两国政府都必须明白,这场对全球霸权的争夺,不是比谁更能砸钱,而是要看谁更有政治领导力。 很多人错误地认为,中国光靠大幅增加经济援助就能改善对外关系。可感情是买不来的;这种建立在金钱上的“友谊”经不起困难的考验。那中国如何才能赢得世人之心呢?按照中国古代先哲的说法,要先从国内做起。实行仁政首先要在国内建立能够感召国外民众的治理模式。这意味着政策的重心应该从优先发展经济转向构建和谐社会,消除目前巨大的贫富差距,用传统美德取代拜金主义,同时消除政治腐败,维护社会公平公正。

    (全文)随着中国对全球经济影响的不断扩大、军备能力的不断增强,美中之间的竞争在所难免。两国领导人对此表示乐观,断言这种竞争不会导致威胁全球秩序的军事冲突。

  大多数学者并不这么认为。从历史经验看,中国的崛起的确将对美国构成挑战。崛起中的国家会在全球体系中寻求更多的权威,而正在走向衰败的国家往往不会不战而告输。此外,悲观主义者可能认为,中美政治体制的差异更增大了两国交战的可能性。

  我信奉现实主义政治。西方学者因为我的政治观点给我贴上了“鹰派”的标签。其实我只是从不高估道德在国际关系中的重要性罢了。但现实主义并不意味着政治家只该关心军事和经济实力。实际上,道义对塑造各种政治势力的国际竞争并决定谁胜谁负起着十分重要的作用。

  这个结论是我从管子、孔子、荀子、孟子等中国古代政治哲学家的思想中总结出来的。他们生活在2000多年前的先秦时期,当时的中国四分五裂,诸侯国为争夺领土展开残酷的厮杀。这是中国思想史上的黄金时期。各派思想百家争鸣,竞相争夺意识形态主流和更大的政治影响。但他们对一个问题的看法十分一致:政治影响力的关键在于政治权力;而政治权力的核心属性是符合道义的领导力。从长期来看,那些坚持依道德规范行事的统治者往往能赢得最终的领导权。

  公元前221年,秦始皇统一中国,但这位残暴的皇帝早早断送了他的王朝,比起后来的汉武帝实在逊色许多。后者将法家的现实主义和儒家的“”相结合,实现了从公元前140年到公元前86年长达50多年的统治。

  中国古代哲学家荀子认为,领导方式有三种:王道、霸道和强道。王道在于赢得国内外民众的心;强道建立在军事实力的基础上,不可避免要制造敌人;霸道则介于二者之间:对国内民众和国外盟友都不欺骗,但往往不考虑道德,并对非盟友使用武力。诸子百家普遍认为,王道永远胜过霸道和强道。

  这些理论看似与我们的时代脱节,却又与现实有着惊人的相似。美国著名外交家亨利·基辛格曾对我说,他也认为中国古代政治哲学比其他任何外国学说都更有可能成为未来外交决策的主导思想。

  先秦时代四分五裂的局面与时下全球的“分而治之”十分类似。当时政治思想家提出的“治世良方”也能为今天提供借鉴:单纯依靠军事或经济实力而不施仁政的国家必将覆灭。

  可惜在这个经济至上的时代,这种观点影响有限。政府往往嘴上说说,行动却南辕北辙。中国政府宣称,中共的政治领导是中国创造经济奇迹的基础,但它的行为却好像在说,与美国的竞争只限于经济领域。而在美国,政治家往往将成就而非失败归功于自己的领导。

  两国政府都必须明白,这场对全球霸权的争夺,不是比谁更能砸钱,而是要看谁更有政治领导力。

  很多人错误地认为,中国光靠大幅增加经济援助就能改善对外关系。可感情是买不来的;这种建立在金钱上的“友谊”经不起困难的考验。

  那中国如何才能赢得世人之心呢?按照中国古代先哲的说法,要先从国内做起。实行仁政首先要在国内建立能够感召国外民众的治理模式。这意味着政策的重心应该从优先发展经济转向构建和谐社会,消除目前巨大的贫富差距,用传统美德取代拜金主义,同时消除政治腐败,维护社会公平公正。

  其次在外交上,中国也要向他国实施人道主义政策,这样才能与仍然占据霸道(权)地位的美国抗衡。军事力量可以巩固霸道(权),这便是美国拥有众多盟友的原因。尽管奥巴马政府在阿富汗、伊拉克以及利比亚都犯了战略错误,但他的行动仍然体现了美国有能力同时领导三场战争。相反,中国军队自1984年越战后就未参加过任何战争。只有极少数高级将领上过战场,更别提普通士兵了。

