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中共国在台湾周围不断增加的军事活动背后意味着什么?(二) 【中英对照翻译】

作者:J. Michael Cole/ J.迈克尔·科尔

消息来源:The National Interest 《国家利益》

翻译:雅典娜

简评/PR:海阔天空

简评:

中共色厉内荏,气势汹汹老喊武统台湾,其实自己几斤几两,非常清楚。中共的军事实力与美国相比,天壤之别!随着蔡英文总统的当选,韩国瑜的下台,中共的两岸政策彻底失败,台湾人民已经看清了中共的丑陋嘴脸,台湾与中共渐行渐远。但中共现在处于骑墙之势,长期用民族主义对国内民众进行洗脑,现在逼迫自己必须对台湾有所行动。但又惧怕美国的报复,只能虚张声势进行军事演习、挑衅、骚扰或者去攻占仅有象征意义的台湾管辖下的遥远小岛。中共这种无赖和流氓行径只能增加台湾人民对中共的厌恶,获得国际社会对台湾越来越强有力的支持。搬起石头砸自己的脚,用在中共身上,最准确不过。

What’s Behind China’s Growing Military Activity Around Taiwan?

中共国在台湾周围不断增加的军事活动背后意味着什么?(二)

A worrying spike in Chinese military activity near Taiwan since the beginning of 2020 has led some analysts to conclude that Beijing is exploiting a moment of distraction within the international system due to the COVID-19 pandemic to intimidate Taiwan and create a

fait accompli in the Taiwan Strait. Closer analysis of trends that predate the outbreak, however, suggests that Beijing would have adopted the same escalatory strategy regardless of the international situation.

自2020年初以来,中共国在台湾附近的军事活动急剧增加,令人担忧,这导致一些分析人士得出结论说,北京正在利用国际系统中专注于疫情防控的时刻,恐吓台湾,在台湾海峡造成既成事实。然而,对疫情爆发前的趋势进行更深入的分析表明,无论国际局势如何,北京都会选择同样的升级战略。

China's Growing Military Activity Around Taiwan Triggers Alarm / 中国在台湾周边日益增长的军事活动引发警惕

At this point, Beijing had concluded that the twin policies of “goodwill” and “punishment” had failed. Taiwanese society was slipping away. Its frustrations took shape during the National People’s Congress in May 2020, when, for the first time, the term “peaceful” was removed from the regime’s talk on unification. Much ink has been spilled since then analyzing the meaning and ramifications of this rhetorical elision. Suffice it to say that the decision to leave “peaceful” unmentioned had more to do with domestic consumption than with the Taiwanese, who have known all along that “peaceful unification” was little more than a reassuring euphemism for a hostile takeover.

在这一点上,北京得出的结论是,“善意”和“惩罚”的双重政策已经失败。台湾社会正在渐行渐远。在2020年5月全国人大召开期间,当“和平”一词首次从中共政权关于统一的话题中被删除时,其挫败感就很明显了。从那时起,就有很多分析这种修辞上的轻率的含义和后果。只需说,不提及“和平”的决定,更多地与国内消费有关,而不是跟台湾人有关,他们一直都知道“和平统一“只不过是敌意侵占的一种掩人耳目的委婉说法罢了。

Stuck in a corner of its own making after years of cultivating ultranationalism among the Chinese, Xi’s CCP had little choice but to demonstrate that it was doing something about Taiwan. It could not admit that the past decade had been one of utter, unmitigated failure in Beijing’s cross-Strait policy. The Taiwanese public was slipping away (though state media in China still could not admit so, preferring instead to refer to groups of “separatists” and their “foreign allies”), but one thing wasn’t: Taiwan’s real estate. Thus, all else having failed, Taiwan would have to be subjected to a greater dose of military coercion — in fact, starting in 2019 some hawkish military strategists within the PLA, people like Wang Hongguang, were already admitting that “peaceful unification” was no longer an option and that force would be necessary to “retake” Taiwan. Consequently, it is seven years of a failed cross-Strait policy under Xi, rather than COVID-19, which helps explain why PLA activity around Taiwan has become more assertive, and frequent, in recent months. Tsai’s re-election, above all, constituted the green light.

