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The world order would be worse off under Beijing than under Washington.

在北京的領導下,世界秩序將比在華盛頓的領導下更糟糕。



China is the single most formidable peer competitive threat faced by the United States. It alone has the potential to replace the United States as the world’s hegemon, an ambition the Soviets may have possessed but never could have achieved due to their weaknesses, particularly economically. We can foresee a future where China has the ability to force Washington to yield and cede its regional and global interests in favor of Beijing’s. China’s greater willingness to use coercion to advance its interests provides a window into that future, as its territorial expansion and militarization of the South China Sea illuminate. Whether the United States can remain the preeminent force for free and open societies in the face of a rising China is the defining element of international politics in the twenty-first century, and the most immediate U.S. national security policy interest.

中國是美國面臨的最強大的競爭對手威脅。單憑它就有可能取代美國成為世界霸主,蘇聯或許曾擁有這一雄心,但由于自身的弱點,尤其是經濟上的弱點,永遠無法實現。我們可以預見未來,中國有能力迫使華盛頓屈服并放棄其地區和全球利益,轉而支持北京。隨著南海的領土擴張和軍事化進程的推進,中國更愿意利用脅迫來推進自身利益,這為未來的走向提供了一個出口。面對崛起的中國,美國能否繼續成為自由和開放社會的卓越力量,是21世紀國際政治的決定性因素,也是美國國家安全政策最直接的利益所在。



From both the Chinese and American perspectives, two fundamental factors explain the source of the conflict. First, the Sino-American struggle is material—economic and military power matter, particularly the shifting balance of relative power from the United States to China. This shift feeds ambition in China and fear in Washington. Given its strongly nationalistic and ethnocentric beliefs, China as a rising hegemon would challenge any dominant state—as it did the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It is of historical importance that this is the first time in its long history that China is a rising hegemon. In its past, it was the dominant state in Asia—the primary world it knew. Even after its defeat in the First Opium War, China maintained the pretension that it was still dominant until colonization by Europeans, Japanese, and Americans forced the abandonment of its pretensions. Now, for the first time in its history, China is the challenger to the dominant state. This is something new in the history of empires because the example of China shows you can be on top, lose it all, and return to greatness or even dominance. In historical context, this is a remarkably impressive feat—unmatched by any empire in history.

從中美兩國的角度來看,有兩個基本因素可以解釋沖突的根源。首先,中美之間的斗爭事關物質經濟和軍事實力,特別是相對實力的平衡從美國轉移到中國。這種轉變助長了中國的野心和華盛頓的恐懼。鑒于其強烈的民族主義和種族中心主義信仰,中國作為一個崛起的霸主,將挑戰任何主導國家,就像它在冷戰期間挑戰美國和蘇聯一樣。具有歷史意義的是,這是中國在漫長的歷史上第一次成為一個正在崛起的霸權國家。在過去,它是亞洲的主導國家——它所知道的主要世界。即使在第一次鴉片戰爭失敗后,中國仍然保持著它的主導地位,直到歐洲人、日本人和美國人的殖民迫使它放棄它的自命不凡。現在,中國在其歷史上第一次成為對占主導地位的國家的挑戰者。這是帝國歷史上的一個新現象,因為中國的過往表明,你可以登峰造極,卻又一敗涂地,接著回歸偉大甚至統治地位。在歷史背景下,這是歷史上任何一個帝國都無法比擬的令人印象深刻的壯舉。

Second, the cause of the struggle is also inherently ideological. Ideology illuminates what will be gained for the victor—the return of the Middle Kingdom or the triumph of freedom—and what will be lost for the defeated. It inspires the leadership and population of both sides. It also provides an understanding of the intensity of passion on the Chinese side—the hatred for America for hindering China’s return to its rightful position and for Washington’s arrogance. Beijing and Chinese citizens are also upset with Americans for not realizing its time is past, and so it must yield gracefully to the new hegemon. Yet so far, a concomitant level of strategic focus and passion is absent on the U.S. side. That needs to change.

其次,斗爭的原因也具有內在的意識形態。意識形態闡明了勝利者將獲得什么——中央王國的回歸或自由的勝利——而失敗者將失去什么。它激勵著雙方的領導人和人民。這也讓我們了解了中國方面的強烈情緒——對美國的仇恨,因為美國阻礙了中國回歸其應有的地位,以及對美國的傲慢。中國政府和中國公民也對美國沒有意識到自己的時代已經過去感到不滿,因此它必須優雅地向新霸主屈服。然而,到目前為止,美國方面還沒有相應的戰略重點和熱情。這種情況需要改變。

“Why China Fights:” The Return of the Middle Kingdom

“為什么中國要斗爭":中央王國的回歸



Beijing will fight the United States because it is the single major impediment to China’s strategic objectives. With America removed, there is no single power, or constellation of powers such as Australia, Japan, and India, that could prevent Beijing from achieving its aims, which Xi Jinping transparently and boldly advances in his conception of a hegemonic China by 2049. The United States is the barrier to the realization of China’s ambitions and is its ideological opponent, and so it is the focus of China’s enmity.

北京將與美國對抗,因為這是中國實現戰略目標的唯一主要障礙。隨著美國的退出,沒有任何一個國家,或者像澳大利亞、日本和印度這樣的大國集團,能夠阻止北京實現其目標。美國是中國實現雄心壯志的障礙,是中國的意識形態對手,是中國仇恨的焦點。

“Why the U.S. Fights:” Preservation of Freedom

“美國為何戰斗”:維護自由

U.S. leadership seeks to maintain its position because that is best, first, for U.S. security; second, the security of its allies; and third, for the promotion of its ideology. America’s ideological push is vital to ensure that freedom and democratic government, open societies, and free markets are the dominant values of international politics. In sum, Washington fights for the international order it created after World War II, and which it expanded after the Cold War.

