2020: PRC Scholar Yin Jiwu: Comparing US and PRC Concepts of National Security

The PRC’s holistic national security concept encompassing the foreign and the domestic as well as ideological challenges whether they come from within China or from ‘outside the borders of Mainland China (jingwai)’ a term of art that encompasses both foreign countries as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

The PRC considers Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan the which the PRC considers parts of its national territory although under a different internal political regime either becuause of the one country – two systems policy or as a practical matter because of the frozen conflict between the Republic of China on Taiwan and the one-time rebels of the Chinese Communist Party who now rule Mainland China and currently do business as the People’s Republic of China. The question of whether “the rebels” are on Taiwan or on the China Mainland is intriguing.

The holistic nature of China’s national security means that is works a bit differently than U.S. national security concepts as generally understood. Since 9/11, the U.S. has paid more attention to the domestic dimension of national security and in particular improving coordination between domestic and foreign intelligence agencies which now operate under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Even after 9/11 domestic national security threats were often assumed to be foreign terrorists who had infiltrated the U.S. White supremacist groups in the U.S. have only recently gotten more attention as a source of domestic terrorism. They tend to be seen as local rather than national threats. In China however national security within China often involves home-grown actors. Domestic seperatists in Xinjiang and Tibet are often labelled terrorists and considered to be a first-order national security threat.

Ideological challenges are threats to the existence of the state to the extent that some prefer to call the PRC a party-state rather than a state. Ideological threat can reach China as sort of ideological virus caught from abroad and so ideological work overseas is dong by the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party as well as by other PRC agencies. PRC financial and other pressures aimed at controlling Chinese-language media outside the borders of Mainland China include pressure on Taiwan’s domestic media and in Chinese communities in many foreign countries as He Qinglian detailed in her recent Chinese-language book Red Infiltration that was published in Taiwan. I understand that an English translation will be published in the UK. See also the recent translated excerpts at Red Infiltration: The Reality of China’s Global Media Expansion (Part 1) and Part Two.

Chinese religious organizations both inside and outside China can be a security threat. Chinese Catholics and Protestants, Muslims and Buddhists are expected to operate within Party-obedient and faith-sinicizing religious umbrella organizations or else face closure or even jail. Unregistered religions are a subject of special concern. For example, recently the PRC government-controlled NGO the China Anti-Cult Association sounded the alarm about a space alien contactee new religion preached by a Chinese-Australian that was winning adherents inside the PRC.

PRC criticism of U.S. political arrangements can be mildly interesting but never a security threat. U.S. criticism of China including on such issues as human rights is considered a national security threat in China however. In the late 1990s when I worked in Beijing whenever there was an unpleasant period in US – China relations, internet discussion fora would erupt with all sorts of comment many quickly delted by China’s vast legions of Internet censors. One comment I saw several times was “Always keep in mind that the United States is not the enemy of the Chinese people; it is the enemy of the Chinese Communist Party.” The PRC as a party-state, does not admit to such distinctions. The interests of the Party come first.

Other PRC domestic threats include political dissidents since as Article One of the PRC Constitution states:

Article 1. Socialist state

The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.

The socialist system is the basic system of the People’s Republic of China. Disruption of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.

Constitution of the People’s Republic of China

Professor Yin Jiwu’s discussion helps bettter understand how national security is understood in the PRC. The Chinese original text follows this translation.

Comparative Analysis of Chinese and American National Security Concepts

Posted July 6, 2020 Source: “Contemporary World and Socialism,” 3/2020

  Summary: The security concept is a systematic presentation of national security concepts. Analyzing the differences in the national security concepts of China and the United States helps link to promote mutual understanding between them and increases the effectiveness of strategic communication. Judging each other’s strategic intentions and actions has become the key element in the national security views of both China and the United States’ national security views. The national security views of China and the United States are based on how the state of their relationship and their judgments of how that relationship might develop. For the United States, national security is based on a “security threat” paradigm while for China it is based on the “national security state” paradigm. In terms of security dimension, security differentiation thinking, security measures, security value there are systematic differences between the national security views of China and the United States. Behind this are other differences: aspects of cultural background, political basis, and implementation mechanisms that create difficult obstacles. Understanding these differences between the Chinese and American countries’ views on security and their causes can help avoid mistakes in strategic communication between China and the United States and enhance security cooperation between the two sides.

Keywords: national security concept, strategic communication, security status, security threat

About the author: Yin Jiwu is Professor in the School of International Relations, Renmin University of China

  The concept of security is a systematic presentation of national security thinking, and security strategy is a systematic strategy and method that needs to be adopted to maintain and achieve a secure state. There are many factors that affect Sino-US strategic communication and its effectiveness. The difference in security concept or thinking is the reason for the difference between China and the United States in terms of security status and threat judgment, definition of security interests, and choice of security maintenance methods. The mainstream power transfer theory It does not focus on the impact of safety concepts and thinking. This article focuses on the comparative analysis of the national security concept, with China and the United States as the object, and systematically analyzes the differences between the two countries in the national security concept and their causes. The United States is the most important external actor that affects China’s national security. Therefore, systematically understanding and comparatively analyzing the differences in security views between China and the United States is an essential link to deal with Sino-US relations and shape a good Chinese national security environment.

   China’s judgment on the strategic intentions and actions of the United States has become the main content constructed by others in China’s national security concept. After the end of the Cold War, the United States’ strategic positioning of China is one of the main threat judgments in the United States’ national security strategy. Therefore, the correct understanding of each other’s security thinking between China and the United States is the basic work of the two countries to promote cooperation and avoid conflicts. The security relationship between China and the United States is a core element that determines the direction of the future world political power structure.

   Differences in PRC and U.S. Concepts of Security

   The security concept of China and the United States belongs to two different security paradigms. The United States is the “security threat” paradigm, and China is the “security state” paradigm. The United States attaches great importance to the formulation and publication of the “National Security Strategy”. Since 1987, each administration has made the formulation of a national security strategy an important strategic task, but the reports do systematically describe U.S. national security concept. China has systematically described its own security concept, for example, in the new security concept of 1996 to the overall national security concept of 2014, but China has never issued a national security strategy report. China has described to the international community its own concept of security in a series of national defense white papers, white papers on security issues.

The basic paradigm of the US national security concept is the “threat paradigm”, while the basic paradigm of the Chinese national security concept is the “status paradigm”. The primary task of the “threat paradigm” is to define the source of national security threats. Since World War II, the definition and countermeasures to national security threats have been at the core of US national security strategy. During the Cold War, the United States defined the Soviet Union as a strategic threat and the target of a security response; with the end of the Cold War, the United States lost its core threat; after the “9.11” terrorist attacks, the United States made terrorism as the core national security threats; once the threat of from terrorism gradually eased, the Trump administration listed China and Russia as the main security threats to the United States in its National Security Strategy Report. From this perspective, the core priority of the US national security concept just what are the threats to US national security and where do they come from. Whether or not these presumed threats are actually threats or not, the threat report focuses on specific state or non-state actors.

