2020: Chinese on US vs. PRC Economy, Science, Education, Outlook for Bilateral Relations

Today I came across this set of three articles comparing the US and China in various dimensions and considering the outlook for bilateral relations.

These three articles are translated below.

  • Comparing US and PRC Statistical Indicators
  • Re-conceptualization of Sino-US Relations under the New Situation  by Zhang Hongzhi (former member (deputy minister) and editorial reviewer of the Institute of Party History and Literature of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China)
  • The Evolution of U.S.-China Relations, Lessons from History and New Factors Affecting the Future by Zhang Baijia (former deputy director of the CPC History Research Office)

I did a quick translation using DeepL and then reviewed the text for accuracy and added some formatting.

The statistics are interesting although straight-off comparisons can be difficult if for example differencces in inflation and purchasing power parity are not considered.

The clear-eyed articles by Zhang Hongzhi and Zhang Baijia I found more interesting than the statistical comparisons. They are serious people, not wolf warriors or foaming-at-the-mouth Global Times journalists. They see that Cold War analogies with the current unpleasantness in US – China bilateral relations are wrong. The US and China are far more involved in each others economies and in other aspects of out national lives such as science, technology and education than the US and the Soviet Union ever were. During the Cold War the world was split into two largely separate blocs; today the world and China in particular have benefited spectacularly by being part of one world. China’s economic growth since 1978, can be attributed largely to ending a thirty year detour into extreme Maoism, realizing productivity gains from improved technology and opening up to the outside world which brought in capital and perhaps as important business management skills from the Chinese disapora in SE Asia and elsewhere as well as from foreign investors.

 Their analysis is typical in the sense that it puts all the blame for deteriorating relations on the US and ignores the decade of Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping.  Understandable when you live in China. The increasing ideology rigidity and repression of dissidents seen in China over the past decade and the (as always) hyper sensitivity of the Chinese Communist Party [I imagine this sensitivity and ever-stronger media controls and the ever-faster publication rate of the leader’s wise books to be a sign of weakness rather than strength] to foreign criticism will likely produce some unhappy incidents in the future. One can quibble, but Zhang Hongzhi and Zhang Baijia, both professional Communist Party historians, are worth reading — as historians perhaps they benefit from the long view. The quality of work on the history of the Chinese Communist Party done within China has become much better and interesting over the past two decades [though increasingly battered under Xi!]. Not just propaganda sheets anymore. See for example some of my earlier translations:


Excerpted from | Macro Strategy

40个指标透析数据里的中美差距:真的巨大

文摘自 | 宏战略

Before and after the trade war, some people believe that China’s economic, technological, educational, cultural and military strengths have surpassed those of the United States, while others believe that China will not be able to surpass the United States in 100 years, and the arrogant and delusional argue more than once. Two years ago, we compared the gap between China and the U.S. with 40 indicators in our book “Filling the Second Economic Power Trap: The Gap Between China and the U.S. and Where It’s Going”. Two years later, for the first time, the number of China’s Fortune 500 companies surpassed that of the United States, and the business environment improved 32 places from the previous year, with the same 40 indicators, with the United States leading in 68% of the indicators and China leading in 32%. Our leading indicators are still quantitative indicators, the U.S. economy has a clear advantage in quality indicators, and the gap between China and the U.S. in science, technology and education indicators is even greater.

I. National Power Patterns: A Developed Country and a Developing Country

The Gap between a Developed and a Developing Country

The United States is the only superpower in the world today, ranking first in the world in economy, science and technology, education and military power, and is the world’s economic, scientific and technological, talent and military center. Data show that the United States has strong comprehensive national power and high quality development, while China has fast growth and high development potential. The gap between the comprehensive national power of China and the United States is quite obvious, and some gaps are difficult to be bridged in the short term. The “China threat theory” and “China overtaking theory” lack scientific basis, and the “China development theory” is the hard truth.

1. Population: China is 4.3 times larger than the United States

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, China’s total population in 2019 is 1.4 billion, the U.S. is 329 million, China’s land area and population are 1.0 times and 4.3 times that of the U.S. The U.S. urbanization rate is 20 percentage points higher than that of China, and the aging rate is 5 percentage points higher than that of China.

2. Arable land per capita: the U.S. is 5.2 times larger than China

According to the World Bank, the arable land area of the United States was 152,263,000 hectares in 2016, accounting for 10.1% of the world’s total arable land area (150,151,000 hectares), which is the largest arable land area in the world, with 0.47 hectares per capita. China has 118.9 million hectares of arable land, with 0.09 hectares per capita, and the United States has 5.2 times more arable land per capita than China.

3.  The establishment of diplomatic relations: the United States than China 10 more

As of the end of September 2019, all countries in the world except North Korea, Iran and Bhutan, which are 3 countries that have established diplomatic relations with the U.S. There are 180 countries that have established diplomatic relations with China, and there are 10 more countries that have established diplomatic relations with the U.S. than China. According to the “Global Diplomacy Index” report released by the Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute for International Policy in November 2019, China’s total number of foreign offices is 276, three more than the U.S. China has surpassed the U.S. and has the world’s largest diplomatic network.

4. Per capita income: the U.S. is 8.4 times that of China

In 2018, China’s per capita disposable income was about 28,228 yuan, which was about $4,265.7 according to the exchange rate of that year, and the U.S. per capita income was $36,000, and the U.S. per capita disposable income was 8.4 times of China.

5. Consumption expenditure per capita: the United States is 15.2 times that of China

In 2018, the per capita consumption expenditure of Chinese residents was about US$2,823, while that of the United States was US$43,000, and the per capita consumption expenditure of the United States was 15.2 times that of China.

6. Residents’ savings rate: China is 4.8 times that of the United States

Since the 1970s to the present, China’s resident savings rate has always remained at the forefront of the world, since 2010, China’s resident savings rate has continued to decline, and in 2018, China’s resident savings rate was 36.8%, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the resident savings rate in 2018 was about 7.6%.

7. Housing area per capita: the United States is 1.7 times that of China

According to the data of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the per capita housing floor area of the country’s residents in 2018 was 39 square meters, and the information of the United States shows that the per capita housing area of the United States is about 65 square meters, and the per capita housing area of the United States is 1.7 times that of China.

8. The average life expectancy: the United States is 2.1 years more than China

The “2018 China Health and Health Development Statistics Bulletin” released by the National Health Commission shows that the average life expectancy of Chinese residents was 77 years in 2018, an increase of 42 years compared with 35 years in 1949. According to the 2018 World Health Statistics published by the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy in the United States is 78.5 years, ranking 34th in the world, while China is 76.4 years, ranking 52nd in the world, and the average life expectancy in the United States is 2.1 years more than that in China.

9. Per capita health care expenditure: the U.S. is 17 times that of China

China’s per capita medical and health expenditure is much lower than that of the United States, at 4,148.1 yuan in 2018, or about $644.5, while the per capita medical and health expenditure of the United States is $11,172 in the same period, 17 times that of China. An important reason for the huge gap between China and the U.S. health care spending is that the U.S. commercial health insurance industry is more developed, while China’s commercial health insurance industry is still in its infancy.

10.  Engel coefficient: China is 3.3 times more than the United States

China’s per capita consumption expenditure increased 107 times from 1978 to 2018. 2018 China’s Engel coefficient is 28.4%, which has entered the ranks of the richest countries recognized by the FAO; the Engel coefficient of the United States is 8.7%, and China is 3.3 times of the United States.

11. Energy consumption per capita: the United States is 3.1 times that of China

According to the World Energy Statistical Yearbook (2019), primary energy consumption in the United States reached 2,300.6 million tons of oil equivalent in 2018, compared with 3,139 million tons of oil equivalent in China, and per capita basic energy consumption in the United States was 294.8 petroleum equivalent, compared with 96.9 petroleum equivalent in China. China’s railroad and highway mileage is equivalent to 58% and 73% of that of the United States; the number of airports in the United States is 29.7 times that of China, and the volume of air transportation is about twice that of China; the length of rail transit operation in the United States is 3.6 times that of China; the logistics development index in China in 2018 is 3.6, which is lower than that of the United States at 3.9.

12.  Museums and libraries: the United States is 5.4 times more than China

Information shows that the United States has 16,700 museums and 16,968 public libraries, with an average of less than 18,000 people having a museum and public library. China’s museums and libraries are about 6,200, and the number of museums and libraries in the United States is 5.4 times that of China.

13. Military Spending: The U.S. is 3.7 times more than China

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden, global military spending reached $1.8 trillion in 2018, the highest in 30 years. The U.S. military spending was $643 billion, accounting for 36% of global military spending, and China was $171.58 billion, making the U.S. 3.7 times larger than China.

II. Economic pattern: Total volume is expected to exceed that of the United States, on a per capita basis the volume gap is huge

Looking at the world economic pattern, in 2018, China and the United States accounted for 40% of the world’s GDP, 54% of the stock market, 23% of the trade volume, and 74% of the world’s currency circulation in U.S. dollars and renminbi. The essence of the trade war between China and the United States is the “world economic war”; since the United States became the world’s largest country in 1890, the world’s second largest economy has invariably experienced recession and lost its status as the second largest country, and the world is watching to see if China can become the first second largest economy that does not decline in 131 years. The truth of the trade war is the new “second economic power trap”, which requires both money and “life”; the direction of the trade war is that “the United States will not tolerate overtaking and China will not give up its development”. As long as the U.S. does not enjoy the fruits of the new technological revolution and China does not make subversive mistakes, it is only a matter of time before China’s economic output surpasses that of the U.S., but the economic structure and efficiency are still about 30 years different from the U.S.

Two years after the trade war, despite a 7.2% decline in trade between China and the United States, China’s GDP accounted for the proportion of U.S. GDP, not only did not fall, but rose 4.6 percentage points, the trade surplus with the U.S. also increased by $ 20 billion, but of course economic development is also potentially deep-seated conflicts such as the outflow of enterprises and capital outflow. Trade war may escalate after the epidemic. The United States has the technology, China has the market, technology and market combination, the effect of technology to enlarge, the potential of the market can be developed. Sino-US economic cooperation is not only a win-win situation for both China and the US, but also can lead to multiple wins for all countries.

14.  Comparing GDP Growth Rates Over Past 70 years, China 9 Times Faster than United States

During the 70-year period from 1949-2019, China’s GDP increased from 466 billion yuan to 990,865 billion yuan, a nominal GDP of 2125.3 times. If calculated in U.S. dollars, China’s GDP grew from $20.26 billion to $14.36 trillion from 1949-2019, an increase of 707.8 times. During the same period, U.S. GDP grew 77.6 times from $272.8 billion to $21.43 trillion, and China’s 70-year GDP growth multiple was 9.0 times that of the U.S. During the 41-year period from 1978-2019, China’s GDP grew 95 times in U.S. dollar terms, and U.S. GDP grew 8.1 times during the same period, and China’s GDP growth multiple in the last 41 years was 10.5 times that of the U.S.

15. Total GDP: China is 67.8% of the United States

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total U.S. GDP in 2017-2019 is about 19.39, 20.54 and 21.43 trillion U.S. dollars, and China’s GDP is 12.25, 13.6 and 13.9 trillion U.S. dollars, and China’s GDP accounts for 63.2%, 66.2% and 67.8% of the U.S.

16. GDP growth rate: China is 2.7 times faster than the United States

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s GDP growth rate was 6.9%, 6.5% and 6.1% in 2017-2019, while the U.S. GDP growth rate was 2.3%, 2.9% and 2.3% during the same period, and China’s GDP growth rate was 3 times, 2.2 times and 2.65 times that of the U.S., respectively.

17. Labor productivity: the U.S. is about 12 times that of China

According to the World Labor Organization statistics, since the 21st century, China’s labor productivity has jumped to $8,253 from $2,023 in 2000, while the U.S. labor growth rate has reached $81,316 in 2000 and exceeded the $100,000 mark in 2017, at $101,101, with the U.S. labor productivity about 12 times that of China.

18.  The proportion of the three industries: the United States is 27.1 percentage points higher than China

According to the data of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of China’s three industries to GDP in 2018 was 7.0%, 39.7%, and 53.3%, and the proportion of three industries in 2019 was 7.1%, 39.0%, and 53.9%, respectively, and according to the data of the U.S. National Bureau of Economics, the proportion of three industries to GDP in the U.S. in 2018 was 1%, 17%, and 82%, and in 2019 In 2019, China’s tertiary industry accounted for 27.1 percentage points less than the U.S. GDP, which is only equivalent to the level of the U.S. 60 years ago.

19. GDP per capita: the U.S. is 6.3 times that of China

China’s GDP per capita exceeded $10,000 for the first time in 2019, reaching $10,300, while the U.S. GDP per capita was $65,000, and the U.S. GDP per capita was 6.3 times that of China, which was only 74th in the world.

20.  National Debt: U.S. Federal Government Debt is 14.7 times that of China

The International Finance Association (IIF) reported that the total U.S. debt in 2018 was $69 trillion, 3.4 times the GDP, and accounted for 28% of the total global debt. As of the end of 2018, the Chinese government debt was about 33.4 trillion yuan, or $4.7 trillion, accounting for 37.0% of China’s GDP in 2018.

21.  Value added of primary industry: China is 6 times larger than the US

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the value added of China’s primary industry in 2018 and 2019 was $978.2 billion and $102.15 billion, respectively. During the same period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the value added of the primary industry in the U.S. was $164.2 billion and $169.2 billion. the value added of the primary industry in China in 2018 and 2019 was 5.96 times and 6.04 times that of the U.S.