  美国与世界其他国家的关系无论在数量还是质量上都比中国好。美国有超过50个正式军事同盟国,中国一个都没有。只有朝鲜和巴基斯坦勉强称得上“准同盟”。前者在1961年与中国建立正式同盟,但几十年来,两国从未举行过联合军演,也没有武器交易。中国和巴基斯坦拥有紧密的军事合作,但两国并非有约束力的正式军事联盟。

  在中国崛起的过程中,为了建立友好的国际环境,中国需要发展比美国更有质量的军事外交关系。没有哪个主要国家能和世界每个国家都保持友好,因此中美间竞争的焦点就是看谁有更多高质量的朋友。为了实现这一目标,中国必须施行比美国更有质量的“仁政”。

  中国也必须认识到自己的崛起,并承担起相应的责任。例如,就像美国在欧洲和波斯湾所做的,中国在帮助较弱的国家时,要与周边国家共同建立类似上海合作组织的新地区安全机制。上合组织是一个地区性联盟,成员包括中国、俄罗斯和一些中亚国家。

  再次,政治上,中国应该从德治的传统中汲取营养。政府的重要职位需按候选人的品德和智慧选拔,而不能只看他们的专业和行政能力。中国还必须打开大门,在世界范围内选拔所有符合标准的人,从而提高执政水平。

  中国历史最辉煌的时代,也就是公元7世纪到10世纪的唐朝,有一大批外国人身居朝廷要职。中国今天也应该这么做,同美国竞争,吸引有才华的移民。

  在下一个10年,中国的新领导人将从经历过文化大革命苦痛的一代人中诞生。他们不屈不挠,很可能将政治原则放在比物质利益更重要的位置。这些领导人将在世界舞台上扮演更重要的角色,向相对较弱的国家提供更多安全保护和经济援助。

  这将意味着在政治、经济和科技上同美国竞争。这种竞争可能造成外交关系紧张,但不太可能造成军事冲突。这是因为未来中美的竞争不同于冷战时期苏联与美国的竞争。中美都不需要通过代理战争来保护各自的战略利益以及获取自然资源和科学技术。

  中国要求提升领导地位的呼声与美国为维持现有地位所作的努力之间,存在一场零和博弈。这是一场关于民心的战争,民心所向将决定谁将最后胜出。正如中国古代哲学家所预言的,施仁政者王天下。

  作者阎学通,清华大学政治学教授,曾著《古代中国思想与当代中国力量》,现为清华大学国际问题研究所所长。原文为中文,由Zhaowen Wu和David Liu翻译。

英文原文:

November 20, 2011
How China Can Defeat AmericaBy YAN XUETONG
Beijing

WITH China’s growing influence over the global economy, and its increasing ability to project military power, competition between the United States and China is inevitable. Leaders of both countries assert optimistically that the competition can be managed without clashes that threaten the global order.

Most academic analysts are not so sanguine. If history is any guide, China’s rise does indeed pose a challenge to America. Rising powers seek to gain more authority in the global system, and declining powers rarely go down without a fight. And given the differences between the Chinese and American political systems, pessimists might believe that there is an even higher likelihood of war.

I am a political realist. Western analysts have labeled my political views “hawkish,” and the truth is that I have never overvalued the importance of morality in international relations. But realism does not mean that politicians should be concerned only with military and economic might. In fact, morality can play a key role in shaping international competition between political powers — and separating the winners from the losers.

I came to this conclusion from studying ancient Chinese political theorists like Guanzi, Confucius, Xunzi and Mencius. They were writing in the pre-Qin period, before China was unified as an empire more than 2,000 years ago — a world in which small countries were competing ruthlessly for territorial advantage.

It was perhaps the greatest period for Chinese thought, and several schools competed for ideological supremacy and political influence. They converged on one crucial insight: The key to international influence was political power, and the central attribute of political power was morally informed leadership. Rulers who acted in accordance with moral norms whenever possible tended to win the race for leadership over the long term.

China was unified by the ruthless king of Qin in 221 B.C., but his short-lived rule was not nearly as successful as that of Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty, who drew on a mixture of legalistic realism and Confucian “soft power” to rule the country for over 50 years, from 140 B.C. until 86 B.C.