   In its threat assessments, the United States judges the primary source of threats to national security based on the capabilities and intentions of the other party. On the one hand, from the perspective of strength assessment, the determination of the possible threats to U.S. national security by relevant state or non-state actors is based on the assessment of the target’s national capabilities, especially military capabilities and strategic behavior and on the assessment of intentions. Thus the definition of security threats in the United States depends on many factors and among these the ideology and political system of the assessment play an important role. An important assumption of security and conflict in the United States is based on the “democratic peace theory”, that is, democratic countries will not become security threats to each other. After the Cold War, the primary threat to US national security hesitated between the strategic competition with major powers and non-traditional security threats.

   China’s national security concept is a “security status” paradigm. China’s focus is on the real threats and challenges to the security of the state. This kind of challenge can come from a specific behavior or challenge. For example, in the reports of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the series of white papers on China’s national defense, hegemonism, power politics, and separatist forces are all seen as both threats to world peace and to the national security of China. Based on this, China’s discussion of its national security situation generally begins with a description of the current international and domestic security situation, and then sorts out the important factors that affect China’s national security status, including basic assessments of on the international security situation and the international situation in China’s immediate neighborhood. For example, in the white paper “China’s National Defense in the New Era” released in 2019, the risks and challenges facing China’s national security are summarized as “with the profound evolution of the international strategic landscape, the overall stability of the Asia-Pacific security situation, and the risks and challenges facing national security cannot be ignored”. At various levels, particular attention is paid to the strategic actions of US unilateralism and the threats to China’s own domestic security, while highlighting the challenges of non-traditional security in the new period. Unlike the specific definition of US security threats, China’s elaboration of security threats and challenges may be a specific country or regional security situation, or specific actions of specific countries, such as US arms sales to Taiwan and militarism in Japan. China’s definition of national security challenges focuses on identifying the various factors that affect and challenge the status quo of China’s overall national security stance, while systematically elaborating upon the security principles advocated by China, what China views as an ideal security order and its vision for security.

   Specific Differences in PRC and U.S. Security Concepts

   The national security views of China and the United States are based on two different views on what national security means. The United States emphasizes security threats and their responses, while China is concerned about security threats and challenges. These two different security paradigms are embodied in the systematic differences in the scope, distinctions between variety of security thought, security measures and values embedded in security thinking.

   (1) Differences in the scope of security thinking

   The US national security concept is largely one-dimensional, focusing on the dimension of military security. This threat is generally associated with strong external challengers and competitors. For example, during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were strategic competitors in the areas of military force and technology, in building global spheres of influence, and in other fields. Since then, the scope of US national security has gradually expanded, extending from traditional military security to embrace non-traditional terrorist security threats. This is most clearly seen in the adjustment of US national security concepts and strategies caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks. With non-traditional security threats such as terrorism becoming the main source of security threats to the United States, the United States has shifted from focusing on international or foreign security to focusing on the national security of the United States and on external traditional and non-traditional security threats. As globalization accelerates, the various non-traditional security issues arising from U.S. and global contacts increase the challenges to the U.S. own security and identity, the United States has also come to pay more attention to non-traditional security issues such as immigration, technology diffusion, and energy. This has gradually increased as Trump’s emphasis on homeland security and US in distinction to foreign interests has won domestic support, reflecting the heritage of the diplomatic traditions of Jackson and Hamilton in the United States. The national security concept of the United States highlights military means of maintaining traditional and non-traditional security while also incorporating its own self-proclaimed values and development model into the national security goals.

Compared with the United States’ emphasis on military security, China emphasizes a comprehensive and overall national security concept embodied in the overall national security concept proposed by the Chinese leader in 2014. This concept builds China’s national security system from eleven component elements. In the national security system of China, the most fundamental element is political security, especially the security of the regime and the security of the political system, while the security of the people is the most important objective of national security. From this perspective, China’s national security completely integrates international and domestic security. Assessment of security threat origins and challenges are not considered simply from the perspective of military security threats. Greater emphasis is place on terrorism, both foreign and domestic, as well as on domestic separatism as threats to national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the state. In the national security system, China’s national security is a systematic project that combines traditional and non-traditional security, domestic security and international security, political security, economic security, military security, social security and cultural security.

   (2) Distinctions Made Between Different Types of Security

   American security thinking is based on a binary opposing enemy vs. self thinking. In different periods, the United States has had different “enemies”. From the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to terrorism, and now to China and Russia as competitors, we can see how the United States necessarily focuses on shaping conceptions of its core security threats. The basic principle of the binary distinction between enemy and enemy in the American security culture is also more prominent in the political and diplomatic fields. For example, in the political and ideological fields, “democracy” and “non-democracy” are used as the basic criteria for distinguishing the polities of other countries and has been a guiding principle of U.S. foreign relations. Of course, based on double standards, the United States often follows the principles the realist perspective rather than ideological affiliation. In the field of foreign relations, based on the basic concept of the spread of democratic ideas, U.S. idealism is more apparent, with Wilsonianism as the most typical model.

   The security thinking of the United States is reflected in the strength and intentions of the target country as a criterion for judging whether it is hostile or threatening to the United States. Furthermore, when determining security measures, the elimination of the enemy is as the basic method of obtaining security. This is dualism and an way of thinking that is very different comprehensive security concepts such as coexistence, tolerance and mutual influence. American hegemony has domestic religious, ideological and political roots.

   China’s national security concept is a systematic security concept. Since the 1980s, China has established a policy of non-alignment in its foreign relations. It does not make ideological distinctions. It decides its position and basic principles of policy based solely on the merits of the matter itself. China’s national security is not imbued with the idea of defining and then eliminating an enemy. From the new security concept of establishing mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation proposed in 1996 to the overall national security concept proposed in 2014, combined with the concept of a harmonious world in China’s diplomacy and a community of human destiny, China’s national security concept is based on cooperative security The principle of “emphasis” is on seeking common ground while reserving differences, rather than eliminating those with different view. The maintenance of China’s national security is not based on clearly defining the “enemy” of China’s national security, but on resolving differences and contradictions through the spirit of “rational negotiation” such as cooperation, common consultation, mutual understanding and concessions on a basis of equality. This involves finding where interests coincide, achieving mutual goals through cooperation, and placing off to one side disputes and contradictions as necessary. Therefore, the relationship between China’s national security and the national security of other related countries is not a zero-sum game, but can promote the interests and well-being of other states as well.

(3) Differences in Security Measures

   The US national security concept emphasizes the elimination of security threats from abroad through military means and war.

First, this involves strategic military competition. The United States needs to maintain its absolute military superiority and security, so it is always seeking innovations in the field of military technology in order to maintain its military superiority, thereby maintaining its strategic deterrent force and coercive force. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union launched an arms race in the fields of conventional and nuclear weapons, which exacerbated tensions in international security.

Second, the use of force and other strategic strikes to eliminate security threats. The competition between the United States and the Soviet Union is a state of cold war, and low-intensity wars such as proxy wars are carried out in relevant areas. After the end of the Cold War, the United States tried to eliminate the threat of terrorism through unilateral military actions, cooperate with the plans of countries making “democratic transitions”, and shape regional powers friendly to the United States.

