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中共建政60年成績單 1 -- David Shambaugh
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China at 60: The Road to Prosperity

David Shambaugh, 09/28/09

Sixty years ago Mao Zedong stood before a sea of people atop Tiananmen Gate proclaiming, in his high-pitched Hunan dialect, the founding of the People's Republic of China and that the "Chinese people have stood up!" The moment was marked with pride and hope. The communists' victory had vanquished the Nationalist regime, withstood the vicious onslaught of the Japanese invasion and overturned the century of foreign encroachment on China's territory. Moreover, Mao and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power without significant external support -- theirs was largely a homegrown revolution.

Mao brought a vision for China that has resonated from the 19th century Qing dynasty reformers to this day: to regain China's fu qiang (wealth and power), dignity, international respect and territorial integrity. In this regard, Mao and the CCP positioned themselves squarely with a deep yearning among Chinese -- thus earning their loyalty and the party's legitimacy. His successors have not wavered from this singular vision and mission. (Read "Where China Goes Next.")

Tragically, Mao's belief in restoring China's greatness and achieving modernity was inextricably intertwined with his ideological desire to transform China into a socialist and revolutionary society. Mao's social engineering continually convulsed China in unrelenting political campaigns. These movements disrupted productivity and caused horrific loss of life. Yet, despite the chaos, the People's Republic embarked on industrialization and stood up. By many measures, 60 years on, China has achieved significant progress toward becoming a major and global power. Mao may recognize it, but he would not be wholly happy with it.

As the People's Republic of China commemorates its 60th anniversary, it seemingly has much to celebrate. China is the world's most populous and industrious nation, is the world's third largest economy and trading nation, has become a global innovator in science and technology, and is building a world-class university system. It has an increasingly modern military and commands diplomatic respect. It is at peace with its neighbors and all major powers. Its hybrid model of quasi-state capitalism and semidemocratic authoritarianism -- sometimes dubbed the "Beijing Consensus" -- has attracted attention across the developing world.

This growing soft power of China was strengthened by the 2008 Olympics extravaganza, and the Shanghai Expo next year will similarly dazzle. The 60th anniversary celebration in Beijing on Oct. 1 will impress, if not frighten, the world with an arresting display of military hardware and goose-stepping soldiers. Less visible is the fact that China is the first major economy to recover from the global recession and, indeed, is leading the world out of it. (Read "Mission Accomplished. Now What?")

China is on a roll, particularly when viewed over time. Visiting or living in China every year over the past three decades, I have had the personal opportunity to witness dramatic transformations. When I first went to China in 1979, vestiges of the Cultural Revolution were still evident: revolutionary slogans painted on walls and pockmarks on university buildings from bullets and howitzer shells shot by dueling Red Guards. Camouflaged, but just as evident, were the personal scars borne by intellectuals and officials whom I met at the time. I heard stories of beatings and humiliations, confiscations of personal possessions and loss of living quarters, and forced hard labor.

I then witnessed the dramatic blossoming of personal freedoms and economic growth in the 1980s, punctuated by periodic countercampaigns launched by neo-Maoists in the leadership. One could literally feel and see Chinese society come alive after its long Maoist trauma, only to have people quickly recoil when the conservatives in the leadership reasserted themselves. This seesaw pattern persisted throughout the decade, culminating in the dramatic Tiananmen demonstrations and their suppression in June 1989.

In the early 1990s, I again experienced China as a society traumatized, this time by the aftermath of Tiananmen. But by mid-decade Deng Xiaoping had reignited domestic economic reforms and China had normalized its place in the world after its post-Tiananmen isolation. Politics, however, remained frozen and the heavy hand of the state remained evident. Only during the present decade, in the waning years of Jiang Zemin's rule and under Hu Jintao, has the Communist Party begun to experiment with very limited political reforms. My discussions with those party officials involved with crafting the "democratic" reforms makes clear that there are strict boundaries to how far they will proceed.

Thus, when considering the totality of six decades, the record of the PRC is decidedly mixed. While its achievements have been momentous, so are the contrasts and contradictions exposed by those very same achievements. In many sectors, each reform breeds new problems and challenges. China has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go.

