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                     首頁 >> 智庫中國
                    閻學通:中國的烏克蘭難題
                    2022年05月05日 15:08 來源:中國社會科學網 作者:閻學通 字號
                    2022年05月05日 15:08
                    來源:中國社會科學網 作者:閻學通

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                      編者按:2022年5月出版的美國《外交事務》雜志發表了清華大學文科資深教授、國際關系研究院院長閻學通的英文文章《中國的烏克蘭難題:為什么要在俄烏沖突中采取平衡策略》?,F將全文轉載如下并提供中文大意。本文不代表本網和本平臺觀點。

                    《外交事務》雜志 2022年五六月號封面

                      ?俄烏沖突給中國造成了戰略困境。一方面,這場沖突擾亂了價值數十億美元的中國貿易,加劇了東亞的緊張局勢,中國網民分化成親俄和反俄陣營更加深了內部在政治上的兩極分化。另一方面,中國指責美國支持北約擴張激怒俄羅斯,擔憂華盛頓將延長俄烏沖突以拖垮俄羅斯。北京認為,與部分國際社會一道譴責莫斯科并無益處。

                      不管中國對俄羅斯總統普京對烏開戰的決策作何反應,美國都不太可能軟化其對華遏制戰略。作為中國最大、軍事實力最強的鄰國,俄羅斯是北京不希望與之對抗的大國。因此,中國決策者試圖避免不必要地激怒相關大國——在聯合國大會上棄權譴責俄羅斯,并對關于戰爭的官方聲明慎之又慎。

                      這種平衡策略也有其成本。拒絕譴責俄羅斯使中國與部分鄰國關系緊張,導致北京與許多反對俄向烏克蘭開戰的發展中國家有所疏遠。中國還因俄烏沖突付出了經濟代價,而這場戰爭可能會持續很長時間。盡管如此,為最大限度減少戰略損失,中國很可能會繼續中間路線,直到俄烏沖突結束。有一件事可能會改變北京的考量,并倒向俄羅斯,那就是美國是否會為臺灣宣布法理“獨立”提供軍事支持。除此之外,因為美國對中國的遏制政策使北京在俄烏沖突中很難站在美國一邊,北京可能會繼續其平衡戰術。

                      兩難困境

                      自沖突開始,西方多國就指責中國放任甚至積極支持俄羅斯在烏克蘭的軍事行動。例如,《紐約時報》3月的一篇報道就采用了未經證實的消息,稱俄在開戰前向中國通知了其戰爭計劃。但正如中國駐美國大使秦剛3月15日在《華盛頓郵報》的一篇專欄文章中指出的,中國在俄羅斯的行動中也蒙受了損失:“烏克蘭有6000多名中國公民生活學習,中國是俄、烏最大貿易伙伴國,也是世界上最大的原油和天然氣進口國。俄烏發生沖突,于中方沒有半點好處。中方不可能在知情情況下不予勸阻?!?/p>

                      事實上,秦大使僅指出戰爭對中國負面影響的一小部分。俄烏沖突沖擊了大宗商品市場,擾亂了供應鏈,導致中國企業損失數十億美元。例如,戰爭爆發導致鎳價大幅飆升,中國鎳業巨頭青山控股集團(Tsingshan Holding Group)在此期間的交易中損失了80億美元。戰爭造成的破壞還導致中國出口訂單的大規模取消,削弱了中國的工業生產率。根據國家統計局的數據,中國制造業采購經理人指數(追蹤制造業經濟活動的指數)在3月份下降了0.7%,比市場分析人士預測的表現要差得多,是2021年8月以來的第一次月度收縮。

                      這場戰爭還加劇了中國與部分鄰國之間的緊張關系。隨著中美競爭加劇,不少東亞國家采取了對沖策略來平衡與這兩個大國的關系。但烏克蘭戰爭促使其中一些國家更加傾向于美國。此外,俄烏沖突使華盛頓有理由批準向臺灣提供額外的9500萬美元軍援。這是美國總統喬·拜登(Joe Biden)上任以來,臺灣收到的第三批美制武器。不僅是中國與鄰國的關系受到了影響:3月份,三分之二的聯合國成員國在聯合國大會的兩項決議中投票譴責俄羅斯,只有5個國家投了反對票,35個國家投了棄權票。許多中小國家,特別是發展中國家,將記住中國投下的棄權票。

