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Revisiting China’s Grand Strategy


This 2001 analysis by political scientist Tang Shiping is a follow-up to a lengthy exposition on China’s ideal grands strategy that he penned the year prior. In this piece, he argues that China should “have its own global economic interests, to have a pivotal position in regional security affairs, and to have a political voice in global affairs.”

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The core goal of China’s security strategy is to provide a peaceful and stable international security environment for China’s reform and opening up. To create an ideal security environment, on the one hand, the international community needs to invest more time and energy to understand China. On the other hand, China also needs to more clarify what the ideal security environment it pursues is. Although we cannot expect that our unilateral efforts alone will make all countries friendly to us, we must make all efforts to remove the doubts of other countries that are unclear about China’s goals. This will make it easier for the international community to accept the arrival of an increasingly powerful China.

中国安全战略的核心目标就是要为中国的改革开放提供一个和平稳定的国际安全环境。要塑造一个理想的 安全环境,一方面需要国际社会花更多的时间和精力来 了解中国,另一方面也需要中国更清楚地阐明自己所追 求的理想安全环境到底是什么。尽管不能指望我们单方 面的努力可以让所有的国家都对我们友好,但应该尽力 消除其他国家因不清楚中国的目标而产生的疑问,从而 让国际社会更容易接受一个日益强盛的中国的到来。

In another article, the author explores what China’s ideal security environment should be.1 Here, the author will discuss China’s ideal security environment from the perspective of some strategic concepts and finally try to answer a core question: What kind of international status should China ultimately pursue (or, in other words, what kind of country does China want to become)? Although such discussions may not seem to be immediately connected to our actual policies, in fact, perceptions of these questions (especially the leaders’ perceptions of these questions) have a constant influence on China’s security policy. In this regard, a brief review of history is enough to lead to such a conclusion.2

作者在另一篇文章中探讨了中国的理想安全环境具体应该是什么。在这里,作者将从一些战略理念的角度来探讨中国理想安全环境,并最终试图回答一个核心问 题:中国到底应该追求什么样的国际地位(或者说,中国要成为什么样的国家)?尽管这样的讨论似乎不能立即 和我们现实的政策联系起来,但事实上对这些问题的认 识(特别是领导人对这些问题的认识)无时不在影响中国的安全政策。关于这一点,只须简单地回顾一下历史就 会得出这样的结论。

I. Responsibilities and Status


As China’s international status has risen, the discussion on how China can be a “responsible power” is gradually deepening both in China and abroad.3 However, none of these discussions touches on the essence of the question, namely, how should China undertake responsibilities? Should we take the initiative to seek responsibilities, or should we wait until other countries ask China to undertake responsibilities? One popular opinion is that if China does not take the initiative to take responsibility, it will be considered too “selfish” or “too much of a realist” (太过现实主义, as in the realist school of international relations) by other countries. Therefore, China should take the initiative to undertake responsibilities.

随着中国国际地位的上升,无论在国外还是在国内, 关于中国如何做一个“负责任的大国”的讨论都在逐步深入。但是,这些讨论都没有接触到这一问题的实质,即, 中国应该如何去承担责任?是主动去寻求责任,还是等待其它国家要求中国负责任时才去承担责任?目前一种流行的意见是担心如果中国不去主动承担责任,就会被其他国家认为过于“自私”或者“太过现实主义”,因此,中国应该主动的承担责任。

But in fact, in an anarchic international society, all states are “selfish” in the final analysis, and “selfishness” is not a matter of moral judgment in international relations. In the final analysis, if others consider China, as a state, to be “selfish,” this will not damage our reputation.

但事实上,在无政府状态下的国际社会中,所有的国家归根结底都是“自私” 的,“自私” 本身在国际关系中并没有善恶之分。中国作为一个国家被认为是“自私”也就归根结底并无损于我们的形象。

From a historical point of view, the fate of those countries considered by other countries to be “selfish” is much better than the fate of countries considered by other countries to be eager to take on responsibilities and therefore eager to emerge as a great power—almost all of the latter were destroyed. This is because countries that take the initiative to take on responsibilities usually do so in order to make a show of taking on responsibility as a means to teach others. This creates antipathy on the part of other countries, especially when these countries do not have the ability to take on the responsibility and thus give the impression that they are “biting off more than they can chew.” This eagerness to take on responsibility will be regarded by other countries as a manifestation of ambition, and it often leads other countries to band together to “contain” the country that tries to take on responsibility. The most famous example of this was Germany before World War I. 4

从历史的角度看,那些被其他国家认为是“自私” 的国家的命运,比那些被其他国家认为是急于要承担责任因而急于要出头当大国的国家的命运要好得多———后者几乎都遭到了灭顶之灾。这是因为那些主动要承担责任的国家通常都会为了显示自己要承担责任而去教训人, 从而引起其他国家的反感,尤其是当这些国家又并不具备承担责任的能力因而有“不自量力” 之嫌时,急于要承担责任更会被其他国家认为是野心勃勃的表现,很容易引起其他国家的联合“围堵”。这方面最出名的例子是一战前的德国。

It is only when other countries require a country to assume certain responsibilities that the country taking on these responsibilities will more easily receive acceptance and support from other countries. The American presence in Europe after World War II is a classic example of this. Towards the end of World War II, Roosevelt told Churchill that the United States would withdraw from Europe within two years after the end of the war, leaving the UK and the Soviet Union with the responsibility for maintaining peace in Europe.5 The result was that both Britain and France, finding themselves unable to withstand pressure from the Soviet Union, had to actively request the United States to return to Europe. As a result, during the Cold War, even the proud French never asked the United States to withdraw from Europe.


In sharp contrast, in the post-Cold War world of today, when Europe no longer faces external threats and therefore no longer needs the American umbrella, European countries are very dissatisfied with the fact that the United States is still interfering too much in European affairs (in other words, they think the United States has assumed many responsibilities that it should not have assumed). The birth of the European single currency and the emergence of the European Rapid Response Force are in fact a reflection of the fact that European countries no longer want the United States to always take on responsibilities that it should not take on with an arrogant attitude that this is its duty because there is no one else who can do it. The antipathy of the United States to this change in attitude on the part of the European countries is in fact because the United States is too eager to take on responsibility [而美国对欧洲国家这一态度转变的反感其实就是美国太想承担责任, I have given the literal translation, but I suspect the correct interpretation is “This change this the attitude of the European countries to one of antipathy towards the United States is in fact because the United States is too eager to take on responsibility”].

与之形成鲜明对比的是,在冷战后的今天,当欧洲不再面临外部威胁因而不再需要美国的保护伞时,欧洲国家就对美国仍然过多的干预欧洲事务 (或者说美国承担了许多不该承担的责任) 大为不满。欧洲单一货币的诞生和欧洲快速反应部队的呼之欲出,事实上都是欧洲国家不再希望美国总是以责无旁贷、舍我其谁的傲慢去承担那些不该承担的责任的体现,而美国对欧洲国家这一态度转变的反感其实就是美国太想承担责任了。

Therefore, in the process of China becoming a “responsible power,” China should only assume such responsibilities that earn it the support and acceptance of other countries. We should never take on responsibilities that are not ours to undertake for the sake of creating a “responsible” image, especially for the sake of face (面子, i.e., reputation). In fact, it is only by taking on responsibilities in a way that earns the support and acceptance of other countries that we can create a true image of a “responsible power.”

