中印安全困境之新变化及其思考
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New Changes in the Sino-Indian Security Dilemma, and Their Consideration

中印安全困境之新变化及其思考

A researcher at one of China’s top institutions studying South Asia explores the security dilemma between China and India that – while varying in nature and severity – has characterized the relationship for 70 years.


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Since 2000, Sino-Indian security interaction has been characterized by instability. On one hand, security interaction between China and India has increased. Being aware of the importance of managing their security relationship, both countries have intensified their efforts to consult on some security issues and have attempted to build cooperative relationships in some areas. On the other hand, the relationship has also shown tensions from time to time, with a series of specific incidents that have caused setbacks in the interactive relationship, particularly the Doklam standoff in 2017 and the Galwan Valley conflict in June 2020. The Sino-Indian security relationship has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. Some scholars have used the security dilemma theory to interpret it, maintaining that a security dilemma is at the root of tensions and instability in the bilateral relationship. The academic community has also intensified research on the Sino-Indian security dilemma. For example, in 2019, the journal Asian Security put out an issue with exploring the security dilemma and China-India relations as the research topic.1 In addition, there have been a number of domestic and international research results in this area, including the 2002 article The Security Dilemma in Sino-Indian Relations written by Professor John Garver.2 India-China Maritime Competition: The Security Dilemma at Sea (Rajesh Basrur et al. eds.) has examined the Sino-Indian “security dilemma” at sea.3 Ajey Lele, meanwhile, has assessed the Sino-Indian security dilemma in space.4 Admittedly, there are also some scholars who say that “security dilemmas” are not suitable for explaining Sino-Indian interaction. Some experts argue that security dilemmas have not played a role in Sino-Indian relations, noting that relations between China and India are characterized not by security dilemmas but by conflicting interests and are influenced by changes in their domestic politics and factors in the international strategic environment.5 Some scholars even argue that the emphasis on the Sino-Indian security dilemma is somehow a Western bias and a trap.6 Do China and India face a security dilemma? If so, what level of security dilemma do China and India currently face, and what is new about it compared to the traditional security dilemma? How can China and India alleviate the current security dilemma and build a compatible security relationship? This paper argues that the 70-year-old Sino-Indian relationship has gone through different stages, and while the security dilemma has not been evident at every stage, and has not been of uniform severity, it nonetheless exists in the relationship. This paper examines the new manifestations and features of the current Sino-Indian security dilemma and explores the new factors affecting the security dilemma. On that basis, ideas and suggestions are put forward for alleviating the security dilemma.

新世纪以来中印安全互动关系呈现出不稳定的特征。一方面,中印两国安全互动增多,两国意识到管理安全关系的重要性,强化了在一些安全问题上的协商力度,并试图在一些领域建立合作关系。另一方面,这种关系也不时呈现紧张态势,一系列具体事件让互动关系经历波折,尤其是2017年洞朗对峙事件以及2020年6月加勒万河谷冲突事件。中印安全关系引起学者高度关注,有学者用安全困境理论进行解读,认为安全困境是导致两国关系紧张和不稳定的根源。而学界也加强了对中印安全困境的研究。例如2019年《亚洲安全》推出了一期探析安全困境与中印关系的研究专题。除此之外,国内外还有不少这方面的研究成果,包括2002年高龙江(John Garver)教授撰写的《中印关系中的安全困境》。拉杰什·巴斯鲁 (Rajesh Basrur) 等主编的《印中海洋竞争:海上安全困境》就中印海上“安全困境”进行了考察。阿杰·莱勒(Ajey Lele)则评估了中印太空安全困境。诚然,也有部分学者指出安全困境并不适合解释中印互动关系。有专家就认为安全困境对中印关系未发生作用,并指出中印关系的特点不是安全困境,而是利益冲突,并受其国内政治的变化和国际战略环境因素影响。甚至有学者认为强调中印安全困境在某种程度上是西方的偏见和陷阱。中印究竟是否面临安全困境?如果是,那么中印当前面临何种程度的安全困境,而它与传统安全困境相比有何新变化?中印又该如何缓解当前的安全困境,构建相容性安全关系?本文认为,70年的中印关系经历了不同阶段,安全困境并不是在每一个阶段都有明显表现,其严重程度也并非一致,但安全困境的确在这对互动关系中存在。本文考察了当前中印安全困境的新表现和新特点,并探析了影响安全困境的新因素,在此基础上就缓解安全困境提出了思路与建议。

I. New Manifestations and Features of the Sino-Indian Security Dilemma

一、中印安全困境的新表现与新特征

The concept of a “security dilemma” (安全困境 or 安全两难) first appeared in the paper Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma by John H. Herz. 7 A security dilemma refers to a situation where a country takes measures such as increasing armaments in order to guarantee its own security, but instead reduces the security of other countries, thereby leading to further insecurity for the country itself, so that it falls into an inextricable predicament. There are different theoretical interpretations of the causes of such security dilemmas. Neorealism believes that “military preparedness” security dilemmas are a structural feature inherent in international politics under conditions of anarchy.8 John Hertz, for example, argues that the ultimate source of security dilemmas is the lack of a “higher authority” in anarchy and that the immediate cause of security dilemmas is the uncertainty of nations and their mutual fear of harm in a state of anarchy. 9 Constructivism argues that “security dilemmas are a product of social constructs.” 10 Other scholars emphasize psychological factors. Robert Jervis, for example, suggests that “perceptions” and “misperceptions” in relations between states are the main causes of security dilemmas.11 There is currently no unified criterion for examining whether there is a security dilemma in a bilateral relationship. This paper agrees with the following criteria proposed by Harvard University professor Alastair Iain Johnston in assessing whether a security dilemma exists between the United States and China. First, each side ignores the cooperative behavior of the other while magnifying the non-cooperative behavior of the other.12 Second, both sides increasingly ignore the interactive nature of the relationship, that is, each side believes that the other side is solely responsible for the deterioration of the relationship, whereas the bilateral relationship is maintained thanks to the efforts of both sides. Both sides see their own moves as clearly contributing to stability.13 Third, one side is increasingly concerned that the other side will become a status quo-changing state or is increasingly skeptical of the effectiveness of the current strategy.14

“安全困境”(Security Dilemma),又叫“安全两难”,这一概念最早出现在美国政治学者约翰·赫兹(John H. Herz)的《理想主义者的国际主义与安全困境》一文中。安全困境指一个国家为了保障自身安全而采取诸如增加军备等措施,反而会降低其他国家的安全感,从而导致该国自身更加不安全,陷入无从解脱的困境。理论界关于安全困境的形成原因有不同的解释。新现实主义认为“军备性”安全困境是无政府状态下国际政治固有的结构性特征。如约翰·赫兹认为安全困境的最终根源是无政府状态缺乏“更高权威”,而安全困境的直接原因是国家的不确定性以及对无政府状态下彼此伤害意图的恐惧。建构主义则认为“安全困境是社会建构的产物”。另外还有学者强调心理因素。例如罗伯特·杰维斯提出国家关系中的“知觉”与“错误知觉”是造成安全困境的主要原因。目前学术界关于考察一对双边关系中是否存在安全困境还没有统一的评判标准。本文认同美国哈佛大学教授江忆恩 (Alastair Ian Johnston) 曾在评估中美之间是否存在安全困境时提出的以下评判标准:其一,双方是否在忽视对方合作性行为的同时放大对方的非合作性行为;其二,双方是否越来越忽视两国关系的互动性,也就是说,双方都认为对方应当为双方关系的恶化负全部责任,而双边关系的维护则得益于双方的努力。双方都认为自己的举动显然有助于稳定。其三,一方是否越来越担忧对方将变成改变现状国家,或者是越来越多地怀疑现行策略的效力。