The Cost of Wealth

The question for China's leaders was never whether to modernize -- but how. During the Maoist era a variety of economic models were experimented with, each of which achieving some modicum of growth. Yet all of them left China lagging far behind the West and East Asia. The costs of some initiatives, like the Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1960, were catastrophic in human and environmental terms. It was not until Deng and Chen Yun, another reform-minded Politburo member, returned to power in 1978 from internal exile that the economic course was changed. (See pictures of a new look at old Shanghai.)

Three decades later, the world witnesses the extraordinary results. China is now the world's third largest economy, after the U.S. and Japan, and recently surpassed Germany as the largest exporting nation. Its GNP is on course to overtake Japan's by 2010 and perhaps that of the U.S. by 2020. (Read "Why the China-U.S. Trade Dispute Is Heating Up.")

Much of this dynamic growth has been export-driven, benefiting the low- and medium-technology sectors of the economy. But China is beginning to move up the technological ladder and is becoming more innovative in certain sectors such as electronics and biotechnology. The country has become a manufacturing superpower and the workshop of the world, producing two-thirds of all photocopiers, microwaves and shoes; 60% of cell phones; 55% of DVDs; over half of all digital cameras; 30% of personal computers; and 75% of children's toys, plus a wide variety of other goods.

As a result of its economic boom, China has amassed a staggering $2 trillion in foreign exchange -- the largest reserves in the world -- and is beginning to invest significant amounts abroad. Today, 37 Chinese multinational corporations rank among FORTUNE's top 500 global companies, up from just six a decade ago, while 450 out of the FORTUNE 500 American companies have production lines and a business presence in China. China has become the world's largest recipient of foreign direct investment. To fuel its economic boom, China's voracious and insatiable appetite for raw materials has led it to absorb large amounts of global commodities. China now consumes 16% of global energy resources and is the world's third largest consumer of oil. (Read "Can China Save the World's Economy?")

But the economic explosion has come at a high environmental cost. China's air and water are among the most polluted on earth and it is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. The environmental nightmare is hurting public health. Malignant cancer now accounts for 28.5% of deaths while respiratory diseases account for 13.1%, according to the 2008 China Statistical Yearbook. China's growth has been dynamic, but it is also double-edged.

Reinventing a Nation 

Mao spent his lifetime trying to transform Chinese society in his utopian, socialist and revolutionary vision. He tried to create a "new socialist man" and an equitable society. His regime succeeded in providing the world's largest population with food to eat, housing and basic services. Social vices were eliminated, literacy was expanded, life expectancy increased and infant mortality decreased. These were no small achievements. But Mao's efforts to impose socialism had a deadening effect on urban and rural society alike, as political movements repeatedly harassed different groups of people.

By the time Deng and his compatriots came to power in 1978, China was traumatized, tired and alienated by 30 years of Maoist experiments and totalitarian controls. Deng's wisdom was to recognize that the state needed to retreat from society and the economy if the creative and entrepreneurial spirits of ordinary Chinese were to be unleashed.

Three decades later, Chinese society has fully blossomed. Chinese today experience a wide variety of personal freedoms in daily life that they and their ancestors had never known. Chinese state and society have also reconnected with the past, emphasizing Confucian and Buddhist values. More than 200 million people have been lifted out of poverty and the members of a growing middle class with disposable income travel abroad, invest in the stock market, dine out and decorate their stylish apartments with furniture purchased from stores like Ikea. Access to education has become far more widespread. Some 21 million students attend university today, while an estimated 300,000 study abroad every year. Approximately 206 million Chinese children attend primary and secondary schools. Basic literacy is almost universal in China today, while it was roughly 20% in 1949. Still, China remains a poor country by global standards: some 207 million people still live below World Bank poverty levels on less than $1.25 per day.

With economic growth have come demographic shifts and life improvements. Live expectancy has shot up while infant mortality has plummeted. In 1949 more than 90% of the population lived in rural areas; given the expansion of urban areas, slightly more than half (721 million) do today, according to official statistics. But China's increasing urbanization and spreading industrialization have resulted in a considerable loss of arable land and forcible evictions, sparking much resentment against local officials.