22.  Value added of secondary industry: China is 1.4 times of the United States

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the value added of China’s secondary industry in 2018 and 2019 was USD 5,530.87 billion and USD 5,597.8 billion, while the value added of the secondary industry in the United States was USD 3,815.1 billion and USD 3,901.4 billion in the same period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.The value added of China’s secondary industry in 2018 and 2019 was 1.5 times and 1.4 times that of the United States.

23. Value added of the tertiary industry: China is only 45% of the United States

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the value added of China’s tertiary sector in 2018 and 2019 was $709.6 billion and $774.42 billion. During the same period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. was $165,147.5 billion and $173,571 billion. The value added of China’s tertiary sector in 2018 and 2019 was 44% and 45% of the U.S. respectively.

24.  International trade: China’s trade surplus with the U.S. is $295.8 billion

According to the National General Administration of Customs, the total value of China’s import and export of goods trade in 2019 was $3.153 billion, up 3.4% from 2018, with a trade surplus of $29.2 million, up 25.4%. However, the trade war led to a 14.6% decline in trade between China and the U.S., with China’s exports to the U.S. down 12.5% and U.S. exports to China down 20.9%.From 2017-2019, the trade volume between China and the U.S. was $583.697 billion, $633.52 billion and $541.223 billion, respectively, and China’s trade surplus with the U.S. during the same period was $275.8 billion, 323.3 billion U.S. dollars and 295.8 billion U.S. dollars. 2019 compared to 2017 before the trade war, China-U.S. trade fell by 42.474 billion U.S. dollars, or 7.2%, and China’s trade surplus with the United States increased by 20 billion U.S. dollars.

25.   Fortune 500 companies: China has 9 more than the U.S.

Data from the 2019 Fortune Global 500 ranking shows that the number of Chinese companies on the list reached 129, with a total of 120 U.S. companies on the list, and China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in history, with China having nine more companies than the U.S. Even without counting Taiwan companies, the number of mainland Chinese companies (including Hong Kong companies) reached 119, only one less than the United States.

26. Doing Business: U.S. ranks 38 spots ahead of China

According to the 2019 Doing Business report released by the World Bank, China ranked 46th in the world in terms of doing business, a significant improvement of 32 places from the previous year, and was listed as one of the top 10 countries with the most significant improvements in their business environment in 2018, with the U.S. ranking 8th, 38 places ahead of China.

27.   Global economic incremental contribution: China is twice as big as the US

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) measurements, China’s economy contributed 30% of incremental world economic growth in 2018, ranking first in the world, compared to 15.3% for the U.S. China’s contribution rate is about twice that of the U.S.

III. Innovation pattern: quantitative indicators are close, Qualitative Gap is Obvious

The U.S. is the only superpower in the world today, ranking first in economy, science and technology, education and military power, and is the world’s economic, scientific and technological, talent and military center. The data shows that the United States has strong comprehensive national power and high quality development, while China has fast growth rate and high development potential. The gap between the comprehensive national power of China and the United States is quite obvious, and some gaps are difficult to be bridged in the short term. The “China threat theory” and “China overtaking theory” lack scientific basis, and the “China development theory” is the hard truth.

28. Innovation Indicators: China Leads in 6 Quantitative Indicators, U.S. Leads in 7 Qualitative Indicators

According to the analysis of 13 indicators commonly used in the international innovation system, China leads in 6 indicators, such as R&D personnel, scientific and technical journal papers, engineering and technology papers (EI), patent applications, high-tech product exports, and the world’s top 500 enterprises, among which 4 are quantitative indicators. The United States leads in 7 indicators of innovation quality, including international papers (SCI), R&D expenditures, PCT patents, national innovation index, world’s top 100 universities, world’s top 500 enterprises, and world’s top 500 brands.

Note: The authors compiled the data based on relevant data, and the indicators not specified in time are all 2017 data.

29. Papers: the number of the top 100 papers in frontier science in the United States is 7 times higher than that in China

Due to the inconsistency of statistical caliber, the relevant reports from both China and the United States consider each other the world’s top in the number of papers. According to the China Science and Technology Statistical Yearbook 2017, in 2017, China had 472,000 domestic scientific and technical papers, 361,000 international scientific and technical papers, 226,000 engineering index papers, and 86,000 international conference proceedings citation indexes. According to the NSF study, Chinese scholars were the first authors of 426,000 papers in 2016, which is nearly 65,000 papers higher than the number of international scientific and technical papers counted in China (including some non-international journal papers), while Americans published 409,000 academic papers in the same period. The quality of U.S. papers is significantly higher than that of China, with 72 U.S. and only 11 Chinese papers among the TOP 100 hottest scientific papers in the world released by Altmetric in 2018.

30. Patent Cooperation Treaty PCT patents: the U.S. is 1.2 times higher than China

According to WIPO statistics, China’s patent applications have maintained a fast growth rate. 30% of the patents granted worldwide in 2017 were in China, higher than the 23%, 14%, 9% and 8% in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Europe. Although China ranks first in the world in the number of patent applications and grants, the number of international patent applications is significantly insufficient. The number of PCT patent applications in China increased from more than 18,000 in 2012 to more than 48,000 in 2017, with an average annual growth rate of 21.3%. As of May 2017, the global share of PCT patent applications in the United States was 24.6% and in China 20.3%.

31. R&D spending: the US is 1.9 times that of China

In 2018, China spent about 296.9 billion U.S. dollars on R&D, and the U.S. invested 573.8 billion U.S. dollars in R&D. China’s R&D spending accounted for 2.2% of GDP, lower than the 2.8% of the U.S. The U.S. R&D spending is 1.9 times that of China, but China is one of the fastest growing countries in the world.

32.  R&D focus: Biology in the U.S., Information in China

From 2005 to 2018, the proportion of U.S. biological and medical R&D funding to federal civilian R&D funding has remained above 50%, and also from the release of the U.S. National Innovation Report, the National Plan for Advanced Manufacturing, the Blueprint for the Bioeconomy, the Trusted Cyberspace and other national science and technology development strategy reports, the U.S. R&D funding focus is on health, science and space, etc. In 2016 U.S. biological and medical papers accounted for 61.6% of natural science papers, ranking 4th in the world, while China’s figure was 39.2%, ranking 37th in the world, which shows that the focus of U.S. government science and technology support is biological, and the focus of Chinese government science and technology support is information.

33. Innovation Index: U.S. is 11 places higher than China

The five major global assessment agencies (China Academy of Science and Technology Development Strategy, World Intellectual Property Organization, Lausanne Institute, Switzerland, World Economic Forum, and Bloomberg) evaluate China’s S&T innovation index between 13-27 (ranked 14th in 2018), and the U.S. S&T innovation index rankings are all in the top 6, and China’s innovation index differs from the U.S. by 9-23 places. The World Intellectual Property Organization announced China’s national innovation capacity ranking of 17th in 2018, Switzerland ranked 1st, and the United States ranked 6th, with a difference of 11 places between China and the United States.

34. High-tech product exports: China is 4.9 times more than the US

In 2018, China’s high-tech product exports were $747.9 billion, compared with $153 billion in the U.S. China is 4.9 times larger than the U.S. China’s high-tech exports accounted for 25% of manufactured exports, compared with 20% in the U.S. An important reason for the gap between U.S. and Chinese high-tech product exports is caused by the U.S. industrial transfer policy, which focuses on design development and sales while shifting production to China and other countries. In addition, from the list of the top 100 Chinese exporters to the United States in 2016, it can be seen that the proportion of China’s export structure is 70% for foreign enterprises and only 30% for mainland enterprises.

35. Intellectual property imports: the US is 1.7 times more than China

In the 2018 IPR import cost ranking, China ranked 4th after the United States and Ireland ranked first. China’s intellectual property import cost was 35.8 billion U.S. dollars, and the U.S. was 53.75 billion U.S. dollars, of which 72.6% of China’s intellectual property import cost came from the manufacturing industry, and a large proportion of which came from the communications industry.

IV.   Education pattern: the gap between China and the United States is huge and It is difficult to catch up in the short term

From the perspective of education patterns, there is a huge gap between China and the U.S. in terms of educational strength, and there is a huge gap between China’s faculty, student sources, research instruments and even teaching methods and approaches. The number of top scientists in the U.S. is 4.3 times that of China, and the per capita education expenditure in the U.S. is 8 times that of China. The gap between China and the U.S. in the field of education is the biggest gap between China and the U.S. The number of top talents is the core gap between China and the U.S. The talent “deficit” is the biggest deficit between China and the U.S. Ten years of trees, a hundred years of people, the gap in education to do long-term strategic layout.

36.  Number of universities in the world’s top 100 universities: the United States is 6.7 times more than China

In 2019, Times Higher Education announced the World University Ranking 2020 list, 40 colleges and universities in the United States entered the top 100, and China kept 6 unchanged, the United States is 6.7 times more than China. The gap between prestigious universities and the faculty is one of the largest and most difficult gaps to close between China and the United States.

37. Percentage of education spending: the U.S. is 1.3 times that of China

The average number of years of education for China’s working-age population is 10.5 years, and the average number of years of education for people aged 15 and above has increased from 5.3 years in 1982 to 9.6 years in 2017. 2018 China’s education spending accounted for 5.1% of GDP, of which the proportion of financial investment in education spending accounted for 4.1% of GDP, lower than the 5.2% of the U.S., which is 1.3 times higher than China.

38. Top scientists: 4.3 times more in the U.S. than in China

According to the 2019 global list of highly cited scientists published by Coreview, including 2,737 in the U.S., 735 in China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) and 636 in mainland China, the number of top talents in the U.S. is 3.7 times higher than that in China and 4.3 times higher than that in mainland China. Compared with the data of 2017, the number of top talents in China is significantly higher. As of September 2019, there are 908 global Nobel laureates, of whom 377 are from the United States and only 2 from mainland China, a mere 0.5% of the number in the United States.

39. Acceptance of international students: 2.2 times more in the U.S. than in China

Data from the Chinese Ministry of Education and the 2018 U.S. Open Doors Report show that the total number of international students worldwide is 4.85 million, the number of international students in China is 490,000, and the number of international students to the United States is 1.09 million, 2.2 times that of China.

40. College enrollment: the U.S. is 1.8 times higher than China

According to the information, the gross enrollment rate of higher education in China has reached 48.1% in 2018, an increase of 18.1% compared with 2012. In 2015, the enrollment rate of higher education in the United States was 87%, 1.8 times that of China.

In conclusion, the spread of the new crown epidemic is triggering major adjustments in the world landscape, and the gap between China and the United States is in the midst of dramatic changes. However, with the strong comprehensive national power of the United States, the great development potential of China, and the technology of the United States and the market of China, the basic pattern of the gap between China and the United States remains the gap between the largest developing country and the largest developed country, which is difficult to change in the short term.

For further reading:


Re-conceptualization of Sino-US Relations under the New Situation

新形势下中美关系的再认识

文章来源:《党的文献》2020年第1期

Article Source: Party Literature, No. 1, 2020

Article by Zhang Hongzhi (former member (deputy minister) and editorial reviewer of the Institute of Party History and Literature of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China)

In recent years, discussions at home and abroad on the current state and future of Sino-US relations have become increasingly heated, with intense clashes between different views. As the U.S.-China trade friction provoked by the U.S. side intensifies, the U.S. tariff stick, technology blockade and even diplomatic siege have followed each other and continued. How to view the development trend of China-US relations and its impact on China’s future development has become an issue that needs to be explored in depth.

I. The change of U.S. mentality toward China from the new phenomenon of current Sino-U.S. relations

In recent years, a series of negative phenomena have emerged in Sino-U.S. relations, from the “strategic eastward shift” and “Asia-Pacific rebalancing” proposed by the late Obama administration to the “Indo-Pacific strategy” and trade frictions after the Trump administration. From the late Obama administration’s “strategic shift to the east” and “Asia-Pacific rebalancing” to the “Indo-Pacific strategy” and trade friction after the Trump administration, the U.S. side’s voices of suspicion, fear and containment of China have been rising, hostile measures have been introduced, and restrictions and suppression of China have become the dominant voice in the U.S. ruling class. In the midst of the Chinese side’s diplomatic efforts to always insist on exchanges and cooperation with the U.S. and actively advocate mutual benefit and win-win situation, such negative phenomena that defy the trend of the times still appear cannot but cause us to be highly alert. From the emergence of these phenomena, we can see that the U.S. mentality toward China has undergone a fundamental shift. This shift is mainly reflected in the following three aspects.

First, there has been a shift from contempt for China to importance and even fear of China. In the past, the U.S. was a beacon of humanity and viewed China in a condescending manner. The conflict between the two countries was mainly a result of the U.S. attempt to transform China according to its own likes and dislikes. In the early 1990s, the U.S. side believed that China’s strategic value to the U.S. had declined after the Cold War, and the urge to intervene in China increased, but mostly in the name of human rights. Although there are conflicts in the economic and trade sphere, they are more of a means of pressure to serve the political purpose of changing China. The U.S. side is convinced of the “China collapse theory” regarding the success of China’s reform and development, believing that the socialist system is incompatible with the market economy, that China’s economic growth is unsustainable, that the social system is bound to disintegrate, and that it is difficult for China to grow into a rival of U.S. stature. Now, the U.S. side is beginning to recognize the consolidation of China’s social system and the success of its development path, and is particularly shocked by the scale of China’s development and the speed of its growth.