因此,在中国成为“负责任的大国”的进程中,中国只应该去承担那些获得其他国家支持和接受的责任,决不 应该为了塑造“负责任” 的形象,特别是为了面子去承担不该承担的责任。事实上,只承担那些获得其他国家支 持和接受的责任才会造就真正的 “负责任的大国” 的形象。

Today’s China is still far from being a true great power, and the mentality of slapping one’s face to make one’s self look fat (打肿脸充胖子, puffing one’s self up) is extremely dangerous. This is because such a mentality is bound to have a subtle influence on the behavior of the state, bringing about a series of dangerous actions. Such actions do not even have to be aggressive military expansion, which will arouse the vigilance and antipathy of other countries.

今天的中国还远不是一个真正的大国,那种急于要打肿脸充胖子的心态是极其危险的。这是因为这种心态 必定会对国家的行为产生潜移默化的影响,带来一系列 危险的行为。这些行为甚至都不见得非要是咄咄逼人的 军事扩张,就会引起其他国家的警觉和反感。

Japan’s performance after its economic take-off in the 1980s provides the most recent example that eagerness to take on responsibility comes at a price. At that time, Japan, which already felt that it was “the world’s No. 1 country,” began to talk about “internationalization” and began to go around teaching people how to do things. The appreciation of the yen after the Plaza Accord in 1985 led Japan into a mad rush to buy up some of the U.S.’s iconic cultural heritage. These actions not only made the American people angry, but also gave American elites and leaders a “worthy adversary” against which to formulate the U.S. Action Program.

日本在八十年代经济腾飞后的表现提供了那种急于承担责任而付出代价的最新教训。当时已经觉得自己是“世界第一”的日本开始谈论“国际化”,开始教训人。1985年广场协议后日元的升值更使得日本疯狂地购买美国的一些标志性文化遗产。这些举动不仅让美国的国民愤愤不平,更让美国的精英和领导人有了一个 “可尊敬的敌人”来制定美国的行动纲领。

As a result, the United States adopted various industrial policies and a trend of learning from Japan. The United States began to see Japan more as an adversary than an ally (U.S. opinion polls shortly before and after the end of the Cold War indicated that Japan had replaced the Soviet Union as America’s No. 1 adversary). As a result, ten years later, when the dust of this war without weapons settled, Japan found that “Japan as the No. 1 country in the world” had always been a fantasy. When Japan woke up from its economic bubble, the Japanese may have asked themselves: How could we have believed that we could become the No. 1 country in the world?

于是美国有了各种产业政策和向日本学习的浪潮。美国开始将日本更多地当成是一个对手,而不是盟友(在冷战结束前后不久的美国民意调查都表明,日本已经取代苏联成了美国的第一号敌人)。结果是,十年之后,当这场没有硝烟的战争尘埃落定时,日本发现“世界第一的 日本”从来就是一个梦幻。当日本从经济泡沫中醒来时, 日本人是否要反躬自问:我们当时怎么会相信自己能成为世界第一的?

In a sense, China has fallen into the same trap today. After the World Bank released its widely disseminated East Asian Miracle report, coupled with the bubble mentality brought about by China’s overheated economy at that time, the mentality of many Chinese people was suddenly inflated. The talk one heard from Chinese elites during this period was almost identical in mentality and form to the talk of the Japanese before them: They began to talk about the rise and fall of hegemony (that is, the fall of the United States); talk about how many years it will take China to surpass Japan and then the United States; talk about how China will soon replace the United States; and talk about what sort of role model China should for developing countries, what kind of contributions China should make, and what kind of responsibilities it should take on.

某种意义上说,中国如今已经陷入了同样的陷阱。在世界银行发表其广为传播的 《东亚奇迹》报告后,加上当时的中国经济过热带来的泡沫心理,许多国人的心态 一下子就膨胀起来。这段时期的中国精英言论和当年日 本的言论在心态上和形式上几乎如出一辙:开始谈论霸 权的兴衰(即美国的衰落);谈论中国在多少年就会超过日本、然后超过美国;谈论中国马上就要代替美国如何如何;谈论中国应该成为发展中国家的楷模、中国应该作出什么样的贡献、承担什么样的责任。

Chinese elites who hold these mentalities simply do not realize that, when it realizes that any country could catch up with the it even in the very distant future, the United States, as an extremely nationalistic country, will exaggerate the abilities or potential of that country as much as possible, making it an imaginary enemy so as to consolidate and focus the power of the United States. During the Cold War, American elites constantly exaggerated the strength of the Soviet Union, throwing out myths that the United States had fewer missiles than the USSR [i.e., the “Missile Gap”] and that the USSR’s GDP was already 70% of that of the United States. The same was true of the United States’ attitude to Japan in later years: The titles that swept the United States at that time were Japan as No. 1 and Rising Sun.

持这些心态的中国精英根本没有意识到美国作为一个民族主义极其强烈的国家,当它意识到会有任何一个 国家在哪怕极遥远的将来能赶上美国时,就会尽可能地 夸大那一个国家的能力或者潜能,使其成为假想敌而凝 聚美国的力量。在冷战时期,美国的精英不停地夸大苏 联的实力,抛出了美国导弹少于苏联 [即 “ 导弹缺口(Missile Gap)”] 和苏联的 GDP 已经是美国的70%等神话。美国对后来的日本也是如此:当年风靡美国的标题是 《日本第一》(Japan as No.1)和《日■》(Rising Sun)。

Today, the United States is using the same formula for China. All of the ideas about China’s future trends originate in the United States or the West: “theories about China’s future as the No. 1 country” (disguised “China threat theory”), “Asian megatrends,” “Confucian cultural advantage theory,” “relative purchasing power theory,” “how the U.S. Navy will lose to the Chinese Navy in a future war,” and so on. Regrettably, when these sensational myths reach Chinese ears, they are accepted by Chinese elites who long ago lost their theoretical creativity and treasure every piece of garbage spewed by the West. They pass these themes back and forth with relish, hyping them up into big things to satisfy their vanity, which is a product of the serious inferiority complex arising from the nation’s century of humiliation. They have no idea that their lame boosterism is already viewed by the United States and Japan as evidence of China’s ambitions. Therefore, China has the “great honor” to become the new “worthy adversary” of the United States succeeding the Soviet Union and Japan.6 It can be said without hesitation that, despite the fact that China’s rapid development in the past two decades cannot be concealed, the behavior and mentality of Chinese elites in the second half of the 1990s clearly deepened other countries’ misgivings about Chinese intentions. This has done considerable harm.

今天,美国对中国如法炮制。所有关于中国未来趋势的原始发 源地都来自美国或西方:“ 中国未来第一论”(一种变相的“中国威胁论”)、“亚洲大趋势”、“儒家文化优势论”、“相对购买力论”、“美国海军在未来战争中输给中国海军” 等等。遗憾的是,这些耸人听闻的神话传到中国时,早就丧失了理论创造能力而对西方的任何垃圾都趋 之若鹜的中国精英们如获至宝,他们津津有味地相互传送,大事炒 作,满足他们自己和国民因百年屈辱而严重自卑心态后面的虚荣心。他们根本没有发觉他们这些蹩脚的重复炒作已经被 美国和日本当成是中国野心的证据,中国也就因此“非常荣幸”地成为了继苏联和日本后美国的新科“可尊敬的敌人”。可以毫不客气地说,尽管中国在过去二十年的飞速发展是无法掩盖的事实,但中国精英们在九十年代后 半期的行为和心态却显然加深了其他国家对中国意图的 疑虑,已经造成了相当的危害。

Our elites always like to use the quote about China attributed to Napoleon (“Let China Sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world”) to support their arguments, but this sentence is probably more apt for the United States. You can even add: After this lion wakes, be sure it does not notice you. Today, the predicament facing China is not that the United States does not view China as important, but that it attaches too great an importance to China. As the popular American saying goes: No news is good news.