Chinese intellectual life has also improved, although over time this remains one of the real dark spots of Chinese communist rule. For six decades intellectuals have been persecuted, harassed and forced to conform and create within various boundaries set by the state. They continually probe the boundaries -- until the state pushes back. Despite continuing controls, public and private discourse in China has never been so free. The blogosphere and Internet are alive with unbridled discussion -- unless and until it crosses the state censor's invisible hand. (Read "Avoiding Censors, Chinese Authors Go Online.")

While China has made much progress, it still has many blemishes.

Treatment of ethnic minorities -- particularly Tibetans and Uighurs -- is the Achilles' heel of the regime, as violent riots last year and in recent months have clearly demonstrated.

Crime and corruption remain serious problems, while cities struggle to provide basic services to the huge "floating population" of 100 million or so migrants. 

Income disparities (as measured by the Gini coefficient) are now approaching the highest in the world. China has again become a stratified society -- just what Mao sought to eliminate.

Still, given the unprecedented scale and nature of China's socioeconomic change over the past 30 years, the country's relative stability is commendable.

 (待續)



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Shambaugh教授的大作(Shambaugh 2009)對中國過去60年的歷史有一個精簡的闡述和評論。我認為相當平實和客觀,有助於對中國現狀的了解。原文轉貼於本城市(中共建政60年成績單)《中評網》上有何耀雄先生對Shambaugh教授大作的摘譯(何耀雄 2009)。轉貼於此,給大家參考。我對何譯做了一些修改,和增補他所省略但我認為重要的敘述和評論。

有顏色的字體是我加上以醒目。原文標題是:中國60歲:到繁榮之路。何譯標題不免把Shambaugh教授的文章變淺薄了。victory0918網友在中時電子報的【新聞對談】網頁上也介紹了何譯(victory0918 2009),並有多篇相關討論,有興趣的網友請前往瀏覽。

我在此就「中國」和「中國人」兩詞略做說明。

在文化、歷史、社會等意義上的「中國(China),可以上溯到三皇五帝,甚至盤古、女媧、嫦娥等等的神話或傳說,它指的是:有幾千年歷史,以(中國)大陸為基本活動範圍的地區,包括夏、商、周等朝代(過去)「政治實體」以及人民的「國家」和社會。在這個意義下的「中國」,包括當前的中華民國和中華人民共和國這兩個「政治實體」;在這個意義下的「中國人」,指文化、歷史、社會(以及人類學和族群學用法)等意義上的「中國人」及其後裔,也就是當前中華民國和中華人民共和國的國民,以及散佈全球各地的華裔。

在當前(國際)政治和新聞的「用法」中,「中國(China)一詞指中華人民共和國;由於大多數國家的政府以及主流媒體都認為台灣是「中國」的一部分,「中國人」指中華民國和中華人民共和國這兩個國家的國民。

許多人或許因為搞不清楚概念,或許因為「反中」或「反共」而又拿不出一套說得通的論述,於是在文字上做文章,所謂「華人」或認為「中國只有文化、歷史、社會上的意義,就是這樣的例子(udn城邦中【尋王之盟】上的一些論述)--- 卜凱

參考資料:

* Shambaugh 2009, China at 60: The Road to Prosperity, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1924366,00.html

* victory0918 2009《《時代》:中共富有彈性和絕不僵化》,http://tb.chinatimes.com/forum1.asp?ArticleID=1319463

* 何耀雄譯 2009《美刊:中共富有彈性和絕不僵化》,http://www.chinareviewnews.com

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美刊:中共富有彈性和絕不僵化

中評社香港920日電(記者何耀雄編譯報道)美國最新一期《時代》雜誌主題回顧中華人民共和國建國六十年,並刊發美國著名中國問題專家、喬治亞華盛頓大學亞洲研究室主任、北京社科院訪問學人沈大偉(David Shambaugh)的評論文章,詳述中國六十年來的繁榮之路。文章編譯如下: 