Second, there is a shift from strategic ease to strategic anxiety toward China. In the past, the U.S. was the victor of the Cold War and believed that the 21st century would remain the American century and that China would eventually succumb to American hegemony. Therefore, the U.S. side was more relaxed in dealing with China and did not have a strong sense of urgency, believing that time and history would be on its side.  It has squeezed the strategic space of other countries by engaging in unilateralism, destroying the opportunities for international cooperation that emerged at the beginning of the cold war. These actions run counter to the general trend of world peace and development and accelerate the weakening of U.S. hegemony. Faced with a fast-developing China, the U.S. side feels that the situation is unfavorable to it, and its self-confidence is seriously shaken, creating a strategic impatience for quick success.

Third, the shift from using international rules to shape China to breaking international rules to suppress China. For a long time, the U.S. has boasted of being the creator and maintainer of international rules, and the de facto biggest beneficiary of existing international rules, and for this reason it has appointed itself as the world’s policeman, meddling in international affairs everywhere. Today, when the U.S. sees that the emerging countries represented by China have developed with the help of the reasonable components of the existing international rules, and the U.S. has been unable to use traditional means to restrain them, it will not hesitate to break the rules, do whatever it takes to fight competitors, obstruct and destroy each other’s development, and turn the international rules into a plaything to be used if they are compatible and discarded if they are not. This change reflects a “last days of empire” of reluctance and helplessness.

The above change of mentality reflects the obsession of the U.S. ruling class with the unipolar hegemonic status and its obstinacy in ignoring the world development trend, which has led to the destabilization and disorder of the U.S. policy toward China, and its erratic and capricious moves. However, putting aside all the clamor from the U.S. side, we can find that there are certain internal laws that can be explored, and we can see the “changed” and “unchanged” in Sino-U.S. relations.

II. What has “Changed” and What has Not “Changed” in U.S.-China Relations

Twenty years ago, I wrote an article in this journal to analyze the Sino-U.S. relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. I believed then that strategic security, ideology, economic and trade relations, and the Taiwan issue are the four major factors that constitute the overall framework of Sino-U.S. relations. The four main variables that will affect future U.S.-China relations. (See Zhang Hongzhi, “Reflections after the Dramatic Change: The Disintegration of the Soviet Union and U.S.-China Relations,” Party Literature, No. 6, 2000.) This led to the conclusion that Sino-U.S. relations had the duality of upsets and stability, and that this duality was determined by the two sides of U.S. policy toward China, namely containment and engagement; under the historical conditions at the time, the U.S. side of engagement with China exceeded the side of containment, and the two countries were able to maintain stable relations overall. 20 years later, looking back at Sino-U.S. relations, it is still possible to do so through these four major factors and four variables Analysis.

First, in terms of the basic framework of U.S.-China relations, these four factors still exist, but their connotation and focus have changed.

First, on strategic security issues. The strategic balance and security between the great powers is at the core of U.S.-China relations. more than 20 years ago, due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States thought it had won the Cold War and resided in a hegemonic position of supremacy, believing that China’s value in terms of great power checks and balances had declined, but still had a role to play in maintaining strategic stability in the world; China has achieved rapid development after reform and opening up, posing a potential threat to the United States but not an imminent danger, and China’s future remains to be seen. Today, with the evolution of the international situation, especially the rise of China’s comprehensive national power, most people in the U.S. ruling class believe that the world has returned to the era of great power competition, and China has become the main competitor of the United States, seeing China as a real threat to the U.S. hegemonic order, but on the other hand, they feel that China is also the object of cooperation that the United States can not avoid when dealing with global problems.

Second, on the issue of ideology. More than 20 years ago, as the world socialist movement suffered a serious setback, the U.S. thought that history had “ended” and that China was pursuing an ideology and social system that had been proven to be a failure by the Soviet revolution, and that it could take advantage of the Soviet revolution to take China by storm. After the setback, they still insisted that China would eventually embark on the path of westernization and differentiation, and that in time they would wait until the fruit was ripe on the tree. Today, the United States is disappointed to find that socialism with Chinese characteristics has achieved comprehensive development and progress in economic, political, cultural, social and ecological civilization, and that China’s socialist system has become more perfect and mature, promoting the cause of socialism to revive and rejuvenate around the world, which has shaken the United States’ own sense of systemic superiority. The ultra-conservative forces in the United States have determined that China has formed a comprehensive challenge to the Western social system, development path and even civilizational form, and must engage in an ideological and even civilizational confrontation with China, but the peace, openness and tolerance of socialism with Chinese characteristics and progress have weakened the ability of these forces to mobilize public opinion to demonize China and start an ideological war.

Third, on economic and trade relations. Economic and trade relations are the most important link between China and the U.S. More than 20 years ago, as China’s reform and opening up and economic development process advanced, China and the U.S. economic and trade relations complemented each other’s advantages and deeply intertwined, developing into each other’s largest trading partners, with China becoming the largest source of U.S. imports, the third largest export market and an important investment destination, with U.S. capital earning huge gains in China and the U.S. public receiving high-quality, low-cost consumer goods from China. The U.S.-China economic and trade relationship has become the biggest highlight of Sino-U.S. relations and has played the role of a ballast, but economic and trade frictions have also stumbled and accumulated as the scale of economic and trade has expanded. Nowadays, with the change of power contrast between the U.S. and China, some people in the U.S. attribute the relative weakness of the U.S. to external factors represented by China, and believe that the U.S. has suffered in the U.S.-China economic and trade relations and that China has taken advantage of the U.S., advocating economic pressure on China, making the economic and trade issues in the U.S.-China relations rise significantly and become However, the mutually beneficial economic relationship between China and the U.S. still exists, and the huge and fast-growing Chinese market is something that the U.S. capital cannot give up. It is impossible to “decouple” the two economies. This kind of cut and dried economic and trade ties make the U.S. side in a tangle.

Fourth, on the Taiwan issue. The Taiwan issue is the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations, but the U.S. side has never given up using the Taiwan issue as a bargaining chip and tool to restrain China. During the Cold War, the United States made certain commitments on the Taiwan issue for strategic interests. After the end of the Cold War, the U.S. believed that China’s strategic value had declined and backtracked on the Taiwan issue. The U.S. side has not given the Taiwan issue a prominent place and has been wary of the radical “Taiwan independence” forces’ attempts to drag the U.S. down. Today, as the U.S. side sees China as a strategic competitor, the attempt to use the Taiwan issue to hold China back is once again on the rise. The absence of war on both sides of the Taiwan Strait is still beneficial to the overall U.S. strategy.

From the above four perspectives, we can see that after more than 20 years of development and evolution, the relationship between China and the United States is quietly changing in connotation while the overall framework remains unchanged, and the foundation of the relationship still exists but has been seriously eroded. Because of this, there are many international voices about the clash of civilizations, the Thucydides trap, the new bipolar pattern and Cold War 2.0. However, judging from the four major variables affecting U.S.-China relations, the foundation of the relationship remains solid and is far from collapsing.

First, the momentum of U.S. foreign intervention has been thwarted. With the relative weakness of the U.S., especially in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, all segments of the U.S. population are resistant to being drawn into new external conflicts, and the tendency for internal concerns is on the rise. The advocacy of “America First” and the rise of trade protectionism is a manifestation of this tendency of the U.S. internal concern, and certain aggressive threats and intimidation are only blackmailing means of its “extreme pressure”.

Second, the framework of world power relations remains unchanged, and the number of factors holding the U.S. in check has increased. With the revival of Russian power, the structural contradictions between the U.S. and Russia are once again highlighted and cannot be fundamentally alleviated in the short term; the interests of the U.S. and Europe are divided, and the centrifugal tendency of Europe toward the U.S. is rising; the situation in the Middle East remains unresolved and has a tendency to further deteriorate, all of which restrain the U.S. power and make it difficult to fully implement its “strategic eastward shift” plan. The construction of an anti-China alliance is impossible to achieve.

Third, the situation in Taiwan is generally under control. The balance of power between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has decisively tipped to the mainland side, and although “Taiwan independence” separatist forces were once rampant, Taiwan has been firmly locked into the development track of mainland China. The U.S. space for manipulating the Taiwan issue has been greatly restricted.

Fourth, in terms of China’s increased national power, the biggest variable, China does not have the ambition to replace the United States in world domination, and the common interests between China and the United States still exist, so it would be more costly for the U.S. to mess up Sino-U.S. relations. If there is a Thucydides trap in the world today, it is a trap that some Americans have dug for themselves, due to the U.S. side’s own demons.

As seen from the above analysis, these variables affecting Sino-U.S. relations have not yet had a subversive effect, and some are even moving in a direction favorable to stability. The U.S.-China relationship has not changed in the midst of the changes. What has not changed is the convergence of interests between China and the U.S. What has changed is the U.S. mentality and other factors of its own, which stems from the U.S. side’s shock at the speed of the fall of its own hegemonic base and its disappointment at the expected development of China, as well as the huge gap between the two.

Because of this, until the U.S. hegemonic mentality is adjusted, it will be difficult to fully improve Sino-U.S. relations, and it is unlikely that they will return to the state they were in more than 20 years ago, but they will not yet collapse. Although containing China’s development has become the common goal of the majority of the U.S. ruling class, the times have changed and it is difficult to engage in full-scale confrontation, and contact as a strategic tool will not be abandoned. U.S.-China relations will be more volatile for a long time, but generally within manageable limits. China and the United States will be in a long-term “talk” – “fight” – “talk” – “fight” – “fight”. The “talk” struggle and cooperation are intertwined and intertwined, and the scenario changes more frequently, probably in one wave, and in another wave, and does not exclude the occurrence of more intense confrontation at specific times and in specific areas.

The possibility of U.S. Cold War with China and its Future Outlook

When we say that China-US relations are still manageable in general, we do not mean that we can take this lightly. The U.S. will not change its intention to use various channels and means to contain China’s development. In the face of all the uncertainties in Sino-US relations, we must establish bottom-line thinking, prepare for the worst case scenario, and strive for the best possible outcome. The key is to have firm confidence, dare to fight, respond skillfully, and strive for final victory through a “protracted war.

The U.S. eventually brought down the Soviet Union through more than 40 years of Cold War confrontation on all fronts: political, economic, cultural, military, and diplomatic. Some people in the United States think that they can bring down China by the same means, and some people in China are worried that the outbreak of a new Cold War will stop the historical process of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. However, if we calmly analyze the world development situation and China’s future development trend, we will find that the times have changed and China today is by no means the Soviet Union of the past. It will surely lead to a bigger defeat than the Korean War, and even fundamentally shake the U.S. hegemony. This is also a risk that the U.S. anti-China forces cannot disregard.

First, the conditions of the times and the world’s understanding and application of the conditions of the times are different. The U.S.-Soviet Cold War took place in the middle of the last century. At that time, the Second World War had just ended, the haze of war had not yet cleared, and the world was split into two camps, the East and the West, forming fierce competition and confrontation between each other. The United States, as the leader of the Western camp, took advantage of the post-war weakness of the world and the urgent need to repair the wounds of the war, and, under the banner of free market economy, took control of most of the world’s resources and formed a world market system controlled by the U.S. side, objectively conforming to the first wave of economic globalization.

The Soviet Union, on the other hand, insisted on a highly centralized and planned economic system, and although it once showed the advantages of rapid development during the post-war recovery period, its weakness of not being able to flexibly adapt to social needs was increasingly exposed. The Soviet Union and the United States are in contrast. As a result, the Soviet Union was increasingly passive, and the centrifugal tendency of the countries in the Eastern bloc was growing, consuming a lot of Soviet energy and resources, and eventually triggering the Soviet East. Today, more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, peace and development are the themes of the world today, and the multi-polarization of the world and economic globalization are irreversible. After more than 40 years of reform and opening up, China has explored a socialist road with Chinese characteristics, established a socialist market economy system, opened up to the outside world on all fronts, and actively integrated into the wave of economic globalization. It has become not only the “world factory” but also the “world market”, and is an indispensable link in the world economic system and global industrial chain. Cutting off economic ties with China under such conditions and completely blockading China will definitely lead to self-isolation and internal division. If the U.S. launches a cold war against China, it will be moving against the general trend of economic globalization, while China’s insistence on opening up to the outside world is following the trend, and the success or failure is self-evident.

Second, China and the Soviet Union have different national conditions. Although China and the Soviet Union are both socialist countries, they are still very different in terms of specific national conditions. In addition to the fact that socialism with Chinese characteristics is different from the Soviet model, as mentioned earlier, there are also great differences between China and the Soviet Union in terms of cultural background, historical orientation, and national endowment. First, in terms of cultural background, historically Tsarist Russia was a rapidly expanding, latecomer state that had a strong desire to integrate into the West since Peter the Great’s reforms. After the October Revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union, through the socialist construction and the victory in the anti-fascist war, the national self-confidence and national identity of all ethnic groups in the Soviet Union have been greatly improved, but the historical cultural tendency of the West is still strong, and there is still a historical gap in the cultural identity between different ethnic groups in the country.

In contrast, China is an ancient civilization with a history of 5,000 years, and its historical traditions have never been interrupted; all ethnic groups in the country have formed a strong national and cultural identity during their long common life, forming a Chinese national community of destiny. Combining the world’s advanced culture with China’s excellent traditional culture and exploring a path of national rejuvenation that suits China’s national conditions has never been the common pursuit of the vast majority of Chinese people. Second, from a historical perspective, the Soviet Union, after its historic achievements, gradually lost its forward momentum and sense of future direction, at first becoming complacent with its achievements and sanctifying its own development model, making economic and social development lose its vitality; then, after discovering the problems, its self-confidence wavered, losing consensus on the goals, direction and path of reform and falling into chaos, eventually embarking on the path of westernization and differentiation.