Examining Sino-Indian relations since 2000 based on the above criteria, we find the security dilemma to be more clearly manifested in this period, especially in the interaction between the two sides surrounding the border dispute issue. As is well known, the Sino-Indian border issue is very complex. Both sides have been negotiating and consulting on the border issue, but have never found an effective solution to the dispute. At the same time, the actions of both countries in the border area, especially those related to defense, have caused varying degrees of concern to the other side. In recent years, moreover, both sides have increased infrastructure construction and resource development activities in border areas, causing speculation about the other side’s underlying true intentions. This kind of uncertainty about the intentions of the other side has in turn generated feelings of suspicion and insecurity on both sides and has even led to a “spiral pattern” of animosity. One can say that the security dilemma has plagued interaction between the two countries around the border issue for many years. It is worth mentioning that, although the border crisis incidents between the two countries in recent years, including the tent standoff in 2013, the Doklam crisis in 2017, and the standoff on the western section of the Sino-Indian border in 2020 (which triggered the Galwan Valley conflict) were not entirely caused by the security dilemma, it was undoubtedly one of the most important contributing factors. The two countries also have different interpretations of this, with the Indian side preferring to pin the blame on the Chinese side. For example, some Indian scholars have said that China’s rise and its growing military might have exacerbated the Sino-Indian security dilemma. As the scholars note, a long time after the 1962 war, India’s military posture along the India-China border was essentially defensive and could be described as exerting ‘denial and deterrence.’ Over the past decade, however, China’s trajectory, coupled with the rapid modernization of its military, has made people question the validity of this approach. India now feels more vulnerable in the face of China’s growing military power on land and at sea. This intensification of the security dilemma has led to a corresponding transformation of India’s military strategy toward China into one of “punitive deterrence.” 15 Admittedly, the Chinese side believes that the current dilemma has been caused to a large extent by the actions of the Indian side. For example, some Chinese experts have pointed out that the Doklam standoff was actually triggered by India’s serious misinterpretation of normal production and livelihood activities in China’s border areas.16 The interpretations mentioned above, in which each side holds the other responsible for the deterioration of bilateral relations, also precisely illustrate the existence of the Sino-Indian security dilemma. Moreover, the Sino-Indian security dilemma has taken a new turn and has taken on new characteristics since the start of the new century.

根据上述标准考察新世纪以来的中印关系,我们会发现安全困境在其中有较为明显的表现,尤其是在双方围绕边境争端问题的互动过程中。众所周知,中印边界问题十分复杂,双方就边境问题一直都在进行谈判和协商,但始终没有找到有效解决争端的方案。与此同时,两国在边界地区的行动都或多或少引起对方的担忧,尤其是那些与防务相关的行动。不仅如此,近年来双方加大了边境地区基础设施建设和资源开发活动,引起了对方对其背后真实意图的猜测。这种对别国意图的不确定性,进而也让双方产生了疑惧和不安全感,甚至进入敌意的“螺旋模式”。可以说,安全困境多年来一直困扰着两国围绕边界问题的互动。值得一提的是,尽管近年来两国边境危机事件,包括2013年的帐篷对峙事件、2017年的洞朗危机以及2020年中印边界西段对峙事件(并引发了加勒万河谷冲突)并非完全是安全困境造成,但安全困境无疑是最重要的促发因素之一。两国对此也有不同解读,印度方面更倾向认定是中国方面的责任。例如,有印度学者就表示是中国的崛起及其不断增长的军事实力加剧了中印安全困境。该学者指出,“在1962年战争之后的很长一段时间内,印度在印中边界沿线的军事姿态本质上是防御性的,可以被描述为施加‘拒止威慑’。但是,在过去的10年中,中国的发展轨迹加上其军队的快速现代化,使人们对这种方法的有效性产生了质疑。现在,印度面对中国在陆上和海上日益强大的军事力量感到自身更加脆弱。这种安全困境的加剧使印度对中国的军事战略随之转变为“惩罚威慑”。 诚然,中国方面则认为当前的困境在很大程度上是由于印方的行动所导致。例如有中国专家指出,洞朗对峙事件的导火索实际上就是印度严重误读中国边境地区正常生产生活活动的结果。正如上文提到的,这种双方都认为对方应当为双边关系的恶化负责任的解读也正说明了中印安全困境的存在。不仅如此,新世纪以来中印安全困境还出现了新的变化,呈现新的特征。

First of all, the Sino-Indian security dilemma shows a spillover character. A spillover character mainly refers to where a security dilemma is no longer limited to specific areas, such as border issues, but has begun to spread to more areas, such as maritime security, nuclear security, space security, and even many non-traditional security areas.

首先,中印安全困境呈现溢出性特征。溢出性主要指安全困境不再局限于特定领域,如边境问题,而是开始蔓延到更多领域,如海上安全领域、核安全领域、太空安全领域等,甚至包括诸多非传统安全领域。

The maritime security dilemma between China and India, which has gradually come to the fore since 2000, is undoubtedly the most illustrative case of the spillover character of the security dilemma between the two countries. Although there are different assessments in academic circles of the intensity of the Sino-Indian maritime security dilemma, the fact that it has become increasingly evident in the course of maritime interaction between the two countries is indisputable. India’s perception of the threat from China is growing, and domestic rhetoric about the “Chinese maritime threat” has begun to increase, including the strategic community’s hype in recent years concerning China’s “String of Pearls” strategy in the Indian Ocean. India has also begun to ramp up investment in its maritime forces, including upgrading its naval, coast guard, and air forces, especially in the Lakshadweep Islands off India’s west coast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the east, to better monitor and project power far from the coast.17 In addition, India has taken a number of actions to strengthen its military presence in the Indian Ocean, including the deployment of facilities with military intent in the relevant littoral nations. For example, India has reached an agreement with Seychelles to establish a naval base on Assumption Island (Assumption Island Naval Base), constructed a new coastal surveillance radar network in the Indian Ocean (the New Coastal Surveillance Radar Network CSRS) 18, and reached reciprocal military logistical support agreements with the United States, France, Australia, and Japan.19 Although these actions are not exclusively directed at China, their intent to address the Chinese threat is clear. Similarly, China’s strategic suspicions and threat perceptions of India have grown along with India’s accelerated naval modernization, increased maritime defense cooperation with the United States, Japan, and Australia, and its emphasis on “eastward operations” into the Western Pacific, as well as its activities in the South China Sea. Indeed, both countries have been adjusting their maritime security strategies and maritime security roles since the turn of the century, and this kind of adjustment has made it difficult for them to be sure of each other’s strategic intentions. Although their respective maritime power commitments and naval buildups are not exclusively directed at each other, China and India’s perceptions of security threats from each other have increased as their maritime power has grown and as their maritime operations have increased. This also makes them somewhat prone to the mistaken belief that their maritime security interests are incompatible, particularly in the Indian Ocean.

