民主党人能绕过特朗普的“中国陷阱”吗

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Before the pandemic, before the Great Recession, before proliferating hurricanes and fires, the United States began a global war on terrorism. Its leaders fixated on a shadowy enemy abroad as life at home crumbled for millions of Americans. The war on terrorism did not end terrorism; the war itself became endless. What it did shatter was the myth that a triumphant United States could bend the world to its will.

在疫情之前,在经济大衰退之前,在飓风和火灾激增之前,美国开始了一场全球反恐战争。当国内数以百万计民众的生活分崩离析时,它的领导人将目光投向了国外一个虚幻飘渺的敌人。反恐战争并没有结束恐怖主义,战争本身变得无休无止。如果说它结束了什么,那就是一个胜利的美国可以令世界屈从的神话。

But the myth may be roaring back, albeit in a less righteous, more vicious guise. Though the new enemy is a virus, even less susceptible to verbal and physical firepower than terrorists, the Trump administration appears to be setting its target on a foreign power: China, where the outbreak appears to have started but which is hardly responsible for the United States being the most infected country in the world.

但这个神话可能死灰复燃,尽管是打着一种不太正义、更为邪恶的幌子。虽然新的敌人是一种病毒,比起恐怖分子,它更不容易遭受言语和身体上的火力威胁,但特朗普政府似乎正在将目标对准一个外国势力:中国。疫情似乎源自中国,但美国成为世界上感染最严重的国家,恐怕难以归咎于它。

As the pandemic spread in the United States in March, President Trump began to castigate Beijing for failing to contain and report on “the Chinese virus.” Now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is declaring that there is “a significant amount of evidence” that the virus originated in a Chinese laboratory, though he has provided no proof. The accusation, although doubted by scientists and intelligence agencies, may lead the public to blame China for the pandemic, much as the George W. Bush administration, through suggestion more than outright lies, convinced seven in 10 Americans in 2003 that Saddam Hussein of Iraq was likely involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

3月,随着疫情在美国的蔓延,特朗普总统开始谴责北京未能遏制和通报“中国病毒”。现在,国务卿迈克·庞皮欧(Mike Pompeo)宣称“有大量证据”表明该病毒起源于中国的实验室,尽管他没有提供任何证据。虽然科学家和情报机构对此表示怀疑,但这一指控可能导致公众将疫情归咎于中国,就像乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)政府以暗示的方式传达赤裸裸的谎言,在2003年使70%的美国人确信伊拉克的萨达姆·侯赛因(Saddam Hussein)可能与9月11日的袭击有关。

Going abroad in search of monsters to destroy won't save Americans from pandemics, but it does risk entangling the United States in a cold war with the world’s No. 2 power. We stand on the brink of an even more destructive and less justifiable mistake than the post-Sept. 11 crusade.

跑到国外打怪并不能使美国人免遭疫情侵袭,但这样做确实有可能使美国卷入与世界第二大国的冷战之中。与9·11之后的做法相比,我们濒于犯下一个更具破坏性、更不合理的错误的边缘。

On one level, the administration’s gambit looks like classically Trumpian bluster. Seizing on a grain of truth — China, at a minimum, covered up evidence of the outbreak and was too slow in sharing complete information with international health authorities — Mr. Trump seeks to avoid responsibility for a pandemic that the White House was slower still to take seriously. Even if it walks back its most extravagant claims, the administration could acquire a cudgel for the November election. The largest pro-Trump PAC is already calling Joe Biden “Beijing Biden,” laying a trap for him to either defend China or bash it harder than Mr. Trump. Either way suits the president.

在某种程度上,美国政府的策略看起来像是典型的特朗普咆哮风格。他抓住了一丝真相——中国对疫情有最起码的隐瞒、与国际卫生当局分享完整信息过慢——想极力避免为白宫应对不力负责。即使摈弃其最夸张的主张,为了11月的选情,特朗普政府也不愁没有棍棒。特朗普最大的后援团体——政治行动委员会(PAC)已经开始将乔·拜登(Joe Biden)称为“北京拜登”,这是一个陷阱——诱使他要么为中国辩护,要么比特朗普更严厉地批判中国。无论哪种方式,都正合总统的意。

Blaming China also emanates from Mr. Trump’s punitive vision of world affairs. Having vowed to turn the tables on an array of foreigners supposedly exploiting the United States, the Trump administration is now considering demanding reparations from China and suspending its sovereign immunity to allow it to be sued for virus-related deaths. Such measures would invite swift retaliation and untold lawsuits against the United States. They would also undermine the cooperation needed to develop and manufacture coronavirus treatments, to say nothing of worsening the economy.

