NYT: Xi’s Warm Embrace of Putin in China Is a Defiance of the West

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习近平与普京贴面拥抱,无视西方压力坚定与俄罗斯结盟
Xi’s Warm Embrace of Putin in China Is a Defiance of the West

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DAVID PIERSON 2024年5月20日

Days after returning from a trip to Europe where he was lectured about the need to rein in Russia, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, used a summit with President Vladimir V. Putin to convey an uncomfortable reality to the West: His support for Mr. Putin remains steadfast.
在访欧期间,中国领导人习近平被告诫需要约束俄罗斯,回国几天后,他利用与普京的峰会向西方传达了一个令人不安的现实:他对普京的支持仍然坚定不移。

Mr. Xi’s talks with Mr. Putin this week were a show of solidarity between two autocrats battling Western pressure. The two leaders put out a lengthy statement that denounced what they saw as American interference and bullying and laid out their alignment on China’s claim to self-ruled Taiwan and Russia’s “legitimate security interests” in Ukraine.
习近平与普京的会晤是两位专制领导人团结一致对抗西方压力的表现。他们发表了一份长篇幅的联合声明,谴责了在他们看来来自美国的干涉和欺凌行为,并阐述了他们在中国对自治台湾的主权主张以及俄罗斯在乌克兰的“正当安全利益”等问题上的一致立场。

They pledged to expand economic and military ties, highlighted by Mr. Putin’s visit to a cutting-edge Chinese institute for defense research. Mr. Xi even initiated a cheek-to-cheek hug as he bade Mr. Putin farewell on Thursday after an evening stroll in the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound in Beijing.
他们承诺进一步深化经济和军事联系,普京参观了一所中国尖端国防科研机构就凸显了这一点。周四晚上,在中南海散完步,习近平在跟普京告别时甚至主动贴面拥抱

Western leaders looking for signs of any meaningful divergence between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin, particularly on the war in Ukraine, would find none. Neither the risk of alienating Europe, a key trading partner needed to help revive China’s struggling economy, nor the threat of U.S. sanctions targeting Chinese banks that aid Russia’s war effort appeared to deter Mr. Xi’s embrace of Mr. Putin.
西方领导人正在寻找习近平与普京之间存在任何重大分歧的迹象,特别是在乌克兰战争问题上,但他们一无所获。无论是疏远欧洲的风险,还是美国对帮助俄罗斯战争努力的中国银行实施制裁的威胁,似乎都无法阻止习近平对普京的支持。欧洲是帮助中国重振陷入困境的经济所需的重要贸易伙伴。

“The overarching goal of both Putin and Xi is to fight back against what they perceive as their existential enemy, which is the United States and the U.S.-led international order,” said Alicja Bachulska, an expert on Chinese foreign policy at the European Council on Foreign Relations. For China, “Yes, there are tensions with the West, but these tensions won’t lead to any kind of qualitative change in the way China has been approaching Russia and the war in Ukraine.”
“普京和习近平的首要目标都是反击他们所认为的生存之敌,即美国和以美国为首的国际秩序,”欧洲外交关系委员会的中国外交政策专家阿莉恰·巴胡尔斯卡说。对中国来说,“是的,与西方存在紧张关系,但这些紧张关系不会导致中国对待俄罗斯和乌克兰战争的方式发生任何质的变化。”

Put another way, analysts said, Mr. Xi has already priced in the potential sanctions and tariffs as an acceptable cost for his strategic partnership with Russia. To Mr. Xi, Mr. Putin is an indispensable friend helping reshape the global order in China’s favor. And the more Washington pushes back — including on trade issues such as the latest tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles — the more Mr. Xi feels validated about his choices.
分析人士表示,换句话说,习近平已经把潜在的制裁和关税计入了他与俄罗斯战略协作伙伴关系的可接受成本。对习近平来说,普京是一个不可或缺的朋友,可以助他重塑有利于中国的全球秩序。而华盛顿的反应越激烈——包括最近对中国电动汽车征收关税等贸易问题——习近平就越是觉得自己的选择是正确的。