新世纪以来中印海上安全困境问题逐渐凸显无疑是最能说明两国安全困境呈现溢出性的案例。尽管目前学界对于中印海上安全困境的强烈程度有不同的评估,但它在两国海上互动过程中表现得越发明显是不争的事实。印度对来自中国的威胁感知正日益增强,印度国内关于“中国海上威胁”的言论也开始增多,包括近年来战略界热炒的中国在印度洋上的“珍珠链”战略。印度也开始加大对本国海上力量建设的投入,包括升级其海军、海岸警卫队和空中力量,尤其是在印度西海岸外的拉克沙群岛 (Lakshadweep)以及东部的安达曼和尼科巴群岛,以便更好地监视和投射远离海岸的力量。除此之外,印度还采取一些系列行动强化自身在印度洋的军事存在,包括在相关沿岸国家部署有军事用意的设施,例如印度已经与塞舌尔达成了关于在阿索普申岛建立海军基地 (Assumption Island Naval Base) 的协议;在印度洋上构建新的沿岸监视雷达网(New Coastal Surveillance Radar Network CSRS);与美、法、澳、日等国家达成了互惠的军事后勤支援协议。尽管这些行动并非完全是针对中国,但是其中应对中国威胁的意图显而易见。同样,随着印度加速海军现代化,印度与美、日、澳等国海上防务合作增多以及印度强调“东向行动”而进入西太平洋,并在南海地区活动,中国对印度的战略疑虑和威胁感知也逐渐增强。的确,新世纪以来两国都在调整本国的海洋安全战略和海上安全角色,这种调整导致了两国把握对方战略意图的难度。尽管双方各自的海上力量投入和海军建设并非完全针对对方,但随着两国海上力量增强以及海上行动增多,中印对于彼此之间的安全威胁感知也不断提升,这也在某程度让两国容易错误地认为双方在海上的安全利益互不相容,尤其是在印度洋。

In addition, it is worth noting that apart from the traditional security dilemma characterized by its military nature, a resource security dilemma between India and China characterized by its “non-military nature” has also begun to emerge. Non-traditional security threats are security challenges that transcend national boundaries and sovereignty, and are characterized by resource-based tensions and conflicts, the fundamental feature of which is their “non-force-based nature.”20 Therefore, non-traditional security threats often lead to “resource-based” security dilemmas, i.e., where the growth of resource use and protection in one country leads to shortages of resources in another country.21 Such non-military security dilemmas between the two countries have begun to increase as large numbers of complex and volatile non-traditional security issues enter into the China-India interaction. Moreover, the complexity of the interaction between the two countries is heightened by the fact that some non-traditional security issues are intertwined with traditional security issues. Take the water security dilemma, for example. Global water resources are under increasing pressure due to climate change and growing consumption, and China and India are no exceptions. In India’s view, given China’s location at the headwaters of India’s major rivers, China could use water as a weapon to threaten India’s security in the future. In recent years, India has been very concerned about China’s upstream river water development. India’s fears have not been allayed, although the two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding for bilateral sharing of hydrological information on the Yarlung Tsangpo River, 22 and they have also established an expert-level mechanism to cooperate on cross-border river hydrological flood reporting and emergency incident management and to exchange views on other issues of mutual concern.23 In addition, the fact that water resource issues are also intertwined with the border issue between the two countries increases the complexity of issues, so the development of water resources in disputed areas, for example, is more likely to trigger a security dilemma. In recent years, India’s water resource development activities in the disputed areas have given rise to concerns and worries on China’s part. Some scholars have noted that India’s water resource development initiatives in areas disputed by China and India have a huge negative impact on China’s peripheral security.24

另外,值得关注的是,除了以军事性为特征的传统安全困境之外,中印之间以“非军事性”为特征的资源安全困境也开始显现。非传统安全威胁是一种跨越国界、超越主权的安全挑战,具有资源性紧张与冲突的特征,其根本特征是“非武力性”。因此,非传统安全威胁导致的往往是“资源性”安全困境,即一国对资源使用与保护的增长会导致另一国资源的短缺与不足。随着大量复杂多变的非传统安全问题进入中印互动关系,两国间这种非军事性的安全困境也开始增多。而且由于一些非传统安全问题与传统安全问题相互交织,更是加剧了两国互动过程中的复杂性。以水资源安全困境为例,由于气候变化和消费增长,全球水资源正面临日益增大的压力,中印两国也不例外。在印度看来,由于中国地处印度主要河流上游的位置,未来中国可能以水为武器威胁印度的安全。近年来印度对中国在上游开发河水十分担心。尽管两国已签署了双方共享雅鲁藏布江水文信息的备忘录,双方还建立了专家级机制,开展跨境河流水文报汛、应急事件处置的合作,并就其他共同关心的问题交换意见,但印度的担心没有消除。另外,由于水资源问题还与两国边界问题相互交织,加大了问题的复杂性,例如在争议地区开发水资源更是容易引起安全困境。近年来印度在争议地区的水资源开发活动已引起了中国的关注和担忧。有学者就提到印度在中印争议地区的水资源开发举措对中国的周边安全形成了巨大的消极影响。

Secondly, the security dilemma is characterized by dynamic disequilibrium. That is, the intensity of the security dilemma in the development process of Sino-Indian relations changes dynamically and is even characterized by disequilibrium in the same period, showing different intensities in different areas. At present, the Sino-Indian security dilemma is most apparent in the area of border interaction, where the intensity is highest and a trend toward spiraling escalation is evident. The frequency of border frictions between the two countries has increased significantly in recent years. This is also influenced to some extent by the growing security dilemma. Although the two countries have adopted a series of new measures for border crisis management, including the establishment of various new mechanisms for dialogue and consultation, such as the Sino-Indian border affairs consultation and coordination mechanism added in 2012, the security dilemma between the two countries has not really been alleviated. With the strengthening by both countries of defense and infrastructure construction in border areas, together with increased uncertainty in the domestic and international environments facing both countries, the Sino-Indian border security dilemma is developing in a serious direction.

其次,安全困境呈现动态非均衡化特征,即安全困境在中印关系发展进程中表现出的强烈程度呈现动态变化性,而且即便在同一时期它在不同领域表现出的强烈度不一,具有非均衡性特征。目前来看,中印安全困境在边境问题互动领域表现得最为明显,强烈度最高,而且呈螺旋上升趋势。近年来两国边境摩擦事件发生的频率明显增加,这在一定程度上也是受到日趋严重的安全困境的影响。虽然两国采取了一系列新的措施进行边境危机管控,包括建立各类新的对话磋商机制,如2012年增设的中印边境事务磋商和协调工作机制等,但两国的安全困境并没有得到真正缓解。随着两国强化边境地区防务、基础设施等建设,再加上两国面临的国内外环境中不确定性因素增多,中印边境安全困境正向严重方向发展。

Similarly, the Sino-Indian maritime security dilemma is also characterized by dynamic change. At the beginning of the new century, the maritime security dilemma between the two countries was at a relatively low intensity. Their two navies conducted a series of joint maritime search and rescue exercises, such as the “Dolphin 0311” exercise in 2003 and the “China-India Friendship 2005” exercise in 2005, but the dilemma has intensified in the past decade. Overall, however, it is still at a low-to-moderate intensity and has not entered a serious spiral of hostility. The security dilemma has nonetheless affected maritime engagement between the two countries and hindered bilateral cooperation, including non-traditional security cooperation at sea on counter-terrorism and anti-piracy. It is worth noting that there is a risk that the maritime security dilemma between the two countries will develop in a serious direction in the future. As some scholars believe, although the outbreak of war is still far away, the Sino-Indian maritime rivalry seems to be continuing.25 Admittedly, if both sides can take appropriate measures, the security dilemma may also ease somewhat in the future.