In contrast, after a century of humiliation, China’s dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has always been pursued indefatigably by the whole nation. Third, in terms of national endowment, the Soviet Union was vast and sparsely populated, making development difficult. Although rich in resources, it also produced resource dependence and a distorted economic structure, making it difficult to realize its potential. China’s population is several times larger than that of the Soviet Union or the United States today, and although its resources per capita are small, its labor force is abundant and its market capacity is large, so its growth potential can be unleashed. The huge demand of the Chinese people to improve their own lives provides unlimited space for China’s development. Synthesizing these three differences, it can be seen that: during the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, Soviet society was in a stagnant stage, the U.S. social dynamics and internal consensus was higher than the Soviet Union, and the U.S. side took the initiative; while in the present era, the peak era of U.S. hegemony has passed, and China is a booming emerging power, if the U.S. insists on a long-term confrontation with China, the rise and fall of longevity is unknown.

Third, the strategic culture of China and the West is different. In the face of U.S. containment plans, China and the Soviet Union have very different cultural backgrounds, strategic thinking patterns, and ways of dealing with them. The Soviet Union, whose predecessor Tsarist Russia was a Western power, had both the salvation complex of Christian civilization and the historical imprint of hegemony. This hard confrontation, in which the country’s hard power was inferior to that of the other side, led to the abnormal development of the Soviet economy, the dominance of heavy industry, especially military industry, the long-term neglect of people’s lives, and several missed opportunities for economic reform, which became one of the important reasons for its ultimate failure.

China, on the other hand, has never had the gene of foreign expansion and hegemony, from its history and culture, realistic national conditions to its national political philosophy and development strategy, and has always taken the realization of national wealth and strength, national revitalization and people’s happiness as the goal of national rejuvenation, and the maintenance of world peace and common development as the external conditions for national rejuvenation. We will strive to turn world opportunities into Chinese opportunities and Chinese opportunities into world opportunities, and actively build a community of human destiny. Because of this, China has not adopted the single confrontation of a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye in response to all the provocations of the U.S. side. In particular, we will not engage in full-scale confrontation, we will not dance with the other side, we will not indulge in an arms race, we will not pull together military blocs, we will insist on full openness, we will make friends with all sides, we will play your containment card and my cooperation card in the diplomatic struggle, and we will always maintain a strategic initiative. If someone in the United States wants to lure China into the Thucydides trap, it is self-explanatory as to who will eventually fall into the trap.

From the above three analyses, we can conclude that the Soviet Union’s historical failures stemmed more from its own shortcomings and mistakes. In the 21st century, in the face of today’s China, it is already time to revive the Cold War mentality, and to try to block China’s development with the Cold War is a move against the times, a “temporal disorder” in which the body enters the 21st century but the head is still stuck in the old days. We cannot say that the United States will not use the Cold War to contain China, but we can conclude that such an attempt will surely fail. The theme of the times of peace and development has not changed, the historical trend of world multipolarity and economic globalization has not changed, and the endogenous impetus for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has not changed, and the “time” and “trend” are on our side. As long as we firmly the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, theoretical confidence, institutional confidence, cultural confidence, maintain strategic determination, not for a moment of pressure shaken, nor by a provocation and impulse, and strive to achieve our own set strategic goals, we will be able to overcome any external challenges. The difficulties we face now are the storms that the Chinese nation must go through on its journey of rejuvenation, and are part of the great struggle with new historical characteristics. When we survive this storm, we will see a rainbow, and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will step up to a new historical ladder, and the world, including the United States, will see China differently.


The Evolution of U.S.-China Relations, Lessons from History and New Factors Affecting the Future

Article Source: First Intelligence Center

Article by Zhang Baijia (former deputy director of the CPC History Research Office)

I. Differences between China and the United States and the evolutionary lineage of relations between the two countries

China and the United States are two extremely different countries. This difference has tangibly and invisibly influenced their perception of each other, their mutual policies and the development of their relations. Understanding the differences between China and the U.S. can help to deal with the relationship between the two countries in a sensible way.

1. The main differences between China and the United States.

Such differences are multifaceted, including: history, culture, religion and traditions, ethnic composition and population size, geopolitical and surrounding environment, socio-political and economic systems and development levels, changes in international status, experiences since the modern era, etc. What is most obvious is that the United States is a young, old, modern nation, while China is an old, newly modernized nation. Both China and the United States are multi-ethnic countries, but the multi-ethnicity of the United States consists mainly of immigrants, while China has formed a multi-ethnic country with Han Chinese as the main ethnic group after thousands of years of ethnic integration. The size of the populations of the two countries differs greatly. In terms of geography and surrounding environment, although the two countries have similar territorial areas, the United States has the simplest surrounding environment and the best geopolitical conditions among the world’s major powers, while China is surrounded by many neighbors and has the most complex geopolitical environment, being the so-called “four-sided country. The two countries have developed different socio-political and economic systems and are at different levels of development in their respective histories. Especially in terms of changes in international status, the United States has basically been on the rise since its birth and may now be facing its first decline in history, while China’s international status has had several ups and downs, especially in recent times. These differences have important implications for the perceptions and mindsets of both countries, and both sides cannot help but judge each other based on their own values and experiences in their interactions.

2. Distance produces beauty, Looking Close-up is Easy to Get Disillusioned

This is a significant feature of the history of Sino-American interaction. The huge differences and multifaceted differences between China and the United States have created a special attraction, while making it difficult for both sides to understand each other, which leads to misunderstandings, contradictions, friction and conflict. Americans have a constant “Chinese dream,” i.e., they want to transform China according to the American model; the Chinese have a changing “American dream,” sometimes a beautiful dream, sometimes a nightmare. However, the fact is that the mutual policies of both countries are more or less idealistic and realistic, but with different biases at different times.

3.  Fundamentals Affecting the Evolution of Sino-US relations.

From the perspective of the development of Sino-American relations, although the United States proposed the “open door” policy at the end of the 19th century, in fact, until the early 20th century, the two countries were still extremely distant. After the outbreak of the Pacific War at the end of 1941, the United States and China experienced a brief and fractious four-year alliance. After the end of World War II, the U.S. soon regarded Japan as its main ally in Asia, an aspect of the Sino-American conflict that could not be ignored in those years. The formation of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War pattern and the triumph of the Chinese Revolution in the late 1940s and the subsequent Korean War caused a prolonged standoff and isolation between the two countries. It was not until the early 1970s that relations between the two countries thawed and began a process of normalization, with diplomatic relations formally established on January 1, 1979. Over the next 40 years, the overall U.S.-China relationship has continued to develop, and while there have been conflicts and friction during this period, it has been the most stable period in history and the period in which both sides have benefited the most from the relationship.

Currently, the U.S.-China relationship may be entering a new phase with uncertain prospects. Therefore, it is extremely important to summarize past historical experiences and lessons learned, which can enable both sides to better face the future.

II. Historical Experience Provided by the Evolution of U.S.-China Relations

Sino-U.S. relations have gone through different situations such as estrangement, alliance, confrontation, confrontation, détente, cooperation, and friction. There are many experiences and lessons worth summarizing in the rich history. Here are only two aspects that I have experienced more deeply in my research work.

1. From a historical perspective, the most noteworthy factors affecting Sino-US relations are two.

(1) U.S.-China relations have never been a simple bilateral relationship, and understanding the evolution of U.S.-China relations needs to be placed in a multilateral framework. Historically, the evolution of U.S.-China relations has been heavily influenced by third-party or multilateral factors.  After the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, in their mutual policies, considerations of bilateral relations gradually became dominant, and other factors receded to the background, but not non-existent. Among them, the influence of a single country as a single third-party factor may have declined; however, the influence of multilateral factors and comprehensive considerations have been increasing in the U.S.-China relationship. In recent years, this trend has become more pronounced with the rise of China. For two world powers, this is inevitable. From China’s perspective, this means that when analyzing and responding to policy changes on the U.S. side, it is important to have a broader global perspective and to consider the impact and influence of multiple factors. In this regard, our understanding is still inadequate.

(2) The deep-seated factors that dominate the evolution of U.S.-China relations are internal changes in China, and the closeness of relations between the two countries depends to a large extent on the judgment of both sides on the world outlook. The bilateral relationship is jointly shaped by the two countries and is an interactive process. The evolution of U.S.-China relations is generally characterized by a more active U.S. position, due to the difference in the comprehensive national power of the two countries and their positions in the international system; however, at a deeper level, two main factors dominate the evolution of U.S.-China relations: one is the internal changes in China, and the other is the judgment of both sides on the world outlook. An examination of the history of U.S.-China relations reveals that a series of major changes within China in the 20th century have had a significant impact on the evolution of U.S.-China relations. For example, the Xinhai Revolution, the May Fourth Movement, the All-National War of Resistance, the victory of the Chinese Revolution, the Sino-Soviet split, the reform and opening up of China that began in the late 1970s, and so on. If we go deeper, we will find that the similarity and difference of the two sides’ judgment of the world’s prospects largely determine the affinity of the two countries, and the change of such judgment often becomes the precursor of the adjustment of their mutual policies. When discussing the relationship between China and the United States, people are very concerned about the common or opposite interests; however, for a large country like China and the United States, the judgment on the world outlook will largely determine the trade-off of interests. Therefore, how to seek consensus on the prospect of world development is extraordinarily important for the stability of Sino-U.S. relations.

2. Four basic lessons and experiences in handling bilateral relations between China and the United States.

(1) Regardless of the status of Sino-U.S. relations, it must be remembered that the two countries have very different national conditions, and in handling mutual relations, it is necessary to continuously deepen the understanding of each other’s national conditions, on the one hand to avoid and reduce miscalculation; on the other hand, to formulate more targeted policies. History shows that for large countries like China and the United States, the influence of external forces on the internal affairs and development path of either side is limited. The expansion and deepening of exchanges between countries helps one country to learn from the experience of others, but each country’s system and development path is necessarily rooted in its own history and culture, and its improvement depends on the practice and experience of its own people.

(2) At the critical moment of transition, when conflicts arise between China and the United States, both sides need to remain calm, restrained and far-sighted, first, to avoid escalation of tensions and confrontation as much as possible, and second, to leave room for maneuvering regardless of the state of relations between the two sides. From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, except for a direct battle in Korea, the leaders of the two countries were careful to leave some room for maneuver in their mutual relations and were not as tough as they appeared to be. For example, Truman decided not to get involved in the Chinese civil war and not to expand the Korean War into Chinese territory, Mao was very concerned not to hurt the Americans during the second shelling of Kinmen, and thereafter when Chiang Kai-shek attempted to counterattack the mainland and when the U.S. escalated the war in Vietnam, the U.S. and China used various channels to achieve crisis management and avoid another direct confrontation without formal diplomatic relations. This preserved the opportunity for a later transformation of U.S.-China relations. The failure to avoid confrontation in Korea was largely due to a miscalculation on the part of the United States; the failure of détente to emerge earlier was due to a lack of policy flexibility on both sides.

(3) In a sense, it is through confrontation and confrontation that China and the United States have come to understand each other better, and it is most important to recognize each other’s strengths and their limits so that fears can be dispelled. When one side has a strong policy, there is often fear inside. Understanding each other’s strengths and their limits is a prerequisite for building mutual trust if fears are to be eliminated between great powers. For example, after the founding of New China, there was a longstanding fear of an armed invasion of China by the United States, while the United States feared communist expansion in Asia. By the 1970s, when China saw that the United States could not even win the Vietnam War and the United States saw that China’s internal problems were piling up as a result of the Cultural Revolution, the previous fears of both sides ceased to exist. This was an important condition for the normalization of U.S.-China relations to begin. Now, for the first time, the U.S. fear of China as a major challenger is emerging. Similar fears have arisen three times in U.S. history: in World War II with Germany, Italy and Japan, in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and in the once fast-growing Japan. The U.S. experience and approach to these challenges will have implications for U.S. policy toward China. It is likely that China and the United States will have to play the game for a period of time before they can understand each other’s true intentions and the limits of their power and face up to the need for continued cooperation.

(4) Shaping U.S.-China relations to suit the needs of the times requires wisdom and creativity, and the courage to break with convention. Many links and stories in the process of normalizing U.S.-China relations illustrate this point. For example, U.S. President Richard Nixon visited Beijing when China and the U.S. did not have diplomatic relations, China and the U.S. established a liaison office, and the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the U.S. became a prelude to China’s reform and opening up, etc. At present, to cope with the predicament of Sino-US relations and to build a future-oriented Sino-US relationship requires greater wisdom and more creativity, not only considering bilateral issues, but also observing more from a global perspective and thinking from the perspective of stabilizing and improving the international order.

III. New Factors Affecting U.S.-China Relations

The beginning of the changes in Sino-US relations can be traced back to around the end of the Cold War in the last century. Since then, a series of events such as the Gulf War, 9/11, the U.S.-Iraq War, and the global financial crisis have delayed the outbreak of Sino-U.S. conflicts. after 2000, I have emphasized in several articles that China’s relationship with the world and its national security have entered a sensitive period. Integration into the world has been an important factor in the success of China’s reform and opening up, and the major changes it has brought about are unprecedentedly close ties between China and the world, as well as unprecedented constraints on China.

