新闻来源：The Wire China；作者：ORVILLE SCHELL
The Death of Engagement / 中美接触终止
Part IV/ 第四部
To stand atop the fabled Gate of Heavenly Peace, as I did in May of 1989, and see a million people gathered in protest against the Chinese Communist Party was to behold a scene Mao could not have imagined, except in a nightmare.
It was impossible to walk through the Square among so many ecstatic, banner-waving youths and not feel a sense of exhilaration, for this political springtime allowed one to imagine that a more democratic, less adversarial China might finally be arriving.
Hundreds of thousands of people filled Beijing’s central Tiananmen Square on May 17, 1989, in the biggest popular upheaval in China since the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Credit: Reuters/Ed Nachtrieb 1989年5月17日，自20世纪60年代的文化大革命以来的最大的中国人民运动，成千上万的人聚集在北京中央的天安门广场上。图片来自路透社的Ed Nachtrieb
But where American liberals saw reform and hope, CCP stalwarts saw conspiracy, peril, and “peaceful evolution,” a toxic cocktail of foreign machinations aimed at undermining the Party’s “dictatorship of the proletariat.”3 As far as stalwarts were concerned, political reform, if left unconstrained, would threaten one-party rule, so it was hardly surprising when, after initial PLA efforts to clear the Square were thwarted by protesters, a determined Deng reassembled fresh units with new orders to “recover the Square at any cost.” As troops again swept into Beijing, this time behind armored vehicles, not only were thousands of dead and wounded soon littering the streets, but the protest movement and its hopes for meaningful political reform were over.
The Beijing massacre also left the logic of engagement in critical condition. For without reform there could be no convergence, and without any promise of convergence, engagement made no sense. And no argument was able to explain away the barbarity of what viewers around the world had seen on their TV screens. Suddenly conservatives who’d never really believed friendly relations could be forged with a Maoist regime gained new currency. As a columnist in the Austin American Statesman disparagingly concluded, “Deng Xiaoping ain’t worthy of his cowboy hat no more.”
When asked why he was being so deferential to Beijing, Bush said it would be “a tragedy for all” if the U.S. broke off relations. Then, he raised a new theme: that commercial incentives would make democracy in China inevitable. Credit: Still from C-SPAN video 当被问及他为什么对北京如此的毕恭毕敬的，布什说如果美国跟中国断绝了所有关系，那将会是“所有人的悲剧”。然后，他又开启了一个新主题：商业的刺激会让中国的民主成为必然。 消息来源：有线卫星公共事务电视网的Still
As the world reeled from the massacre, President Bush expressed fears that an “overly emotional” reaction might lead to “a total break” and “throw China back into the hands of the Soviet Union.” At a press conference on June 5, he warned that this was the time for a “reasoned, careful action that takes into account our long-term interest and recognition of a complex internal situation in China.” The U.S. needed, he stressed, “time to look beyond the moment to the important and enduring aspects of this vital relationship.”
When asked why he was being so deferential to Beijing, Bush replied, “It would only be a tragedy for all if China were to pull back to its pre-1972 era of isolation and repression.” Then, he raised a new theme: “I think, as people have commercial incentives, whether it’s in China or other totalitarian systems, the move to democracy becomes inexorable.”
He would stop short of breaking relations with China, he said, in order to encourage the Chinese “to continue their change.”
Bush had tried to call Deng, but failing to get through, wrote a letter “from the heart.”
“We both do more for world peace, if we can get our relationship back on track,” he pleaded. Then, defying the national mood of censure, he dispatched his National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, to Beijing on a trip so secret that not even the U.S. ambassador was notified.