Third, strengthen the US security maintenance network through alliances. The alliance has become the basic pillar of the US foreign strategy. By establishing a worldwide military network, the United States has achieved the goal of maintaining strategic interests and responding to security threats globally. The construction of alliances and military bases has laid a strong strategic ally support for the United States to maintain military security globally.

  China has made its own characteristic choice of measures to maintain its own national security.

First, China emphasizes the importance of political and peaceful dialogue and pursues a defensive national defense policy. On issues such as territorial border disputes, the development of relations between major powers, and the maintenance of the security situation in the surrounding areas, China has always advocated non-military solutions, and has always adhered to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the international norms for the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

Second, China emphasizes partnering instead of alliance, and does not seek to maintain its national security through military alliances. In the early days of New China, China adopted a “taking one side” foreign policy for some time, but with the adjustment of China’s foreign policy and the recognition of the negative effects of policy based on alliances, China has since the 1980s adopted a non-aligned policy. Today, China pursues a policy of “partnership without alliance”, upholds the basic attitude of non-confrontation, peaceful consultation and settlement of international disputes, and seeks political cooperation and safeguards national security by building various types of partnerships.

Third, cooperate to resolve differences and achieve common security. From the new security concept to the overall national security concept, China attempts to model for the international community a harmonious security concept that is different from the security concept of Western hegemony and conflict, that is, based on common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, with peace and cooperation as the common goal. China emphasizes and respects the differences between countries, takes non-interference in internal affairs as its basic principle, and seeks to find common interests with foreign states.

(4) Differences in Values Embedded in Security Concepts

   The values embedded in American security concepts are as follows.

First, the value of binary opposition. Based on American cultural traditions and security value standards, the United States’ judgment on national security threats highlights the duality of opposition, that is, the capabilities and intentions of relevant actors to threaten American security. The pursuit of national security in the United States is mainly based on political ideological standards, that is, that democratic countries do not have threatening intentions while non-democratic countries have threatening intentions. Here also is embedded a dualistic security philosophy.

Second, the rationales behind national security. The United States regards the alliance as the basis of global strategic support system for US national security. This security support is based on the individual rationale for US national security, that is, US security and the core the values of so-called “democracy” and “freedom” in the United States are threatened, the response to which involves related tactics, strategies and double standards.

Third, the pursuit of absolute security. Based on its status as a global superpower, the United States has a correspondingly aggressive approach in the way it pursues its own security. It uses its own absolute superiority as the foundation for its own security. Therefore, it must establish its superiority in both quality and quantity.

   China’s choice of security values reflects a certain diversity, collective orientation and relativity.

First, China’s security value are inclusivity and coexistence. The philosophy of China’s foreign relations is coexistence and not binary thinking and ideas of incompatibility. China applies dialectical thinking to a certain extent in its assessment of security threats and challenges. That is, there is a certain mutability in the favorable factors and unfavorable factors of security.

Second, the systematic and collective nature of security. Security maintenance is a systems project, and China’s national security also requires a systematic approach among the eleven closely related elements of national security. From the perspective of the relationship between China’s national security and the security of other countries and the international community, China emphasizes interdependence and their systematic dialectical relationship, that is, in order to solve mutual security issues in a mutually trustful, mutually beneficial, equal, and collaborative way to achieve cooperation, national security and collective security.

Third, the relativity of security. China’s overall security strategy is actively defensive, that is, it achieves a balance between China’s domestic security and international security through defensive security maintenance measures, and “is determined to never seek hegemony, never to seek expansion or to seek to expand its sphere of influence.” In terms of military security measures, China emphasizes technological progress and ending its history of being a victim, rather than pursuing an absolute security state and corresponding means of support. In general, China’s security philosophy is a defensive security culture that focuses on maintaining multiple balances and maintaining system status.

   The politicization process of security thinking: the reasons behind the difference in security concept between China and the United States

   The national security concept of China and the United States are two different concepts. This difference and its impact are more worthy of attention during a period of translation when the differences in power between China and the United States during a period in which the relative powers of China and the United States are becomes more equal and then shifts. The security concept is a systematic presentation of national security thinking, which is based on the country’s material foundations and cultural environment, and formed through the practice of domestic political practice. Differences in the security concepts between China and the United States include differences on these three levels: cultural background, political foundation and implementation mechanism.

   (1) Cultural background

  As a systematic refinement of national security thinking, the national security concept is influenced by the different cultural backgrounds of various countries. Cultural background factors, including cultural traditions and security culture, determine the security concept formed by different countries. For example, whether it emphasizes binary opposition or tolerance of differences, whether it focuses on cooperation or conflict resolution, and whether it emphasizes overall interests or individual rational interests.

   First, cultural traditions. American culture emphasizes individuals shaping their own values, as does the country. Although American society pays attention to personal boundaries and privacy between individuals, the United States also feels that it has a universal culture and is committed to promoting its own democratic values to the world. This is also driven by American religious culture. Americans pay attention to the definition of interests and personal boundaries in their interactions. Therefore, the determination of security interests and threats has become the core of the US national security concept and security strategy. Dualistic thinking constitutes the basis for the determination of security interests. The clear dual definition of security interests and their maintenance is also influenced by the US “low context culture”, that is, the security interests and threats to the United States can be clearly defined, and are not affected by relationships, culture and situation as contextual factors. .

   China’s cultural traditions, however, are collectivism and relationship-oriented, so China’s national security concept also has more collective and ideological orientation. China’s own security is inseparable from the security situation of other countries and the international community. At the same time, China’s security goals include not only its own security, but also the promotion of international security and global peace and stability. China has specifically divided its national security concept into eleven areas of security, and believes that these eleven security areas are interconnected and inseparable. In addition, Chinese cultural tradition emphasizes peace and harmony, and pays attention to the resolution of with each other’s security dilemmas and competitions in an inclusive and mutually acceptable manner, rather than obtaining their own absolute security by eliminating their opponents.

   Second, security culture. The American security culture is a concept of absolute security based on its own typical individualist culture. Under the influence of individualistic rational interest thinking, security is relatively zero sum game, especially for actors who are confronting or competing with one another. The US national security culture values the clear definition of security and security threats. That culture holds that only by eliminating insecurity or security threats can it be secure. And alliances and building military strength building have become the basic means and strategies for eliminating security threats. Moreover, security threats come to be seen from the perspective of values to make them consistent with the US pursuit of homogenization-oriented security, that is, as long as I turn you into the same type of person as I am, security threats will disappear and security relations will be reshaped. The security culture of the United States focuses on shaping the decisive elements of its own national security. Therefore, the United States has been in a state of security anxiety to a certain extent, constantly searching for enemies, eliminating them, enhancing its strength, and seeking absolute security.

   China’s security culture emphasizes interdependence, collectivism and possibilities for cooperation. Security is a status achieved through relationships. The status of security is achieved by through an mutual adjustments that optimize relationship and not unilaterally by military means. The achievement and optimization of the security state depends on the adjustment of the interrelationship rather than the solution of simple military means. There is no zero-sum game relationship between security and national interests. This relationship between the two can be optimized to form a security status of cooperation and collective security. Founded as it is on the principles of dialogue and consultation, China’s national security culture emphasizes the transformation and resolution of possible external threats through dialogue, as well as the desire for peaceful and harmonious coexistence and needs of building a community of shared human destiny. The relationship of the various aspects of domestic security and its maintenance to international security is seen holistically in China’s interconnected national security culture. A distinctive feature of China’s national security is that it is understood from the perspective of overall national security and systemic connections among all its elements both foreign and domestic.

