中国给英美“特殊关系”种下裂痕

英国《金融时报》 嘉南•加内什
2019.06.10 12:00

民粹主义者既憎恶大都市、又要求大都市对其表现出尊重。文化右翼认为,大城市是摇摇欲坠的巴别塔,法令废弛,穷人和少数族群聚居,但同时,大城市又代表造富的成功故事,看不起保守的外省。“你们这些挤在一起、穷困潦倒的失败者,”这种对待城市人的汤姆•沃尔夫(Tom wolfe)式的态度似乎在说,“我们不比你们差。”

所有这些都有助于解释为什么一些英国民粹主义者宁愿支持一位外国总统,也不支持本国崇尚自由主义的首都的市长。唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)与萨迪克•汗(Sadiq Khan)之间的口水战,是现代政治——封闭VS开放——的缩影。

但英国讨好这位来访总统的背后还有更多因素。外交政策在发挥作用。英国右翼将美国视为后英国退欧时代的天然伙伴。如果无协议退欧让英国在欧洲受到冷落,英国希望能依靠快速增长的美国来暖暖手。

这种期待应该被制止。自英法草率入侵苏伊士运河(Suez Canal)、而德怀特•艾森豪威尔(Dwight Eisenhower)拒绝袖手旁观以来,英国保守派一直对美国保守派抱有误解。没错,特朗普与英国前外交大臣鲍里斯•约翰逊(Boris Johnson)之间存在一种充满希望的欢乐友情。而美国右翼将民族国家、而非欧盟(EU)珍视为人类组织的终极形式。两国还就签署双边贸易协定相谈甚欢。

只不过,两国恰恰在本世纪最大的问题上利益不同,仅此而已。甚至在决定退欧之前,英国就把中国视为一个商业机遇。一旦失去其在欧洲贸易集团的正式成员国身份,英国的态度将不得不变得更加热络。英国没有资本挑选自己的经济伙伴。

与此同时,美国正以两倍的速度朝着相反的方向行进。实际上,与一年前对华挑起关税战时相比,美国如今更加不信任中国。这番当时可以解释为一位异想天开的总统试图为美国获得更有利的贸易条款的尝试,已经演变成一场更广泛的对抗。特朗普的观点在曾经信奉自由放任的公司董事会和一度崇尚正统的华盛顿研讨会上流行开来。称之为共识会有些草率。一些声名显赫的美国人希望给中国一个下马威,然后见好就收。另一些人则希望两个经济体最终脱钩。但美国的总体思路及其与英国在华利益的不相容是毋庸置疑的。而且很可能是棘手的。

如果这看起来更像一个理论、而非实际问题,那么可以看看最近的一起案例。2015年,当伦敦申请加入北京牵头的亚洲基础设施投资银行(AIIB)时,华盛顿就恼怒这种对中国的“不断迁就”。而且那还是在巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)政府时期。想象一下这一幕出现在特朗普或其他民粹主义者当政时期会怎样。

由于英国早已退出超级大国行列,中国的崛起对英国自身的地位没有任何影响。英国的经济利益几乎可以等同于外交政策。而美国处于一个截然不同的尴尬位置。它是一个面临被(它认为的)修正主义大国降级的、目前处于统治地位的大国。它的外交政策必须超越企业家的精明。

毫无疑问,亲密的伙伴可以因一件事争吵,但同时保持整体的和谐。但围绕如此重要的一个第三方,英美观点如此对立,这种伙伴关系很奇怪。随着时间的推移,这种战略紧张将无法用英美会晤中常见的套话——单方面的恭维,违背多数美国白人并非英国后裔的事实空谈“表亲”——来掩饰。此次国事访问有其压力因素。围绕科技巨头华为(Huawei)的问题突显出来,因为美英两国对华为的信任程度不一样。随着时间的推移,这类“楔子问题”更有可能成倍增多,而非减少。

新加坡、德国、澳大利亚、巴西:很多国家都不想在美中之间选边站。但英国的计划体现了另一种雄心——与一个国家保持高度密切的关系,同时从另一个国家获利。

发现奥巴马缺乏崇英情结、对特朗普寄予厚望的英国保守派,结果只能自扇耳光。英美“特殊”关系似乎是一种超然事实——就像力等于质量乘以加速度一样永恒不变——却完全取决于此时此刻坐镇白宫的是谁。

