proprietary know-how. It pumps money into favoured domestic firms to turn them into global champions. And, when it comes to acquiring Western technology, it encourages Chinese companies to beg, borrow—or steal. “Made in China 2025”, a state plan to upgrade industry in sectors from robotics to electric vehicles, seems to others like an underhand play for world domination.

译文:在美国人眼中,问题在于一个与西方世界格格不入的经济治理体系。它的所有行业都对外方关闭——或者在他们交出他们的专有技术之后才允许他们进入。它将资金注入受青睐的国内企业,使其成为全球冠军企业。而且,在收购西方技术方面,它鼓励中国企业乞求、借用或偷。“中国制造2025”是一项国家计划,保函从机器人技术到电动汽车等行业的产业升级,在其他国家看来,这似乎是一种为成为世界主宰的而采取的“幕后游戏”。

The risks involved for China were driven home on April 16th when the Commerce Department punished ZTE, a Chinese telecoms giant, for shipping equipment to Iran and North Korea in breach of sanctions, and lying about the remedies it had promised when it pleaded guilty to this in 2017. The penalty is a seven-year ban from buying American components.

译文:在4月16日商务部惩罚中兴通讯时,这类风险爆发了。中兴,中国电信巨头违反了制裁伊朗和朝鲜的禁令,向其运输设备,并在其再2017年承诺禁运后(而且欺骗相关方)。处罚结果是7年禁止购买美国零部件的禁令。

For ZTE this is a body blow. It relies upon American parts: four-fifths of its products contain them, including its smartphones, which use Qualcomm chips. As for China’s biggest telecoms firm, Huawei, it has long come under attack in America over how it has acquired know-how, and whether it helps China spy. Now comes the news that the Department of Justice is investigating it, also over possible sanctions-busting in Iran.

译文:对中兴来说,这是一个沉重的打击。其五分之四的产品都需要依赖美国的零部件,包括使用高通芯片的智能手机。对于中国最大的电信公司华为来说,它长期以来在美国就如何获得技术和它是否帮助中国间侦查为而饱受攻击。现在有消息说,司法部正在调查此事,同样也是关于伊朗制裁问题。

Back in China, a report by the regulator of state-owned assets castigated(严厉批评) ZTE after the American ban for its “short-sightedness and dishonesty” and for harming the country’s image. Yet the reaction was very different in other quarters. Netizens leapt to ZTE’s defence. The editor of the Global Times, a jingoistic state tabloid, tweeted that Chinese were “all ZTE people”.

译文:在中国,国有监管机构的一份报告对中兴通讯进行了严厉批评,原因是美国在禁售时评价其“短视和不诚实”,严重损害了国家的形象。然而,其他方面的反应却截然不同,网民们纷纷向站在中兴通讯这边。环球时报(沙文主义的中国官方报刊)在推特上写道,我们“都是中兴人”。

More pertinently, Xi has redoubled calls for greater self-reliance in the quest for China’s “great rejuvenation”. On a recent visit to the Yangzi river town of Yichang, site of the giant Three Gorges dam, China’s autocrat declared that “in the past we tightened our belts, gritted our teeth, and built the two bombs and a satellite.” (Every Chinese patriot knows that the two bombs refer to China’s first atomic and hydrogen ones.) Pursuing advanced technologies, Chinese must “cast aside illusions and rely on ourselves,” Mr Xi said. In official pictures, it looked almost as if he were about to dive into the river and swim across, as Mao Zedong had done during a period of autarky 52 years earlier.

译文:更确切地说,习主席在寻求中国“伟大复兴”的过程中,再次呼吁加强自力更生。在最近一次访问长江三峡大坝的时候,他说:“过去,我们勒紧裤腰带,咬紧牙关,制造了两枚炸弹和一颗卫星(每一个中国爱国者都知道,这两弹指的是中国的第一颗原子弹和氢弹。)。” 他表示,在追求先进技术的同时,中国人必须“抛开幻想,依靠自己”。在官方的照片中,他就像毛主席在52年前横渡黄河时,发表“自给自足”声音时的那样。

Given the way Mr Xi has been ratcheting up(不断推进) his tech-nationalist rhetoric(修辞), it is hardly likely that he will back away from “Made in China 2025”, as Mr Trump’s negotiators want him to. At a seminar in Beijing over the weekend, reported by the New York Times and attended by senior Chinese economic policymakers, officials insisted that “Made in China 2025” was not up for negotiation. (They also stressed that a one-party state can take more pain from a prolonged trade war than can a democracy.)