   (2) Political Foundations

   The political basis of security concepts means that a country’s security concept must go through the socialization mechanism of national politics in order to define national security goals, interests and strategies that are aligned with the cultural background of the country. On the one hand, the concept of security is influenced by national power, which is the material basis of the concept of security; on the other hand, the concept of security is built within the a particular country’s political ideology and political system and so reflects the country’s specific political values and tendencies.

   First, national strength. The different national security views of China and the United States are determined by their respective strengths and positions in the international arena. The national strength, international status, ideology, geographical environment, and historical culture of China and the United States are the foundations of the differences in the security concepts of the two countries.

   Due to its unique geographic location and the important role it played during the two world wars, the national strength gradually surpassed that of traditional hegemons and became the world’s unique superpower. Driven by this, the national security concept of the United States has changed from isolationism to globalism. The United States’ own values and ways of thinking methods are also reflected in its security concept. Offshore checks and balances have become the main strategy of the United States. During the years immediately following the founding of the United States, the United States has been threatened by factors such as European countries and immigration, and has always implemented defensive security strategies in response to these challenges. After it strength had gradually grown into global dominance, the United States incorporated global interests into its own security interests, and gradually adopted liberal internationalism as the basis for a promoting global order. Since the Trump administration came to power, the United States has begun to backtrack on its support for liberal internationalism, and go back to the U.S. first concept of maintaining US national security, retreating from the international stage to just relying upon itself. This process is also a reflection in the national security concept of the United States of the relative decline of U.S. national strength.

   China has always adhered to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and advocated the principles of international security relations based on the basic values of equality, fairness and justice. This has also been affected to some extent by China’s own strength. China’s own security values arise because of China’s own relative decline in power and the colonial aggression its suffered from in modern times. Thus China, which is in a relatively weak position in international competition, its own security values tends to reflect more the demands of the weak, emphasizing the basic principles of equality, fairness and justice. As China has become stronger, the global vision of the equality of states based upon the central position in the world order which China previous occupied in history has become the foundation of China’s foreign security concept. Therefore, pursuing a new global security concept that furthers the goal of building of a community of shared future for mankind has become an important goal of China’s foreign security strategy in the new era.

   Second, ideology. The United States boasts that it represents the tide favoring the Western democratic political countries in today’s world. In the process of foreign policy and maintaining security, the American democratic values and the deep philosophical foundation behind it are exposed. Based on its so-called democratic values, the United States regards whether a country is democratic or not as an important basis for determining whether or not it is a security threat. Therefore, ideology not only determines U.S. assessments of external threats, but also reflects the dualistic thinking of U.S. security assessments. That is that threat of non-democratic countries must be eliminated by means of there transformation to democracy or by military means. The United States’ external security thinking embodies its long-standing ideological roots. However during the Trump era, the United States has returned to using realism and pragmatism as the ideological bases for assessing its national security.

   From an ideological point of view, China is not among the Western-style democratic systems recognized by the United States. The nature of China’s socialist system determine that China’s security concept advocates the principles of equality, justice, tolerance and pluralism, and does not view the security competition between countries as a zero-sum game. On this basis, China’s national security takes the people’s security as its purpose and political security as its foundation, is determined by its socialist ideology.

   (3) Implementation Mechanism

  In the light of historical developments, the national security views of both both China and the United States will also undergo corresponding changes, The forces driving these changes are the inherent tension and balance between their national strategic culture and the security concepts of their national leaders. Strategic cultures are relatively static. National views in those areas accumulate over time in the course of the implementation of strategy and its goals. The security views of leader are affected by many factors including leadership turnovers and changes in power. These changes also affect national security concepts.

   First, strategic culture. Strategic culture or thinking is one of the more fundamental internal elements that determines a country’s security and strategic choices. The strategic thinking of the United States is influenced by its own history, the growth of its national strength, and the specific environment of international strategic competition. Generally speaking, US foreign strategic thinking is more militant, embodying its idealistic color, emphasizing that the interests of the United States are global, and not just limited to the United States. The characteristics of American strategic thinking are logical thinking, thinking in categories, mechanical thinking, and externalized thinking. All along, the maintenance of US external security has kept the battlefield and locales of competition outside the homeland. Only terrorism, an unconventional force, has changed the traditional strategic thinking of the United States. In addition, realism is also the foundation of American strategic thinking in its emphasis on the importance of power and strength. Therefore, building world-class absolute military strength and realizing the projection of US power and strategic layout globally are the basic considerations of US foreign strategy and security.

   There is much debate about whether China’s strategic thinking is offensive or defensive. Western scholars have always used foreign actions and power development as the basis for analyzing China’s strategic thinking, and concluded that China is offensive strategic thinking. This conclusion is inconsistent with China’s own characteristics. China’s security maintenance is defensive and passively reactive. Only when its own security interests are harmed, China uses force and other means to maintain its own interests. Both political and strategic communication in diplomacy are security maintenance methods that adhere to the principles of consultation and dialogue. China’s security maintenance motives include national interests, threats, and challenges. Non-material elements such as honor, self-esteem, and national sentiment are among its deeper motivations. Therefore, China’s security strategic thinking is not based on pure realist philosophy.

   Second, security beliefs. Before and just after World War I, the idealistic foreign policy tradition represented by President Wilson of the United States based on the concept of free and democratic values, made a run at dominating foreign security policy of the United States. Different security philosophies in the United States are promoted by different leaders, reflecting the changes in the United States’ own strength and the role of different strategic traditions. In in addition to Wilson’s idealistic diplomatic tradition, there is also the Hamiltonian tradition that privileges business interests and Jacksonianism that stresses military strength. The Trump period opened a new stage of reconsidering US national security, that is, a reflection on the previous security concept based on the liberal international order, and has been a new shrinking of US security interests from the international level to the national level. This change was influenced by the leader’s own personality and policy ideas, but the foundation of current mainstream position in US national security thinking is the change in the strength of the United States.

   China’s own national security concepts reflect changes in the security beliefs of different collective leaderships. The specific leaders’ own experiences and values influence their choice of how to define security threats and challenges and how to respond. For example, leaders since reform and opening up have attached importance to development and the need for an international peaceful environment, which has also determined China’s pursuit of a new security concept. Now that China’s own power has grown faster and the power balance between China and the United States has become more even, China’s security concept embraces more specific global concerns and less simply the maintenance of China’s own security interests.

Conclusion

   In the era of Sino-US strategic competition, differences in security thinking and concepts significantly constrain the effectiveness of strategic communication between the two sides. A comparative analysis of the security concepts of China and the United States can help avoid strategic communication errors and enhance the strategic understanding of both sides.