                      更糟糕的是,這場戰爭使中國與美國及其盟國之間的關系進一步緊張。澳大利亞、加拿大、日本和英國都表示將與美國一道,對繼續與俄羅斯開展貿易的中國公司實施二級制裁。

                      最后,烏克蘭戰爭加深了中國國內的政治兩極分化。在微信等社交媒體平臺上,中國網民形成了對抗的陣營,一方支持俄羅斯,另一方反對俄羅斯。沖突開始后不久,一些反俄的中國網民開始重提1858年簽訂的不平等條約《璦琿條約》,該條約將約23萬平方英里的中國領土割讓給了沙俄。過去,此歷史事件的政治敏感性曾使北京對支持俄羅斯領土擴張的行為保持謹慎。然而,在這種情況下,北京必須認真考慮部分中國網民的反俄情緒。

                      “火上澆油”

                      盡管戰爭對中國有負面影響,但北京并不接受華盛頓處理俄烏沖突采取的手段。自戰爭開始以來,中國政府一直認為是美國推動北約東擴激怒了俄羅斯?,F在,中國認為華盛頓在故意使戰爭升級以持續戰爭的影響,從而削弱俄羅斯和中國。在3月5日的線上通話中,中國外交部長王毅告訴美國國務卿安東尼·布林肯,中國反對在烏克蘭采取任何“火上澆油”的行動。此后,中國領導人和記者多次引用這句話,強調了北京對華盛頓意圖的不信任。例如,《人民日報》3月30日發表社論,認為美國“火上澆油”,“是在為政治解決危機制造更大障礙?!?/p>

                      美國未能以嚴厲的經濟制裁威脅阻嚇俄羅斯對烏開戰,因此將目標從結束沖突轉向延長沖突。拜登3月26日在波蘭的演講中說:“這場戰斗也不會在幾天或幾個月內取得勝利。我們需要為未來的長期戰斗做好準備”。從北京的角度看,這就是明示白宮的目標不再是結束戰爭,而是延長戰爭以削弱和擊潰俄羅斯。在接下來的一周里,俄羅斯和烏克蘭的談判代表似乎在達成初步和平計劃方面取得了進展,而美國高級官員則對俄羅斯能否減少對基輔和切爾尼希夫的軍事行動表示懷疑。關于所謂的進展,拜登表示,“在看到(俄羅斯)的行動之前,我不會做出任何解讀”。第二天,他告訴烏克蘭總統澤連斯基,美國計劃從直接預算中向烏提供額外的5億美元援助。在北京看來,華盛頓正增加對烏軍事援助,以抽走俄羅斯撤軍的外交臺階。美國國防部長勞埃德·奧斯?。↙loyd Austin)上周發表評論說,“我們希望看到俄羅斯被削弱到不能再做出類似入侵烏克蘭行動的程度”,這只會強化中國的認知,即美國的首要任務是削弱俄羅斯,而不是迅速結束戰爭。

                      中國也不認為在烏克蘭戰爭問題上與華盛頓尋求共同立場,會有助于改善更廣泛的中美關系。即使北京加入部分國際社會對俄羅斯的譴責,美國也不會軟化對中國的遏制政策。自戰爭開始以來,一些東亞國家公開質疑華盛頓是否會在歐洲陷入危機時繼續關注“印太”地區。作為回應,拜登政府迅速向他們施以保證。3月28日,國防部副部長凱瑟琳·??怂梗↘athleen Hicks)告訴記者:“即使我們面對俄羅斯的敵對活動,國防戰略也明確了國防部將如何緊急行動以維持和加強威懾,而中國是我們最重要的戰略競爭對手與挑戰”。第二天,拜登告訴新加坡總理李顯龍,盡管美國將重點放在烏克蘭,但“對采取切實行動實施‘印太’戰略持強烈支持態度”。