在中国人之间培养了多年的极端民族主义之后,以习近平为首的中共陷入了自己的困境,除了证明自己正在做一些关于台湾的事情之外,别无选择。它不可能承认,过去十年,北京的两岸政策归于彻底的失败。台湾公众正在渐行渐远(尽管中共的官方媒体仍然拒绝承认这一点,相反,还归咎于“分裂分子”集团及其“外国盟友”),但有一件事不是:台湾的房地产。因此,所有这些失败,使得台湾将不得不受到更大的军事胁迫--事实上,从2019年开始,解放军中的一些鹰派军事战略家,如王洪光,已经承认“和平统一”不再是一种选择,必须武力“夺回”台湾。因此,在习近平领导下,这是七年失败的两岸政策,不像是对冠状病毒的掩盖,对台湾的武力胁迫大张旗鼓的进行,这有助于解释为什么近几个月来,解放军在台湾周围的活动变得更加猖狂和频繁。蔡英文的连任是最关键的因素。

Another factor that could help explain the intensification of Chinese military activity around Taiwan and within the region — including along the border with India, where clashes have occurred recently — is the situation within China. Given the nature of the regime and the incessant clampdown on free expression, it is difficult to determine how the Chinese economy and its society were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan. For the first time in decades, the Chinese government has decided not to release projections for GDP growth this year, and there are signs that an already fragile economic recovery is encountering new headwinds. Notwithstanding assurances that Beijing handled the outbreak with brio and a global propaganda campaign to that effect, it is quite possible that Mr. Xi’s image, along with that of the CCP, has been damaged by its early response to the outbreak. Just how much is difficult to quantify. A deepening trade war with the U.S., which is turning increasingly into an ideological war as well, has also sparked accusations of mishandling, and a number of voices, Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Wang Yang reportedly among them, voiced opposition to Xi’s imposition of a new national security law in crisis-prone Hong Kong. Having installed himself as president for life, Mr. Xi’s insecurities may be coming to the surface: amid chatter that some enemies of Xi within the CCP may seek to oust him by 2022, when, in theory, his second term would have ended, the Chinese leader has been busy eliminating more of his potential opponents within the party while appointing his close allies to key positions.

另一个因素可能有助于解释中共在台湾周边和该地区内日益加剧的军事活动——包括最近在印度边境沿线发生的冲突--是中共国内部的情况。有鉴于中共国政权的性质以及对言论自由的不断打压,很难确定冠状病毒爆发是如何影响中共国的经济及其社会的,疫情据信起源于武汉。几十年来,中共国政府首次决定不公布今年GDP增长的预测,有迹象表明,已经脆弱的经济复苏正在遭遇新的逆风。尽管北京信誓旦旦,开足其全球的宣传机器,大言不惭地宣传其抗疫得力,但习近平的形象以及中共的形象很有可能由于其早期对疫情的隐瞒而受到损害。但其损害程度究竟有多大,很难量化。与美国不断加深的贸易战也日益变成了一场意识形态战争,这也引发了对其疫情处理不当的指控。据报道,反对的声音中有中共国政治协商会议(政协)主席汪阳,他反对习近平在危机频发的香港实施新国家安全法。习近平将国家主席变成终身制,其不安全感可能会浮出水面:在中共内部的一些敌人可能试图在2022年驱逐他,而理论上,他的第二次任期将在2022年结束。这位中共领导人一直忙于消除党内更多的潜在对手,同时任命他的亲密盟友担任关键职位。

Thus, while it is impossible to fathom the extent to which Xi may feel embattled, it is nevertheless within the realm of reasonable speculation to posit that a more tenuous position domestically might tempt the Chinese leader to consolidate his position by tapping into nationalist sentiment. And that, above all, invites externalization — conflict abroad, and the cultivation of a sentiment of injustice at the hands of external foes. In this context, Taiwan provides a highly potent emotional distraction, especially as its 23.8 million people have, in the Chinese view, been unacceptably rude in their refusal to embrace China by subjecting to its unification dreams.