Bush sent Scowcroft (left) on a secret trip to Beijing following the June 4th massacre to smooth over diplomatic relations, but Deng accused the U.S. of “[interfering] in China’s internal affairs.” Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum 布什在6月4号大屠杀后派斯考克罗夫特（左）秘密访问北京去缓和外交关系，但是邓指责美国“干涉中国内政。” 图片来源：乔治 布什总统图书馆和博物馆
Even then, Deng was not remorseful. Blaming the U.S. for “rumor mongering” and being “too deeply involved” in what he called “an earth-shattering event for China,” he accused Washington of having “impugned China’s interests” and “hurt China’s dignity.” He warned that if the U.S. did not summon up a more “objective and honest reaction” toward what he termed China’s “counter-revolutionary rebellion,” Sino-U.S. relations would fall into a “dangerous state.”
“I would like to tell you, Mr. Scowcroft,” he chided icily, “we will never allow any people to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”
During this tongue lashing, Scowcroft remained surprisingly contrite. “Rightly or wrongly,” Americans had been outraged, he tried to explain, as if the outrage felt by so many back home had no particular moral charge. Then, he pleaded for Deng to recognize the long distance he’d come as conveying the “symbolic importance” President Bush placed on the U.S.-China relationship and demonstrative of “the efforts he is prepared to make to preserve it.” Alluding to the fact that Bush had just vetoed legislation sanctioning China, even though it had passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 418-0 vote, Scowcroft told Deng how “deeply appreciative” he was of “your willingness to receive us to explain the dilemma in which [President Bush] finds himself. That’s a message from a true friend of the Chinese government and the people of China.”
在这场舌战中，斯考克罗夫特一直保持着令人惊讶的懊悔的态度，“正确的或者是错误的”，美国人确实是暴怒了，他试图这样解释道，就好像这种在家乡被如此众多人感受到的暴怒并没有特别的道义上的支持一样。然后，他恳求邓要看到他大老远来就是要传达布什总统把“象征重要性”放在美中关系上并阐明了“他所做的来维系这种重要性的努力。” 暗示了布什刚刚否决了立法制裁中国的事实，即使这个立法已经以418票比0票通过了众议院的投票，斯考克罗夫特告诉邓他是多么的“深深感激”, “您愿意接收我们对于布什总统现在所在的进退两难的困境的解释。那是从中国政府和中国人民的真正的朋友那来的消息。”
Read: Deng Xiaoping and Brent Scowcroft’s July 2, 1989 meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing （PDF File）
“There is no force whatsoever which can substitute for the PRC represented by the CCP,” countered Deng imperiously. “Let me just repeat, we have to see what kind of remarks and what kind of actions the U.S. will take,” he concluded, throwing responsibility for the breakdown back onto Scowcroft and Washington.
The Washington Post called the trip “a placatory concession to a repressive and bloodstained Chinese government.” The Wall Street Journal savaged it as “one of the great tin-ear exercises of our time.” But Michel Oksenberg, a senior staff member on the National Security Council under the Carter administration, praised it as “an act of courageous leadership.” Whatever else it was, Scowcroft’s trip was a demonstration of how important the U.S.-China relationship had now become to Washington.
For those of us who had been on the ground during the seven-week protest movement, what was most striking about the Scowcroft trip was how roles had gotten reversed. Instead of Deng, who’d just tarnished his country’s reputation by massacring his own people, seeking Scowcroft’s forgiveness and help in keeping the U.S.-China relationship on track, Scowcroft somehow ended up beseeching Deng to forgive the outrage felt by Americans. Equally important was the way Scowcroft’s deference set a future precedent: Henceforth, when crises hit “the relationship,” it would be the U.S. that would be expected to bear primary responsibility for remaining flexible enough to keep it together.
Some thought Bush’s solicitude grew out of a nostalgia for his days at the Beijing Liaison Office in the mid-1970s and the personal relationships he’d established with China’s leaders as America’s first official diplomatic representative to Beijing. But his belief in the importance of American leadership in helping transform China into a more responsible participant in the existing global order, a conceit that Bush came to refer to as his “comprehensive policy of engagement,” also played an important role in his deference. After announcing his intention to resume Export-Import and World Bank lending to China, a significant concession in its own right, Bush dispatched Scowcroft to Beijing a second time. Then, in 1991 his Secretary of State James Baker went, as well, and did extract some concessions on the Chinese sale of missiles to rogue regimes. But, gaining this modest victory was, he complained, like getting “your annual physical, the unpleasant part.”