哎,眼下坐镇白宫的是特朗普。同情英国退欧肯定是他的世界观的一部分。但不信任中国显然占据大得多的部分。不是所有国家都承担得起对中国抱有这种不信任的。

译者/谶龙

原文:China sows discord in the ‘special relationship’

By Janan Ganesh

A populist is someone who abhors the metropolis and demands its respect. According to the cultural right, big cities are teetering Babels, lawless and ghettoised, but also wealth-hoarding success stories that look down at the conservative provinces. “You crammed and besieged losers,” this Tom Wolfe-ish attitude to urbanites seems to say, “we are just as good as you.”

All of which helps to explain why some British populists back a foreign president over the mayor of their own liberal capital. The running tiff between Donald Trump and Sadiq Khan is modern politics — closed versus open — in miniature.

But there is more behind the courtship of the visiting president than that. There is foreign policy at work. The British right sees the US as a natural companion in a post-Brexit world. If a no-deal Brexit puts the UK out in the European cold, it hopes to warm its hands on the fire of a fast-growing America.

That hope should be checked. British conservatives have been misreading American ones since Dwight Eisenhower declined to look away as the Suez Canal was summarily invaded. Yes, there is a promising bonhomie between Mr Trump and Boris Johnson, the former UK foreign secretary. And the US right cherishes the nation state, not the EU, as the last word in human organisation. Both countries also talk an excellent game about a bilateral trade deal.

They just happen to have divergent interests on the largest question of the century, that’s all. Even before Brexit, the UK viewed China as a commercial opportunity. Its disposition will have to become even warmer once it loses full membership of its own continental trading bloc. It is not in a position to pick and choose its economic friends.

All the while, the US is moving in the opposite direction twice as fast. It is actually more suspicious of China than it was when it began its tariff campaign a year ago. What could then have been explained away as one quixotic president’s attempt to secure better trading terms has become a wider confrontation. Mr Trump’s views have caught on in formerly laissez-faire boardrooms and in once-orthodox Washington symposia. To call it a consensus is a leap. Some eminent Americans hope to rattle China a bit and leave it at that. Others aspire to nothing less than the eventual decoupling of the two economies. But the general direction of US thought, and its incompatibility with the UK’s Chinese interests, is unmistakable. And possibly intractable.

If this seems a more theoretical than actual problem, then look to the recent past for a case study. In 2015, when London signed up to the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Washington chafed at this “constant accommodation” of China. And that was under the Barack Obama administration. Imagine a replay under Mr Trump or another populist.

Because Britain has long been out of the superpower business, the rise of China has no implications for its own status. Its economic interests and its foreign policy can be almost the same thing. The US is in a very different predicament. It is a ruling power facing demotion by (in its mind) a revisionist one. Its foreign policy has to go beyond entrepreneurial nimbleness.

No doubt, close partners can bicker over one thing while remaining in broad concert. But it is an odd partnership that contains such opposing views on quite so important a third party. As time wears on, this strategic tension cannot be glossed over with the usual grammar of UK-US meetings: the one-sided flattery, the talk of “cousins” that belies the non-British ancestry of even most white Americans. This state visit had its stresses. The question of the tech giant Huawei, which the two countries view with differing levels of suspicion, came up. Such wedge questions are likelier to multiply than to recede over the years.

Singapore, Germany, Australia, Brazil: lots of countries hope not to have to choose between the US and China. But the UK plan — to be ultra-intimate with the one while profiting from the other — is another order of ambition.

That British conservatives put so much hope in Mr Trump, and found Mr Obama’s anglophilia so wanting, only defeats their own argument. The “special” relationship, it seems, is a transcendent fact of the world, as immutable as force equals mass times acceleration, and yet entirely dependent on whoever is in the White House at any given moment.

Well, for now, that occupant is Mr Trump. Sympathy for Brexit is certainly one part of his worldview. But mistrust of China is much the larger. It is not a mistrust all countries can afford.

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