1. The recent wave of globalization, driven by high technology and information technology, has brought about a series of new issues that have led to increased competition among countries, especially among the major powers. These new issues include the rapid movement of capital, the rapid shift of manufacturing and industrial chains, the replacement of traditional employment by artificial intelligence, the growing division between rich and poor, the difficulties of the middle class, the rise of populism, the blurring of the line between domestic and foreign affairs, and so on. These new issues have impacted countries around the world to varying degrees and are the backdrop for the conflicts between China and the United States to come to the fore. The convergence of the problems faced by countries means that the previous solutions to their respective problems through complementary approaches have failed, and the competition among countries has thus intensified.

2. China has become the most important variable in the contemporary world and needs to adjust its way of thinking in handling foreign relations and accumulate experience in major power games. China is now the world’s second largest economy, with unprecedented international influence; at the same time, reform has entered deep water, and there is uncertainty about China’s internal development. Under such circumstances, the United States, major powers and neighboring countries are bound to pay great attention to changes in China’s domestic and foreign affairs, make assessments of China’s development in various aspects, and prepare for or prevent them. China’s own development is so closely linked to changes in the external environment that we are required to anticipate the reaction of the external world and make plans to deal with it. Especially in the first move to watch a few moves, leaving a backhand, planning to move.

3, China and the United States has structural contradictions, the formation of a comprehensive competitive situation, the basis of mutual trust in the past has ceased to exist. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the U.S., the basis of mutual trust between the two sides is that the two countries are very different in terms of comprehensive national power, and have common needs in security, and can form complementary in economic aspects. In recent years, with the rapid development of China, the U.S. and China have gradually become fully competitive. The arrival of this situation so quickly was more or less unexpected, but it is something that both China and the United States will have to face sooner or later. The question now is which direction the U.S.-China competition will take, whether it will tend toward vicious competition leading to decoupling or confrontation between the two sides, or whether a situation of fair competition plus continued cooperation can be formed. Our will is clear, that is, to avoid the former and strive for the latter.

4. How to solve the problem of compatibility of the Chinese model and Chinese volume with the existing world system is the key to achieving peace, development, cooperation and win-win situation. The hotly debated question of when China will replace the United States in recent years is actually a false proposition. The world of the future will be multipolar and pluralistic, not a replica of the 20th century, and it will be difficult to reproduce the existing U.S. model of supremacy. The real question is how the two great powers, with huge economic ties and many common interests, but with different institutions and systems, will face the future world under competitive conditions. This question is a challenge not only for China and the United States, but also for the world. The reform and opening up started the process of China’s integration into the existing world system, and China has developed and grown as a result. If China today is to persevere on the path of peaceful development, it must learn to see itself from the world’s perspective and properly handle conflicts with other countries, both developed and developing, while safeguarding its own interests. In fact, there are quite a few such contradictions that can no longer be avoided. To promote changes in the global governance system and build a community of human destiny, we must first avoid confrontation, ease structural contradictions and establish rules and order acceptable to all parties. This will be a multi-party game, the current trade negotiations between China and the United States is only the opening.

Editor: Liang Bin SF055


40个指标透析数据里的中美差距:真的巨大

文摘自 | 宏战略

贸易战前后,有人认为中国经济、科技、教育、文化、军事等六大实力全面超越美国,也有人认为中国100年也超越不了美国,夜郎自大者、妄自菲薄者争论不止。我们两年前在《填平第二经济大国陷阱:中美差距及走向》一书中用40项指标比较了中美差距,美国70%的指标领先,中国30%的指标领先。两年后,我国世界500强企业数量首次超过美国,营商环境比上年提升32位,同样是40个指标,美国68%指标领先,我国32%指标领先。我国领先的指标仍然是数量指标,美国经济质量指标有明显优势,中美科技、教育指标差距更大。

国力格局:发达国家与发展中国

家的差距

美国是当今世界唯一超级大国,经济、科技、教育和军事实力均居世界第一,是世界经济、科技、人才和军事中心。数据表明,美国综合国力强、发展质量高,中国增长速度快、发展潜力大。中美综合国力差距相当明显,一些差距短期内难以弥补。“中国威胁论”、“中国超越论”都缺乏科学依据,“中国发展论”才是硬道理。

1、人口:中国是美国的4.3倍

根据中国国家统计局、美国经济分析局的数据,2019年中国总人口为14亿,美国为3.29亿,中国国土面积、人口数量分别为美国的1.0倍和4.3倍,美国城市化率比中国高20个百分点,老龄化率比中国高5个百分点。

2、人均耕地:美国是中国的5.2倍

根据世界银行的数据,2016年美国可耕地面积为15226.3万公顷,占世界耕地总面积(150151万公顷)的10.1%,是世界上耕地面积最大的国家,人均耕地面积为0.47公顷。中国耕地面积为11890万公顷,人均0.09公顷,美国人均耕地面积是中国的5.2倍。

3、建交国家:美国比中国多10个

截至2019年9月末,世界上除朝鲜、伊朗、不丹这3个国家外,其他国家均与美国建交,与中国建交的国家有180个,与美国建交的国家比中国多10个。据澳大利亚智库、洛伊国际政策研究所2019年11月发布的“全球外交指数”报告,中国的驻外机构总数为276个,比美国多3个,中国已超过美国,拥有世界最大的外交网络。

4、人均收入:美国是中国的8.4倍

2018年中国人均可支配收入约28228元,按照当年汇率计算约为4265.7美元,美国人均收入为3.6万美元,美国人均可支配收入为中国的8.4倍。

5、人均消费支出:美国是中国的15.2倍

2018年中国居民人均消费支出约2823美元,美国为4.3万美元,美国人均消费支出是中国的15.2倍。

6、居民储蓄率:中国是美国的4.8倍

自20世纪70年代至今,中国居民储蓄率始终保持世界前列,自2010年以来,中国居民储蓄率持续下降,2018年中国居民储蓄率为36.8%,美国经济分析局公布2018年居民储蓄率约为7.6%,中国居民储蓄率是美国的4.8倍。

7、人均住房面积:美国是中国的1.7倍

据中国国家统计局数据显示,2018年全国居民人均住房建筑面积为39平方米,美国有关资料显示,美国人均住房面积约为65平方米,美国人均住房面积是中国的1. 7倍。

8、平均预期寿命:美国比中国多2.1岁

国家卫健委发布的《2018年中国卫生健康事业发展统计公报》显示,2018年中国居民平均预期寿命为77岁,比1949年的35 岁增加了42岁。据世界卫生组织公布的2018年《世界健康统计》的数据,美国平均预期寿命为78.5岁,位居全球第34位,中国为76.4岁,居全球第52位,美国平均预期寿命比中国多2.1岁。

9、人均医疗支出:美国是中国的17倍

中国人均医疗卫生支出远低于美国,2018年为4148.1元,约为644.5美元,而同期美国人均医疗卫生支出为11172美元,是中国的17倍。造成中美医疗支出巨大差距的一个重要原因是美国商业医疗保险业比较发达,而中国商业医疗保险业尚处于起步阶段。

10、恩格尔系数:中国是美国的3.3倍

1978-2018年中国居民人均消费支出增长107倍。2018年中国居民恩格尔系数为28.4%,已迈入联合国粮农组织认定的最富裕国家行列;美国恩格尔系数为8.7%,中国是美国的3.3倍。

11、人均能耗:美国是中国的3.1倍

根据世界能源统计年鉴(2019)的数据,2018年美国一次能源消费量达到2300.6百万吨油当量,中国为3139百万吨油当量,美国人均基础能源消耗为294.8石油当量,中国是96.9石油当量,美国人均能源消耗是中国的3.1倍。中国铁路、公路里程相当于美国的58%和73%;美国机场数量是中国的29.7倍,航空运输量大约为中国的2倍;美国轨道交通运营长度是中国的3.6倍;2018年中国物流发展指数为3.6,低于美国的3.9。

12、博物馆和图书馆:美国是中国的5.4倍

资料显示,美国现有16700座博物馆,公共图书馆数量达到16968座,平均不到1.8万人就有一座博物馆和公共图书馆。中国的博物馆和图书馆约为6200座,美国博物馆和图书馆数是中国的5.4倍。

13、军费开支:美国是中国的3.7倍

根据瑞典斯德哥尔摩国际和平研究所的数据,全球2018年军费支出达到18000亿美元,居30年来最高。美国军费为6430亿美元,占全球军费的36%,中国为1715.8亿美元,美国是中国的3.7倍。

经济格局:总量有望超美国、人

均量差距巨大

从世界经济格局看,2018年,中美两国GDP占世界40%、股市占54%、贸易额占23%,美元与人民币占世界货币流通量74%。中美贸易战的实质是“世界经济大战”;自从美国1890年成为世界第一大国以来,世界第二经济大国无一例外地出现衰退并失去第二大国地位,中国能不能成为131年来第一个不衰退的第二经济大国,举世瞩目。贸易战的真相是新的“第二经济大国陷阱”,既要钱、更要“命”;贸易战的走向是“美国不会容忍超越、中国不会放弃发展”;只要美国不独享新科技革命的成果,中国不犯颠覆性错误,中国经济总量超越美国只是时间问题,但经济结构、效率等仍与美国相差30年左右。

贸易战两年来,尽管中美贸易额下降7.2%,但中国GDP占美国GDP的比重,不但没有下降,反而上升了4.6个百分点,对美贸易顺差还增加了200亿美元,当然经济发展还潜在着企业外移、资金外流等深层次矛盾。疫情之后贸易战可能升级。美国有技术、中国有市场,技术与市场结合,技术的效应才能放大,市场的潜力才能开发。中美经济合作不仅是中美双赢,而且能带动各国多赢。

14、近70年GDP增速,中国是美国的9倍

1949—2019年70年期间,中国GDP由466亿元增加至990865亿元,名义GDP了2125.3倍。如果按美元计算,1949-2019年,中国GDP由202.6亿美元增长到14.36万亿美元,增长707.8倍。同期,美国GDP由2728亿美元增长到21.43万亿美元,增长了77.6倍,中国70年GDP增长倍数是美国的9.0倍。1978-2019年41年间,中国GDP按美元计算增长了95倍,同期美国GDP增长了8.1倍,中国近41年GDP增长倍数是美国的10.5倍。 

15、GDP总量:中国是美国的67.8%

根据中国国家统计局和美国经济分析局的数据,2017-2019年美国GDP总量约为19.39、 20.54和21.43万亿美元,中国GDP分别为12.25、13.6、13.9万亿美元,中国GDP占美国的比重分别为63.2%、66.2%、67.8%。

16、GDP增速:中国是美国的2.7倍

据国家统计局数据显示,2017-2019年中国GDP增速分别为6.9%、6.5%和6.1%,同期,美国GDP增速分别为2.3%、2.9%和2.3%,中国GDP增速分别是美国的3倍、2.2倍、2.65倍。

17、劳动生产率:美国约是中国的12倍

据世界劳工组织统计数据,21世纪以来,中国劳动生产率从2000年的2023美元跃升至8253美元,而美国劳动增长率2000年就已达到81316美元,2017年已突破10万元大关,为101101美元,美国劳动生产率约为中国的12倍。

18、三产占比:美国比中国高27.1个百分点

根据中国国家统计局数据,2018年中国三次产业占GDP的比重分别为7.0%、39.7%、53.3%,2019年三次产业占比分别为7.1%、39.0%、53.9%,按照美国国家经济局数据,2018年美国三次产业占GDP的比重分别为为1%、17%、82%,2019年三次产业占比分别为0.8%、18.2%、81%。2019年中国第三产业占GDP比重比美国少27.1个百分点,仅相当于美国60年前的水平。

19、人均GDP:美国是中国的 6.3倍

2019年中国人均GDP首次超过1万美元,达到1.03万美元,美国人均GDP为6.5万美元,美国人均GDP为中国的6.3倍,中国人均GDP仅为世界第74位。

20、国债:美国联邦政府债务是中国的14.7倍

国际金融协会(IIF)报告显示,2018年美国债务总额69万亿美元,是GDP的3.4倍,占全球债务总额的28%。截至2018年末,中国政府债务约为33.4万亿元,合4.7万亿美元,占2018年中国GDP的37.0%。

21、第一产业增加值:中国是美国的6倍

根据国家统计局的数据,2018年、2019年中国第一产业增加值分别为9782亿美元和10215亿美元。同期,根据美国经济分析局的数据,美国第一产业增加值为1642亿美元和1692亿美元。2018年、2019年中国第一产业增加值分别是美国的5.96倍和6.04倍。

22、第二产业增加值:中国是美国的1.4倍

按照国家统计局的数据,2018年、2019年中国第二产业增加值为55308.7亿美元和55978亿美元,同期,根据美国经济分析局的数据,美国第二产业的增加值38151亿美元和39014亿美元。2018年、2019年中国第二产业增加值是美国的1.5倍和1.4倍。

23、第三产业增加值:中国仅为美国的45%

按照国家统计局数据,2018年、2019年中国第三产业增加值为70960亿美元和 77442亿美元。同期,根据美国经济分析局的数据,美国是165147.5亿美元和173571亿美元。2018年、2019年中国第三产业增加值分别是美国的44%和45%。

24、国际贸易:中国对美国贸易顺差2958亿美元

据国家海关总署的数据,2019年我国货物贸易进出口总值为31.53亿美元,比2018年增长3.4%,贸易顺差2.92万美元,增长25.4%。但是,贸易战导致中美贸易额下降了14.6%,其中,中国对美国出口下降12.5%,美国对中国出口下降20.9%。2017年-2019年,中美贸易额分别是5836.97亿美元、6335.2亿美元和5412.23亿美元,同期中国对美国的贸易顺差分别为2758亿美元、3233亿美元和2958亿美元。2019年比贸易战前的2017年比较,中美贸易额下降424.74亿美元,下降7.2%,中国对美国贸易顺差增加了200亿美元。