Secretary of State James Baker traveled to China to negotiate further with the Chinese leadership. Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum 国务卿詹姆斯·贝克访问中国进一步洽谈中国的领导 图片来源：乔治 布什总统图书馆和博物馆
Bush’s policy also exposed a disparity with the U.S.’s intolerance for the political persecution of dissidents in other countries like the Soviet Union. Whereas Russia was still viewed as a Communist tyranny, Deng’s China had now won a deferment from such totalistic judgements. As James Mann later observed, the unspoken, operating principle had become: “The engager will not let the behavior of the Chinese regime, however, reprehensible, get in the way of continued business with China.”
Deng, for his part, surprised everyone when he did not foreclose the possibility of further engagement following the massacre. After praising military commanders for putting down the “turmoil,” (动乱), he rhetorically asked them, “Is our basic concept of reform and openness wrong? … No! Without reform how could we have what we have today?”
Crucially, however, what Deng was recommitting to was not “political reform and opening up,” but “economic reform.”
It was a sage maneuver, for as one U.S. president after another came under the sway of engagement, Beijing escaped more active Washington opposition. In fact, as engagement became an ever more deeply rooted article of American faith, China was also able to garner support from other segments of U.S. society, such as academia, the philanthropic community, civil society, and business, as well. By offering Beijing a “no fault China” policy, the U.S. commitment to engagement proved an enormous providence for Beijing: It could focus on economic growth and augment its wealth and power in an unchallenged environment.
The Death of Engagement / 中美接触终止
Part V/ 第五部
When Bill Clinton unapologetically attacked his predecessor’s accommodationist policy towards China at the Democratic National Convention in 1992, he promised a “covenant with America” that “will not coddle tyrants from Baghdad to Beijing.”
As he told The New York Times, “one day [the PRC] will go the way of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union,” so the U.S. “must do what it can to encourage that process.” And when Bush had extended China’s Most Favored Nation trading status without conditions, Clinton had disparaged the move as “unconscionable” and “another sad chapter in this administration’s history of putting America on the wrong side of human rights and democracy.” Now the prospect of his victory seemed likely to push U.S.-China policy in a far more antagonistic direction.
When he won and China’s economic rise appeared ever more inexorable, Clinton too underwent an alchemic change.
But, when he won and China’s economic rise appeared ever more inexorable, Clinton, too, underwent an alchemic change. As he later wrote, he came to believe that even without ongoing U.S. pressure, China would still “be forced by the imperatives of modern society to become more open.” (Ironically, this very line ended up being excised by censors from the Chinese language translation of his book put out in Beijing).
It was at a White House press briefing in 1994 that Clinton completed his rebirth as an “engager.” He declared that he’d come to believe “we can best support human rights in China and advance our other very significant issues… by engaging the Chinese” and “delink[ing] human rights from the annual extension of Most Favored Nation status for China.”
It was quite an about-face, but maintaining the U.S.’s post-1989 massacre, pro-human rights policy was becoming untenable, especially as American businessmen — eager for a piece of the growing China market — began lobbying against it. Some businessmen, admitted Winston Lord, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, were “not only not supporting us, but were undercutting us with the Chinese.”