我们的精英老喜欢用传说中拿破仑评价中国的那句话来支持自己的论点,但这句话恐怕对美国更合适,甚至 可以加上一句:千万不要让这头狮子醒过来后注意你。 今天,中国面临的困境不是美国不重视中国,而是太重视 中国。正如美国的一句流行语所言:没有新闻才是好新 闻。

Japan, Germany, China, India, and other countries with failures in their history inevitably have a sense of urgency that they must quickly wash away or cover up this past with achievements (even if these are illusory), but this kind of psychology is extremely dangerous. If our citizens, elites, and leaders cannot let go of (or at least suppress) the mentality of serious inferiority due to the century of humiliation, China will have no hope of escaping the tragic cycle of history.

日本、德国、中国、印度等这些有过失败历史的国家 都不可避免的有一种要急于用成就(哪怕是虚幻的)来洗刷或掩盖过去的急迫心理,但这种心理是极其危险的。 如果我们的国民、精英和领导人不能放弃 (或至少压抑) 那种因为百年屈辱而严重自卑的心态,中国就没有希望 超越历史的悲剧循环。

II. Integration and Shaping


One question linked to status and responsibility, and perhaps the hottest topic in discussions of China’s grand strategy over the past few years, has been: Is China going to integrate into the current U.S.-led world economic and political system, or is it going to challenge (or shape) this system. Here, the author will focus on two aspects of this question.

与地位和责任相联系的一个问题,也是过去几年关于中国大战略的讨论中最热门的话题大概是:中国是要 融入目前以美国为主导的世界经济与政治体系中去,还 是要去挑战这一个体系(或者说塑造)。在这里,作者将集中探讨这一问题的两个方面。

1.         Relationship Between Integration and Shaping
1. 融入与塑造的关系

In the discussion about integration and shaping, there is no shortage of sharp insights from many scholars, but in general, these discussions consider integration and shaping to be two irreconcilable choices. In fact, however, when any system absorbs a new individual, the system itself changes (although these may be subtle changes that are imperceptible at first). At the same time, when an individual is integrated into a system, this simultaneously gives the individual the potential to change the system. Therefore, integration and shaping are never mutually exclusive. Rather, they are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. China’s reform and opening up is itself historical evidence that integration and shaping are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. Due to China’s integration into the world economic system, China’s comprehensive national strength has grown significantly in just 20 years. This has also greatly enhanced China’s ability to shape the world economic and political system. Today, China’s influence in international affairs is undoubtedly far greater than it was before the reform and opening up. While China is integrating its own economic system into the world economic system step by step by means such as the large-scale introduction of foreign capital and expansion of international trade, as an emerging international trade power and accumulator of foreign exchange reserves, China will have a profound and far-reaching impact on the world economic system. This effect will become more pronounced as the Renminbi becomes a freely convertible currency.7

在有关融入与塑造的讨论中,不乏许多学者的真知灼见,但总体上,融入与塑造在这一场讨论中基本上被认为是势不两立的两个选择。但事实上,任何一个系统新 吸收一个个体,该系统本身就发生了变化(尽管一开始可能是难以察觉的微妙变化),而与此同时,当一个个体融入一个系统时,这个个体也就同时具有了改变系统的潜 在能力。因此,融入和塑造从来都不是相互排斥的,而是相互联系和相互促进的。中国的改革开放本身就是一个 融入和塑造是相互联系和相互促进的历史见证。中国因 为融入了世界经济体系中,在短短的二十年间使中国的综合国力大大提高,也就使得中国对世界经济和政治体系的塑造能力大大提高。今天中国在国际事务中的影响力毫无疑问地要远高于改革开放前的影响力。中国在将自己的经济体系通过大规模地引进外资和拓展国际贸易等手段一步步地融入世界经济体系的同时,中国作为一个新兴国际贸易大国和积累的外汇储备都将对世界经济体系产生深远的影响。这种影响随着人民币成为可自由兑换货币时代的到来将更加显著。

In the last 10 years, China’s active participation in some international organizations likewise proves the connection between integration and shaping.8 For example, when the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was first established, one of its main purposes was to assimilate, incorporate, contain, and constrain China through engagement.9 Today, after China began actively participating in various activities of the ARF, it can be clearly seen that although ASEAN countries are still wary of China (in an anarchic international society, mutual defense between countries is “rational”, so this is understandable), it is obvious to all that their trust in China has been greatly strengthened and their attitude regarding the “China threat theory” has gradually changed.

最近十年来中国在一些国际组织中的积极参与同样印证了融入和塑造之间的联系。比如东盟地区论坛(ARF) 在成立之初,其一个主要目的就是通过接触(engage)来同化(assimilate, incorporate)、围堵(contain)、节制(constrain)中国。在中国积极地参加东盟地区论坛各项活动后的今天,可以清楚地看到,尽管东盟国家对中国的戒备心理仍将存在(在无政府状态下的国际社会中,国家间的相互防范是“理性” 的,因此无可厚非),但对中国的信任感大大加强和对“中国威胁论”的态度逐渐改变却是有目共睹的。

2.         Possibility of Choice
2. 选择的可能性

If one looks at the question of integration from another perspective, we can conclude that China seems to have no choice but to continue the process of integration.


First, in view of China’s current domestic social composition, China’s integration over the past two decades has created a powerful vested interest group with the majority of Chinese citizens composing the main body. Despite the widening gap between the rich and the poor at all levels of Chinese society, the material life that the majority of Chinese people enjoy today is obviously a great improvement compared to any period after the founding of New China. Most of the common people have become accustomed to a government that benefits the common people by continuously integrating into the international community while reforming the domestic political and economic system. In addition, although China has paid a huge price in the process of integrating into the world, objectively speaking, the beneficiaries of China’s so-called “globalization” process (the rise of China’s gross national product and total trade value on the global scale is obvious to all) [Translator’s note: This sentence is unclear in the source, but its meaning is probably “the common people of China are the beneficiaries of China’s so-called “globalization” process”]. It would be difficult for the government to convince its citizens that China will no longer be able to enjoy the benefits of this process in the future so it needs to change its policies. As a result, any attempt to cut off this integration process will encounter severe resistance and become basically unfeasible.