According to the ancient Chinese philosopher Xunzi, there were three types of leadership: humane authority, hegemony and tyranny. Humane authority won the hearts and minds of the people at home and abroad. Tyranny — based on military force — inevitably created enemies. Hegemonic powers lay in between: they did not cheat the people at home or cheat allies abroad. But they were frequently indifferent to moral concerns and often used violence against non-allies. The philosophers generally agreed that humane authority would win in any competition with hegemony or tyranny.

Such theories may seem far removed from our own day, but there are striking parallels. Indeed, Henry Kissinger once told me that he believed that ancient Chinese thought was more likely than any foreign ideology to become the dominant intellectual force behind Chinese foreign policy.

The fragmentation of the pre-Qin era resembles the global divisions of our times, and the prescriptions provided by political theorists from that era are directly relevant today — namely that states relying on military or economic power without concern for morally informed leadership are bound to fail.

Unfortunately, such views are not so influential in this age of economic determinism, even if governments often pay lip service to them. The Chinese government claims that the political leadership of the Communist Party is the basis of China’s economic miracle, but it often acts as though competition with the United States will be played out on the economic field alone. And in America, politicians regularly attribute progress, but never failure, to their own leadership.

Both governments must understand that political leadership, rather than throwing money at problems, will determine who wins the race for global supremacy.

Many people wrongly believe that China can improve its foreign relations only by significantly increasing economic aid. But it’s hard to buy affection; such “friendship” does not stand the test of difficult times.

How, then, can China win people’s hearts across the world? According to ancient Chinese philosophers, it must start at home. Humane authority begins by creating a desirable model at home that inspires people abroad.

This means China must shift its priorities away from economic development to establishing a harmonious society free of today’s huge gaps between rich and poor. It needs to replace money worship with traditional morality and weed out political corruption in favor of social justice and fairness.

In other countries, China must display humane authority in order to compete with the United States, which remains the world’s pre-eminent hegemonic power. Military strength underpins hegemony and helps to explain why the United States has so many allies. President Obama has made strategic mistakes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, but his actions also demonstrate that Washington is capable of leading three foreign wars simultaneously. By contrast, China’s army has not been involved in any war since 1984, with Vietnam, and very few of its high-ranking officers, let alone its soldiers, have any battlefield experience.

America enjoys much better relations with the rest of the world than China in terms of both quantity and quality. America has more than 50 formal military allies, while China has none. North Korea and Pakistan are only quasi-allies of China. The former established a formal alliance with China in 1961, but there have been no joint military maneuvers and no arms sales for decades. China and Pakistan have substantial military cooperation, but they have no formal military alliance binding them together.

To shape a friendly international environment for its rise, Beijing needs to develop more high-quality diplomatic and military relationships than Washington. No leading power is able to have friendly relations with every country in the world, thus the core of competition between China and the United States will be to see who has more high-quality friends. And in order to achieve that goal, China has to provide higher-quality moral leadership than the United States.

China must also recognize that it is a rising power and assume the responsibilities that come with that status. For example, when it comes to providing protection for weaker powers, as the United States has done in Europe and the Persian Gulf, China needs to create additional regional security arrangements with surrounding countries according to the model of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — a regional forum that includes China, Russia and several central Asian countries.

And politically, China should draw on its tradition of meritocracy. Top government officials should be chosen according to their virtue and wisdom, and not simply technical and administrative ability. China should also open up and choose officials from across the world who meet its standards, so as to improve its governance.

The Tang dynasty — which lasted from the 7th century to the 10th and was perhaps China’s most glorious period — employed a great number of foreigners as high-ranking officials. China should do the same today and compete with America to attract talented immigrants.

OVER the next decade, China’s new leaders will be drawn from a generation that experienced the hardships of the Cultural Revolution. They are resolute and will most likely value political principles more than material benefits. These leaders must play a larger role on the world stage and offer more security protection and economic support to less powerful countries.

This will mean competing with the United States politically, economically and technologically. Such competition may cause diplomatic tensions, but there is little danger of military clashes.

That’s because future Chinese-American competition will differ from that between the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war. Neither China nor America needs proxy wars to protect its strategic interests or to gain access to natural resources and technology.

China’s quest to enhance its world leadership status and America’s effort to maintain its present position is a zero-sum game. It is the battle for people’s hearts and minds that will determine who eventually prevails. And, as China’s ancient philosophers predicted, the country that displays more humane authority will win.

Yan Xuetong, the author of “Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power,” is a professor of political science and dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University. This essay was translated by Zhaowen Wu and David Liu from the Chinese.

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