因此,虽然不可能弄清楚习近平在多大程度上感到四面楚歌,但可以在合理的猜测范围内假定,国内脆弱的位置可能诱使中共领导人通过挖掘民族主义情绪来巩固他的地位。最重要的是,这会引起外部化——国外的冲突,以及培养仇外的受伤害的情绪。在这种情况下,台湾提供了一种强烈的情感转移,特别是因为它的2380万人,在中共国看来,他们拒绝接受中共国的统一梦想是不可接受的粗暴。

U.S. to Move Carrier Strike Group Closer to Korean Peninsula 美国将把航母打击群移至更靠近朝鲜半岛的地方

Despite internal tensions and a highly charged ideological environment, there is little reason to believe that the Chinese leadership is acting irrationally. So far, and unless the domestic situation threatens the very survival of the CCP, the Chinese regime has calculated along rational lines and refrained from taking actions which could spark major retaliation by the U.S. and other powers. It therefore appears to remain committed to a policy of gradualism, or “salami slicing,” within its sphere of influence, and thus is unlikely to behave in a highly provocative manner. Cool heads still prevail within the PLA and the CCP, where there is general agreement that China still doesn’t have sufficient military capability to take on the world’s No. 1 superpower. There is an ongoing debate on the matter, and arguments for both sides have appeared in the pages of state-controlled media, but given the extreme risks of confrontation, the CCP can be expected to continue to edge on the side of caution for the next few years, What this means for its future behavior toward Taiwan, therefore, is that rhetoric and military maneuvers are primarily intended to act as instruments of psychological warfare against its people and leadership. The likelihood that Beijing would call upon the PLA to launch a major amphibious assault to seize and pacify Taiwan — according to many specialists, under conditions that would make such un undertaking the most onerous in military history — therefore remains relatively low, and should continue to do so as long as the (a) Taiwan presents a credible deterrent; (b) the U.S. continues to provide security guarantees to Taiwan; and (c) the PLA leadership remains unconvinced that his has the capabilities and experience to embark on such an adventure. Given the likelihood of escalation, there is also a low probability that China would attempt to invade Taiwan’s main outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu. A likelier scenario is one in which the PLA would invade and gain control over islets controlled by Taiwan in the South China Sea. Already, state media have announced that the PLA will conduct exercises in the area in August simulating an assault on such features, with some reports claiming that the simulation to turn into the real thing (other analysts argue that the islets have lost their geostrategic importance after China has built eight artificial islands in the area). Militarily speaking, seizing islets controlled Taiwan in the Pratas or Spratlys would not be too difficult or costly a task, and while destabilizing, it is equally unlikely that Taiwan, the U.S., or other regional claimants would risk major armed conflict with China for their protection (lines of communication between Taiwan’s southernmost tip and its assets in the South China Sea are of such length as to make the islets practically indefensible against sustained attack).