首先,从中国目前国内的社会构成来看,中国在过去二十年中的融入已经造就了以大多数国民为主体的强大的既得利益集团。尽管中国社会各阶层的贫富差距在日益扩大,中国的大多数老百姓在今天享受到的物质生活显然要比新中国成立后的任何一个时期都更加丰富。大多数老百姓已经习惯了在对国内的政治经济体制进行改革的同时,通过不断融入国际社会,为老百姓带来实惠的政府。此外,尽管中国在融入世界的进程中付出了巨大的代价,但客观地说,中国的这一所谓“全球化”过程中的受益者 (中国的国民总产值和贸易总值在世界范围内的地位的上升是有目共睹的),政府难以说服国民相信中国今后在这一过程中将不再能享受这一过程带来的利益而需要改变政策。这样一来,任何试图截断这一融入过程的努力都将遇到严重的阻力而变得基本上不可行。

Looking at the international environment, China obviously does not possess the external environment and ability to establish a political and economic system by itself. First, history has proved that a system based on coercive means is not only difficult to establish (not to mention that China does not have such coercive capabilities) but is also very unstable. Due to the centrifugal force within the system, the core countries of the system are forced to pay a high price in order to maintain the system, exhausting their national strength (colonial systems such as that of the UK and Eastern Europe under the control of the Soviet Union are the best examples). Therefore, to build a political and economic system, a country must possess a certain spiritual attraction, and China’s modern civilization obviously does not have such an attraction. Furthermore, to build a political and economic system, a country must possess a high degree of tangible influence. Such influence should at least include a sufficiently large economic scale, a sufficiently open market, a hard currency, and a sufficiently large capital reserve (for overseas investment). Obviously, China does not possess these conditions: The dependency of China’s current economy on the economies of other countries is greater than the dependency of these countries on China. In this sort of objective international environment, China’s influence on the international system is extremely limited, so it is also unable to establish its own system.

从国际环境来看,中国显然也不具备自己建立一个政治和经济体系的外部环境和能力。首先,历史证明建立于强制性手段基础上的体系不仅难以建立 (且不说中国不具备这种强制能力),而且极不稳定,因为其体系内部的离心力将让体系的核心国为维持体系而付出高昂代 价,耗尽国力(以英国为代表的殖民体系、苏联控制下的东欧是最好的例子)。因此,要建立一个政治和经济体 系,一个国家必须具备一定的精神吸引力,而中国的现代文明显然不具备这种吸引力。此外,要建立一个政治和 经济体系,一个国家必须具备高度的有形影响力。这种 影响力至少应该包括一个足够大的经济规模、一个足够 开放的市场、一个硬通货的货币、一个足够巨大的资本储备(用以海外投资)。很显然,这些条件中国都不具备:中国目前的经济更多的是依赖其他国家经济,而不是其他 国家依赖中国。在这样的客观国际环境下,中国对国际 体系的影响力是极其有限的,因而也就无法去建立一个 自己的体系。

III. Sea Power and Land Power


The humiliation suffered at the hands of the gunboats of the great powers has long inspired China to become a maritime power. However, we must be soberly aware that military power is developed in order to achieve the country’s strategic goals, not to satisfy the dream of becoming a maritime power.

在列强炮舰面前遭受的屈辱一直激励着中国要成为一个海上强国。但是,必须清醒地意识到发展军力是为 了达成国家的战略目的,而不是为了满足海上强国梦。

Besides safeguarding national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, China’s most important strategic goal is to find a way to achieve reunification. Moreover, if we have no choice but to use military means to resolve the Taiwan issue, the most critical part is to deter possible U.S. intervention.10

中国最重要的战略目的除了维护国家安全和主权, 领土完整外,就是如何实现统一。而如果我方不得不用军事手段解决台湾问题的话,那最关键的一环就是阻吓(deterrence)美国可能的干预。

Both the Gulf War and the Kosovo War have clearly demonstrated that defensive forces, as traditionally understood, are now unable to counter the long-range attack force of precision-guided weapons. In a sense, like the advent of nuclear weapons, the perfection of precision-guided weapons signifies a further separation of deterrence and defense (especially in conventional warfare).11 Prior to this, even if one country did not have the ability to cause much damage to another country in an attack, it could still deter enemy aggression (or pressure) by fighting for every inch of territory on the battlefield (such as Finland’s strategy against the former Soviet Union). This strategy is deterrence by denial. In the era of precision-guided weapons, because the two sides do not actually come into contact on the battlefield, if the stronger side does not want to occupy the territory of the weaker country, the strategy of deterrence by denial will not be able to deter to the stronger side if its strategy is simply to force the other side into submission. Therefore, in the era of precision-guided weapons, if a country wants to deter similar wars, it must have the ability to make its opponents pay a sufficiently high price, that is, the ability to exercise deterrence by punishment.

海湾战争和科索沃战争均清楚地证明:传统意义上的防御力量已经无法对抗精确制导武器的远程攻击力量。某种意义上,如同核武器的到来一样,精确制导武器的完善意味着阻吓和防守的进一步分离 (特别是在常规战争中)。在此之前, 一国即便不能主动对另一国造成多少伤害,但仍可以通过在战场上的寸土必争 (比如芬兰对前苏联的战略就是如此)而阻吓敌人的侵略(或是压力),这种战略是抗拒性的阻吓(deterrence by denial)。在精确制导武器的时代,因为双方并不在战场上真正接触,如果强大的 一方并不想占据弱国的领土,抗拒性的阻吓战略将无法阻吓强大的一方只想迫使另一方就范的战略。因此,在精确制导武器的时代,一个国家要想阻吓类似的战争,必 须拥有让对手付出足够代价的能力,即以报复相威胁的阻吓(deterrence by punishment)能力。

Although the deterrent force must be an offensive force, it is not a pure offensive force, but a retaliatory strike force. Like nuclear deterrence, conventional deterrence forces should be forces that are not easily destroyed and can strike the enemy. To achieve such deterrence, we must upgrade our military’s conventional deterrence with respect to the United States from its current defensive deterrence to truly meaningful deterrence, that is, deterrence based on retaliatory strike power. The point of deterrence is not to protect ourselves from harm, but to ensure that the losses to the other party are unbearable to it.

阻吓力量尽管必须是攻击性的力量,但又不是纯粹的攻击力量,而是报复性的打击力量。如同核阻吓一样, 常规阻吓力量也应该是不易被摧毁而又可以对敌方进行打击的力量。这样的力量将使我军对美国的常规阻吓从如今建立在防御上的阻吓迈向真正意义的阻吓,即建立在报复打击力量上的阻吓。阻吓的要点不是我们自己要秋毫无损,而是要保证对方的损失是其无法忍受的就 行。

The U.S. military’s intervention force in the Far East consists of four pillars: forward garrisons, fast maneuvering aircraft carrier battle groups, comprehensive battlefield information (mainly including satellite, airborne early warning, and listening), and long-range strike forces (including stealth strike forces). With respect to the long-range strike forces of the United States, we likely will not possess effective countermeasures for quite some time in the future. However, to form deterrence against the United States, we do not need the capability to strike all of its forces, but only the remaining three of its four pillars.

美国在远东地区的军事干涉力量由四个支柱组成: 前沿驻军,快速机动的航空母舰作战群,立体战场信息(主要包括卫星、空中预警、侦听),远程打击力量(包括隐形打击力量)。对于其拥有的远程打击力量,在未来的相当时间,我方恐怕不会有有效的反击手段。但要形成对美国的阻吓,我方并不需要对其所有的力量均拥有打击能力,而只需对其四大支柱中的其余三个拥有打击力量就足够了。

The best deterrent weapons against the United States are stealth attack forces: stealth attack aircraft, nuclear attack submarines, and long-range cruise missiles. The effectiveness of stealth attack aircraft as a deterrent weapon is self-evident. Nuclear attack submarines with good stealth capabilities are also excellent deterrent weapons. Nuclear attack submarines can threaten the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet and constitute a powerful deterrent in themselves. Nuclear attack submarines can also carry long-range cruise missiles to attack U.S. ground forces in the Far East, constituting a strike force against the forward garrisons of the United States. These undersea attack forces can inflict heavy losses on the U.S. military even after the U.S. has destroyed our equivalent ground-based missile force. At the same time, nuclear attack submarines can become an effective force for blockading Taiwan. Therefore, nuclear submarines with stealth capabilities are an excellent weapon to strengthen our ability to solve the Taiwan issue: They can be used to deter U.S. intervention and can also be used to force Taiwan to make concessions.