同样,中印海上安全困境也呈现动态变化特征。新世纪伊始,两国的海上安全困境处于较低烈度,两国海军还开展了系列联合海上搜救演习,如2003年的“海豚0311”演习和2005年的“中印友谊—2005”演习等,但是近10年来这种困境有所加剧。不过,总体来看,它还处于一种中低烈度的状态,并没有进入严重的敌意螺旋上升模式。但安全困境已经影响到两国的海上交往,阻碍了两国的合作,包括反恐、反海盗等海上非传统安全合作。值得一提的是,未来两国海上安全困境存在向严重方向发展的风险。正如有学者认为尽管爆发战争仍遥遥无期,但中印海上的竞争似乎将持续下去。诚然,未来如果双方能够采取相应措施,也可以让安全困境得到一定的缓解。

Changes have also begun to appear in security dilemmas in many other areas, with varying directions and processes of change. Overall, the intensity of Sino-Indian dilemmas in non-traditional security areas is weaker than in traditional security areas, and it is also easier for the two countries to take some steps to alleviate the corresponding dilemmas in those areas. In addition, Sino-Indian dilemmas in some new areas, such as space security, are also still only at low-to-medium intensity. As Ajay Lele points out in his assessment of the Sino-Indian space security dilemma, both countries have invested in space over the past few decades for social, scientific, commercial, and military reasons. Both countries are pursuing programs such as navigation network development and missions to the Moon and Mars. But India and China’s space security dilemma is currently seen as suggestive rather than certain.26 It is worth noting that although security dilemmas manifest themselves with varying intensity in different areas, they are in fact intertwined and influence each other. For example, the intensification of the Sino-Indian border security dilemma will, to a certain extent, trigger an intensification of the maritime security dilemma.

其他诸多领域的安全困境也开始出现变化,其变化的方向和进程各异。总体来看,相比传统安全领域,中印在非传统安全领域的两难困境的强烈程度较弱,而且在这些领域两国也更容易采取一些措施缓解相应的困境。另外,中印在一些新领域,如太空安全领域的困境也还仅处于中低等烈度。正如阿杰·莱勒评估中印太空安全困境时指出,过去几十年来,由于社会、科学、商业和军事原因,两国都在太空领域进行了投资。两国都在追求诸如导航网络的发展以及登月和火星飞行任务等计划。但目前来看中印的太空安全困境是暗示性的,而不是确定性的。值得关注的是,虽然安全困境在不同领域表现出的强烈程度不同,但事实上各领域的困境之间是相互交织、相互影响的。例如中印边境安全困境的加剧在一定程度上会引发海上安全困境的加剧。

Finally, the security dilemma is characterized by asymmetry. This characteristic is manifested mainly in asymmetry in the threat perception intensity and sensitivity of the two sides to mutual threats within the same security dilemma. Overall, India’s perception of threats from China is stronger in intensity and sensitivity than China’s perception of threats from India. This asymmetry is reflected in the official reports and other documents published by the two sides involving their respective defense and national security strategies. Since 2000, the need to guard against threats from China has been clearly expressed in the annual reports of the Indian Ministry of Defense and in a number of official documents dealing with maritime military and maritime security strategy issues. For example, the Indian Defense Ministry’s 2008-2009 annual report suggests that China’s military modernization process must be “carefully monitored” because it involves India’s defense and security.27 China’s defense white papers, however, rarely explicitly state the need to address India’s military threats. While the 2019 white paper China’s National Defense in the New Era mentioned that “China’s homeland security still faces threats and land border disputes have not yet been completely resolved,”28 which addresses the Indian factor, the report did not explicitly discuss the Indian threat. The asymmetry is also reflected to some extent in relevant public opinion surveys. A 2016 Pew survey, for example, showed that 69 percent of Indian respondents believed that China’s growing military power posed a threat to India, with 46 percent of them considering it a serious threat.29 In contrast, a recent Chinese domestic public opinion poll on India-China relations showed that only 30.9 percent of respondents agreed that India’s military power posed a threat to China, and nearly 60 percent disagreed.30 Of course, this may be the overall security threat perceptions of the two sides and does not say much about the actual situation in specific areas. Nonetheless, studies reveal that an asymmetry in threat perceptions between India and China does indeed exist in various areas, although the asymmetric difference varies by area. In the border security area, for example, the asymmetric difference may be relatively small compared to those in the maritime security and nuclear security fields.

再次,安全困境呈现不对称性特征。该特征主要表现为在同一安全两难情境里双方对彼此威胁的感知强度以及敏感度具有不对称性。总体来看,印度对来自中国的威胁感知强度和敏感度要强于中国对来自印度的威胁感知。这种不对称性可以从双方官方公布的涉及各自防务、国家安全战略相关报告等文件中反映出来。新世纪以来,印度国防部年度报告以及多份涉及海洋军事、海洋安全战略问题的官方文件等都明确表示需要防范来自中国的威胁。例如,印度国防部2008—2009年度报告就提出中国的军事力量现代化进程需要被“小心监视”,因为这涉及到印度的国防和安全。但是中国的国防白皮书则很少明确表示需要应对印度的军事威胁。虽然2019年的《新时代的中国国防》白皮书提到了“中国国土安全依然面临威胁,陆地边界争议尚未彻底解决”,这其中涉及到了印度因素,但该报告并没有明显的关于印度威胁的论述。而相关民意调查也在某程度上反映出这种不对称性。例如2016年一份皮尤调查显示,69%的印度受访者认为中国日益增长的军事实力对印度构成威胁,其中46%的人还认为是严重威胁。而近来一份针对中国国内民众关于中印关系的民意调查结果显示,仅30.9%的受访者表示认同印度军事力量对中国构成威胁,近六成不认同。当然,这可能是双方的一种总体安全威胁感知度,并不能说明具体领域的实际情况。不过,通过研究可发现中印之间的不对称威胁感知的确存在各个领域,但各领域的不对称差值有所不同。例如,相比在海上安全、核安全等领域,边境安全领域的不对称差值可能相对较小。

Moreover, asymmetric threat perceptions between India and China are plainly evident in many non-traditional security areas as well, including the water security area mentioned above. It is also worth noting that India’s sense of insecurity is currently stronger than China’s in terms of the false sense of incompatibility between the two countries’ security strategies that stems from economic competition. China’s “Belt and Road” initiative is seen by India as eroding its regional influence, while China’s cooperation with Indian Ocean littoral states on infrastructure construction is viewed by India as a “string of pearls” operation to contain India. Former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran has said, “I have no doubt that the biggest challenge to India comes from the rise of China. China will seek to reduce India’s strategic space by infiltrating India’s neighborhoods, and that is what we’re seeing with all of the subcontinent’s neighbors.”31 India has taken many initiatives in recent years to increase its regional influence, including upgrading its “eastward” policy to “eastward action,” participating in Iran’s Chabahar project to develop India’s Central Asian trade routes32, jointly sponsoring the “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” (AAGC) with Japan, and attaching importance to cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region. China has also begun to pay attention to projects initiated by India and tends to believe that the joint initiatives by India and Japan (such as the India-Japan “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor,” and the India-Japan-Australia “production chain alliance” idea in preparation recently) have some offsetting effect on China. Overall though, China’s threat perception and sensitivity toward India is lower than India’s threat perception toward China. China even calls for China and India to link up on relevant projects, and advocates “China-India plus” cooperation.