六十年前,毛澤東在天安門城樓上以洪亮的聲線宣佈中華人民共和國正式成立,高呼中國人民站起來了!在經歷了列強百年侵佔、日軍侵華和國民政府統治以後,中國在沒有大規模外力的援助下,終於成功實現了中國人民自發的革命(homegrown revolution)。

毛澤東為中國人民帶來了一個百年願景,就是重現一個富強、光榮、領土完整並獲世界尊重的中國。六十年過去,今日中國已逐漸躍升為全球最重要力量、發展成為擁有最多人口的工業化國家、世界第三大經濟體系、並建立了世界級的大學體系,成為全球科研基地、又實現了軍事現代化,並與所有主要大國建立和平外交關係,這些成就都是值得慶賀的。 

當中,中國獨特的準國家資本主義quasi-state capitalism半民主(semi-democratic)威權體制更被推崇為北京式共識Beijing Consensus,吸引了全球大部分發展中國家的注意。去年的北京奧運更證實了中國日益成長中的軟實力,而明年的上海世博也將再次令人驚羨。

北京將會在十月一日舉行六十周年國慶活動,進行大規模閱兵儀式,屆時世界必將震撼於、甚至可能被嚇到,她所展現的硬實力。別忘了,中國也是全球最先走出,並將帶領全球走出經濟衰退的國家。 

經歷了改革開放三十年的劇變,中國現在的發展可說如日中天(on a roll)。1976年文化大革命終結以後,中國的經濟發展和人民自由重新興旺起來,鄧小平並在九十年代重燃了改革開放之火。政治發展上,近代領導人江澤民和胡錦濤也開始嘗試推進黨內政治改革,然而,目前改革路上仍然存在不少障礙。文革時代造成深遠廣泛的負面作用還沒有完全消失。

天安門事件是改革派和保守派長期權力鬥爭的結果。江、胡雖然進行初步、謹慎、小規模的「民主實驗」,回顧過去六十年的歷史,中國的發展極其複雜,因為每一個改革均帶來了新的問題和挑戰,中國面前還有漫漫長路。

繁榮背後的代價 

中國歷代領導人面對的問題從來不是要不要現代化,而是如何現代化?在毛澤東時代,中國作了不少經濟實驗,儘管當中有些政策是有效的,但不少政策卻帶來負面效果,使經濟進一步落後於與西方及東亞。直至文化大革命後,主張改革的鄧小平與陳雲上臺,中國經濟政策才得以改變,成就了三十年後的驚人成績。中國成為僅次於美國和日本的第三大經濟體,GNP產值在2010年可能追過日本;2020年則可望超越美國 

過去中國的經濟都是出口導向的,利潤很低,技術水準只維持中等。但如今中國也已開始推進自身技術水準了,在電子和生物科技產業上加強創新。這個國家已經成為了一個超級生產大國供應著全球三分二的兒童玩具、鞋子、影印機和微波爐、六成手提電話、五成半DVD、逾半的數位相機、三成個人電腦,和其他各式各樣的貨品

經濟急速增長為中國帶來了驚人的二萬億外匯儲備,她正開始利用這個世界最大的儲備基金來投資海外。據《財富》雜誌統計,世界五百強跨國企業中,中國上榜企業從十年前的六家躍升至今日的三十七家。而在美國五百大企業當中,有四百五十家也已經在中國設立了生產線或成立分公司。中國已經成為全球吸引最多外商直接投資的國家。 

為了推動龐大的經濟增長,中國需要大量原材料資源,她消費了全球16%能源,成為世界第三大石油消耗國。但這些也使中國背負著高昂的環境代價,水質污染、空氣污染、和廢氣排放也居全球之冠,嚴重損害公眾健康2008年的中國統計年鑑顯示,中國死亡人口中,有28.5人死於惡性癌症,13.1人死於呼吸道疾病。急速的經濟發展帶來了繁榮,另一方面,它也亟需解決的各種問題。

六十年來的國家新形象 

毛澤東窮一生的精力,希望以其社會主義理念和革命精神把中國打造成為一個平等的烏托邦社會,這個政府成功的養活了這個擁有全球人口最多的國家,滿足了人民的食物、房屋和基本社會服務需要消除社會犯罪,提高識字人數,增加人均壽命和減低嬰兒夭折率等等。這些都是值得大書特書的成就。可是毛澤東時代繁多的政治運動卻也為人民帶來困擾,種種實驗性政策也使國家飽受創傷。