25、世界500强企业:中国比美国多9家

2019《财富》世界500强企业排行数据显示,中国上榜公司数量达到了129家,美国共120家企业上榜,中国历史上首次超过美国,中国比美国多9家。即使不计算台湾地区企业,中国大陆企业(包括香港企业)也达到119家,比美国只少一家。

26、营商环境:美国排名领先中国38位

据世界银行发布的《2019营商环境报告》,中国营商环境排全球第46位,较上年度大幅提高32名,被列为2018年营商环境改善最为显著的十大国家之一,美国排在第8位,领先中国38位。

27、全球经济增量贡献率:中国是美国的2倍

据国际货币基金组织(IMF)的测算,2018年中国经济为世界经济增长贡献了30%的增量,居世界首位,美国为15.3%,中国的贡献率约是美国的2倍。

创新格局:数量指标接近、质

量差距明显

美国是当今世界唯一超级大国,经济、科技、教育和军事实力均居世界第一,是世界经济、科技、人才和军事中心。数据表明,美国综合国力强、发展质量高,中国增长速度快、发展潜力大。中美综合国力差距相当明显,一些差距短期内难以弥补。“中国威胁论”、“中国超越论”都缺乏科学依据,“中国发展论”才是硬道理。

28、创新指标:中国6个数量指标领先、美国7个质量指标领先

从国际创新体系常用的13个指标分析,我国在研发人员、科技期刊论文、工程技术论文(EI)、专利申请量、高科技产品出口、世界500强企业等6个指标领先,其中4个为数量指标。美国在国际论文(SCI)、研发经费、PCT专利、国家创新指数、世界100强大学、世界500强企业、世界500强品牌等7个创新质量指标领先。

注:作者根据有关数据整理,未注明时间的指标均为2017年数据。

29、论文:美国前沿科学前100篇论文数是中国的7倍

由于统计口径不一致,中美两国有关报告均认为对方的论文数量世界第一。据《中国科技统计年鉴2017》显示,2017年中国国内科技论文47.2万篇,国际科技论文36.1万篇、工程索引论文22.6万篇、国际会议录引文索引8.6万篇。据《美国国家自然科学基金会》的研究报告显示,2016年中国学者作为第一作者的论文为42.6万篇,比中国统计的国际科技论文数量高出近6.5万篇(包含了部分非国际期刊论文),而美国人同期发表的学术论文为40.9万篇。美国论文的质量明显高于中国,2018年Altmetric发布的全球最热科学论文TOP100中,美国有72篇,中国仅11篇。

30、PCT专利:美国是中国的1.2倍

据WIPO统计数据显示,中国专利申请保持较快速度增长。2017年全球批准的专利中,中国占比30%,高于美国、日本、韩国和欧洲的23%、14%、9%和8%。虽然中国专利申请量与授权量均居世界第一位,但是国际专利申请数量明显不足。中国PCT专利申请量从2012年的1.8万多件增加到2017年的4.8万多件,年均增速21.3%。截至2017年5月,美国的PCT专利申请量全球占比为24.6%,中国为20.3%。

31、研发经费:美国是中国的1.9倍

2018年中国研发经费支出约2969亿美元,美国研发投入为5738亿美元,中国研发支出占GDP比重为2.2%,低于美国的2.8%,美国研发经费支出是中国的1.9倍,但中国是世界上研发经费增长最快的国家之一。

32、研发重点:美国是生物、中国是信息

2005至2018年,美国生物与医学研发经费占联邦民用研发经费的比重一直保持在50%以上,另从美国发布《国家创新报告》、《先进制造业国家计划》、《生物经济蓝图》、《可信网络空间》等国家科技发展战略报告分析,美国研发经费重点是健康、科学和太空等领域。2016年,美国生物与医学论文占自然科学论文的比重为61.6%,居全球第4位,而中国该数据为39.2%,居全球第37位,可见,美国政府科技支持的重点是生物,中国政府科技支持的重点是信息。

33、创新指数:美国比中国高11位

全球五大评估机构(中国科学技术发展战略研究院、世界知识产权组织、瑞士洛桑学院、世界经济论坛、彭博社)对中国科技创新指数评价在13-27位之间(2018年排名第14位),美国科技创新指数的排位均在前6位,中国创新指数比美国相差9-23位。世界知识产权组织公布2018年中国的国家创新能力排名为第17位,瑞士排名第1位,美国排名第6位,中美相差11位。

34、高科技产品出口:中国是美国的4.9倍

2018年中国高技术产品出口额为7479亿美元,美国为1530亿美元,中国是美国的4.9倍,中国高技术出口占制成品出口的比重为25%,美国为20%。中美高科技产品出口差距的一个重要原因是美国产业转移政策造成的,美国注重设计研发与销售,而把生产环节转移到中国及其他国家。此外,从2016年中国对美国出口企业百强榜可以看出,中国的出口结构比例为外资企业占70%,大陆企业仅占30%。

35、知识产权进口:美国是中国的1.7倍

2018年知识产权进口费用排名中,中国仅次于美国排名第4位,爱尔兰排名第一。中国知识产权进口费用为358亿美元,美国为537.5亿美元,其中,中国知识产权进口费用中,72.6%来自于制造业,而其中很大比重又是来自于通信行业。

教育格局:中美差距巨大、

短期难以赶上

从教育格局看,中美教育实力差距巨大,中国教师队伍、学生来源、科研仪器乃至教学方式、方法都与美国有巨大差距。美国顶尖科学家数量是中国的4.3倍,美国人均教育经费是中国的8倍。中美教育领域的差距是中美最大的差距,顶尖人才数量是中美最核心的差距,人才“赤字”是中美之间最大的赤字。十年树木、百年树人,教育的差距要做长期战略布局。

36、全球百强大学:美国是中国的6.7倍

2019年,泰晤士高等教育公布世界大学排名2020榜单,美国40所高校进入前100名,我国保持6所不变,美国是中国的6.7倍。著名大学与教师队伍的差距是中美最大、最难缩小的差距之一。

37、教育支出占比:美国是中国的1.3倍

中国劳动年龄人口平均受教育年限为10.5年,15岁及以上人口平均受教育年限由1982年的5.3年提高到2017年的9.6年。2018年中国教育经费占GDP比重为5.1%,其中财政投入教育支出占GDP比重为4.1%,低于美国的5.2%,美国是中国的1.3倍。

38、顶尖科学家:美国是中国的4.3倍

根据科睿唯安公布的2019年全球高被引科学家名单,其中美国2737人次,中国(含港澳台)为735人次,中国大陆地区为636人次,美国顶尖人才数量是中国的3.7倍,是大陆地区的4.3倍。与2017年的数据比较,中国顶尖人才的数量明显提升。截至2019年9月,全球诺贝尔奖获得者共908人,其中美国为377人,中国大陆仅2人,数量仅为美国的0.5%。

39、接受留学生:美国是中国的2.2倍

中国教育部和《2018年美国门户开放报告》的数据显示,全球留学生总数为485万人,在华留学生人数49万人,赴美留学生人数达109万,是中国的2.2倍。

40、高校入学率:美国是中国的1.8倍

据资料显示,2018年中国高等教育毛入学率已达48.1%,比2012年增长18.1%。2015年,美国的高等教育入学率为87%,是中国的1.8倍。

总之,新冠疫情蔓延正在引发世界格局的重大调整,中美差距也在剧烈变化之中。但美国综合国力强、中国发展潜力大,美国有技术、中国有市场,中美差距的基本格局仍然是最大发展中国家与最大发达国家的差距,短期内很难改变。

延伸阅读:

新形势下中美关系的再认识

文章来源:《党的文献》2020年第1期

文章作者:张宏志(中共中央党史和文献研究院原院务委员(副部长级)、编审)

近年来,国内外关于中美关系现状和未来的讨论日趋热烈,不同观点之间激烈碰撞。随着美方挑起的中美贸易摩擦加剧,美国的关税大棒、技术封锁乃至外交围堵接踵而至,持续不断。如何看待中美关系的发展趋势,及其对中国未来发展的影响,成为一个需要深入探讨的问题。

一、从当前中美关系的新现象看美国对华心态的转变

近年来,中美关系出现了一系列的负面现象,从美国奥巴马政府后期提出“战略东移”和“亚太再平衡”,到特朗普执政后的“印太战略”和贸易摩擦,美方疑华、恐华、遏华声浪不断高涨,敌意措施不断出台,限制、打压中国成为美国统治阶层中占据优势的声音。在中国方面始终坚持对美交流合作、积极主张互利双赢的外交努力中,仍然出现这种违逆时代潮流的负面现象,不能不引起我们的高度警惕。从出现的这些现象中可以看出,美方对华心态已经发生了根本性转变。这种转变主要体现在以下三个方面。

第一,由轻视中国向重视甚至恐惧中国转变。过去美国以人类灯塔自命,居高临下看待中国。两国间的矛盾主要是美国试图按照自身好恶改造中国。上世纪90 年代初,美方认为冷战后中国对美战略价值下降,对华干涉冲动增强,但多是以人权名义施加压力,在经贸领域和人员往来方面则一直加强交流,以谋取实际利益并借此影响和改变中国。经贸领域中虽有矛盾冲突,但更多是服务改变中国政治目的的施压手段。对于中国改革和发展的成功,美方则坚信“中国崩溃论”,认为社会主义制度与市场经济不能兼容,中国的经济增长不可能持久,社会制度也必将走向瓦解,中国难以成长为美国等量级的对手。现在,美方开始认识到中国社会制度的巩固和发展道路的成功,特别是对中国发展的规模和增长的速度感到震撼,认为中国是超越历史上德国、苏联、日本的从未遇到过的全方位战略竞争对手,对于如何应对中国崛起产生了一种无从措手的恐惧。

第二,由对华战略从容向战略焦躁转变。过去美国以冷战胜利者自居,认为 21世纪仍将是美国世纪,中国最终会屈服于美国霸权。因此,美方在处理对华关系时心态较为从容,没有强烈的紧迫感,相信时间和历史会站在自己一边。也正是在这种傲慢心态的作用下,美国放任金融资本无序发展,经济脱实向虚,引发国际金融危机,挥霍了冷战后全球化浪潮带来的发展红利;任意干涉发展中国家内政,不惜以战争手段推行美式政治制度,引发国际恐怖主义浪潮,浪费了冷战后国际局势缓和的和平红利;大搞单边主义,挤压他国战略空间,破坏了冷战阴云初散后晨光乍现的国际合作机遇。这些所作所为逆世界和平与发展的大势而动,加速了美国霸权的衰弱。面对快速发展的中国,美方感觉到形势发展于己不利,自信心严重动摇,产生了一种战略上急功近利的焦躁。

第三,由利用国际规则塑造中国向破坏国际规则打压中国转变。长期以来,美国以国际规则的缔造者和维护者自诩,也是现存国际规则事实上的最大受益者,为此自封为世界警察,到处插手国际事务,对中国也是打着维护国际规则的旗帜,动辄以教师爷口吻横加指责,自信可以按照美方的操作改造或限制中国,把中国纳入美国主导的国际体系。而今天,当美国看到以中国为代表的新兴国家借助现行国际规则中的合理成分发展起来,而美国已无法运用传统手段予以制约,就不惜破坏规则,不择手段打击竞争对手,阻挠、破坏对方的发展,把国际规则变为合则用、不合则弃的玩物。这种转变折射出一种“帝国末世”的不甘和无奈。

以上的心态变化,反映了美国统治阶层对于单极霸权地位的迷恋和昧于世界发展大势的冥顽,导致了美国对华政策上的失稳失序,举措乖张,反复无常。但是,抛开美方的种种喧嚣,认真梳理中美关系的基本脉络,可以发现其中隐含着一定的内在规律可资探寻,从中可以看出中美关系的“变”与“不变”。

二、关于中美关系的“变”与“不变”

20年前,笔者曾在本刊撰文,就苏联解体之后的中美关系作过分析,认为战略安全、意识形态、经贸关系、台湾问题是构成中美关系总体框架的四大因素,美国对外干涉主义倾向的发展、大国之间相互关系的变化、中国经济的发展与综合国力的提高、台湾局势的演变与美台关系的变迁,则是影响未来中美关系的四个主要变量。(参见张宏志:《剧变后的反思——苏联解体与中美关系》,《党的文献》2000年第 6期。)进而得出了中美关系具有颠簸和稳定的两重性,这种两重性是由美国对华政策中遏制和接触的两面性决定的;在当时的历史条件下,美国对华接触的一面超过遏制的一面,两国关系总体上能够保持稳定的结论。20年后的今天,回过头来再看中美关系,仍可以通过这四大因素和四个变量来进行分析。

先从中美关系的基本框架来看,这四大因素仍然存在,但其内涵和重点发生了变化。

第一,关于战略安全问题。大国间的战略平衡与安全,是中美关系的核心。20多年前,由于苏联的解体,美国自以为取得了冷战的胜利,居于一超独大的霸权地位,认为中国在大国制衡方面的价值下降,但在维护世界战略稳定上仍有一定借助作用;中国改革开放后取得了较快发展,对美国构成潜在的威胁,但并非是迫在眉睫的危险,中国的未来仍有待于观察。时至今日,随着国际形势的演变特别是中国综合国力的上升,美国统治阶层中的大多数人认为世界已重回大国竞争的时代,而中国已成为美国的主要竞争对手,把中国看做是对美国霸权秩序的现实威胁,但另一方面又感到中国也是美国应对全球性问题时更加无法回避的合作对象。