尽管存在着内部的紧张局势和高度紧张的意识形态环境,但几乎没有理由认为,中共领导层的行为不是经过精心算计的。到目前为止,除非国内情况威胁到中共的生存,中共政权已经按照理性的路线进行了算计,避免采取可能引起美国和其他大国重大报复的行动。它似乎仍然在其势力范围内,致力于渐进主义的政策,或者是““切香肠”,因此不太可能以高度挑衅的方式行事。中共国人民解放军(PLA)和中共(CCP)内部仍然存在着冷静的头脑,他们普遍认为,中共国仍然没有足够的军事能力来取而代之成为世界第一超级大国。有一个关于这一问题的持续辩论,双方的争论已经出现在国家控制的媒体页面上,但考虑到对抗的极端风险,中国共产党有望在未来几年继续保持谨慎。因此,对台湾的行为,只是言语上的威胁,以及军事演习,主要是针对其人民及其领导层的心理战。据许多专家说,北京可能会呼吁解放军发动一次重大的两栖攻击,以夺取和安定晋绥台湾--据许多专家的看法,这种条件会是军事史上最艰难繁重的任务--因此可能性仍然相对较低,只要(A)台湾表现出可信的威慑力量;(B)美国继续对台湾提供安全保障;(C)解放军领导人仍然不相信其有能力和经验开始这样的冒险。考虑到升级的可能性,中共国试图入侵台湾主要的金门岛和马祖岛的可能性很低。更有可能的情况是,解放军入侵并控制台湾控制的南海小岛。国家媒体已经宣布,解放军将在八月进行演习,在该地区模拟侵略性攻击的特征,一些报道声称,模拟将变成真正的攻击(其他分析师认为,中共国在该地区建造了八个人工岛屿之后,小岛已经失去了其地缘战略的重要性)。从军事上讲,在普拉塔斯或斯普拉特利群岛夺取台湾的小岛不会太困难或太昂贵,虽然破坏稳定,但台湾、美国或其他地区的索赔者同样不太可能为保护他们(之间的沟通渠道--台湾最南端及其在南中国海的资产)而与中共国发生重大的武装冲突,这足以使这些小岛几乎无法抵御持续性的攻击)。

Still, seizing an islet under Taiwan’s jurisdiction would provide the Chinese leadership with a much-needed gain, while conferring upon the PLA further strategic depth. There would also be a political component to such action, as this would embolden opponents of the Tsai administration in their accusations that her policies are resulting in an erosion of the ROC’s territory. The effects of such an outcome would be rather limited, however, as the great majority of Taiwanese have little if any sense of attachment toward islets in the South China Sea, and certainly would not be in favor of risking the lives of their young men and women defending them.

尽管如此,占领台湾管辖的岛屿将为中共领导人提供急需的利益,同时赋予解放军进一步的战略深度。这也会有一种政治倾向,将会鼓励蔡政权的反对者,得以指责她的政策正在导致中华民国的领土被侵蚀。然而,这方面的影响相当有限,因为绝大多数台湾人对南海的小岛几乎没有任何依恋感,当然也不会赞成让他们的年轻人冒着生命危险去保卫这些小岛。

While Taiwan must continue to develop its deterrent capability, on its own and in conjunction with allies within the region, so as to preclude the possibility of Beijing calculating that it can get away with a quick invasion, for the foreseeable future more limited military scenarios — intrusions, provocations, harassment and the seizing of distant islets under Taiwan’s jurisdiction — remain the likeliest. Nevertheless, given the higher density of multinational military traffic in the Taiwan Strait and around the island-nation, the possibility of accidents and inadvertent clashes will increase commensurately, and with that the dangers of quick escalation due, in large part, to the ultranationalism that currently is at boiling point in China, which would make de-escalation by the CCP all the more difficult.

虽然台湾必须继续发展自己的威慑能力,并与该地区内的盟友合作,以排除北京打的如意算盘,以为能实现其快速入侵的目的,在可预见的未来--军事入侵、挑衅、骚扰并夺取台湾管辖下的遥远小岛--仍然是最有可能的。尽管如此,由于台湾海峡和岛屿周边的多国军事交通密度较高,发生事故和意外冲突的可能性将增加。因此,快速升级的危险在很大程度上是由于目前在中共国处于沸点的极端民族主义,这将使中共的降级更为困难。

J. Michael Cole is a Taipei-based senior fellow with the Global Taiwan Institute in Washington, D.C., the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa and the Taiwan Studies Programme at the University of Nottingham, U.K. His latest book, Cross-Strait Relations Since 2016: The End of the Illusion, was published by Routledge in March.

J.Michael Cole是总部设在台北的高级研究员,他在华盛顿特区的全球台湾研究所、渥太华的麦克唐纳-劳里尔研究所和英国的诺丁汉大学的台湾研究方案工作,他的最新著作《2016年以来的两岸关系:幻想的终结》由Routledge于3月出版。

编辑:【喜马拉雅战鹰团】Edited by:【Himalaya Hawk Squad】