这是一个180度的大转弯，它使美国在中共1989大屠杀后的人权优先政策变得站不住脚。特别是美国商人 – 渴望从中共国持续增长的市场中分一块蛋糕 – 开始游说反对该（人权）政策。负责亚太事务的助理国务卿温斯顿·罗德承认，一些商人不仅不支持我们，还同中共国一起挖我们的墙脚。。
Jiang Zemin, Kissinger remembered, “behaved like an affable family member. He was warm and informal. He smiled, laughed and told anecdotes and touched his interlocutors to establish a bond…Jiang was the least Middle Kingdom-type of personality that I encountered among Chinese leaders.” Credit: Joyce Naltchayan/AFP via Getty Images 基辛格这样回忆江泽民说，“表现的像个和蔼可亲的家人，他温暖且不拘礼节，他微笑，说一些轶事，触碰他的对话者来建立纽带。。江是我遇到的中共国领导人中，最没有中央王国类型性格的。” 图片来源：Joyce Naltchayan/法新社 Getty图片
As China gained more and more economic power, the terms of the game were changing, and Clinton recognized he would have to rebalance the linkage between rights and commercial interests. As James Mann bluntly put it, commerce had become “the dominant motivating force behind American policy.” With its new commercial power, China was beginning to understand they could resist U.S. pressure and, if they only held out long enough when crises arose, Washington would yield. Indeed, on May 26, 1994, Clinton finally did grant China unconditional MFN status.
“We’ve reached the end of the usefulness of that policy,” he said to justify his flip-flop. “It’s time to take a new path.”
The reprise of a slogan that Deng had launched in the 1980s — “Hide one’s abilities and bide one’s time” (韬光养晦 等待时机) — helped ease the way for Clinton. By suggesting that as it rose, China would resist displays of muscular nationalism and military belligerence, he made China’s rise appear less threatening. At the same time, a growing eagerness among American businessmen to profit from China’s low labor costs and the potential of its enormous markets dovetailed with the logic of a new American bromide: “Open markets lead to open societies.” Such slogans helped Clinton conclude that a more open marketplace would ineluctably “increase the spirit of liberty,” so that even without MFN pressure “over time” China would open “just as inevitably as the Berlin Wall fell.” It was a beguiling dream, and by the end of his first term a full-blown policy of engagement had taken form around it.
Clinton fleshed out his new policy, called “comprehensive engagement,” which toned down ostracism of China in favor of high-level interaction, even agreeing to meet with Party General Secretary Jiang Zemin at the 1993 Seattle Asian leaders summit. By July 1996, despite two provocative PRC missile firings in the Taiwan Straits, Clinton had concluded that “the nature of the changes going on in China and the way [the Chinese leadership] looked at the world and us” had rendered his previous views “simply not right.”
The same U.S. goals, he declared, could be better attained by embracing, rather than opposing, China. Like Carter, he had reversed rudders, and by 1997 his administration was touting the idea of building a “constructive strategic partnership” with Beijing, one that David M. Lampton described as a mixture of “positive inducement, dialogue, and closed-door diplomacy.” The virtues of engaging China would become one of the best-branded and most deeply rooted bipartisan strategies in the annals of recent American foreign policy history.
For anyone who’d experienced the events of 1989, it was surreal to be standing on the steps leading up to the Great Hall of the People awaiting the arrival of president Bill Clinton on a spring day in 1998. For it was less than a decade since protesting students had knelt right here to proffer a petition of grievances to their leaders. And it was down these same steps that PLA troops had spilled on June 4th to deliver one of the most humiliating self-inflicted wounds of the twentieth century as the “People’s Liberation Army” fired on its own “people.” At the time, I’d found it impossible to imagine the CCP ever exorcising such ghosts, ones that had provoked Clinton himself to blithely declare that the Chinese Government “was on the wrong side of history,” as if history had some ineluctable democratic forward motion that Americans alone divined. Yet, here we were back in Tiananmen Square on a bright sunny day, with two smiling presidents greeting each other as if nothing had happened in this most symbolic of Chinese places.