而且在诸多非传统安全领域,中印之间的不对称性威胁感知也是显而易见的,包括上文提到的水资源安全方面。值得一提的是,目前两国在因经济竞争而产生安全战略虚幻的不相容感方面,印度的不安全感也要强于中国。中国的“一带一路”倡议在印度看来会侵蚀其地区影响力,而中国与印度洋沿岸国家的基础设施建设合作更被印度视作遏制印度的“珍珠链”行动。前印度外交秘书萨兰就表示:“我毫不怀疑,印度面临的最大挑战来自中国的崛起。中国将通过渗透印度的邻里来寻求缩小印度的战略空间,这就是我们看到的每个次大陆邻国的情况。”近年来印度已出台诸多举措增强自身的地区影响力,包括将“东向”政策升级为“东向行动”,参与伊朗查巴哈尔项目开发印度的中亚贸易路线,与日本共同倡议“亚非增长走廊”(AAGC)、重视环孟加拉湾地区合作等。虽然中国也开始关注印度倡议的项目,并倾向认为印度与日本等国联合倡议的相关项目对中国有一定对冲作用,如印日“亚非增长走廊”以及近来正在酝酿中的印日澳“产业链联盟”构想,但总体来看中国对印度的威胁感知度和敏感性要低于印度对中国的威胁感知,甚至呼吁中印双方可以开展相关项目对接,并倡导“中印+”合作。

II. New Factors Affecting the Sino-Indian Security Dilemma

二、影响中印安全困境的新因素

The root cause behind the formation of the Sino-Indian security dilemma was structural, namely, the anarchic state of the international community. As mentioned above, however, the security dilemma has not been constant in intensity over the course of development of Sino-Indian relations, and has shown a dynamic nature. The academic community does not have a uniform indicator of the variables that affect the intensity of security dilemmas. Some scholars have focused on five different variables: power (relative military capability), offensive-defensive balance, offensive-defensive distinction, the motivations of states themselves, and perceptions of the motivations of others.33 The above variable factors have undoubtedly also had their effects on the changes in intensity seen in the Sino-Indian security dilemma since 2000, but they will not be detailed here. This study focuses on several new contributing factors, including external actors, i.e., third-party factors and new domestic factors.

中印安全困境形成的根源是结构性的,即国际社会的无政府状态。但正如上文提到安全困境在中印关系发展进程中表现出的强烈度并非常量,呈现出动态化特征。学术界对于影响安全困境强烈度的变量没有统一指标。有学者总结了5个不同的变量,包括权力(相对军事能力)、进攻-防御平衡、进攻-防御区别、国家自身动机以及对他人动机的感知。新世纪以来中印安全困境所呈现的强烈度变化无疑也是受到上述多重变量因素的影响,在此不一一详述。本研究重点关注了若干新的促发因素,包括外部行为体,即第三方因素和国内新因素。

First, there are factors involving external actors. As some scholars have mentioned, the influence of external actors on interstate relationships of trust is often overlooked in security dilemma theory. In fact, alliance and coalition relationships can play an important role in security dilemmas.34 According to Barry Posen, support from allies or potential allies can significantly worsen security dilemmas or even trigger spirals.35 Facts have also shown that China and India’s threat perceptions of each other are often linked to third-party factors. As the two countries’ interaction in regional and global security networks has grown, Sino-Indian relations have long gone beyond bilateral relations and are increasingly influenced by other actors, i.e., third-party factors. At present, the United States is undoubtedly the most important third-party factor influencing the Sino-Indian security relationship. Since 2000, the United States and India have taken a number of initiatives to improve bilateral relations, especially defense relations, including the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement. The two sides are also reportedly on track to sign a Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Intelligence (BECA). Although India has many interests to consider in developing relations with the United States and has not positioned itself as a U.S. ally, the many U.S. initiatives to use India to contain China, the continuously growing “quasi-allied” defense cooperation between India and the United States, and the increasing number of joint naval exercises, have indeed raised Chinese security concerns and increased China’s threat perception toward India. Similarly, U.S.-China interaction has also affected India’s security perceptions to some extent. China’s actions to increase its defense forces in response to U.S. threats have also proven to increase India’s insecurity to varying degrees, leading it to adopt countermeasures. This has been the case, for example, with the two countries’ interaction in the nuclear security area.

其一是外部行为体因素。正如有学者提到,在安全困境理论中外部行为体对国家间信任关系的影响经常被忽视,实际上,盟友与联盟关系会对安全困境产生重要作用。波森(Barry Posen) 认为,盟友或潜在盟友的支持会大大恶化安全困境甚至引发螺旋。事实也证明,中印对彼此的威胁感知往往是与第三方因素联系在一起的。随着两国在地区和全球安全网络中互动增多,中印关系早已超越双边关系范畴,受到越来越多的其他行为体,即第三方因素的影响。目前来看,美国无疑是影响中印安全关系最重要的第三方因素。新世纪以来美印两国采取了一系列改善双边关系,尤其是防务关系的举措,包括签订《后勤交换协议备忘录》、《通信兼容性与安全协议》等。据悉,双方还将签署《共享地理空间防御情报协议》。虽然印度发展美国关系有诸多利益考虑,而且印度并没有将自己定位成美国盟国,但美国拉印制华诸多举措、印美双方不断升级的“准盟友式”防务合作以及日益增多的海上联合军演等行动的确引起了中国的安全担忧,增强了中国对印度的威胁感知度。同样,中美关系互动也在某种程度上影响了印度的安全感知。事实证明,中国为应对美国的威胁而增加防务力量的行动或多或少也会增加印度的不安全感,从而导致其采取应对举措。例如两国在核安全领域的互动就是属于这种情形。

In addition to the U.S. factor, countries such as Japan and Australia are also becoming important third parties influencing Sino-Indian security interaction. It is worth noting that in South Asia, in addition to Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are also beginning to become third-party factors influencing Sino-Indian relations. At present, third-party factors have rather complex effects on the interaction between the two countries, with both positive and negative aspects, but some such factors play a new role in promoting security dilemmas as well as influencing the intensity of security dilemmas. As some scholars have commented, the geopolitical game with third-party factors at its core is a serious disruption to the bilateral relationship. On one hand, any progress in the development of relations between India’s neighbors and China will irritate India’s geo-sensitive nerves to varying degrees. On the other hand, any moves by forces outside the region to draw India into containing China will also trigger China’s suspicions as to India’s “strategic autonomy.”36 Indeed, given the current international security landscape, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, which is undergoing new adjustments and changes, as well as the instability of Sino-Indian relations, third-party factors may increase uncertainty in the bilateral relationship. This in turn raises the risk of misperceptions and miscalculations, thereby inducing new security dilemmas or contributing to the original security dilemma’s development in a serious direction.

除美国因素之外,日本、澳大利亚等国也正在成为影响中印安全互动的重要第三方。值得关注的是,在南亚地区,除了巴基斯坦外,尼泊尔、斯里兰卡、孟加拉国等也开始成为影响中印关系的第三方因素。目前看来,第三方因素对两国互动关系产生的影响较为复杂,既有积极的一面,也有消极的一面,但其中一些因素在促发安全困境以及影响安全困境的强烈度方面扮演了新的角色。正如有学者评论到,以第三方因素为内核的地缘博弈对两国关系的干扰严重。一方面,印度的邻国与中国发展关系的任何进展,都会不同程度地时刻刺激印度的地缘敏感神经;另一方面,域外势力拉印制华的任何举动,也会引发中国对印度“战略自主”的猜疑。的确,在当前国际安全格局,尤其印太地区安全格局正经历新的调整变动以及中印关系不稳定的背景下,第三方因素可能增加双边关系的不确定性,错误知觉与误判的风险也随之升高,从而诱发新的安全困境或者促使原有安全困境向严重方向发展。