                      中國領導人認為,即使北京與莫斯科保持距離,也沒有理由相信華盛頓會以某種方式改變上述事項的優先級。在他們看來,公開譴責俄羅斯并站在對其實施制裁的一方,只會為美國對中國本身實施二級制裁打開大門。美國已經威脅要懲罰與俄羅斯做生意的中國公司。2月3日,美國國務院發言人內德·普賴斯(Ned Price)對記者說:“如果我們看到包括中國在內的外國公司抵制美國的出口管制,逃避出口管制,繞過出口管制,我們可以使用一系列政策工具?!?/p>

                      俄羅斯軍隊越過邊境進入烏克蘭后,美國加大了對中國的外交壓力。3月中旬,在美國國家安全顧問杰克·沙利文(Jake Sullivan)會見中共中央政治局委員、中央外事工作委員會辦公室主任楊潔篪之前,沙利文對媒體說:“我們正在私下直接與北京溝通,大規模逃避制裁或支持俄羅斯抵制制裁絕對會有后果?!?/p>

                      中庸之道

                      這不是中國第一次夾在兩股敵對勢力之間。1958年至1971年,中華人民共和國面臨著新中國成立不久后最為惡劣的國際環境。此間,中國不得不同時面對來自美國和蘇聯的戰略威脅。作為回應,中國政府將其所有的經濟資源用于準備針對兩個大國之一的全面戰爭。為了更好地保護工業基地免受攻擊,中國將許多工廠從東部較發達的地區遷往西部欠發達的山區,將后者藏在人工洞穴中。這場大規模的工業重組使中國陷入了嚴重的經濟困境,造成了嚴重的商品短缺和大規模貧困。

                      對這段可怕歷史的記憶為中國對烏克蘭戰爭的反應提供了線索,強化了中國避免再次被夾在華盛頓與莫斯科之間的決心。因此,中國官方聲明經過了精心調整,以避免激怒俄羅斯。例如,在3月份的一次采訪中,秦剛明確表示,北京尋求與莫斯科建立合作關系,但不支持其在烏克蘭的戰爭。他說:“中俄之間沒有合作的禁區,但也有一條底線,那就是《聯合國憲章》確立的宗旨和原則”。在4月1日的新聞發布會上,外交部歐洲司司長王魯彤也做過類似表達:“我們沒有故意規避美歐對俄羅斯實施的制裁”,并補充說“中國在烏克蘭危機上不是相關方”。

                      在烏克蘭問題上選擇中間路線后,中國沒有向莫斯科提供軍事援助,但與俄羅斯保持著正常的商業關系,這也是其他國家做出的決定。例如美國的戰略伙伴印度也采取了類似立場,對軍事和經濟事務做出了區分。甚至一些北約國家也在繼續購買俄羅斯天然氣,為居民家庭供暖過冬。如果烏克蘭戰爭持續,更多國家可能會開始模仿中國的平衡策略,以減少戰爭造成的經濟損失。

                      作為全球第二大經濟強國,中國打算在塑造全球經濟規范方面發揮重要作用。但中國沒有在全球安全事務中發揮主導作用的野心,特別是在戰爭問題上,因為其與美國之間存在巨大的軍事差距。營造有利于中國經濟發展的和平環境仍然是重要的外交目標。只要美國不為臺灣宣布法理“獨立”提供軍事支持,中國就不可能偏離這條和平發展的道路。

                      

                      China’s Ukraine Conundrum

                      Why the War Necessitates a Balancing Act

                      Russia’s war in Ukraine has produced a strategic predicament for China. On the one hand, the conflict has disrupted billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese trade, heightened tensions in East Asia, and deepened political polarization within China by dividing people into pro- and anti-Russia camps. On the other, China blames the United States for provoking Russia with its support for NATO expansion and worries that Washington will seek to prolong the conflict in Ukraine in order to bog down Russia. Beijing sees little to gain from joining the international chorus condemning Moscow.

                      Regardless of what China says or does in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to wage war in Ukraine, Washington is unlikely to soften its strategy of containment toward Beijing. And as China’s largest and most militarily capable neighbor, Russia is not a power that Beijing wishes to antagonize. Chinese policymakers have therefore sought to avoid unnecessarily provoking either rival power—abstaining from votes to condemn Russia in the UN General Assembly and carefully selecting its official statements about the war.