对美国的最佳阻吓性武器是隐形攻击力量:隐形攻击机,攻击型核潜艇和远程巡航导弹。隐形攻击机作为良好的阻吓性武器是不言而喻的。而隐敝性好的攻击型 核潜艇也是极佳的阻吓性武器。攻击型核潜艇能威胁美 军的航空母舰舰队,其本身就已构成强大的阻吓力量。 攻击型核潜艇还可以携带远程巡航导弹去攻击美军在远 东的地面力量,从而构成对美国前沿驻军的打击力量。 这些水下攻击力量即使在美国摧毁了我方相当的地面导 弹力量之后仍然可以给美军以重创。同时,攻击型核潜 艇又可以成为对台封锁的有效力量。因此,隐敝性核潜 艇是加强我方解决台湾问题能力的极佳武器:它既可以 用于阻吓美国介入,也可以用于迫使台湾让步。

Information attack capabilities are a second weapon of deterrence against the United States. The U.S. military is already heavily reliant on battlefield information superiority. This also means that if we can prevent or interfere with the opponent’s ability to gain battlefield information advantages (such as satellite blocking capabilities and listening interference capabilities), this would greatly increase the risks to U.S. military action in the Far East, thereby helping to deter U.S. military intervention.

对美国的阻吓性武器其次应该是信息攻击能力。美军已经十分依赖战场信息优势,这也就意味着如果我方 拥有阻止或干扰对方获得战场信息优势的能力 (比如卫星拦截能力和侦听干扰能力) 将大大增加美国在远东采取军事行动的风险,从而有助于阻吓美国的军事介入。

The discussion above shows that, in order to deter the United States from intervening in the Taiwan Strait crisis, China does not need to develop a navy that can compete with the United States for dominance of the sea. At this point, missiles, air forces, an underwater navy, and an effective nuclear deterrent would suffice to achieve the above goal. In addition, these forces would be far more effective than an expensive surface navy.

以上的讨论表明,要阻吓美国干预台海危机,中国并不需要发展能和美国争夺制海权的海军,在这一点上,导 弹、空军、水下海军和有效的核威慑就足以达成上述目 标,这些力量将远比昂贵的水面海军有效。

More importantly, if we carefully examine the maritime environment facing our country, we can conclude that: It is almost impossible for China to become a true maritime power. In the vast Pacific Ocean, China does not control any island that could serve as a naval supply base. Even if Taiwan returns to the motherland and even if we persuade a reunified Korean peninsula to become a neutral country, this will still only open two small gaps in the chain of offshore islands around China. Moreover, even if the United States loses Taiwan and the Korean peninsula, it will still have the two iron chains of Japan and the Philippines (and possibly even Singapore and Vietnam), limiting the freedom of movement of the Chinese navy. Looking a step further, the U.S. military presence in Australia and New Zealand will form a second line of defense against our navy, and bases controlled by the United States itself, such as Guam, will form the third line of defense against our navy. Without supply bases at sea, it is impossible for China to compete with the U.S. Navy for “rule of the waves.”

更重要的是,大家如果仔细审视我国面临的海洋环境就可以得出结论:中国几乎不可能成为一个真正意义 上的海洋强国。在广袤的太平洋,中国不控制任何一个 可以成为海军补给基地的岛屿。即使台湾回归祖国,乃 至说服统一后的朝鲜半岛成为一个中立的国家,仍只是 在我国的近海岛链上打开了两个小缺口。而美国即使失 去台湾和朝鲜半岛,仍将拥有日本和菲律宾(甚至有可能新加坡以及越南)这两道铁锁,限制中国海军的自由行动空间。进一步看,美国在澳大利亚和新西兰的军事存在 将形成对我海军的第二道防线,而美国本身控制的关岛 等基地将形成对我海军的第三道防线。没有海上补给基 地,中国就不可能和美国海军争夺“治海权”。

Because the United States will likely think that we mean to challenge its maritime supremacy, the single-minded pursuit of a blue-sea navy will only bring us burdens or even disasters. For example, if we build aircraft carriers so that we can take pride in possessing an aircraft carrier, we risk making the same mistakes that Germany made before World War I: The massive fleet built by Germany could not itself compete with the British Navy, but it indirectly led to the defeat of Germany. This is because, based on Germany’s construction of this massive fleet, the UK concluded that Germany was not content with dominance on the European continent, but also wanted to challenge the UK’s maritime dominance.12 We must not make the same mistake.

片面追求远洋海军只会给我们带来包袱乃至灾难, 因为美国很有可能会认为我们要挑战他的海上霸主地 位。比如,如果我们以拥有航空母舰的骄傲为出发点而去造航空母舰,就有可能犯德国在第一次世界大战前犯的错误:德国建造的庞大舰队本身不可能和英国海军抗衡,却间接导致了德国的失败,因为英国从德国建造庞大舰队的行动中得出的结论是德国不满足于在欧洲大陆的霸主地位,更想挑战英国的海上霸主地位。我们万不可犯同样的错误。

Of equal importance is the fact that Asian countries will be uneasy about China’s ambitions in competing with the United States for maritime supremacy. Because a China that controls the sea will be able to threaten other Asian countries at any time, the majority of Asian countries will choose to ally with the distant United States to balance it against neighboring China.‎13


In contrast, China’s focus on developing a deterrent military force can alleviate the already tense “security dilemma” between China and the United States as far as possible, without sacrificing national interests. Because the deterrent military force does not seek to project power, but only to prevent the United States from intervening in affairs within the scope of China’s sovereignty, although the United States will still not welcome this development, it will respond better than if we were to try to become a maritime power.


As a composite land–sea country, China has always faced “twice the difficulties in strategy and double the vulnerability in security” (战略上的两难和安全上的双重易受伤害性).14 Therefore, China has never been able to devote too much of its resources to developing sea power (the navy is much more expensive than the army). Unfortunately, some people’s worship of Mahan’s theory of sea power has almost brought them to the point of paranoia.15 These people ignored the fact that Mahan’s theory of sea power was actually written to influence the security strategy of the United States at that time,16 and is not necessarily applicable to a country like China, where land power is preeminent. Historically, some countries that believed in the theory of sea power did not “determine history” as Mahan claimed. Athens, the sea power of ancient Greece, did not win its war with Sparta. Kaiser Wilhelm, who had a fanatical admiration for the theory of sea power and claimed to be a devout follower of Mahan, brought only tragedy to Germany in the First World War. The fanaticism of Japanese militarists in Asia for the theory of sea power brought catastrophe to Asia and ultimately led to the destruction of Japan in World War II. In their praise of the theory of sea power on the basis of geopolitical concepts, many of our scholars have forgotten to review their history when they praised the theory of sea power based on geopolitical concepts. They need to remember the catastrophes that geopolitical blind faith has brought to Europe, Asia, and humanity as a whole, over the past century.