   First of all, we must be alert to strategic miscalculations in a situation in which power is asymmetric. The relative strengths of and changes in those relative strengths between China and the United States are fundamental elements in the different national security concepts of the two countries. As a hegemonic country in relative decline, the United States has become more sensitive to the growth of China’s strength growth and the its related defensive foreign strategies and behaviors, and it has become easier for the United States to regard China as the most dangerous and “malicious” competitor.

  Second, we need to avoid the adverse effects of cultural differences on communications between the two countries on security issues. The difference between Chinese and American security thinking is highly consistent with the difference between Chinese and American cultural cognition. For example, the unitary and pluralistic view on differences in values, the difference between hostile thinking and inclusive thinking, and the difference between taking actions to try to make systems alike and the idea of seeking common ground while reserving differences. With this understood, the security concept also embodies awareness of how culture and cognitive styles affect security concepts. In the process of strategic communication between China and the United States, the respective security culture characteristics of both sides will determine the nature, strategic choices, reasons and attribution of responsibility for problems and the ways in which problems are resolved.

   Third, stress the importance of establishing confidence in the reliability of intentions to cooperate. The core issue of Sino-U.S. strategic communication is the effective and credible expression and understanding of each other’s intentions to cooperate. If this problem cannot be overcome, China and the United States will have difficulties resolving uncertainties in each other’s strategic intent. The path from there leads to security difficulties and conflicts like the “Thucydides trap”. In the concept of security goals and ways to achieve them, China and the United States have different understandings of how to assess the credibility of cooperation intentions. The Chinese way is for both sides working together to shape the status of the situation and their relationships so that both sides can confirm the will to cooperate and the non-malicious intentions of the other side. The American security concept, embodies realist thinking, focusing on strength and assessments of intention colored by ideology and has the tendency to resolve issues through strategic conflict and other methods. Both sides relying on their respective strategic cultural habits has given rise to many problems in the credible understanding of intentions in the China – United States strategic communication process.

  Traditional research on the Sino-US strategic relationship research focuses on the formation of strategic consensus, coordination of strategic interests, and management of differences. The direction of the China-US relationship of strategic competition depends on the development of the relative strengths of both sides and the effective use of strength. Correctly understanding the specific characteristics of each other’s security concepts and how they affect strategic communication will certainly be one of the micro-strategic building blocks that will affect the direction of this relationship. (Notes omitted)

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Name: Yin Jiwu

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中美国家安全观比较分析

2020年07月06日

来源:《当代世界与社会主义》2020年第3期 作者:尹继武字号打印推荐

  内容提要:安全观是国家安全思维的系统化呈现。剖析中国与美国的国家安全观的差异,是促进中美相互正确认知、增加战略沟通成效的重要环节。对于彼此战略意图和行动的判断,成为中国和美国国家安全观中他者构建的主要内容,中美两国的国家安全观建立于相互关系定位和发展预判之上。美国是“安全威胁”范式,中国是“安全状态”范式。在安全维度、安全区分思维、安全措施、安全价值等方面,中美的国家安全观存在系统的差别,其背后有深刻的文化背景、政治基础以及实践机制等多维的塑造力量。正确认识中美国家安全观的差别及其原因,有助于规避中美战略沟通过程中的偏差,增进双方安全合作关系。

    关键词:国家安全观 战略沟通 安全状态 安全威胁

    作者简介:中国人民大学国际关系学院教授

  安全观是国家安全思维的系统化呈现,安全战略则是为维护和达成安全状态而需要采取的系统性的策略及方法。有诸多因素影响中美战略沟通及其成效,安全观或思维的差异是中美双方在安全状态与威胁判断、安全利益界定及维护安全手段选择等方面存在差异的原因,而主流的权力转移理论并未重点考察安全观与安全思维的影响。本文聚焦于国家安全观的比较分析,以中国和美国为对象,系统分析中美两国在国家安全观上的差异及其原因。美国是影响中国国家安全最为重要的外部行为者,因此系统了解并比较分析中美两国在安全观上的差异,是处理中美关系、塑造良好的中国国家安全环境的必要环节。

  中国对于美国的战略意图和行动的判断,成为中国国家安全观中他者构建的主要内容,而冷战结束后,美国对于中国的战略定位,是美国国家安全战略中威胁判断的主要内容之一。因此,中美双方对于对方安全思维的正确理解,是两国促合作、规避冲突的基础性工作。中国和美国的安全关系,是决定未来世界政治权力格局走向的一个核心要素。

  中美国家安全观的类型差别

  中美国家安全观分属两种不同的安全范式,美国是“安全威胁”范式,而中国是“安全状态”范式。美国重视《国家安全战略报告》的制定与发布,自1987年起每届政府均将制定国家安全战略作为自身的一项重要战略任务,但不会系统地阐述美国的国家安全观。中国会系统阐述自身的安全观,例如,从1996年的新安全观到2014年的总体国家安全观,但中国从未发布国家安全战略报告,而是通过系列的国防白皮书、安全议题的白皮书等形式,向国际社会表明自身的安全观。

  美国国家安全观的基本范式为“威胁范式”,而中国国家安全观的基本范式为“状态范式”。“威胁范式”首要的任务是界定国家安全威胁的来源。自二战后,对于国家安全威胁的界定及应对措施,是美国国家安全战略中最为核心的部分。冷战时期,美国将苏联界定为战略威胁及应对对象;冷战结束后,美国对核心威胁的界定一度出现迷失;“9·11”恐怖袭击后,美国将恐怖主义作为安全威胁最为核心的来源;恐怖主义威胁渐渐获得阶段性的缓解后,特朗普政府在《国家安全战略报告》中又将中国和俄罗斯列为美国的主要安全威胁。从这个角度来看,美国国家安全观的核心要务,就是界定国家安全的威胁来源。这种威胁来源无论是否真实,都是聚焦于特定的国家或非国家行为体。

  从威胁的判定来看,美国对于国家安全首要威胁来源的判定依据,主要为对方的能力和意图。一方面,从实力评估的角度,判定相关国家或非国家行为体对于美国国家安全可能带来的威胁,其基础在于对评估对象的国家能力,尤其是军事能力与战略行为的评估;另一方面,从意图评估来看,美国对安全威胁的界定取决于很多因素,其中评估对象的意识形态、政治制度等有重要的影响。美国对于安全与冲突的一个重要假定,就是基于“民主和平论”,即民主国家之间不会相互成为安全威胁对象。冷战后,美国国家安全的首要威胁,在大国战略竞争与非传统安全威胁之间徘徊。