美國領導人尋求保持其地位,因為這首先對美國的安全是最好的;第二,同盟國的安全;第三,促進其意識形態的發展。美國的意識形態推動對于確保自由和民主政府、開放社會和自由市場是國際政治的主導價值至關重要。總而言之,華盛頓為其在二戰后建立的國際秩序而戰,冷戰后又擴大了這一秩序。

America seeks to maintain the status quo, its position and the order it has known, and that both Washington and the American people expect to continue. That expectation was conceived and conditioned in the calm geopolitical seas of the 1990s and 2000s. That time is past. As China has risen, Washington must now battle to maintain its place in the world and the dominance of its military, economy, ideology, and technological leadership. Indeed, America is forced to fight to defend its position, allies, and values. But this cannot be wholly a defensive war, the United States must actively confront China in each realm, and put China on the back foot in order to ensure the United States and its allies triumph in each aspect of the competition.

美國尋求維持現狀、地位和已知秩序,華盛頓和美國人民都希望繼續下去。這種預期是在上世紀90年代和本世紀頭10年平靜的地緣政治海洋中孕育和發展的。但那段時光已經過去了。隨著中國的崛起,華盛頓現在必須努力保持其在世界上的地位,以及其在軍事、經濟、意識形態和技術方面的主導地位。事實上,美國被迫為捍衛自己的立場、盟友和價值觀而戰。但這不能完全是一場防御性的戰爭,美國必須積極地在各個領域與中國對抗,并將中國置于不利地位,以確保美國及其盟友在競爭的各個方面取得勝利。

While the military and economic components are essential, ideology is their equal. Ideology is critical for Washington as it motivates the U.S. response to China with a comprehension, energy, and vigor that material forces cannot. As the U.S. Navy historically contends: “ships don’t fight, men do.” People fight to defend their country and ideology. Accordingly, the value of the ideology of the United States is the spine that supports U.S. power. U.S. ideology unifies and inspires the American people, as well as ideological sympathizers around the world, and explains why China’s ideology and vision for the world should be resisted.

雖然軍事和經濟成分是必不可少的,但意識形態是同等重要的。意識形態對華盛頓至關重要,因為它激發了美國應對中國的理解、精力和活力,而物質力量無法做到這一點。正如美國海軍歷來主張的那樣:“船不打仗,人打仗。”人們為保衛自己的國家和意識形態而戰。因此,美國意識形態的價值是支撐美國力量的支柱。美國的意識形態團結和鼓舞了美國人民以及世界各地的思想認同者,也解釋了為什么中國的意識形態和世界觀應該受到抵制。



Moreover, as U.S. power declines relative to China’s, Washington is likely to depend more on ideology than economic and military power. Consequently, the United States will have to depend more on its allies and other cooperative states, in Europe, Asia, and Africa. This situation plays to the United States’ ideological strength and is a great advantage for Washington. China seeks resources globally, offering infrastructure development and foreign direct investment to the many states willing to partner, if not yet align, with it. Thus far, the United States has chosen not to match China’s ability in these categories, but it does—hands down—far exceed China’s ability to inspire the people of the world.

此外,隨著美國實力相對于中國的下降,華盛頓可能更多地依賴意識形態,而不是經濟和軍事實力。因此,美國將不得不更多地依賴歐洲、亞洲和非洲的盟友和其他合作國家。這種情況有利于美國的意識形態力量,也是華盛頓的一大優勢。中國在全球范圍內尋求資源,為許多愿意與之合作(如果還沒有與之結盟的話)的國家提供基礎設施建設和外國直接投資。到目前為止,美國在這些方面的能力還沒有達到中國的水平,但毫無疑問,它遠遠超過了中國激勵世界人民的能力。

Furthermore, while the interests of its allies are varied, U.S. ideology serves as the cement for alignment against China, particularly for states in Africa, Asia. This is true even in Europe, where economic interest might cause an alliance with China or neutrality in the face of an intensifying Sino-American conflict. The United States cannot fight this struggle alone and the good news is that it need not. The ideology of the United States allows it to maintain relations with Asia-Pacific and European states based on common interests and political principles. But the struggle does require U.S. leadership.

此外,盡管盟友的利益各不相同,但美國的意識形態是與中國對抗的基石,尤其是對非洲和亞洲國家而言。甚至在歐洲也是如此,在那里,經濟利益可能導致與中國結盟,或者在面對日益加劇的中美沖突時保持中立。美國不能獨自進行這場斗爭,好消息是它不需要這樣做。美國的意識形態允許它在共同利益和政治原則的基礎上與亞太和歐洲國家保持關系。但這場斗爭確實需要美國的領導。

China’s conception of victory is deeply disturbing, disagreeable, and dangerous for stability: the Middle Kingdom returned to dominance, with all other states in a subordinate position. “Why China Fights” is for Han-supremacy. “Why the U.S. Fights” is to preserve a future free and open, and to prevent the hegemony of a great power governed by a nation-based supremacist ideology. The Sino-American conflict will determine whether the security and position of Washington are maintained, and freedom and open societies remain the dominant ideal in international politics. Or whether America will lose, and freedom is supplanted by authoritarianism and Han-supremacism.

中國的勝利觀令人深感不安,令人不快,而且對穩定是危險的:即中央王國回到了統治地位,其他國家都處于從屬地位。“為什么中國斗爭”是為了漢人的霸權。“為什么美國斗爭”是為了保持未來的自由和開放,防止一個由國家至上主義意識形態統治的大國的霸權。中美沖突將決定華盛頓的安全與地位是否得到維護,自由與開放的社會是否仍然是國際政治的主導理想。或者美國是否會失敗,自由是否會被威權主義和漢人至上主義所取代。