Second, there are new domestic factors. Some new developments in current domestic politics in India and China are also emerging as new factors affecting the security dilemma. For example, while it is not yet possible to precisely assess the extent to which rising domestic nationalist sentiment in both countries is affecting the security dilemma, this kind of influence should be considered certain, especially in the area of border security interactions. For example, because reconciliation and concessions can easily be perceived as acts of weakness, both sides find it more difficult to initiate conciliatory concessions after a border crisis arises. Moreover, it seems that nationalist sentiments are now starting to spread to the economic sphere, which not only affects economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, but also may easily induce a false sense of incompatibility between the two sides in the security arena. India has recently taken security protection-oriented measures against relevant Chinese companies, including an announcement by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banning several Chinese apps on national security grounds. Although China has not introduced reciprocal countermeasures, and according to relevant research data, 46.1 percent of Chinese respondents support future cooperation between India and China in the economic sphere despite India’s unfriendly initiatives,37 these measures have aroused varying degrees of concern and apprehension on the Chinese side. It is worth mentioning that economic and trade cooperation has been considered a stable cornerstone of Sino-Indian relations for many years, and although the scale of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries is not as large as that between China and the United States and Japan, both China and India are important emerging economies and are also thought to have broad prospects for cooperation. In fact, total bilateral trade between China and India is growing year by year. The total value of trade between China and India in 2019 was RMB 639.52 billion, up 1.6 percent year-on-year.38 However, the competitive aspect of the current economic relationship between China and India is also increasingly prominent and has even been exaggerated. As some scholars have commented, there are increasing calls within India to catch up with and surpass China. This has led to fierce competition with China over economic growth rates, which is manifested in many areas such as international commodity markets, international investment markets, and international labor markets.39 Indeed, studies have shown that competition in the economic sphere is liable to generate hostile projections of negative images of ethnic exclusivity, and creates a spiral of illusory incompatibility and imagined hostility based on the pursuit of prestige and honor.40

其二是国内新因素。当前中印两国国内政治方面的一些新发展也正在成为影响安全困境的新因素。例如,虽然目前还无法精准评估两国国内民族主义情绪上升对安全困境的影响程度,但这种影响应该是确定的,尤其是在边境安全互动领域。例如,边境危机产生后,由于和解与退让很容易被视为示弱行为,因此双方都较难主动采取让步的和解性举措。而且目前来看,民族主义情绪似乎也开始蔓延至经济领域,它不仅影响两国的经贸合作,也可能容易诱发双方在安全领域虚幻的不相容感。近来印度针对相关中国企业采取安全保护主义措施,包括印度电子和信息技术部以国家安全为由宣布禁用多款中国APP。虽然中国并没有出台其对等的反制措施,而且据相关调研数据显示,尽管印度采取了不友好的举措,中国民众仍有46.1%的受访者支持中印两国未来在经济领域合作,但这些措施或多或少引起了中国方面的关注和担忧。值得一提的是,多年来经贸合作一直被认为是中印关系的稳定基石,虽然两国的经贸合作规模不如中美、中日,但中印都是重要的新兴经济体,也被认为具有广阔的合作前景。事实上,中印两国的双边贸易总额也是逐年在增长。2019年中国和印度的贸易总值是6395.2亿元人民币,同比增长1.6%。不过,当前中印两国经济关系中竞争的一面也日益突出,甚至被夸大。正如有学者评论到,印度国内赶超中国的呼声越来越高。从而在经济增长速度方面与中国展开激烈的竞争,这表现在国际商品市场、国际投资市场和国际劳务市场等诸多领域。的确,有研究表明经济领域的竞争容易产生族群排他性负面意象的敌意投射,并在对声望和荣誉的追求基础上形成虚幻的不相容与想象的敌意螺旋上升。

In addition, the media, think tanks, and academic communities of both countries have also increased their focus on Sino-Indian relations in recent years. With the development of the internet and new media, moreover, these actors have more channels for influencing interactions between the two countries, including shaping security discourse and influencing public opinion. At present, the impact of these actors on the Sino-Indian security dilemma can be twofold. That is, they can play a positive role in alleviating the security dilemma, and can also become catalysts promoting it. What is of concern, however, is that the chances of the latter occurring have increased in recent years. Take the media, for example: Both Chinese and Indian media have increased their attention to many security issues, including border issues, but sometimes the impact of specific incidents and the resulting security threats are exaggerated due to fragmented interpretations and even disinformation and inaccurate reporting, which can easily induce a so-called “imaginary security dilemma” on both sides. Similarly, the think tank and academic communities in both countries can influence bilateral security interactions in their own unique ways. At present, there is no way to accurately assess the extent to which they have played a role in alleviating or promoting the security dilemma. However, the author’s review of Chinese and Indian statements on the Sino-Indian strategic relationship since 2000 reveals that while the diplomatic levels of both countries favor positive language to describe and build the bilateral relationship, at the strategic and academic levels, there has been an increase in the use of competitive and even confrontational terms in recent years in both Indian and Chinese statements. In Indian strategic circles in particular, the “Chinese security threat theory” has long existed, and has even become a rhetorical habit. This sort of rhetorical habit no doubt tends to make the other actor feel insecure and take measures to counter it, ultimately leading to a deterioration of its own security41, which may induce a security dilemma.

另外,近年来两国媒体、智库、学术界也加大了对中印关系的关注力度,而且随着互联网以及新媒体的发展,这些行为体有更多的渠道来影响两国互动,包括塑造安全话语以及影响舆论等。目前来看,这些行为体对中印安全困境影响可能是双重的,既可以在缓解安全困境方面发挥积极作用,也可以成为促发安全困境的催化剂。不过,值得关注的是近年来后一种情况发生的几率有所增加。以媒体为例,中印两国媒体都加大了对包括边境问题等在内的诸多安全议题的关注,但有时难免因为碎片化的理解,甚至是虚假信息以及不实报道,而夸大具体事件的影响以及所产生的安全威胁,这样容易诱发双方所谓的“想象安全困境”。同样,两国智库界和学界也可以通过自身独有的途径影响两国安全互动。目前无法准确评估他们在缓解或促发安全困境方面究竟发挥了多大的作用。但是作者对中印两国关于21世纪以来中印战略关系相关表述进行梳理时发现,尽管两国外交层面偏向用积极话语描述和构建双边关系,但从战略界和学术界层面来看,近年来无论是印方还是中方的表述中,所使用的竞争甚至对抗的词汇都有所增多。尤其是在印度战略界中,“中国安全威胁论”可谓是长期存在,甚至形成了一种言语习惯。无疑,这种言语习惯容易使对方行为体感到不安全并采取措施加以应对,最终导致自身安全的恶化,从而可能诱发安全困境。

III. Future Ways Out of the Sino-Indian Security Dilemma

三、中印安全困境的未来出路

The security relationship between India and China has changed considerably since 2000, and many factors have affected this security relationship, including the “security dilemma.” Although security dilemmas do not necessarily generate conflict, and as Robert Jervis and other scholars have pointed out, they are not at the core of all conflicts, their negative impact on bilateral interaction is nonetheless clear. As of now, the Sino-Indian security dilemma remains at a low-to-moderate intensity in many areas and has not entered a serious spiral of hostility, but it still runs the risk of moving in a serious direction, especially over the border issue. If left unchecked and unmanaged, it could enter a hostile spiral scenario that could lead to tragic consequences. Both countries need to continue working hard on alleviating the security dilemma. In light of the new changes in the Sino-Indian security dilemma, both countries should contemplate and explore new ways and paths to alleviate the security dilemma.