译文:考虑到习主席一直在加强他的科技民族主义言论,他几乎不可能放弃“中国制造2025”,就像特朗普的谈判代表希望他那样做的那样。《纽约时报》报道了上周末在北京举行的一个研讨会,中国高级经济政策制定者也出席了这次研讨会。会上,官员们坚称,“中国制造2025”并不是谈判的对象。(他们还强调,“一党专政”国家在长期的贸易战争中会比民主国家承受更多的痛苦。)

When Chinese policymakers argue that the policy is misunderstood, as they did at the seminar, they have a point. During their industrialisation, Japan, South Korea and Germany all had industrial policies to protect domestic sectors—and arguably still do. “Made in China 2025” is as much aspiration as fixed programme. But, crucially, every advanced technology these days has a military dimension. Because China and America see each other as military as well as economic threats, an “undeclared cold war” over technology is under way, says Kevin Rudd, an Australian former prime minister.

译文:中国的政策制定者们认为这项政策被国外误读了,就像他们在研讨会上说的那样,他们是有一定道理的。在工业化过程中,日本、韩国和德国都制定了保护国内产业的产业政策,而且可以说仍然存在。“中国制造2025”的固定规划也是一样。但是,至关重要的是,如今的每一项先进技术都有军事方面的意义。澳大利亚前总理陆克文表示,由于中美两国视对方为军事和经济威胁,一场关于技术的“未公开的冷战”正在进行中。

Cold, getting hotter 更加激烈的冷战

The worry is that the tech war will only get hotter. Tech-nationalists on both sides argue that China and America, their economies intertwined for so long, must now cleave and go their own ways. In China the propaganda doesn’t favour common sense. “Amazing China”, currently smashing box-office records for a documentary, extols Chinese technological prowess. And the press likes to talk of high-speed rail, e-commerce, mobile payments and bike sharing as China’s “new four great inventions” (to rival the past accomplishments of papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass). They are not China’s at all. American tech-nationalists also harbour delusions. The Trump administration has flirted(挥动) with the idea of huge government support for the development of a 5G network. That would never fly politically.

译文:令人担忧的是,科技战争只会越来越激烈。双方的技术民族主义者都认为,中美两国的经济相互交织的时间太长,现在必须划清界限,回归本国自己的路。在中国,这种宣传与常识相悖。“厉害了我的国”,目前打破了一部纪录片的票房纪录,颂扬了中国的科技实力。媒体喜欢谈论高铁、电子商务、移动支付和自行车共享,称这是中国的“新四大发明”(与造纸、印刷、火药和指南针的过去成就相匹敌)。但这些根本就不是中国发明的。美国的科技民族主义者也有妄想症。特朗普政府曾考虑过政府对5G网络发展的巨大支持。但5G不是政府说成功就肯定能成功。

Mr Trump insists that America and China will “always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade”. There is an echo in that of old-think—of a time when American and Chinese officials believed that no matter how much they disagreed, they would always find a way of getting on because the consequences of falling out would be so devastating for both. The two sides’ techno-sparring is evidence of how hard it is becoming to separate their economic and strategic rivalries. Safe spaces in the relationship are getting worryingly hard to find.

译文:特朗普坚称,无论我们在贸易问题上发生什么,美国和中国都将“永远是朋友”。美国和中国的官员们相信,无论他们有多少分歧,他们总能找到出路,因为失败的后果对双方都是毁灭性的打击。双方的科技战争表明,要将他们的经济和战略竞争分开是多么的困难。在这段关系中,妥协空间正变得越来越小。

(超书)

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