作为一个陆海复合国家,中国始终面临“战略上的两 难和安全上的双重易受伤害性”。因此,中国始终无法在发展海上力量上倾注太多的资源 (海军要比陆军昂贵得多)。不幸的是,一些人对马汉的海权论的崇拜几乎到了偏执的地步。这些人士忽视了马汉的海权论事实上是为影响当时美国的安全战略而写的,而并不一定适合于中国这样的一个以陆权为主的国家。历史上,一些信仰海权论的国家并没有像马汉宣称的那样 “ 决定历史”。古希腊的海上强国雅典并没有赢得和斯巴达的战 争;对海权论有着狂热崇拜而自称是马汉的虔诚信徒的威廉皇帝在第一次世界大战中给德国带来的只是悲剧; 亚洲的日本军国主义者对海权论的狂热在给亚洲带来浩劫的同时,也最终导致了日本在二战中的毁灭。我们的许多学者在对基于地缘政治观念上的海权论大加赞赏 时,都忘记了去重温一下历史,铭记那些对地缘政治的盲目崇拜在过去的一个世纪给整个欧洲和亚洲,乃至整个人类带来的灾难。

Finally, it should be emphasized that the reason for abandoning the goal of becoming a maritime military power is not to abandon maritime development, but to do what is within our capabilities. Military power must be compatible with the overall interests of the country.


IV. Scope of Influence

四 势力范围

Although the diversification of roles in the international community has reduced the ability of states to control international affairs, it cannot be denied that the stability and security of the world will still depend on power politics under the leadership of major powers. If the relationship between some major global powers, it will be difficult to maintain the peace of the international community. Conversely, if the major powers can reach a certain tacit strategic understanding or even an agreement and respect each other’s interests, it will be conducive to global peace and stability.

尽管国际社会的角色多元化使得国家对国际事务的左右能力有所下降,但不可否认,世界的稳定和安全仍将依赖于大国主导下的权力政治。如果世界上一些主要国家的关系紧张,国际社会的和平就难以维持;而如果各主 要大国之间能达成一定的战略默契甚至协议,尊重彼此 的利益,将会有利于全球的和平与稳定。

Doubters and critics of geopolitical doctrine (including this author) have made the concept of a sphere of influence an unpopular one. In fact, there is no causal relationship between spheres of influence themselves and geopolitical theory: Geopolitical theory is a theory, which can be right or wrong. A sphere of influence refers to the influence of a country on its region and surrounding countries and affairs. Such spheres are only divided into large and small, not right or wrong. Whether we like the concept of spheres of influence or use other concepts to describe this influence, a country’s influence on neighboring countries and affairs will still actually exist. Spheres of influence themselves are not evil things as many believe, nor are they intrinsically linked to hegemony.

对地缘政治学说的怀疑和批判(包括笔者在内)使得势力范围 (sphere of influence) 这一概念也变得令人色变。其实,势力范围本身和地缘政治学说并没有因果关 系:地缘政治学说是一种学说,可以是正确或错误的;而 势力范围则是指一个国家对地区和周边国家及事务的影 响力,它只有大小之分,没有正确或错误之别。一个国家 对周边国家和事务的影响力,无论我们喜欢势力范围这 一概念与否或使用别的概念来描述这种影响力,都将切 实存在。势力范围本身,并不像许多人认为的那样是一 个邪恶的东西,和霸权主义也没有内在的联系。

Historically, many important countries have had different sizes and scopes of influence on the affairs of neighboring countries, but this influence is not entirely the result of conquest by force.17 More often, the formation and size of this influence are determined by the weight of a country’s power in the minds of other countries around it. The perceptions of a country’s power by other countries around it can affect how those countries behave. If these countries behave in a way that shows respect for the first country’s interests, a sphere of influence is formed. Therefore, in a sense, the formation of spheres of influence does not necessarily result from the deliberate efforts of great powers.

在历史上,许多重要的国家都会对周边国家的事务产生大小和范围不同的影响力,这种影响力也不完全是 武力征服的结果。更多的时候,这种影响力的形成及其大小范围是由一个国家的力量在周围其他国家心目中 的份量所决定的。周围其他国家对一个国家力量的印象 会影响这些国家的行为方式,而如果这些国家的行为方 式都体现出了对这个国家的利益的尊敬,势力范围也就 形成了。因此,势力范围的形成某种意义上并不一定是 大国刻意追求的结果。

In many cases, the interests of great powers are measured by their spheres of influence. Therefore, to a large extent, respect for a sphere of influence also reflects the respect for the strength and status of a country. When major powers can respect each other’s spheres of influence, they can achieve a tacit strategic understanding. Moreover, when one great power challenges the sphere of influence of another, conflict often ensues. During the Cold War, peace between the United States and the Soviet Union was heavily reliant on the two superpowers respecting each other’s spheres of influence. If one side challenges the backyard of the other, a crisis ensues: To a large extent, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a challenge to the United State’s traditional sphere of influence.

许多时候,大国的利益都是以势力范围来衡量的,因 此,对势力范围的尊敬在很大程度上也体现了对一个国 家力量和地位的尊敬。当大国间能相互尊重各自的势力 范围时,战略默契就能达成;而当一个大国挑战另一个大 国的势力范围时,冲突往往就随之而来。在冷战时期,美 苏间的和平在很大程度上依赖于两个超级大国相互尊重 彼此的势力范围。而一旦一方挑战另一方的后院时,危 机就随之而来:古巴导弹危机在很大程度上是美国的传 统势力范围受到了挑战。

Therefore, in the history of international relations, great powers have not been shy about emphasizing their spheres of influence. For example, although the United States denies that it seeks its own sphere of influence in most situations, one of its earliest diplomatic doctrines, the “Monroe Doctrine,” was a doctrine that defined a sphere of influence. Since then, its actions in Central and South America are irrefutable proof that the United States still pursues this doctrine. Similarly, both the former Soviet Union and today’s Russia have emphasized the importance of their sphere of influence to their national security interests. India’s control of South Asia is likewise based on an understanding of spheres of influence.

因此,在国际关系史上,大国并不忌讳强调自己的势 力范围。比如尽管美国在大多数情况下否认它谋求自己 的势力范围,但其最早的外交纲领之一“门罗纲领” 就是一个圈定势力范围的纲领。之后,其在中美洲和南美洲 的为所欲为都无可辩驳地证明美国依然在奉行这一纲领。类似的,前苏联和如今的俄罗斯也都强调其势力范 围对其国家安全利益的重要性。印度对南亚地区的控制也同样基于对势力范围的理解。

Along this line, a major issue facing an increasingly powerful China is how to define its sphere of influence, respect the spheres of influence of other great powers, and establish compromise mechanisms in areas with potential conflicts of interest (usually at the intersections of spheres of influence) to prevent and resolve conflicts. In fact, the answers to these questions have defined China’s ideal security environment and security strategy to a considerable extent, and are closely linked to the issues discussed above.

这样一来,摆在一个日益强大的中国面前的一个主要课题就是如何界定自己的势力范围,尊敬其他大国的势力范围,在有潜在利益冲突的地区(一般是势力范围的交叉地区) 建立妥协机制以预防和解决冲突。对这些问题的回答事实上也就在相当程度上界定了中国的理想安全环境和安全战略,并且和前面讨论的问题紧密相关。

The difficulty of this topic also comes from a problem located at a deeper level: China’s century of humiliation caused China’s sphere of influence from its imperial age to cease to exist, so in a China with growing national power and growing nationalism, many people find it hard to accept the fact that they cannot restore their former glory. Therefore, on the issue of defining spheres of influence, China’s leaders face the daunting task of educating the people and making difficult choices.