                      Regardless of what China says or does in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to wage war in Ukraine, Washington is unlikely to soften its strategy of containment toward Beijing. And as China’s largest and most militarily capable neighbor, Russia is not a power that Beijing wishes to antagonize. Chinese policymakers have therefore sought to avoid unnecessarily provoking either rival power—abstaining from votes to condemn Russia in the UN General Assembly and carefully selecting its official statements about the war.

                      CAUGHT IN A BIND

                      Since the beginning of the conflict, Western powers have accused China of passively or even actively supporting Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. In March, for instance, The New York Times reported unverified claims that Russia shared its war plans with China ahead of the conflict. But as Qin Gang, China’s ambassador to the United States, pointed out in a March 15 op-ed in The Washington Post, China had much to lose from Russia’s actions: “There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine. China is the biggest trading partner of both Russia and Ukraine, and the largest importer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.”

                      In reality, Qin understated the war’s negative impact on China. The conflict has roiled commodities markets and disrupted supply chains, resulting in billions of dollars of losses for Chinese firms. The Chinese nickel titan Tsingshan Holding Group, for instance, lost $8 billion on ill-timed trades after the war dramatically caused the price of nickel to spike. War-related disruptions have also resulted in large-scale cancellations of Chinese export orders and weakened Chinese industrial productivity. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index—which tracks economic activity in the manufacturing sector—declined by 0.7 percent in March, a much worse performance than market analysts had forecast and the first monthly contraction since August 2021.

                      The war has also heightened tensions between China and some of its neighbors. As the rivalry between Washington and Beijing has intensified, many East Asian nations have adopted hedging strategies to balance ties to both powers. But the conflict in Ukraine has driven some of these countries to lean more heavily toward the United States. In addition, the conflict has given Washington an excuse to approve another $95 million in military aid to Taiwan—the third U.S. arms package that Taipei has received since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. And it is not just China’s relations with its neighbors that have suffered: in March, two-thirds of UN member states voted to condemn Russia in a pair of resolutions at the UN General Assembly while only five voted not to and 35 abstained. China’s presence in the latter group will be remembered by many small and midsized countries, especially in the developing world.

                      To make matters worse, the war has further strained relations between China and the United States and its allies. Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom have all said they will join the United States in imposing secondary sanctions on Chinese companies that continue to do business as usual with Russia.

                      Finally, the war in Ukraine has deepened political polarization within China itself. On WeChat and other social media platforms, Chinese citizens have coalesced into opposing camps, one for Russia and the other against. Soon after the conflict began, some anti-Russia Chinese netizens began rehashing the unfairness of the 1858 Treaty of Aigun, which ceded roughly 230,000 square miles of Chinese territory to Russia. The political sensitivity of this historical event has in the past made Beijing wary of supporting any Russian efforts at territorial expansion. In this case, however, Beijing must give sincere consideration to the anti-Russian sentiment among some Chinese citizens.

                      “FUEL TO THE FLAMES”

                      Despite the war’s negative impacts on China, however, Beijing is not prepared to accept Washington’s approach toward the conflict. Since the beginning of the conflict, the Chinese government has argued that the United States provoked Russia by pushing for NATO’s eastward expansion. It now sees Washington as deliberately escalating the war in order to perpetuate it, thereby weakening both Russia and China. In a virtual call on March 5, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that China opposes any moves that "add fuel to the flames" in Ukraine. Chinese leaders and journalists have since repeated the phrase, underscoring Beijing’s distrust of Washington’s intentions. On March 30, for instance, the state-run People’s Daily published an editorial arguing that by “adding fuel to the flames” the United States “is creating larger obstacles to a political solution of this crisis.”

                      Having failed to deter Russia from waging war in Ukraine with threats of severe economic sanctions, the United States has shifted its goal from ending the conflict to prolonging it. In a speech in Poland on March 26, Biden said, “This battle will not be won in days or months either. We need to steel ourselves for the long fight ahead.” To Beijing, this read as an admission that the White House no longer aims to end the war but rather to prolong it in order to weaken and defeat Russia. When the following week Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to make progress toward a tentative peace plan, top U.S. officials expressed skepticism about Russia’s desire to curtail its military assault on the cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv. Of the supposed progress, Biden said, “I don’t read anything into it until I see what [Russia’s] actions are.” The next day, he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the United States planned to provide Ukraine with an additional $500 million in direct budgetary aid. As Beijing sees it, Washington is scaling up military aid to Ukraine in order to deny Russia a diplomatic off ramp for troop withdrawal. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comment last week that “we want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine” has only deepened China’s conviction that the United States’ priority is to weaken Russia, not to seek a swift end to the war.