  中国的国家安全观是一种“安全状态”范式,中国重点关注的是对于国家安全状态的现实威胁与挑战。这种挑战既可以来自于某一特定行为或势力,如在中国共产党历次全国代表大会的报告和中国的国防系列白皮书中,均将霸权主义、强权政治以及分裂势力看做是对世界和平与中国国家安全状态的挑战。基于此,中国在安全形势的论述中,一般从对当前的国际和国内安全形势的描述开始,继而将影响中国国家安全状态的重要因素梳理出来,包括对国际安全形势和中国周边局势的基本判断等。例如,在2019年发布的《新时代的中国国防》白皮书中,将中国国家安全面临的风险与挑战归纳为“国际战略格局深刻演变、亚太安全形势总体稳定、国家安全面临的风险挑战不容忽视”多个层次,尤其关注美国单边主义的战略举动和中国国土安全面临的威胁,同时突出新时期非传统安全的挑战。与美国的安全威胁的具体界定不同,中国对于安全威胁与挑战的阐述,可能是具体的国家,也可能是地区的安全局势,或者是具体国家的特定行为,如美国的对台军售、日本的军国主义行为等。中国界定国家安全挑战,重在辨析清楚对中国国家安全局势现状产生影响和挑战的各种因素,同时系统阐述中国倡导的安全原则、中国呼吁的理想安全秩序以及愿景。

  中美国家安全观差异的具体表现

  中美两国的国家安全观基于两种不同的安全思维,美国强调安全威胁及其应对,而中国关注安全状态的威胁与挑战。这两种不同的安全范式,具体表现在安全维度、安全区分思维、安全措施和安全价值等领域有着系统的差异。

  (一) 安全维度的差异

  美国国家安全观传统上所针对的安全内涵是单维度的,聚焦于军事安全维度。这种威胁一般与外部强有力的挑战者与竞争者联系在一起,例如,冷战时期,美苏两国在军事与科技、全球势力范围等领域开展了战略竞争。而后,美国国家安全的内涵逐渐扩大,从传统的军事安全扩展到非传统的恐怖主义安全威胁,直接表现为“9·11”恐怖袭击导致的对美国国家安全观念和战略的调整。随着恐怖主义等非传统安全威胁成为美国最主要的安全威胁来源,美国从关注国际或国外安全,转为重点关注美国本土国家安全以及外部的传统与非传统安全威胁。随着全球化进程的加快,加之美国与全球联系中所产生的各种非传统安全议题对于美国自身的安全与认同的挑战增多,美国对于移民、技术扩散、能源等非传统安全议题的关注也逐渐增多。在此背景下,特朗普对于本土安全与利益的强调,获得了国内的支持,体现了美国杰克逊和汉密尔顿学派的外交传统。美国国家安全观突出维护传统安全与非传统安全的军事手段,也将一贯自诩的价值观、发展模式等内容归入国家安全目标之内。

  与美国侧重于强调军事安全相比,中国强调的是综合与总体国家安全,集中体现为2014年中国领导人提出的总体国家安全观,将中国的国家安全构建为包含11个领域的国家安全体系。中国国家安全体系中,最为根本的是政治安全,尤其是政权安全和制度安全,而人民安全是国家安全的宗旨。由此观之,中国的国家安全将国际安全与国内安全有机结合在一起,对于安全威胁与挑战来源的判断也不仅仅从军事安全威胁角度考虑,而是更为强调国内外恐怖主义和分离主义势力对于国家主权和领土完整的挑战。在国家安全体系中,中国的国家安全是一项系统的工程,综合了传统安全与非传统安全,国内安全与国际安全,政治安全、经济安全、军事安全、社会安全与文化安全等多种范畴。

  (二) 安全区分思维的差异

  美国的安全思维建立在一种二元对立的敌我思维基础之上。在不同时期,美国的“敌人”是不同的,从冷战时期的苏联,到后来的恐怖主义,再到如今将中国和俄罗斯作为竞争对手,都体现了美国必须聚焦于塑造核心的安全威胁者。美国安全文化中对于敌我二元区分的基本原则,在政治和外交领域也表现得较为突出,例如,在政治和意识形态领域,以“民主”和“非民主”作为区分其他国家政体的基本标准,并以此作为美国对外关系的基本原则。当然,基于双重标准,美国又经常遵循现实主义的利益原则,而非意识形态的标准。在对外关系领域,基于民主扩散的基本理念,美国的理想主义色彩较重,以威尔逊主义最为典型。

  美国的安全思维,体现为以对象国的实力与意图作为评判其是否对美国具有敌意或威胁的标准,进而,在确定安全的措施时,将消灭敌人作为获得安全的基本方式。这是一种二元对立的思维,不是共存、包容与相互转换的系统思维,美国的霸权行为具有国内宗教、意识形态和政治根源。

  中国的国家安全观是一种系统的安全思维。从20世纪80年代开始,中国在对外关系中就确立了不结盟政策,不以意识形态划线,只根据事情自身的是非曲直决定自己的立场和政策的基本原则。中国国家安全的维护并不是建立在树立敌人、消灭敌人的理念基础之上。从1996年提出树立互信、互利、平等和协作的新安全观,到2014年提出的总体国家安全观,结合中国外交中的和谐世界、人类命运共同体理念来看,中国的国家安全观基于合作安全的原则,强调的是求同存异,而非消灭异己。中国国家安全的维护,并不是建立在明确界定中国国家安全的“敌人”的基础之上,而是通过平等基础上的合作、共同协商、互谅互让等“协商理性”的精神,化解差异与矛盾,寻求利益汇合点,通过合作获得共同利益,必要时可以将争议和矛盾搁置一边。从而,中国的国家安全与其他相关国家的国家安全之间并不是零和博弈的关系,而是可以相互促进,相互获益的。

  (三) 安全措施的差异

  美国的国家安全观强调通过军事手段,通过战争等方式消灭来自国外的安全威胁。其一,战略军事的竞争。美国要保持自身在军事上的绝对优势和安全,所以在军事技术领域寻求创新,保持优势,从而维持战略上的威慑力和强制力。在冷战时期,美苏之间就展开了常规、核武器等领域的军备竞赛,这加剧了国际安全的紧张局势。其二,通过使用武力等战略打击手段消除安全威胁。美苏大国竞争是一种冷战的状态,在相关地区进行代理人战争等低烈度战争。冷战结束后,美国通过单边的军事行动,试图消除恐怖主义的威胁,配合相关的“民主改造”计划,塑造对美友好的地区力量。其三,通过联盟的方式加强美国的安全维护网络。联盟成为美国对外战略的基本支柱。美国通过建立世界性的军事网络,在全球实现战略利益维护以及安全威胁应对的目标。联盟以及军事基地的建设,为美国在全球维护军事安全奠定了强大的战略盟友支持。

  中国在维护自身国家安全的措施选择上体现了自己的特色。其一,中国强调政治与和平对话的重要性,奉行防御性国防政策。在领土边界争端、发展大国关系以及维护周边地区安全局势等议题中,中国一直倡导非武力的解决方式,也始终坚持和平共处五项原则、和平解决国际争端的国际规范。其二,中国强调结伴而不结盟,不以军事联盟的方式维护国家安全。在新中国建立初期,中国在一段时间内采取了“一边倒”的外交政策,但随着中国对外政策的调整以及对于联盟政策负面效应的认识,自20世纪80年代以来中国采取了不结盟的政策。如今中国奉行“结伴而不结盟”的政策,秉持非对抗性、和平协商解决国际争端的基本态度,通过建设各种类型的伙伴关系,寻求政治合作、维护国家安全。其三,合作化解分歧,获得共同安全。从新安全观到总体国家安全观,中国试图向国际社会展示一种有别于西方霸权冲突安全观的和谐安全观,即基于共同、综合、合作和可持续的安全观,以和平、合作作为共同的目标。中国强调并尊重国家之间的差异,以不干涉内政作为基本原则,寻求与不同国家之间的利益共同点。