归咎于中国也源于特朗普对世界事务的惩罚性看法。在誓言要扭转形势,对付据称是在剥削美国的一系列外国人后,特朗普政府现在正在考虑向中国索赔,并中止其主权豁免权,以便为病毒相关的死亡进行起诉。这些措施将招致迅速的报复和无数对美国的诉讼。这还将破坏开发和生产治疗新冠病毒药物所需的合作,更不用说经济恶化了。

The larger danger, however, goes beyond President Trump and predates the pandemic.

但是,更大的危险不止于特朗普,而且在疫情出现之前就已经存在了。

In recent years, China hawks have cited a cocktail of geopolitical fears, economic grievances and human rights violations as causes for alarm, leading some Obama administration veterans to arrive at the expansive conclusion that engagement with Beijing had failed. While balking at Mr. Trump’s trade war, much of the bipartisan establishment embraced his administration’s notion, laid out in the 2017 National Security Strategy, that China is a threat requiring a strategy of full-spectrum competition.

近年来,对华鹰派人士集合一系列地缘政治恐惧、经济不满和侵犯人权的行为大做文章,导致奥巴马政府的一些资深人士得出了与北京的接触已经失败的广泛结论。尽管对特朗普的贸易战犹豫不决,但两党大多数建制派都接受了他的政府在《 2017年国家安全战略》中提出的观点,即中国是一种威胁,需要一个全方位竞争的战略。

Last summer, several scholars warned that a “new cold war” between the superpowers could plunge the world into an intense military rivalry and thwart necessary cooperation against planetary threats like global warming, disease and deprivation.

去年夏天,几名学者警告,超级大国之间的“新冷战”可能使世界陷入激烈的军事对抗,并阻碍必要的合作来应对诸如全球变暖、疾病和贫困等全球威胁。

Then, in the autumn, the powers stepped back from the brink. Mr. Trump himself seemed more interested in making a trade deal than pursuing a geopolitical struggle. The American public had bigger worries than the China peril. In the presidential primaries, Democratic candidates talked more about ending interminable conflicts and tackling climate change than confronting China. But now the pandemic may be resurrecting the Cold War.

到了秋天,中美悬崖勒马。特朗普本人似乎对达成贸易协议更感兴趣,而不是进行地缘政治斗争。比起中国威胁,美国公众有更大的忧虑。在总统初选中,民主党候选人谈论的更多内容是结束没完没了的冲突以及应对气候变化,而不是与中国对抗。但是现在,疫情正在重新唤起冷战。

Democrats, and Republicans who truly put American security first, face a choice. Joe Biden in particular will decide whether to lead his party into Mr. Trump’s trap or play a different game. Attempting to out-hawk far-right hawks failed Democrats in the war on terrorism, leaving Mr. Biden with the stain of having supported the Iraq war. More important, a bipartisan addiction to military action and fearmongering failed the country.

真正把美国安全放在首位的民主党人和共和党人面临着一个选择。尤其是乔·拜登,他将决定是带领他的政党栽入特朗普的陷阱,还是换一种策略。在反恐战争中,试图采取比极右翼鹰派还要鹰派的民主党人辜负了自己的政党,给拜登留下了支持伊拉克战争的污点。更重要的是,两党对于军事行动和制造恐慌的热衷辜负了国家。

Mr. Biden now has the opportunity to show he learned from past mistakes by speaking out against an unnecessary cold war with a power strong enough to endanger Americans’ security and well-being. Decades from today, the pandemic should be remembered as the crucible of effective international cooperation against 21st-century threats. So far, it looks more like we are choosing to make the threats worse and create new perils.

拜登现在有机会通过反对一场不必要的冷战——其威力足以危及美国人的安全和福祉——来表明自己已经从过去的错误中吸取了教训。从今往后的几十年,这场疫情应被视为一场严峻的考验,以国际合作有效制止了21世纪的威胁。到目前为止,我们似乎更像是选择把威胁变得更严重,并制造新的风险。

Rachel Esplin Odell(@resplinodell)是昆西治国方略研究所的研究员,也是哈佛大学肯尼迪学院贝尔弗科学与国际关系中心的国际安全研究员。Stephen Wertheim(@stephenwertheim)是昆西治国方略研究所的研究与政策副主任,也是哥伦比亚大学萨尔茨曼战争与和平研究所的研究学者。
翻译:邓妍
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