新世纪以来中印安全关系发生了较大变化,影响这种安全关系的因素很多,其中就包括“安全困境”。虽然安全困境并不必然产生冲突,而且正如罗伯特·杰维斯等学者指出的,安全困境并非是所有冲突的核心,但是安全困境对两国互动关系的负面影响是显而易见的。目前来看,中印安全困境在诸多领域依然处于中低等烈度,没有进入严重敌意螺旋上升模式,但它依然存在向严重方向发展的风险,尤其是边境问题上,如果不加以控制和管理,可能进入敌意螺旋情境,进而导致悲剧性后果。两国有必要继续为缓解安全困境而努力。鉴于中印安全困境出现新变化,两国应思考和探索缓解安全困境的新方法与新路径。

The severity of the security dilemma can indeed be moderated by physical and material factors (e.g., technology, geography) and psychological and perceptual factors (e.g., misunderstandings),42 but alleviating the security dilemma is no easy task. In fact, China and India have taken a number of steps in the new century to try and mitigate the security dilemma, including through the signing of confidence-building measures and memoranda of understanding to reduce mutual tensions. China and India have also established many security interaction mechanisms of different forms and natures, ranging from comprehensive dialogue mechanisms, such as the defense consultation mechanism and the strategic dialogue mechanism, to mechanisms for addressing specific issues, such as the mechanism for meetings of special representatives on the Sino-Indian border issue, the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on border affairs, and the mechanism for joint counterterrorism exercises.43 In addition, China and India have begun to actively use multilateral mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization for bilateral interaction. Such security interaction mechanisms, especially the mechanism established after the Doklam crisis for informal meetings between the leaders of the two countries, have provided a dialogue platform for strategic communication between China and India, and have played a positive role in alleviating the security dilemma. Overall, however, although the relevant measures have achieved certain results, the existing measures are still insufficient for addressing the current new situation and new changes, and the two countries still need to explore new ways to deal with the security dilemma. For now, the two sides can consider focusing on the following areas:

的确,安全困境的严重性可以通过物理/物质因素(例如技术,地理)和心理/感知因素(例如误解)进行调节,但缓解安全困境并非易事。事实上,新世纪以来中印两国采取了不少措施试图缓解安全困境,包括通过签署建立信任措施和谅解备忘录的办法来减轻相互之间的紧张关系。中印两国也建立了诸多不同的形式和性质的安全互动机制,既有综合的对话机制,如防务磋商机制以及战略对话机制等,也有解决特定问题的机制,如中印边界问题特别代表会晤机制、边境事务磋商和协调工作机制、联合反恐演习机制等。另外,中印两国也开始积极利用包括上海合作组织在内的多边机制进行双边互动。这些安全互动机制为中印两国的战略沟通提供了对话平台,对缓解安全困境发挥了一定积极作用,尤其是洞朗危机后建立的两国领导人非正式会晤机制。但总体来看,虽然相关措施取得一定成效,但现有措施依然不足以应对当前的新情况和新变化,两国仍需探索应对安全困境的新出路。目前来看,双方可考虑重点关注以下几个方面:

First, actively exploring new paths and measures for mitigating the border security dilemma remains a priority. The standoff between the two sides in the western section of the Sino-Indian border has continued for several months since early May 2020. Although neither country wants the situation to get out of hand, the crisis occurred during the COVID-19 epidemic, which added new uncertainties to managing the crisis, including the psychology of fear brought about by the epidemic, the blockage of many regular communication channels, and the interference of third factors. The border crisis has also reignited nationalist sentiments in both countries, which is not only detrimental to the resolution of the current crisis but may even induce the security dilemma between the two sides to enter a serious spiral of hostility, increasing the risk that policymakers will misjudge the situation. Therefore, it is of the utmost urgency to continue to strengthen border security dialogues, carry out new confidence-building measures, and improve crisis management. Considering the impact of the epidemic, both sides need to consider creating some new mechanisms for communication and dialogue, such as the Cloud Security Strategic Dialogue meetings. Moreover, these kinds of communication and dialogues should not be limited to the official level, but should also include Track 1.5 dialogues, as well as Track 2 exchanges such as academic community and think tank community exchanges. For example, the academic and think tank communities can conduct exchanges and dialogues on how the two sides should carry out new confidence-building measures, how to optimize crisis management, and other topics, and contribute new solutions.

其一,积极探索新路径、新措施以缓解边境安全困境依然是优先事项。自2020年5月初以来,双方在中印边界西段的对峙事件已持续数月,尽管两国都不希望局势失控,但这次危机发生在新冠肺炎疫情期间,给危机管控增添了新的不确定因素,包括疫情带给人们的恐惧心理、诸多常规交流沟通渠道受阻以及第三因素干扰等。而且这次边境危机也再次激发了两国国内的民族主义情绪,这不仅不利于当前危机的解决,甚至可能诱发双方的安全困境进入严重的敌意螺旋上升模式,增加决策者误判形势的风险。因此继续加强边境安全对话,开展新的信任措施建设、做好危机管控是当务之急。考虑到疫情的影响,双方有必要考虑创建一些新的交流对话机制,如云端安全战略对话会议等。而且这种沟通对话不应仅局限于官方层面,还应包括一轨半对话以及二轨道交流,如学术界、智库界交流。例如,学术界和智库界可以就双方该如何开展新的信任措施建设,如何优化危机管控等议题进行交流对话,贡献新方案。

Second, the two countries should attach importance to the current security dilemma’s new features, especially its spillover character, and to the security dilemmas that exist in other areas outside the border security field, and should pay attention to their new dynamics, especially in the case of the maritime security dilemma. Although at present the maritime security dilemma between the two countries does not appear to be of high intensity, there is still a risk that it will develop in a serious direction in the future as the modernization of their navies and the construction of their maritime forces continue to advance. Furthermore, in recent years, both countries have attempted to play the “leading role” in the field of maritime connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region, and this great power competition over interests and prestige may further strengthen each other’s security strategy concerns. The two countries should strengthen their maritime security dialogue and try their best to avoid actions that over-irritate each other, especially on sensitive issues. Although the two countries have established a dialogue mechanism for maritime cooperation, at present it mostly involves diplomatic officials from the two sides, and in the future, it could be suggested that naval officers from both countries also participate in it. In addition, it is also very important for China and India to conduct more exchanges and dialogues in areas such as nuclear security, space security, and cybersecurity. Given the asymmetry in threat perception between the two sides in these areas, bilateral or multilateral exchanges and dialogues could allow each side to better understand the other’s security concerns and avoid unhealthy competition.

其二,两国应该重视当前安全困境的新特点,尤其是溢出性,重视边境安全领域外其他领域所存在的安全两难现象,关注其新的动态变化,尤其是海上安全困境。虽然目前来看,两国的海上安全困境并未呈现出高烈度,但随着两国海军现代化以及海上力量建设不断向前推进,未来两国在海上方向的安全两难依然存在向严重方向发展的风险。而且近年来两国都试图在印太地区海上互联互通建设领域中扮演“领头羊”角色,这种关于利益和大国声誉的竞争也可能进一步强化彼此在安全战略方面的疑虑。两国应该加强海上安全对话,并尽量避免采取过分刺激对方的行动,尤其是在一些敏感议题上。虽然两国建立了海洋合作对话机制,但目前主要是双方外交官员参与对话,未来可建议两国的海军军官也参与其中。除此之外,中印在核安全、太空安全、网络安全等领域开展更多交流对话也十分重要,鉴于双方在这些领域存在威胁感知不对称性,双边或多边交流对话可以让双方更好了解对方的安全关切,避免恶性竞争。

Third, both sides should pay a high level of attention to various new factors that induce security dilemmas, and be particularly vigilant against third-party interference factors. As of now, third-party involvement increases uncertainty in Sino-Indian relations and undermines the integrity of the information each side possesses, reducing the predictability of the bilateral relationship. In addition to promptly strengthening information exchanges and communication in order to reduce mutual misunderstanding and suspicion due to third-party factors, both sides need to guard against active third-party interference in their bilateral relations as much as possible. Both countries can also take appropriate measures to turn unfavorable factors into favorable ones, such as expanding more “China-India plus” cooperation. New domestic triggers likewise deserve the attention of both sides, especially the growing nationalist sentiment in their respective countries. In addition to assessing bilateral relations rationally, both sides should take a more tolerant view of the fact that the other side is rising, and refrain as much as possible from challenging each other’s strategic bottom lines and core security interests. Given that actors such as the media, think tanks, and academic communities have become important players influencing bilateral relations, it is important for both countries to continue to resume and promote relevant exchange programs, including media exchanges, think tank dialogues, and academic exchanges, so as to enhance mutual understanding. Although it would be difficult for these people-to-people exchange programs to achieve the goal of mitigating the security dilemma directly, they can play a positive role in dispelling negative emotions and easing the tense atmosphere in the bilateral relationship.