直至1978年鄧小平上臺。鄧的智慧在於他深刻了解政府必須給社會和經濟適度的活動空間,中國人民的創意和企業精神才有機會充分發揮。

改革開放三十年過去,中國社會如今發展興旺。中國人民享受著前所未有的個人自由,超過二億人擺脫貧窮,愈來愈多中產人士有餘錢旅行、投資、購買豪宅並裝飾自己的家;教育高度普及化,約二億青少年接受中小學課程,二千一百萬人接受大學教育,每年更有三十萬人遠赴海外留學。中國人識字的比率從1949年的20急升至現在的接近全民識字。但從世界水準看來,中國也可說還是一個貧窮國家,仍有二億七百萬人活在世界銀行的貧窮線下。也就是說,每天收入不到1. 25美元。

經濟發展改善了人民健康,人均壽命逐年上升,嬰兒夭折率逐年下降。1949年有90%人口住在鄉村地區,但現在只有比一半略多的人口(七億兩千一百萬)住在鄉村。但急速的城市化和工業化發展也為社會帶來耕地減少普遍的強迫拆遷事件,後者引起層出不窮的官民矛盾。 

過去六十年來,知識份子不斷的受到打擊和迫害。但知識份子也不斷的突圍和測試官方的底線。目前控制雖然相當嚴格,但私人和公共論述都非常活躍。網路上的討論幾乎沒有禁忌

發展背後,中國還隱藏著不少問題:

l   西藏和新疆的少數民族去年分別爆發暴力事件;

l   貪腐問題依然嚴重;上億流動人口仍缺乏基本社會服務;

l   貧富懸殊差距接近全球頂點。

但畢竟中國人口結構龐大,以上問題還未動搖到社會總體穩定。

政治也出現改變

表面上,中國的政治制度跟六十年前沒有多大改變,但事實上絕非如此。今日的中國領導人和七千六百萬共產黨員知識水準已大大提高,黨員的選拔和升遷以能力為準(meritocratic)。中央採取集體領導,領導人變得愈來愈有自信和老謀深算,政策制定也愈來愈以共識為基礎

這麼多年來,中國共產黨的管治理念一直富有彈性和具有高度的適應及調整能力。不停的向各國政治制度借鑒。共產黨在儒家思想--列寧主義的雙重體制下,融入了東亞國家的新威權主義(neo-authoritarianism)、拉丁美洲的社團主義(corporatism)和歐洲的社會民主思想,總的來說,中共適應了時代發展,讓許多中國問題專家眼前一亮。 

展望未來,中國共產黨還需要提供更多的公共福利,如醫療、教育、環境保護和其他社會服務。僅僅增加個人財富已不足於長遠的維持中國共產黨執政的正當性。中共還需要不斷的提升人民的生活品質。當前中國的新革命是人民(對自己和政府)愈來愈高的期望。

在世界舞台一展身手

談及中國過去六十年巨變,當然也不得不談中國的國際形象。中華人民共和國六十年前成立時只獲得少數國家承認,其後更因韓戰和冷戰而備受孤立,貿易和經濟發展停滯不前。

六十年過去,中國現已全面擁抱全球化市場,並站穩於世界舞臺。中國與美國、俄羅斯及歐盟建立了良好關係,確立了在亞洲及非洲的區域地位,並熱心參與各種國際事務,為地球村帶來更大貢獻。 

中國在環球安全問題上也愈來愈主動,例如2004年南亞海嘯和2005年巴基斯坦地震等大型天災發生時,中國更派出人力財力援助。中國派遣了二千一百名人員參與12個地區的國際維和任務,此數目居各安理會成員國之冠。 

在裁軍問題上,中國過去曾經是全球其中一個主要武器和導彈的生產、銷售國,但隨著中國簽訂了《核不擴散條約》、《全面禁止核試條約》、《禁止或限制使用特定常規武器公約》等國際公約,並加入了國際原子能組織,中國已經擺脫了過去那個企圖推翻現有秩序的修正主義者形象,轉變為一個國際秩序的捍衛者。中國也是後冷戰形勢的受益者,成功的確立了自己在區域和國際組織中的地位 