第二,关于意识形态问题。改变中国的社会制度,是美国不变的既定战略方针。20多年前,由于世界社会主义运动遭受严重挫折,美国以为历史已经“终结”,中国奉行的是一种已被苏东剧变证明为失败的意识形态和社会制度,可以乘苏东剧变之风顺势拿下中国,受挫后仍坚持认为中国终将走上西化、分化道路,假以时日会等到果实在树上成熟。时至今日,美国失望地发现,中国特色社会主义在经济、政治、文化、社会、生态文明各方面取得了全面的发展和进步,中国的社会主义制度更加完善和成熟,推动社会主义事业在全世界重新焕发出生机与活力,这使得美国自身的制度优越感发生了动摇。美国极端保守势力认定中国已经对西方的社会制度、发展道路乃至文明形态形成了全面挑战,必须与中国进行意识形态乃至文明的对抗,但中国特色社会主义的和平、开放与包容、进步,又减弱了这些势力妖魔化中国、掀起意识形态战争的舆论动员能力。

第三,关于经贸关系。经贸关系是中美之间最重要的纽带。20多年前,随着中国改革开放和经济发展进程的推进,中美经贸关系优势互补、深度交融,发展成彼此最大的贸易伙伴,中国成为美国最大进口来源国、第三大出口市场和重要投资地,美国资本在中国获得巨大收益,美国民众从中国获得了优质低价消费品,中美经贸关系成为中美关系的最大亮点,起到了压舱石的作用,但经贸摩擦也随着经贸规模扩大而跌宕起伏、不断积累。时至今日,随着美中力量对比的变化,美国一些人把美国自身的相对衰弱归结为以中国为代表的外部因素,认为美国在中美经贸关系中吃了亏,中国搭了美国的“便车”,鼓吹对华经济施压,使经贸问题在中美关系中的地位明显上升,成为了中美矛盾的新焦点和美方压制中国发展的新抓手;限制中国经济发展、保持美国优势地位,成为美方对华战略的重点,这一点在高科技产业领域表现得最为突出,但中美两国经济上的互利关系仍然存在,巨大且增长迅速的中国市场更是美国资本所不能放弃的,两国经济“脱钩”已不可能。这种剪不断、理还乱的经贸联系使美方陷入了纠结之中。

第四,关于台湾问题。台湾问题是中美关系的基石,但美方从未放弃利用台湾问题作为制约中国的筹码和工具。冷战期间,美国为了战略利益在台湾问题上做过一定承诺。冷战结束后,美国认为中国战略价值下降,在台湾问题上有所倒退,但面对中国的坚决斗争,为了不破坏冷战后有利于美国的国际局势,不影响美国享受冷战“胜利”的成果,美方没有把台湾问题摆在突出地位,对激进“台独”势力拖美国下水的图谋也有一定警惕。时至今日,随着美方把中国作为战略竞争对手,利用台湾问题牵制中国的图谋再次抬头,但由于中国国力的增长特别是军事斗争能力的增强,也由于美方对于中国维护国家统一决心的了解,使美国在利用台湾的问题上因风险巨大而倍感踌躇,跃跃欲试而又半遮半掩,机会主义色彩明显。台湾海峡两岸不生战乱,仍然有利于美国的战略全局。

从以上四个角度观察,可以发现,中美关系经过 20多年的发展演变,在总体框架不变的情况下,内涵正在悄然发生改变,两国关系的基础仍然存在,但已经受到严重侵蚀。正因为如此,国际上关于文明冲突、修昔底德陷阱、新的两极格局和冷战 2.0等种种声浪此起彼伏。然而,从前述影响中美关系的四个主要变量来看,两国关系的基础仍有稳固的一面,远未到达崩塌时刻。

第一,美国的对外干涉势头受挫。随着美国的相对衰弱,特别是在阿富汗战争和伊拉克战争中泥足深陷,使美国国内各阶层均对陷入新的外部冲突抱有抵触情绪,内顾倾向上升。鼓吹“美国优先”和贸易保护主义的抬头就是美国这种内顾倾向的表现,某些来势汹汹的威胁和恫吓,只是其“极限施压”的讹诈手段。

第二,世界大国关系框架未变,且对美牵制因素增多。随着俄罗斯力量的复苏,美俄结构性矛盾再次凸显,短期内无法取得根本性缓解;美欧之间利益分化,欧洲对美离心倾向上升;中东局势仍然无解,且有进一步恶化趋势,这一切都牵制了美国的力量,使其“战略东移”计划难以完全落实,构筑反华联盟更是无从实现。

第三,台湾形势总体可控。台湾海峡两岸力量对比的天平已决定性地倒向了大陆一边,“台独”分裂势力虽一度猖獗,但台湾已被牢牢锁定在中国大陆发展的轨道上,台湾民众也更加深入地认识到“台独”的危害,更加清醒地认识到台湾沦为分裂分子和外部势力棋子的危险性,美国操弄台湾问题的空间受到极大限制。

第四,就中国国力增强这一最大变量而言,中国并无取代美国称霸世界的野心,中美之间的共同利益也依然存在,搞坏中美关系对美方而言代价也会更加巨大。如果说当今世界存在修昔底德陷阱的话,这也是美国一些人为自己挖的陷阱,是美方自己的心魔所致。

由以上分析可见,影响中美关系的这些变量尚未产生颠覆性作用,有的甚至向着有利于稳定的方向发展。中美关系在变化中也有未变,未变的是中美之间存在的利益交汇点,变化的则是美方心态等自身因素,是源于美方对自身霸权基础沦丧速度的震惊和对中国发展预期的失望,以及二者之间的巨大落差,根本原因是其不能正确认识和顺应世界发展大势。

正因为如此,在美方霸权心态得到调整之前,中美关系难以全面好转,也不可能回到 20多年前的状态,但尚不至于彻底崩盘。遏制中国的发展虽已成为美国统治阶层大多数人的共同目标,但时移势异,搞全面对抗已很难行得通,接触作为一种战略手段也不会放弃,美国对华政策仍具两面性,遏制与接触、打压与交流交互并进,如影随形。中美关系在很长一段时间会更加颠簸,但总体上尚在可控范围之内。中国与美国之间将长期处于一种“谈谈” ——“打打”——“谈谈”的斗争与合作交织、交错的相持局面,场景变幻更加频繁,可能是一波未平、一波又起,也不排除在特定时段、特定领域发生较为激烈的对抗。

三、美国对华冷战的可能性及其前途展望

我们说中美关系总体上仍然可控,并不是说可以对此掉以轻心。美国利用各种渠道和手段遏制中国发展的图谋不会改变,我们始终要高度警惕美方层出不穷的大小动作,特别要警惕美国极端保守势力操弄反华政治空气制造事端。面对中美关系中的种种不确定性,我们要树立底线思维,做好最坏情况下的准备,争取最好的结果,关键是要坚定信心,敢于斗争,巧于应对,通过“持久战”争取最后胜利。

美国通过 40多年的冷战,以政治、经济、文化、军事、外交各方面的全方位对抗,最终拖垮了苏联。美国一些人认为可以通过同样的手段拖垮中国,国内也有人担心爆发新的冷战会阻断中华民族复兴的历史进程。但是,如果我们冷静分析世界发展大局和中国未来发展趋势,我们就会发现,时代已经发生了变化,今天的中国也绝不是过去的苏联,美国如果执意发动对华冷战,仍将是在“错误的时间,错误的地点,与错误的敌人进行一场错误的战争”,必将招致比朝鲜战争更大的失败,甚至从根本上动摇美国的霸权。这也是美国反华势力不能不考虑的风险。

第一,时代条件和世人对时代条件的认识与运用不同。美苏冷战发生于上世纪中叶。当时,第二次世界大战刚结束不久,战争阴霾尚未散尽,而世界分裂为东西两大阵营,相互之间形成了激烈的竞争和对抗。美国作为西方阵营的首领,利用世界各国战后的虚弱和修复战争创伤的迫切需求,以自由市场经济为旗帜,掌握了世界上大部分资源,形成了美方掌控的世界市场体系,客观上顺应了初现端倪的经济全球化浪潮。而苏联方面坚持高度集中的计划经济体制,虽然在战后恢复时期一度表现出高速发展的优势,但不能灵活适应社会需求的弱点日益暴露出来,加之没有认识到经济全球化的发展趋向,坚持“两个平行市场”的理论,使整个东方集团与世界市场脱节,自我孤立于逐步兴起的经济全球化的大潮之外。苏美双方对比,美方处于顺势而为,苏方处于逆势操作,竞争结果是苏方越来越处于被动地位,东方集团内部国家的离心倾向也越来越大,消耗了苏联大量精力和资源,最终引发了苏东剧变。在冷战结束 20多年后的今天,和平与发展已是当今世界的主题,世界多极化、经济全球化已经不可逆转,全球经济已深度融合为一体,搞集团对抗也已不得人心。中国经过 40多年的改革开放,探索出一条中国特色社会主义道路,确立了社会主义市场经济体制,实施全方位对外开放,主动融入经济全球化浪潮,已经成为世界第二大经济体、第一大工业国、第一大货物贸易国、第一大外汇储备国和第二大进口国,对世界经济增长的年均贡献率超过30%,不仅成为了“世界工厂”而且正在成为“世界市场”,是世界经济体系和全球产业链中不可或缺的一环。在这种条件下割断与中国的经济联系、全面封锁中国,必将导致自我孤立和内部分裂。美国如果发动对华冷战,将是逆经济全球化大势而动,而中国坚持对外开放则是顺势而行,成败利钝不言而喻。

第二,中苏两国国情不同。虽然中苏两国同为社会主义大国,但在具体国情上仍有很大不同。除如前所述,中国特色社会主义已不同于苏联模式之外,中苏两国在文化背景、历史方位、国家禀赋上也有着极大差异。首先,从文化背景看,历史上的沙俄是一个迅速扩张的后起国家,自彼得大帝改革起就有融入西方的强烈愿望。十月革命、建立苏联之后,历经社会主义建设和反法西斯战争的胜利,苏联各族人民的民族自信心和国家认同感有了很大提高,但历史遗留的文化上西顾倾向仍然强烈,国内不同民族间在文化认同上仍有历史隔阂。而中国是一个有着五千年历史的文明古国,历史传统从未中断,国内各民族在长期共同生活中形成了牢固的民族和文化认同,结成了中华民族命运共同体,近代以来虽然受到外来文化的冲击,但中国学习西方的热情因屡遭“先生”的欺负而倍受打击,全盘西化始终没有在中国社会思潮中占据主流地位,将世界先进文化与中国优秀传统文化相结合,探寻一条适合中国国情的民族复兴道路,从来都是绝大多数中国人的共同追求。其次,从历史方位来看,苏联在取得历史性成就之后,逐步失去了前进动力和未来方向感,始则自满于已经取得的成就,将自身发展模式神圣化,使得经济社会发展丧失了活力;继而在发现问题后,自信心发生动摇,在改革的目标、方向和道路上失去共识,陷入了混乱,最终走上西化、分化之路。而中国在经历百年屈辱之后,实现中华民族伟大复兴始终是全民族百折不挠追寻的梦想,经过艰辛探索找到中国特色社会主义道路后,国家、民族正处于上升阶段,整个社会充满了活力,正在为实现中国梦而共同奋斗。其三,从国家禀赋上看,苏联地广人稀,开发难度较大,资源虽然丰富,但也因此产生了资源依赖性,经济结构扭曲,潜力不易发挥。而中国人口是当年苏联或当今美国的数倍,人均资源虽少,但劳动力丰富,市场容量大,释放中的增长潜力不可限量。中国人民改善自身生活的巨大需求,为中国发展提供了无限空间。综合这三个方面的差异,可以看出:美苏冷战时期,苏联社会处于停滞阶段,美国的社会活力和内部共识高于苏联,美方占据了主动地位;而当今时代,美国霸权的巅峰时代已过,而中国是蓬勃发展的新兴力量,如果美国执意与中国长期对抗,长消兴衰不卜可知。

第三,中西方战略文化不同。面对美方的遏制图谋,中苏两国由于文化背景不同、战略思维模式和应对方式也迥然不同。苏联由于其前身沙俄曾是西方列强,既有基督教文明的救世情结,又有霸权主义的历史烙印,更加之在指导思想上片面夸大了美苏矛盾在国际政治中的决定性作用,因而走上了一条与美争霸的硬对抗道路。这种在国家硬实力不如对方的情况下比拼实力的硬碰硬对抗,导致了苏联经济的畸形发展,重工业特别是军事工业一枝独秀,人民生活长期遭到忽视,经济改革几次错失时机,成为其最终失败的重要原因之一。而中国从历史文化、现实国情到国家政治哲学和发展战略,从来都没有对外扩张和称霸的基因,始终把实现国家富强、民族振兴、人民幸福作为实现民族复兴的目标,把维护世界和平、实现共同发展作为实现民族复兴的外部条件,坚持走一条与世界各国互利共赢的和平发展道路,努力把世界机遇变为中国机遇、把中国机遇变为世界机遇,积极构建人类命运共同体。正因为如此,中国对于美方的种种挑衅没有采取以牙还牙、以眼还眼的单一对抗,而是灵活运用了中国传统文化中以柔克刚、后发制人的战略文化精髓,采取了斗争与合作两手并用的策略,核心利益坚决维护,合作大门继续敞开,以有理、有利、有节的斗争巩固两国间的合作,特别是不搞全面对抗,不随对方起舞,不沉溺军备竞赛,不拉拢军事集团,坚持全面开放,广交各方朋友,在外交斗争中你打你的遏制牌、我打我的合作牌,始终保持战略主动地位。如果美国有人想把中国诱入修昔底德陷阱,那最终落入陷阱者究竟为谁,不言自明。