其三,双方应该高度关注各种诱发安全困境的新因素,尤其要警惕第三方干扰因素。目前来看,第三方的卷入增加了中印关系的不确定,也破坏双方各自掌握信息的完整性,降低了双边关系的可预测性。双方除及时加强信息交流和沟通以减少因第三方因素而导致的相互误解与怀疑之外,也需要尽可能防范第三方主动干扰双边关系。两国还可以采取适当的措施,化不利因素为有利因素,例如拓展更多的“中印+”合作。同样,国内新的促发因素也值得双方关注,尤其是各自国内日益高涨的民族主义情绪。除了应理性评估双边关系,双方也应持更加包容的心态看待对方正在崛起的事实,尽可能不去挑战对方的战略底线与核心安全利益。鉴于媒体、智库以及学界等行为体已成为影响双边关系的重要角色,两国继续恢复和推进相关交流项目十分重要,包括媒体交流智库对话、学术交流等,增进彼此了解。虽然这些人文交流项目难以达到直接缓解安全困境目的,但可以在消除双边关系中的负面情绪、缓解紧张氛围方面发挥积极作用。

Fourth, it is also very important for the two countries to update their security concepts. That is, to abandon the old zero-sum game security concept as much as possible and embrace cooperative security concepts that place greater emphasis on mutual trust, mutual benefit, and equality. In fact, in addition to security dilemmas, the two countries also face many existential problems that plague not only individual countries but all of humanity, including ecological degradation, climate warming, water resource shortages, and epidemic diseases. For example, in the era of globalization, geographic borders between countries are ill-suited to completely stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19, H1N1, Ebola, and SARS. In the face of these challenges, if the traditional security perspective, or zero-sum game thinking, is still adopted to view and deal with problems, it will not only lead to the obstruction of relevant cooperation but may even lead to so-called non-traditional security dilemmas. Therefore, if both sides can update their concepts and use cooperative security concepts to manage and conduct security interaction between the two countries, it may be easier for both countries to extricate themselves from the current security dilemma and achieve the transformation of Sino-Indian security relations from the security dilemma mode to the cooperative security mode of interaction.

其四,两国安全观的更新也十分重要,即尽可能放弃旧有的零和博弈安全观,接受一种更强调互信、互利、平等的合作安全观。实际上,除了安全困境,两国还面对诸多不仅困扰一个国家而且困扰整个人类世界的生存困境问题,包括生态环境恶化、气候变暖、水资源短缺、流行性疾病等。例如,在全球化时代,国家之间的地理边界很难完全阻止像新冠肺炎病毒、H1N1,埃博拉和SARS等病毒的传播。面对这些挑战,如果依然采用传统安全视角,甚或是零和博弈思维来看待和处理问题,它不仅会导致相关合作受阻,甚至可能会导致所谓的非传统安全困境。因此,如果双方都能够更新观念,用合作安全理念来管理和经营两国的安全互动关系,可能更容易让两国摆脱当前安全困境,实现中印安全关系从安全困境互动模式进入合作安全互动模式的转化。

Conclusion

结语

Although the “security dilemma” has had different manifestations at different stages in the Sino-Indian relationship, it has always accompanied the development of relations between the two countries, and its proper understanding and handling by both sides is directly related to the development of Sino-Indian relations. At present, the Sino-Indian security dilemma in the new era presents new features, including a spillover character, dynamic disequilibrium, and asymmetry. To some extent, the two countries are facing a compound security dilemma that has both traditional military security dilemmas and non-military, non-traditional security dilemmas. They face real security dilemmas and are also confined by imagined security dilemmas. The root cause behind the formation of the Sino-Indian security dilemma was structural, namely, the anarchic state of the international community. However, it has not been constant in intensity over the course of development in Sino-Indian relations and has shown dynamic variation under multiple influencing factors. Although there are no indicators at present to accurately estimate the severity of the security dilemma, the bilateral interaction process, and its results show that while the severity of the Sino-Indian security dilemma has not yet reached a high intensity in many areas, the border security dilemma is developing in a serious direction. Both countries need to pay attention to the new changes in the security dilemma and explore new ways to alleviate it, including actively alleviating the border security dilemma, such as by optimizing border crisis management, launching new confidence-building measures, and trying to create some cloud-based dialogue mechanisms suitable for the epidemic period. Both countries should also actively pay attention to the changes in the security dilemma in other security areas and rationally control the new contributing factors affecting the security dilemma, especially third-party factors. Currently, third-party factors are changing the equation of Sino-Indian interaction, and this will make it more difficult to alleviate the dilemma. Both sides need to make good use of positive factors and prevent negative ones. Finally, it is important for both sides to update their security concepts. If both sides can make greater use of cooperative security concepts to manage and conduct security interaction between the two countries, it may be easier for them to get out of the current security dilemma.

尽管”安全困境”在中印关系的不同阶段有不同表现,但它始终伴随两国关系的发展,双方的认识和处理恰当与否都直接关系到中印关系的发展。目前来看,新时期的中印安全困境呈现出新特点,包括溢出性、动态非均衡性以及不对称性。两国在某种程度上正面临一种复合型安全困境,既有传统的军事性安全困境,也有非军事性的非传统安全困境。既面临现实的安全困境,也受困于想象的安全困境。中印安全困境形成的根源是结构性的,即国际社会的无政府状态。但它在中印关系发展进程中表现出的强烈度并非常量,受多重因素影响,呈现出动态变化性。尽管目前还没有指标精准估算安全困境的严重程度,但是从双方互动进程和结果来看,中印安全困境在诸多领域的严重程度还未达到高烈度,但边境安全困境正向严重方向发展。两国有必要关注安全困境的新变化,探索缓解困境的新出路,包括积极缓解边境安全困境,如优化边境危机管控,展开新的信任措施建设,尝试创建一些适合疫情期间的云端对话机制;两国也应积极关注其他安全领域所存在的安全两难态势变化,并合理管控影响安全困境新的促发因素,尤其是第三方因素。目前来看,第三方因素正在改变中印互动方程式,这将加大了缓解困境的难度。双方要要善于利用积极因素,防止不利因素。最后,双方的安全观念更新十分重要。如果双方能够更多采用合作安全理念来管理和经营两国安全互动关系,可能将更容易摆脱当前安全困境。

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刘思伟 (Liu Siwei) (2022). "New Changes in the Sino-Indian Security Dilemma, and Their Consideration [中印安全困境之新变化及其思考]". Interpret: China, Original work published September 21, 2020, https://interpret.csis.org/translations/new-changes-in-the-sino-indian-security-dilemma-and-their-consideration/

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