这一课题的难点还来自于一个更为深层次的问题: 中国的百年屈辱使得中国在帝国时代的势力范围已经不复存在,而在一个国力日益强盛,民族主义也日益强大的中国,许多人难以接受无法恢复昔日辉煌的事实。因此, 在界定势力范围这一问题上,中国的领导人面临着既要教育人民又要作出艰难选择的艰巨任务。

One possible way is to gradually make people aware of the pros and cons of various options by defining our own spheres of influence, while simultaneously cooperating with actions that respect the spheres of influence of other countries to convey such a message to other countries. That is, China does not pursue expansion or wish to conquer neighboring countries. China hopes to maintain world and regional peace and stability by reaching a strategic understanding among major powers.

一个可行的办法是通过界定自己的势力范围来慢慢地让人民了解各种选择的利弊,同时配合以尊重其他国家的势力范围的行动来向其他国家传达这样一个信息, 即中国并不追求扩张或是征服周边国家,中国希望通过各大国之间能达成战略理解来维持世界和地区的和平与稳定。

Looking at the four major powers surrounding China (Russia, Japan, the United States, and India), we will see that, at the moment, it is difficult for China to reach a strategic understanding because of the extremely realistic possibility of conflict with the United States (and perhaps Japan) over the Taiwan issue. With Russia, Japan, and India, despite the unavoidable reality of having different interests, it is entirely possible to establish compromise mechanisms to prevent and resolve conflicts in areas of potential conflict of interest (usually at the intersections of spheres of influence). At the very least, this can reduce the likelihood of an armed conflict breaking out to an extremely low level.18

环顾中国周边的四个主要大国(俄罗斯、日本、美国、印度),会发现中国除了因为台湾问题与美国 (也许也包括日本) 有极其现实的冲突可能性而一时难以达成战略理解外,和俄罗斯、日本、印度尽管不可避免的有不同利益,但在有潜在利益冲突的地区(一般是势力范围的交叉 地区) 建立妥协机制以预防和解决冲突是完全可能的。至少,可以将爆发武装冲突的可能性降低到极低。

China’s strategy of not developing naval power that can challenge the maritime supremacy of the United States, which we proposed earlier, is in fact a demonstration of our respect for the sphere of influence of this United States. It’s just that, here, the sphere of influence is the vast Pacific Ocean. The United States is not shy about the fact that the Pacific Ocean is its sphere of influence. Most American scholars have long believed that the Pacific Ocean will be an “American Lake” for a long time. Some American scholars have already realized that, even if the United States were to allow the reunification of China and neutralization of the Korean peninsula, it would not pose much of a threat to the U.S. position in Asia. In this way, China’s choice not to challenge U.S. supremacy at sea will leave some room for China and the U.S. to reach some sort of strategic understanding: A Sino-U.S. relationship that is governed by making the ocean a dividing line between them (划洋而治) is in the interests of China and the United States.

前面提出的中国不发展可以挑战美国海上霸主地位的海军力量的战略事实上也是表明我们尊重美国的势力 范围,只不过这里所指的势力范围是广袤的太平洋而已。美国对太平洋是美国的势力范围这一点并不忌讳。 大多美国学者早就认为太平洋将在相当长时期是一个“American Lake(美国的内湖)”。一些美国学者更已经意识到,美国即便让中国统一和朝鲜半岛中立也并不会对 美国在亚洲的地位构成多大威胁。这样一来,中国不谋 求在海上挑战美国的霸主地位将给中美达成某种战略谅 解留下一定的空间:一个划洋而治的中美关系符合中美 的利益。

However, we must be soberly aware that the test as to whether China and the United States can reach a real strategic compromise will still be the Taiwan issue: If the United States remains unwilling to publicly express its support for the arrival of a unified, open, democratic, and strong China even after China has expressed respect for the U.S. sphere of influence, then a war between China and the United States is probably inevitable unless the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait can use their wisdom and patience to finally achieve the great cause of the reunification of the Chinese nation.

但必须清醒地意识到,中美两国能否达成真正意义上的战略妥协的试金石仍将是台湾问题:如果美国在中 国表示尊重美国的势力范围后依然不愿公开表示支持一 个统一、开放、民主、强大的中国的到来,那么,除非海峡 两岸的中国人能用智慧和耐心来最终达成中华民族的统 一大业,中美之间的一战恐怕是在所难免。

To date, most elites in the United States have not accepted that the reunification of Taiwan is a legitimate interest of China. Instead, they believe that the reunification of Taiwan will be the beginning of China’s challenge to the U.S. position in the Asia-Pacific region. If this state of affairs continues, not only will it be difficult for the Sino-U.S. relationship to avoid brinkmanship, but it may eventually spiral out of the control of the leaders of both countries. This is because, with the increasingly open and democratized society in mainland China, the people in the mainland increasingly feel that there is more ample reason to demand Taiwan’s reunification and, in the face of such strong public pressure, it is almost impossible for mainland leaders to fail to meet the demands of this sort of popular will. Therefore, American elites must realize that the consequences of the democratization of China will be manifold. Moreover, American elites must prepare the American people for the consequences of China’s democratization.

到目前为止,美国的大多数精英都没有接受统一台湾是中国的合法权益(legitimate interest),而是认为台湾的统一将是中国挑战美国亚太地位的开始。如果这样的状态持续下去,中美两国关系不仅难以脱离不停的悬崖勒马(brinkmanship),而且最终可能失去两国领导人的控制。这是因为随着中国大陆社会的日益开放和民主化, 大陆的民众会日益感到有更充分的理由要求台湾统一, 而面对如此强大的民意压力,大陆领导人将几乎不可能不满足这种民意的要求。因此,美国的精英必须意识到中国的民主化带来的后果将是多重的:而美国的精英必须让美国的民众准备接受中国民主化带来的后果。

If the United States fails to respect China’s interests, the relationship between the United States and a reunified China will remain volatile. Therefore, despite the many uncertainties in today’s Sino-U.S. relations, the leaders and elites of China and the United States have faced this issue with great wisdom. However, in the long run, the greatest challenge for the leaders and elites in the two countries is how to convince American elites and the masses to accept the advent of a unified China.19

如果美国不能尊重中国的利益,美国和统一以后的中国之间的关系仍将是动荡不安的。因此,尽管如今的中美关系众多的不确定性需要中美两国的领导人和精英以极大的智慧去面对,但从长远来说,两国领导人和精英 面临的最大挑战是如何说服美国的精英和大众接受一个统一中国的到来。

V. What Kind of Great Power

五 什么样的大国

After answering the above series of questions, it is finally possible to answer this type of question, namely: What kind of international status should China pursue (or, in other words, what kind of country does China want to become)?


First, we can be certain that, in the era of globalization of the world economy, if a country is to be strong, it must be a global economic force. Therefore, China’s goal of becoming a global economic power is obvious.

首先,可以肯定在世界经济已经全球化的时代,一个国家要强大,就必须是一个全球性的经济力量。因此,中 国要成为全球性的经济大国的目标是显而易见的。

Second, because China’s geographical location and strategic needs determine that China cannot become a maritime military power, China should only seek to become a regional military power (rather than a global military power). Therefore, as one of the pillars of regional security, China will be able to work with other countries to maintain regional peace and stability through bilateral and multilateral security cooperation.