                      Nor does China believe that seeking common ground with Washington on the war in Ukraine will meaningfully improve broader Sino-U.S. relations. Even if Beijing were to join in the international condemnation of Russia, the United States would not soften its containment policy against China. Since the start of the war, some East Asian countries have publicly questioned whether Washington will sustain its focus on the Indo-Pacific while Europe is in crisis. In response, the Biden administration has been quick to reassure them. On March 28, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks told reporters: “Even as we confront Russia’s malignant activities, the defense strategy describes how the department will act urgently to sustain and strengthen deterrence with the PRC as our most consequential strategic competitor and pacing challenge.” The next day, Biden told Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that even though the United States is focused on Ukraine, it is “strongly supportive of moving rapidly to implement the Indo-Pacific strategy.”

                      Chinese leaders see no reason to believe that Washington would somehow shift these priorities even if Beijing distanced itself from Moscow. In their eyes, condemning Russia publicly and siding with those enforcing sanctions against it would only open the door for the United States to impose secondary sanctions on China itself. The United States has already threatened to punish Chinese companies that do business with Russia. On February 3, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters: “We have an array of tools that we can deploy if we see foreign companies, including those in China, doing their best to backfill U.S. export control actions, to evade them, to get around them.”

                      After Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine, the United States dialed up the diplomatic pressure on China. In mid-March, before U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Yang Jiechi, the director of China’s Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, Sullivan told the media: “We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them.”

                      THE MIDDLE PATH

                      This is not the first time Beijing has found itself caught between major rival powers. Between 1958 and 1971, the People’s Republic of China faced the most hostile international environment in its brief history. During this period, it had to confront strategic threats from the United States and the Soviet Union simultaneously. In response, the Chinese government devoted all its economic resources to preparing for a full-scale war against one of the two powers. To better shield its industrial base from attack, it moved many factories from more developed areas in eastern China to underdeveloped and mountainous western areas, hiding them in artificial caves. This large-scale industrial reorganization plunged China into a significant economic hardship, causing severe commodity shortages and widespread poverty.

                      The memory of this awful history has informed China’s response to the war in Ukraine and hardened its commitment to avoid getting sandwiched between Washington and Moscow once again. Official Chinese statements have thus been finely calibrated to avoid provoking Russia. In an interview in March, for instance, Qin made clear that Beijing seeks a cooperative relationship with Moscow but does not support its war in Ukraine. “There is no forbidden zone for cooperation between China and Russia, but there is also a bottom line, which is the tenets and principles established in the UN Charter,” he said. In a press briefing on April 1, Wang Lutong, director-general of European affairs at China’s Foreign Ministry, sought to walk a similarly fine line: “We are not doing anything deliberately to circumvent the sanctions against Russia imposed by the US and the Europeans,” he said, adding that “China is not a related party to the crisis in Ukraine.”

                      In choosing a middle path on Ukraine, China has refrained from providing military aid to Moscow but maintained normal business relations with Russia, a decision that other countries have also made. For example, India—a strategic partner of the United States—has adopted a similar stance, drawing a clear distinction between military and economic affairs. Even some NATO countries have continued to buy Russian gas to heat homes through the winter. If the war in Ukraine drags on, more countries may start mimicking China’s balancing policy to minimize their own economic losses caused by the war.

                      As the world’s second-largest economic power, China intends to play an important role in shaping global economic norms. But it has no ambition to play a leading role in global security affairs, especially in matters of war, because of the huge military disparity between it and the United States. Shaping a peaceful environment favorable to China’s economic development remains an important diplomatic goal. As long as the United States does not offer military support for a Taiwanese declaration of de jure independence, China is unlikely to deviate from this path of peaceful development.

                     

                     

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                    姓名:閻學通 工作單位:

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