What is more, even though the choreography was highly ritualized, it was abundantly evident from the way Jiang Zemin took Clinton’s arm as he stepped from his limo that both were enjoying each other’s company. Eager to let bygones be bygones, they strode down a red carpet past an honor guard and stood at attention as their national anthems were played. Then, as officials and the press corps filed into the Great Hall, an astonishing announcement was circulated: Jiang would allow the press conference (complete with an unscripted question and answer period) to be broadcast live on both radio and television across China. This meant that if the two leaders strayed into sensitive political territory, there would be no last-minute way for censors to sanitize the record. It was a dramatic gesture of Jiang’s eagerness to interact with Clinton as an equal.
Indeed, so animated did Clinton’s good-old-boy Arkansas bonhomie make Jiang that, once the press conference began, he displayed a degree of extemporaneity rarely seen in official China. Turbo-charged with the challenge of holding his own with this American master of give-and-take, even when the conversation veered into the sensitive issue of human rights, Jiang gamely plowed on to defend China’s record. And then when things might have ended, he cheerfully piped up, “I’d like to know whether President Clinton will have anything more to add?” He did.
“If you are so afraid of personal freedom because of the abuses that you limit people’s freedom too much, then you pay,” Clinton continued, clearly relishing the way the exchange was developing. And, he added, “I believe, an even greater price [will be paid] in a world where the whole economy is based on ideas and information.”
“I am sorry to have to take up an additional five minutes,” Jiang interjected, seeming to enjoy the back-and-forth despite the controversial nature of their subjects. “I’d like to say a few words on the Dalai Lama.” Jaws dropped. Tibet and its exiled religious leader were not topics Chinese leaders welcomed, especially with Americans before live TV cameras. Nonetheless, Jiang went on, “During my visit to the U.S. last year, I found that although education in science and technology has developed to a very high level and people are now enjoying modern civilization, still quite a number believe in Lamaism [Tibetan Buddhism]. I want to find out the reason why.”
Known for singing “Home on the Range” and reciting bits of the Gettysburg Address at diplomatic gatherings, Jiang sometimes bordered on flamboyance, even clownishness. But he was also disarming, the perfect engagement partner for a glad-handing Clinton. Alas, he would be the last such Chinese leader.
Back home, after dismissively comparing the yearly congressional MFN review process to “fly-paper” that “accumulated frustrations of people about things in the world they don’t like very much,” in 2000 Clinton approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations status for China. Then he facilitated its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO) the following year. Both moves bolstered hopes that China’s inclusion in the American-led global trading system would not only lower bilateral trade deficits but encourage further political reform.
As Clinton lectured students at Johns Hopkins University, “By joining the WTO, China is not simply agreeing to import more of our products, it is agreeing to import one of democracy’s most cherished values, economic freedom. The more China liberalizes its economy, the more fully it will liberate the potential of its people — their initiative, their imagination, their remarkable spirit of enterprise… [and] the genie of freedom will not go back into the bottle.”
Madeleine Albright, who served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State during his second term, hoped that social and economic engagement with China would have “a liberalizing effect on political and human rights practices.” But she also added, “Given the nature of China’s government, that progress will be gradual, at best, and by no means inevitable.” Credit: NARA 玛德琳·奥尔布赖特，是比尔·克林顿第二个任期的国务卿，希望社会和经济都有中共国参与，这也会影响到政治和人权的开放“。但是她也说：“鉴于中共政府的本性，这是个渐进的过程，最好是，当然也绝对不是一个必然的过程。” 图片来源：NARA
His Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also hope “that the trend toward greater economic and social integration of China will have a liberalizing effect on political and human rights practices.” But she also sagely added, “Given the nature of China’s government, that progress will be gradual, at best, and by no means inevitable.”
With the threat of the USSR gone, Clinton was endowing U.S.-China policy with a new core logic: open markets will promote a more equal and liberal society. “Imagine how [the Internet] could change China,” he evangelically asked an audience in 2000 as he hailed this new era. “China’s been trying to crack down on the Internet,” he continued rhapsodically. “Good luck! That’s sort of like trying to nail jello to the wall.”
编辑：【喜马拉雅战鹰团】Edited by：【Himalaya Hawk Squad】