而中國的國家戰略也正在改變,變得愈來愈大膽和有自信。中國解放軍在不少領域上的軍事實力都已經位居亞洲第一,水準甚至能逼近北約,十月一日的大型軍事檢閱將會向公眾展現它的實力。 

對於中國的全球急速擴張,許多國家都表示擔憂。一項歐美民調顯示,民眾對中國的形象仍然負面;歐洲、非洲和南美洲的人民擔憂中國的經濟發展會使他們飯碗不保;中國與三大鄰國澳洲、印度與日本的關係仍然緊張;與俄羅斯關係也存在歷史矛盾。隨著中國影響力與日俱增,並在世界舞臺上展現實力,這些與鄰國的矛盾都必將難以避免。 

中國未來的危機? 

展望未來,有些歷史學家認為他/她們在中國看到歷朝歷代衰敗的信號:政府腐化、社會不滿、專斷統治、或走向軍事化;許多當代中國通也看衰中國:他/她們認為中國國力脆弱,而政治制度僵化;有些經濟學家則質疑中國的經濟增長到底能持續多久

中國及其政治制度的確有很多弱點,也面臨嚴峻的挑戰。在「中國學」領域,我們看到許多批判和否定中國的學者變得毫無可信度。中華人民共和國在過去六十年裡,已經成功的克服了許多嚴峻危機,每當中國面臨國內危機、邊境戰爭或國際圍堵時,她的實力和適應能力都總是一次又一次被低估。可以確信的是,中國永遠都會是一個複雜和充滿矛盾的國家,讓中國人自己和中國觀察家們不斷預測她的未來。

原載:

http://www.chinareviewnews.com/doc/1010/8/1/2/101081263_3.html?coluid=93&kindid=2785&docid=101081263&mdate=0920004648



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Politics Not as Usual 

At first glance, China's political system has not changed much since 1949. It is still a Leninist system, dominated by the CCP and an oligarchy of its self-selected leaders, which tolerates no opposition. The Party's powerful Organization Department oversees all major appointments in the country, and one must really be a party member to get ahead professionally. Party and government organs remain essentially as they were six decades ago, copied from the Soviet Union.

But while much of the structure and essential nature of the system remains largely the same, the substance and process of politics has changed quite a lot. The leadership and the 76 million party members are better educated and their recruitment and promotion is much more meritocratic. Competence is now rewarded. In the past, there existed only two exit paths from officialdom: purges and death. Now mandatory retirement is firmly implemented. Instead of being a totalitarian party dominated by a single leader, the CCP today is an authoritarian party with a collective leadership. The leaders themselves -- at least those I have witnessed -- are now remarkably self-assured and relatively sophisticated. Marxist-Leninist ideology plays little, if any, role in their decision-making. The policy process is more consultative, although still lacking in transparency. Much emphasis is put on governance and officials at all levels undergo required training in public administration.

On the whole, the Communist Party has proven itself to be remarkably adaptable and open to borrowing elements from different countries and political systems. As a result it is becoming a hybrid party with elements of East Asian neo-authoritarianism, Latin American corporatism and European social democracy all grafted to Confucianist-Leninist roots. The uprising in Tiananmen and across China in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of communist systems in Europe and the Soviet Union were instructive experiences for the CCP. Many lessons were drawn, but the principal one was to remain flexible and adaptable, not dogmatic and rigid. (Read "Beijing Clamps Down After Call for Democracy.")

Will the Party's adaptability and the nation's continuing economic growth be sufficient to sustain it in power indefinitely? Perhaps. The CCP's sustenance to date has certainly surprised many leading China watchers. But, going forward, the major challenge to the Party will likely be its ability to deliver adequate "public goods" to the population: health care, education, environmental protection and other social services. Providing stability and ever increasing personal wealth will not be enough to guarantee the Party indefinite legitimacy -- it must continuously improve the quality of life of its citizens. This is China's new revolution: the revolution of rising expectations.