从以上三个方面分析,我们可以得出结论,苏联历史上的失败更多是源于自身的不足和失误。在 21世纪的今天,面对当今的中国,重拾冷战思维已经是时过境迁、主客易势,试图以冷战阻挡中国发展更是背时逆势之举,是身体进入 21世纪、脑袋还停留在旧时代的“时空错乱”。我们不能断言美国不会以冷战方式遏制中国,但可以断定这种图谋必将失败。和平与发展的时代主题没有变,世界多极化与经济全球化的历史大势没有变,中华民族走向复兴的内生动力也没有变,“时”与“势”均在我们一方。只要我们坚定中国特色社会主义的道路自信、理论自信、制度自信、文化自信,保持战略定力,不为一时压力所动摇,也不受一事挑逗而冲动,努力实现我们自己的既定战略目标,我们就一定能战胜任何外部挑战。眼前面临这些困难是中华民族复兴征程中必经的风暴,是具有新的历史特点的伟大斗争的组成部分,但,风暴可以掀翻小池塘,但不能掀翻中国这片大海。当我们挺过这场风暴之后,我们将会迎来一片彩虹,中华民族的伟大复兴将迈上一个新的历史阶梯,包括美国在内的世界也会以不一样的眼光看待那时的中国。

中美关系演变的脉络、历史的经验教训及影响未来的新因素

文章来源:第一智库

文章作者:章百家(原中共党史研究室副主任)

一、中美差异与两国关系的发展脉络

中美是两个极为不同的国家。这种不同在有形无形之中影响着双方彼此的认知、相互政策和两国关系的发展。认识中美之间的差异有助于理智地处理两国关系。

1、中美两国的主要差异。

这种差异是多方面的,包括:历史、文化、宗教和传统,民族构成和人口数量,地缘和周边环境,社会政治经济制度和发展水平,国际地位的变迁,近代以来的经历经验等等。最明显之处,美国是一个年轻的老牌现代化国家,而中国是一个古老的新兴现代化国家。中美两国都是多民族国家,但美国的多民族主要由移民构成,中国则经过上千年的民族融合形成了以汉族为主体的多民族国家。两国人口规模相差很大。在地缘和周边环境方面,虽然两国领土面积相似,但在世界各大国中,美国的周边环境简单,地缘条件最好;中国则为众多邻国环绕,地缘环境最为复杂,是所谓的“四面八方国家”。两国在各自的历史上形成了不同的社会政治经济制度,处于不同的发展水平。尤其在国际地位的变迁方面,美国从诞生到现在,其国际地位基本是不断上升的,现在可能正面临着历史上的第一次下降;而中国的国际地位已经几起几落,近代以来尤甚。这些差异对两国的观念和心态具有重要影响,双方在交往中都会情不自禁地依据自己的价值观和经验去判断对方。

2、距离产生美感,接近易生失望。

这是中美交往史的一个显著特点。巨大的差异和多方面的不同使中美之间产生了一种特殊的吸引力,同时又使得双方难以相互理解,由此导致误解、矛盾、摩擦与冲突。美国人有一个不变的“中国梦”,即想要按照美国模式去改造中国;中国人则有一个多变的“美国梦”,有时是美梦,有时是恶梦。不过,事实上两国的相互政策多少都带着理想主义和现实主义因素,只是不同时期偏向不同。

3、中美关系演变的基本线索。

从中美关系的发展来看,虽然美国在19世纪末提出“门户开放”政策,但事实上直到20世纪初期,两国关系还极为疏远。每一方都处于另一方外交政策的边缘地带,特殊之处在于双方都试图为未来保留机会。1941年底太平洋战争爆发后,中美经历了4年短暂且摩擦不断的同盟期。第二次世界大战结束后,美国很快把日本当作其亚洲的主要盟友,这是当年中美矛盾不可忽视的一个方面。40年代末,美苏冷战格局的形成和中国革命的胜利,以及随后的朝鲜战争,造成中美两国的长期对峙与隔绝。直至70年代初,两国关系解冻,开启正常化进程,1979年1月1日正式建交。此后40年,中美关系总体不断发展,期间虽有矛盾和磨擦,但这是历史上中美关系最稳定的时期,也是双方从这一关系中获益最大的时期。

当前,中美关系可能正在进入一个新的阶段,前景具有不确定性。因此,总结以往的历史经验和教训具有极为重要的意义,它可以使双方都更好地面向未来。

二、中美关系演变提供的历史经验

中美关系历经疏远、同盟、对抗、对峙、缓和、合作、摩擦等不同状况。在丰富的历史中有许多值得总结的经验和教训。这里仅就我在研究工作中体会较深的两个方面谈几点看法。

1、从历史角度看影响中美关系的因素最值得注意的有两点:

(1)中美关系从来不是简单的双边关系,理解中美关系的演变需将其置于多边框架之中。历史上中美关系的演变在很大程度上受第三方因素或多边因素的影响。例如,20世纪30年代至40年代,日本的侵略和扩张是促使中美接近最重要的因素。40年代末至70年代初,美苏冷战,朝鲜战争和越南战争是造成中美对峙和对抗的重要因素,而中苏同盟的破裂、美国准备从越南撤出又为中美和解创造了条件。中美建交后,在彼此的相互政策中,出于双边关系的考虑渐成主导,其他因素退居次要,但并非不存在。其中,某个国家作为单一第三方因素的影响或有所下降;但多边因素的影响和综合考量在中美关系中所占比重不断上升。近年来,这一趋势随中国崛起而更加明显。对于两个世界性大国来说,这是必然的。从中国的角度看,这意味着在分析和应对美方的政策变动时,要有更开阔的世界眼光,考虑多方面因素的影响及作用。对此,我们的认识还有所不足。

(2)主导中美关系演进的深层因素是中国内部的变革,而两国关系的亲疏在很大程度上取决于双方对世界前景的判断。双边关系是由两国共同塑造的,是一个互动过程。中美关系的演进,一般地说,美国居于更主动的地位,这是由于两国综合国力不同,在国际体系中所处的地位不同;然而,在更深层次上,主导中美关系演进的主要因素有两个:一是中国内部的变革,二是双方对世界前景的判断。考察中美关系史就会发现,20世纪中国内部发生的一系列重大变革都对中美关系的演变产生了重大影响。如辛亥革命、五四运动、全民族抗战、中国革命的胜利、中苏分裂、70年代末开始的中国改革开放,等等。再深入一步就会发现,双方对世界前景判断的同异,在很大程度上决定着两国的亲疏,而这种判断的改变常成为双方调整彼此相互政策的先导。在研讨中美关系时,人们十分在意利益的共同或相背;然而对中美这样的大国来说,对世界前景的判断将在很大程度上决定利益的取舍。因此,如何在对世界发展的前景上求得共识,对于中美关系的稳定格外重要。

2、处理中美双边关系的四点基本经验和教训:

(1)无论中美关系处于何种状况,必须记住两国的国情有很大差异,在处理相互关系时,必须不断加深对对方国情的了解,一方面是为了避免和减少误判;另一方面是为了制订更有针对性的政策。历史表明,对于中国和美国这样的大国,外部力量对任何一方的内政和发展道路的影响是有限的。各国之间交流的扩大与深入有助于一国借鉴他国的经验,但每个国家的制度和发展道路必定根植于自身的历史文化之中,其改进有赖于本国人民的实践与体验。

(2)在时局转换的关键时刻,当中美出现矛盾时,双方都需要保持冷静、克制与远见,一是尽可能避免紧张关系的升级,防止陷于对抗;二是无论双方关系处于何种状况都要留有转圜的余地。从40年代后期直至60年代末期,中美除在朝鲜战场进行了一场直接较量外,两国领导人在处理相互关系时都注意留有一定余地,并非如表面看起来的那样强硬。例如,杜鲁门决定不卷入中国内战、不把朝鲜战争扩大到中国境内,毛泽东在第二次炮击金门时十分在意不伤及美国人,此后当蒋介石企图反攻大陆时和美国越战升级时,中美在没有正式外交关系的情况下利用各种渠道实现了危机管理,避免了再次直接对抗。这就为后来中美关系的转变保留了机会。在朝鲜的对抗未能避免,主要因美国出现误判;缓和未能较早出现,则因双方的政策弹性都有所不足。

(3)在某种意义上,中美两国是通过对峙和对抗增进相互了解的,最重要的就是认识彼此的力量及其限度,如此才能消除恐惧。一方政策强硬的时候,往往内心有所恐惧。大国之间要消除恐惧,就必须了解彼此的力量及其限度,这是建立互信的前提条件。例如,新中国成立后长期担心美国武装侵略中国,美国则担心中共在亚洲实行共产主义扩张。至70年代,中国看到美国连越战都打不赢,美国也看到中国因“文革”而内部问题堆积如山,双方以往的担忧因而不复存在。这是中美关系正常化进程得以启动的一个重要条件。现在,第一次出现美国把中国视为主要挑战者的恐惧。类似的恐惧在美国历史上出现过三次,二战时的德意日、冷战时的苏联、一度高速发展的日本。美国应对这几次挑战的经验和办法都会对美国对华政策有所影响。中美两国很可能要通过一段博弈才能明了彼此的真实意图和力量的限度,正视继续合作的必要。

(4)塑造适合时代需要的中美关系,需要智慧和创造性,需要有打破常规的勇气。中美关系正常化的进程中的许多环节、故事都说明了这一点。例如,美国总统尼克松在中美未有外交关系的情况下访问北京,中美互设联络处,中美正式建交成为中国改革开放的前奏,等等。目前,应对中美关系的困局,构建面向未来的中美关系,需要更大的智慧、更多的创造性,不仅要考虑双边问题,而且要更多地从全球视角观察,从稳定和改进国际秩序的角度思考。

三、影响中美关系的新因素

中美关系发生变化,其起点可任追溯至上世纪冷战结束前后。此后,海湾战争、9﹒11事件、美伊战争、全球金融危机等一系列事件的发生推迟了中美矛盾的爆发。2000年后,我在多篇文章中强调,中国与世界的关系、中国的国家安全已经进入一个敏感时期。融入世界是中国改革开放取得成功的重要因素,其带来的重大变化是中国与世界前所未有的紧密联系,同时中国也受到前所未有的制约。

1、最近一波由高科技和信息化推动的全球化浪潮带来一系列新问题,致使各国特别是各大国之间的竞争加剧。这些新问题包括资本的迅速流动、制造业和产业链的快速转移,人工智能取代传统就业、贫富分化加剧、中产阶级处璄困难、民粹主义兴起、内政与外交之间的界限变得模糊,等等。这些新问题对世界各国产生了不同程度的冲击,也是中美矛盾凸显的背景。各国面临的问题趋同,意味着以往通过互补方式解决各自问题的办法失灵,各国间的竞争由此加剧。

2、中国已成为当代世界最重要的变量,需要调整处理对外关系的思维方式,积累大国博弈的经验。中国现在是世界第二大经济体,国际影响前所未有;同时改革进入深水区,中国内部的发展存在不确定性。在这种情况下,美国、各大国和周边国家必然会高度关注中国内政、外交的变化,对中国各方面的发展做出评估,预为应对或防范。我国自身发展与外部环境变动联系如此紧密,这要求我们出言行事都要预估外部世界的反应,做好应对预案。特别在下先手棋时要看好几步,留有后手,谋定而动。

3、中美已出现结构性矛盾,形成全面竞争态势,以往的互信基础已不复存在。自中美建交以来双方互信基础是两国综合国力相差悬殊,在安全方面有共同需求,在经济方面可形成互补。近年来,随着中国的迅速发展,中美逐渐呈现全面竞争态势。这种局面如此之快的到来多少出人预料,但这是中美双方迟早要面对的。现在的问题是中美竞争究竟会朝哪个方向发展,是趋于恶性竞争导致双方脱钩或对抗,还是可以形成公平竞争加继续合作的局面。我们的意愿是明确的,就是避免前者,争取后者。

4、如何解决中国模式、中国体量与现存世界体系兼容的问题是实现和平、发展、合作、共赢的关键。近年被热炒的中国何时取代美国其实是个伪命题。未来世界必将是多极多元的,绝非20世纪的翻版,现存的美国一超独大模式将难以再现。真正的问题是中美两个大国,有巨量经济联系和诸多共同利益,但又有不同的体制和制度,在竞争条件下如何面向未来世界。这个问题不仅是对中美两国的挑战,也是对世界的挑战。改革开放开启了中国融入现存世界体系的进程,中国由此发展壮大。今天的中国要坚持走和平发展的道路,就必须学会从世界的角度看自己,在维护自身利益的同时,妥善处理与其他国家的矛盾,包括发达国家和发展中国家。事实上,这类矛盾不少,已不容回避。要推进全球治理体系变革、建立人类命运共同体,首先要避免对抗,缓和结构性矛盾,建立各方都能接受的规则和秩序。这将是一场多方博弈,当前的中美贸易谈判只是开场。

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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