其次,因为中国的地理位置和战略需求都决定了中国不能成为海上军事强国,因此,中国只应该谋求成为一 个地区性的军事强国(而不是一个全球性的军事力量)。这样,作为地区安全的支柱之一,中国将可以和其他国家 一起通过双边和多边安全合作,共同维护地区的和平与稳定。

Finally, because political status is based on economic and military power, as well as a country’s determination and ability to take on political responsibilities and risks, the political status that China should seek should be “a global political voice, but not a global political force.” As a global economic power, China’s economic interests will extend to regions all over the world. For a China that is unwilling to use military means to safeguard these economic interests, it must use its political influence to safeguard its economic interests. This political influence may come from China’s standing in various international organizations (such as the United Nations and IMF) and historical relations with developing countries. In addition, China needs to strive to expand its strategic partnerships with regional powers around the world.

最后,因为政治地位是建立在经济和军事力量,以及国家承担政治责任和风险的决心和能力上,因此,中国应 该谋求的政治地位应该是“全球性的政治声音,但不是全球性的政治力量”。作为一个全球性的经济大国,中国的经济利益必将广布于世界各地。对于一个不愿意用军事手段去维护这些经济利益的中国,就必须用它的政治影响来维护其经济利益。这些政治影响可能来自于中国在各种国际组织(比如联合国、IMF) 中的地位、与发展中国家的历史关系,以及中国需要努力拓展的和世界各地区性强国的战略伙伴关系等等。

In summary, the international status that China should seek is to have its own global economic interests, to have a pivotal position in regional security affairs, and to have a political voice in global affairs.

归纳起来,中国应谋求的国际地位是:在全球均有其经济利益存在,在地区安全事务上有其举足轻重的地位, 在全球事务均有其政治声音。

In connection with the issues of responsibility and status discussed earlier, it is reasonable to think that China’s development over the next 50 years will go through two stages.


In the first stage, on the basis of the achievements made in the past reform and opening up, China will become a global economic entity (经济实体) in about 30 years.20 Over the next 30 years, China should further emancipate the mind and unleash innovation in the fields of institutions, thought, scientific research, and technological development in order to cultivate the most important core competency for the sustainable development of the country: the ability of the country to continuously learn as an organization of individuals.21 At the same time, China will participate more extensively in international organizations and communities and prudently assume the responsibilities that the international community entrusts to it (these responsibilities must be in the interests of the majority of countries, including China). On regional security issues, China will gradually build a national defense force on the basis of sufficient deterrence and defense capabilities and work with other countries to maintain regional stability and peace. On the basis of its increasingly extensive participation and undertaking of its due responsibilities, China will gradually construct its political influence in Asia-Pacific and adjacent regions.

在第一个阶段,中国将在过去改革开放业已取得的成就的基础上,用30年左右的时间,成为全球性的经济实体。在未来的30年,中国应该通过进一步的体制、思维、科学研究和技术发展领域的解放思想和创新,培养国家持续发展的最重要核心能力:国家作为一个由个体 组成的组织的不断学习能力。与此同时,中国将日益广泛地参与国际组织和社会,慎重地承担国际社会赋予 中国的责任 (这些责任必须符合包括中国在内的大多数国家的利益)。在地区安全问题上,中国将逐渐构筑成一个以足够阻吓能力和防卫能力为基础的国防力量,和其 他国家一起维护地区的稳定与和平。在日益广泛参与和 承担应该承担的责任的基础上,在亚太及相邻地区,逐步 构筑中国的政治影响力。

In the two decades of the second stage, China will become a truly global economic power. This should not only be reflected in China’s gross national product, but even more so in China’s possession of an important voice in the organizations that affect the world economic structure and order, like other important countries. In this stage, China will earn the world’s recognition and respect by taking on the responsibilities entrusted to China by the international community (which of course means paying a price) and thereby gaining a political voice to influence global affairs. However, China will always be cautious in the exercise of its political influence. China will also complete the establishment of an open civil society. China will not only complete the revival of civilization, but also complete the shaping of a new civilization on the basis of this revival: China’s political voice and influence will have a solid foundation only when our new civilization has a certain attractiveness to other countries in the world.

在第二个阶段的二十年里,中国将成为一个真正意义上的全球性经济力量,这不仅应该体现在中国的国民生产总值上,更应该体现在中国和其他重要国家一样,在影响世界经济格局和秩序的组织机构中拥有重要的发言权。在这一阶段,中国将通过承担国际社会赋予中国的责任(这当然意味着付出代价) 获得世界的认同和尊重, 从而获得影响全球事务的政治声音,但中国将始终谨慎地施加自己的政治影响。中国还将完成一个开放的市民社会的建立,中国不仅要完成文明的复兴,而且要在复兴的基础上完成一个新文明的塑造:只有新的文明对世界的其他国家存在一定的吸引力时,中国的政治声言和影响才会有坚实的基础。

It is worth pointing out that China’s political influence on global affairs will arise more from the relationships China has with developing countries. This is because, in developed countries, we cannot replace the influence of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, and France. Therefore, strengthening China’s political influence in world affairs can only come from developing more comprehensive partnerships between China and developing countries. To this end, China should strengthen its relations with major developing countries, especially developing countries that are regional powers (such countries should at least include: Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Egypt, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, and India). Strengthening relations with major developing countries would be mutually beneficial to China and the developing countries: Only these major developing countries can have a common voice in global affairs and only these developing countries can effectively safeguard their interests in the world structure dominated by developed countries and seek the benefit of the many of developing countries. Otherwise, developing countries will be further marginalized in global affairs.

值得指出的是,中国对全球事务的政治影响将更多的来源于中国和发展中国家的关系。这是因为在发达国家中,美日德英法的影响是无可替代的,因此,加强中国对世界事务的政治影响力只能来源于中国和发展中国家发展更全方位的合作。为此,中国应该加强和主要发展中国家,特别是起着地区性大国的发展中国家(这些国家 至少应该包括:巴西、阿根廷、南非、埃及、伊朗、哈萨克斯坦、乌兹别克斯坦、印尼、印度)的关系。加强和主要发展 中国家的关系对中国和发展中国家的一个双赢的结局: 只有这些主要的发展中国家能够在全球事务中有共同的声音,这些发展中国家才能够在发达国家占主导地位的 世界格局中有效地维护他们的利益,并且为广大的发展 中国家谋福利。否则,发展中国家在全球事务中将进一 步边缘化。

Although it is difficult for China to change its overreliance on developed countries in a short period of time, over the long run, whether in terms of the market required for China’s economic development or the destination of future Chinese foreign investment, developing countries will become increasingly important to China. Unfortunately, the status of developing countries in current Chinese diplomacy is an unknown. Therefore, China should form a long-term policy with respect to developing countries as soon as possible. Of course, developing relationships with these developing countries does not mean we cannot maintain good relations with developed countries, nor should this involve too much ideological coloring.

尽管中国在短时间内难以改变对发达国家依赖过多的状况,但从长远来看,无论是中国的经济发展所需要的 市场,还是未来中国海外投资的去处,发展中国家对中国都会越来越重要。不幸的是,中国目前的外交中,发展中 国家的地位是一个未知数。因此,中国应该尽快地形成一个对发展中国家的长远方针。当然,发展和这些发展中国家的关系决不是排斥和发达国家继续维持良好的关系,也不应该有过多的意识形态色彩。

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Cite This Page

唐世平 (Tang Shiping) (2022). "Revisiting China’s Grand Strategy [再论中国的大战略]". Interpret: China, Original work published August 5, 2001, https://interpret.csis.org/translations/revisiting-chinas-grand-strategy/

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