Taking On the World 

Any consideration of China's transformation since 1949 must recognize the dramatic improvement in China's global posture. Sixty years ago the new People's Republic was cut off from the world, having diplomatic recognition only from a relatively small number of nations. It was excluded from the U.N. It soon became embroiled in the Korean War and the Cold War, which brought further isolation. Despite some marginal trade with Western Europe following the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indochina, China was cut off from international trade, finance and aid. As a result, its economy stagnated.

Six decades later, China has fully embraced globalization at home and has burst onto the world's stage in a largely positive fashion. It now has both interests and a presence in parts of the world completely new to China -- such as Latin America and the Middle East -- and enjoys rising international prestige. Beijing has generally managed its relations well with the major world powers: the U.S., Russia and the E.U. It has transformed its regional diplomacy in Asia, reasserted a role in Africa and become much more deeply engaged with international organizations and across a range of global-governance issues. China used to eschew multilateralism, distrusting it as some kind of (Western) conspiracy. While Beijing remains a selective multilateralist globally -- engaging on some issues and not others -- the broad trend has been positive and in the direction of deeper contributions to the world community.

China is also more proactive on global security issues ("hot spots" as Chinese analysts like to describe them). When natural disasters now strike, such as the South and Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004 and the Pakistan earthquake the following year, China is there to provide physical and financial assistance. China now has over 2,100 peacekeeping personnel deployed in about a dozen nations worldwide -- more than any other member of the U.N. Security Council. This is one tangible expression of China's strong commitment to the U.N. Today, indeed, the PRC may be the greatest advocate of the U.N. among the major powers. (Read "China Takes on the World.")

In the field of arms control, China used to be a serious proliferator of missiles and missile components, and a significant seller of conventional arms. But, over time, China has signed or ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Biological and Conventional Weapons Convention, has joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group and has essentially adhered to the Missile Technology Control Regime (although it is not a member). This is not the China that the world used to know: a "revisionist" destabilizing power that sought to overturn the international order. Today, the People's Republic of China is deeply involved across the globe and is increasingly an upholder of, and contributor to, the existing international order. China has been a considerable beneficiary of the post – Cold War order, which has allowed Beijing to establish a presence in regions and international institutions that was not previously possible.

China's strategic posture is also changing. Its military modernization program has made giant strides in recent years -- and they will be on display in the massive military parade in central Beijing on Oct. 1. In many categories China's military is the best in Asia and in some sectors is approaching NATO standards. The People's Liberation Army still has no global strike capacity, however, other than its intercontinental ballistic missiles and cyberwarfare capabilities.

Still, many countries worry about China's rise and global expansion, even though it has, to date, been outwardly peaceful. Public opinion polls in Europe and the U.S. regularly reflect a negative image of China, while concerns over economic competition and job losses are growing in Europe, Africa and Latin America. Substantial strains remain in Beijing's ties with three of China's most important neighbors: Australia, India and Japan. Even relations with Russia, which have achieved historic highs since the collapse of the Soviet Union, have run into obstacles. This is unsurprising. As Beijing expands its influence and begins to flex its new muscle on the world stage, it's to be expected that China will engender occasional discord with other nations. (Read "The China-India Rivalry: Watching the Border.")

Future Shock? 

Some historians of China think they see the telltale signs of dynastic decline: government corruption, social discontent (especially in the countryside), autocratic rulers and a militarizing state. Some contemporary China experts also voice their doubts -- proclaiming the regime fragile and the political system ossified -- while economists question how long the dynamic growth can continue.

While the system and country have weaknesses and challenges, the Sinological landscape is littered with its naysayers and critics. The People's Republic of China has endured for six decades and has overcome a wide variety of serious domestic crises, border wars and international isolation. Its strengths and adaptability have repeatedly been underestimated by outside observers. One thing is certain: China will remain a country of complexity and contradictions -- which will keep China watchers and Chinese alike guessing about its future indefinitely.

Shambaugh is professor and director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and currently a visiting scholar at the China Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. His latest book is China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation 

轉貼自:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1924366,00.html



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