  (四) 安全价值的差异

  美国安全价值的选择表现如下。其一,二元对立的价值。基于美国的文化传统以及安全的价值标准,美国对于国家安全的威胁评判突显二元的对立,即清晰评判相关行为体威胁美国安全的能力与意图。美国对于国家安全的追求主要基于政治上的意识形态标准,即民主国家的非威胁性以及非民主国家在意图上的威胁性。这里同样体现出一种二元对立的安全哲学。其二,国家安全的个体理性特色。美国将联盟作为美国国家安全的全球战略支援体系的基础,这种安全的护持是基于美国国家安全的个体理性,即美国的安全是安全的核心,而美国所谓的“民主”“自由”等价值理念受到威胁,具有相应的策略性和双重标准。美国自身在本土和国家安全方面受到的军事威胁,成为美国国家安全最为关注的目标。其三,绝对安全的追求。美国基于自身全球超级大国的地位,在安全追求上具有相应的进攻性,以自身的绝对优势作为安全的基础,因此在质量和数量上必须树立美国的优势。

  中国的安全价值选择则体现了一定的多元性、集体性和相对性。其一,中国的安全价值是包容共存的。从中国与国际社会的关系来说,中国自身的生存哲学是共存,而非二元对立的非兼容性思维。对于安全威胁和挑战,也体现了一定的辩证思维,即安全的有利因素与不利因素之间是可以相互转换的。其二,安全的系统性与集体性。安全的维护是一个系统的工程,而中国国家安全的内涵也是系统的,其中11个安全领域是紧密联系的关系。从中国的国家安全与其他国家以及国际社会的安全的关系来看,中国强调相互依存和系统的辩证关系,即以互信、互利、平等、协作的方式,共同解决彼此的安全问题,从而实现合作安全和集体安全。其三,安全的相对性。中国总体的安全战略是积极防御的,即通过防御性的安全维护力量,实现中国国内安全与国际安全的平衡,对外“坚持永不称霸、永不扩张、永不谋求势力范围”。在军事安全手段的建设方面,中国强调技术上的进步,改变落后就要挨打的状态,而非追求绝对的安全状态及相应的手段支持。总体上,中国的安全哲学是一种积极防御性的、注重多元平衡与系统状态维系的安全文化。

  安全思维的政治化过程: 中美国家安全观差异的原因

  中美的国家安全观是一对具有相对差异性的范畴,在中美权力接近与转移时期,这种差异及其影响更为值得关注。安全观是国家安全思维的系统化呈现,而安全思维又是基于国家的物质基础和文化环境,在政治实践中形成的,中美国家安全观差异的形成原因包含三个层面:文化背景、政治基础和实践机制。

  (一) 文化背景

  作为国家安全思维方式的系统化提炼,安全观受到不同国家文化背景的影响。文化背景因素包括文化传统和安全文化,决定了不同国家形成的安全观的本体价值取向,例如,是强调二元对立还是多元包容,是侧重合作还是冲突的解决方式,是重视总体利益还是个体理性利益等。

  第一,文化传统。美国文化注重个体价值理念的塑造,作为国家也是如此。虽然美国社会注重个体之间的边界与隐私,但是美国更有一种普世的情结,致力于将自身的民主价值理念推广到全球,这也是受到美国宗教文化的驱使。美国人际交往中注重对于利益及其边界的界定,因此,对于安全利益及威胁的判定成为美国国家安全观和安全战略的核心内容,而二元对立的思维构成了安全利益判定的基础。对于安全利益及其维护的清晰二元界定,也受到美国“低背景文化”的影响,即美国的安全利益和威胁是可以进行清晰界定的,不受作为背景因素的关系、文化和情境等影响。

  而中国的文化传统是集体主义和关系导向的,所以中国的国家安全观也具有更多的集体,主义倾向。中国自身的安全与其他国家以及国际社会安全的情势是密不可分的,同时中国的安全目标不仅仅包括自身的安全,也包括促进国际安全和全球的和平与稳定。中国将自身国家安全内涵具体细化为11个安全领域,而且认为这11个安全领域是相互联系、不可分割的。此外,中国文化传统中强调和平与和谐,注重以包容、兼容的方式处理相互之间的安全困境和博弈,而非以消灭对手的方式获得自身的绝对安全。

  第二,安全文化。美国的安全文化是建立在典型的个体主义文化基础上的绝对安全的理念。在个体主义的理性思维影响下,安全具有相对的零和性,尤其是对于相互处于竞争状态或对抗状态下的行为体而言。美国国家安全文化重视安全与安全威胁的清晰界定,只有在消除不安全或安全威胁的基础上,才能实现自身的安全。而联盟和实力建设成为消除安全威胁的基本手段与策略,同时从价值观方面对相关安全威胁加以改造,使之符合美国对于同质性安全的追求,即只要我把你变成同一类人,那么安全威胁就会消失,安全关系就会重塑。美国的安全文化注重对自身国家安全的决定性要素的塑造,因此,美国在一定程度上一直处于安全焦虑之中,不断地寻找敌人,消灭敌人,增强实力,寻求绝对的安全状态。

  中国的安全文化强调相互依存性以及集体与合作的可能性。安全是一种相互关系的状态,安全状态的达成和优化取决于对相互关系的调适,而非简单的军事手段的解决。另外,安全利益之间并非是零和博弈的关系,而是可以通过优化形成合作与集体安全的状态。基于对话和协商的路径,中国的国家安全文化强调通过对话来转化和化解外部可能的威胁,同时强调和平与和谐共处的愿望以及人类命运共同体的诉求。在国内安全的类型及维护上,中国安全文化中的系统性和联系性也表现得较为突出,以总体国家安全观和系统联系性看待中国的安全建构。

  (二) 政治基础

  安全观的政治基础是指一国的安全观必须经过国家政治的社会化机制,从而对各自文化背景下的国家安全目标、利益和策略等进行界定。一方面,安全观受到国家实力的影响,国家实力是安全观的物质基础;另一方面,安全观是建立在相关的政治意识形态和体制之内的,反映了特定的政治价值和倾向。

  第一,国家实力。中美各自不同的国家安全观是由其各自的实力及在国际上的实力位置所决定的。中美两国的国家实力、国际地位、意识形态以及地缘环境和历史文化是两国安全观差异的基础。

  美国由于其独特的地理位置以及在两次世界大战期间发挥的重要作用,国家实力逐渐超越传统的霸权国,上升为世界超级大国。受此驱动,美国的国家安全观从孤立主义走向全球主义,美国自身的价值理念和思维方式也在安全观中得到体现,离岸制衡成为美国的主要策略。美国在建国后一段时期内,自身的实力受到欧陆大国、移民等因素的威胁,一直实施防御性的安全战略。在实力逐渐在全球占据优势后,美国将全球范围内的利益纳入到自身的安全利益内涵之中,也逐渐将自由国际主义作为推行全球秩序的基础。直到特朗普政府上台以来,开始扭转自由国际主义的秩序理念,重新回归美国优先的安全维护理念,从国际回归到国家本身,也是美国自身实力的相对衰落和安全反思的结果。

  中国一直坚持和平共处五项原则,倡导基于平等、公平和正义等基本价值的国际安全关系原则,这在某种程度上也受到中国自身实力的影响。由于近现代史上实力相对衰落并遭受到殖民侵略,在国际竞争中处于相对弱势地位的中国,其自身倡导的安全价值更多反映了弱者的诉求,强调以平等、公平和正义为基本的原则。在中国实力逐渐发展后,中国历史上曾经具有的中心地位下的全球公平视野成为中国对外安全理念的基础。因此,追求新安全观下推动构建人类命运共同体的全球安全理念成为新时期中国对外安全战略诉求的重要目标。

  第二,意识形态。美国自诩代表着当今世界的西方民主政治国家潮流,在对外政策和安全维护过程中,美国的民主价值理念及其背后深刻的哲学基础显露无遗。美国基于其所谓的民主价值理念,将是否是民主国家作为判断安全威胁来源的重要依据。所以,意识形态不仅决定着美国对外的威胁评判,也反映了美国在安全判断中的二元对立思维,即非民主国家的威胁必须以民主和军事改造的方式消除。美国的对外安全思维体现了其长久的意识形态根基,尽管特朗普时期美国回归到将现实主义和实用主义作为安全构建的思想基础。

  从意识形态来看,中国并不在美国所认可的西方民主制度之列。中国的社会主义制度属性,决定了中国在安全观的倡议方面,坚持的是平等、正义、包容和多元的原则,并非以零和博弈的游戏规则来看待国家间的安全博弈。在此基础上,中国的国家安全以人民安全为宗旨、政治安全为根本,这是由社会主义意识形态所决定的。

  (三) 实践机制

  从历史动态来看,中美的国家安全观也会发生相应的变化,其变化的动力来源于国家战略文化和领导人的安全信念之间的内在张力及平衡。战略文化相对而言是静态的,是国家长期沉淀积累的关于战略及其目标实现的信条,而领导人的安全信念会受到领导人更替、实力变迁等诸多因素的影响,这种变化会 对国家安全观产生影响。

  第一,战略文化。战略文化或思维是更为基础性的、决定一国安全与战略选择的内在要素。美国的战略思维受到其自身的历史、国家实力的增长以及特定的国际战略博弈环境的影响。总体来说,美国对外战略思维更具有进攻性,体现了自身的理想主义色彩,强调美国的利益边界在全球,而非仅仅局限于美国国土之内。美国战略思维的特性表现为逻辑思维、类属思维、机械思维和外化思维。一直以来,美国对外安全的维护,将战场与博弈地点控制在本土之外,只有恐怖主义这种非传统力量才改变了美国的传统战略思维。此外,现实主义也是美国战略思维的根基,强调力量与实力的重要性。因此,建设世界一流的绝对军事实力,实现美国在全球的力量投射与战略布局,是美国对外战略与安全的基本考虑。

  中国的战略思维到底是进攻性还是防御性的,存在着较多的争论。西方学者一直以对外行动和实力发展作为分析中国战略思维的依据,得出中国是进攻性战略思维的结论。这种结论与中国自身的特性并不相符,中国的安全维护是防御性和被动反应式的,在自身安全利益遭受到危害的情况下,中国才使用武力等手段维护自身的利益,而在常规外交中的政治与战略沟通都是坚持协商与对话为主的安全维护方式。中国的安全维护动机包括国家利益,威胁和挑战的回应,如荣誉、自尊、民族情感等非物质性要素是更为深层的内涵。所以,中国的安全战略思维并非是基于纯粹的现实主义哲学。

  第二,安全信念。一战前后,美国总统威尔逊所代表的理想主义的对外政策传统,以自由民主价值理念为基础,试图主导当时美国的对外安全政策理念,但直到二战前后这一理念才在国内获得较高的政治认可。美国不同的安全哲学都是受到特定领导人的推动,反映了美国自身实力变化、不同战略传统的作用——除了威尔逊理想主义外交传统外,还包括重视商业利益的汉弥尔顿主义、重视军事实力的杰克逊主义等。特朗普时期开启了美国国家安全新的阶段性的反思,即对先前自由主义国际秩序的反思,将美国的安全利益重新从国际层面向国家层面收缩。这种变化受到领导人自身个性和政策理念的影响,但美国自身实力的变化是其在当前能够占据主流地位的基础。

  中国国家安全观的变化体现了不同领导集体的安全信念变化。特定领导人自身的经历和价值观影响了他们对于安全威胁和挑战的界定及应对方式的选择。例如,改革开放以来的领导人,对于发展的重视以及国际和平环境的需求,同样决定了中国对于新安全观的追求。在中国自身实力发展更快,中美之间的权力对比更为接近时,中国的安全观更多地具有全球性关怀,而不仅仅局限于中国自身安全利益的维护。

  结语

  在中美战略竞争的时代,安全思维和观念差异对于双方之间战略沟通的成效有着显著的制约作用。对中美国家安全观进行比较分析,有助于规避战略沟通误差,增进双方战略理解。

  首先,要警惕权力非对称下的战略误解。中美之间的实力对比及其变化是中美在国家安全观上存在差异的基础要素。作为处于相对衰落中的霸权国,美国对于中国的实力增长及其相关防御性的对外战略与行为更为敏感,更容易将中国视为最危险的、具有“恶意”的竞争者。

  其次,规避文化认知差异对于安全沟通的不利影响。中美安全思维的差异与中美文化认知差异具有高度的一致性,例如,一元与多元的价值对立、敌我思维与包容思维的差异以及同质化措施与求同存异理念的差异等。基于这种认识,安全观也体现了国家安全观念的文化认知特性,那么中美在战略沟通过程中,双方各自的安全文化特性,对中美关于战略问题的性质判定、策略选择、原因和责任推断以及问题解决方式等都会产生影响。

  第三,重视合作意图可信性的塑造。中美战略沟通的核心问题是双方对于彼此合作意图的有效、可信的传递与理解,否则中美难以解决彼此战略意图中的不确定性,容易走向诸如“修昔底德陷阱”之类的安全困境冲突之中。在关于安全目标及其实现途径的观念中,中美对于合作意图的可信性认知存在不同的理解。中国的方式是,以状态和关系的塑造确认彼此意图的合作性与非恶意,在策略上偏向于协商、沟通与合作等方式。而美国的安全观体现了现实主义的思维,以实力和意识形态属性对意图进行判定,尤其侧重战略冲突等方式。这种对于各自战略文化习惯的倚重,导致中美在战略沟通过程中围绕意图的可信理解存在诸多偏差。

  传统中美战略关系研究大多聚焦于战略共识塑造、战略利益协调和分歧管控等方面。中美战略竞争关系的走向取决于双方的实力发展及对实力的有效运用,而正确认知彼此安全观的特性及其对于战略沟通的作用,无疑是影响这一走向的微观战略基础环节。(注释略)作者简介

姓名:尹继武

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated,with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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