“Moscow’s strategic value to Xi only strengthens as geopolitical competition with the United States becomes more intense,” said Jude Blanchette, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
战略与国际研究中心的中国问题专家白明(Jude Blanchette)表示:“随着与美国的地缘政治竞争变得更加激烈,莫斯科对习近平只会更具战略价值。”

What is paramount to Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin is what they call the “democratization of international relations” — essentially the erosion of U.S. dominance and the empowering of nonaligned countries and rogue states to coalesce around their common grievances toward the West.
对习近平和普京来说,最重要的是他们所谓的“国际关系民主化”,其实质就是削弱美国的主导地位,以及增强不结盟国家和流氓国家的力量,使它们围绕对西方的共同不满而联合起来。

Their joint statement this week laid out their vision of a new global order. It was one in which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or U.S. security alliances in Asia would not interfere with their territorial claims to Ukraine or Taiwan; the United States could not bully other countries with sanctions because the dollar would no longer be the world’s reserve currency for trade; and autocracies would have the right to rule “according to their own national conditions,” unimpeded by universal values like human rights and social equality.
双方在本周发表的联合声明阐述了他们构想中的全球新秩序。在这个秩序中,北大西洋公约组织或美国在亚洲的安全联盟不会干涉它们对乌克兰或台湾的领土主张;美国不能通过制裁欺凌其他国家,因为美元将不再是世界贸易储备货币;专制国家将有权“根据自己的国情”进行统治,不受人权和社会平等等普世价值观的约束。

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has intensified this bid to rewire the world. The war has emerged as a way for an axis of anti-Western countries to push back against the United States and its allies. Russia’s war machine is bolstered by Chinese semiconductors and other dual-use technologies; by North Korean missiles and shells; and by Iranian drones. The war has provided an opportunity for Russia, China, North Korea and Iran to deepen military coordination and evade sanctions by facilitating trade outside the reach of the U.S.-led financial system. That could prove useful in any future conflict with the United States.
俄罗斯入侵乌克兰加剧了这种重塑世界秩序的努力。这场战争已经成为反西方轴心反击美国及其盟友的一种方式。中国的半导体和其他军民两用技术、朝鲜的导弹和炮弹,以及伊朗的无人机都为俄罗斯的战争机器提供了支持。这场战争为俄罗斯、中国、朝鲜和伊朗提供了一个机会,来加强军事方面的协调,并通过促进美国主导的金融体系之外的贸易来逃避制裁。这在未来与美国的任何冲突中都可能被证明是有用的。

Mr. Xi may have had “questions and concerns” about the war in Ukraine early on, once it became apparent that Russia would not secure a rapid and decisive victory. He bristled when Mr. Putin hinted at using tactical nuclear weapons, a red line for China. And he has had the difficult — and some say, contradictory — task of trying to cast China as neutral on the war to maintain steady ties with the West, while also continuing to align with Moscow.
习近平可能很早就对乌克兰战争有“疑问和担忧”,因为俄罗斯显然无法迅速取得决定性的胜利。当普京暗示可能使用战术核武器时,他很生气,因为这触及了中国的底线。而且他面临着艰巨的——也有人说是矛盾的——任务,试图将中国塑造成战争问题上的中立国,以维持与西方的稳定关系,同时又继续与莫斯科保持一致。

But the tide may be turning for Mr. Xi. Russian forces are making advances around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, seizing momentum before Ukrainian forces can be resupplied by billions of dollars in arms from the United States. Both Ukrainian and U.S. officials have warned of dire consequences if Ukrainian forces continue to be outmanned and outgunned.
但对习近平来说,形势可能正在发生变化。俄罗斯军队正在向乌克兰第二大城市哈尔科夫推进,希望赶在乌克兰军队从美国获得数十亿美元的武器补给之前抢占先机。乌克兰和美国官员都警告,如果乌克兰军队继续在兵力和武器方面处于劣势,后果将不堪设想。

“The more the war in Ukraine veers in Moscow’s direction, the more Xi sees China’s backing of Russia as validated,” Mr. Blanchette said.
“乌克兰战争越是朝着莫斯科的方向发展,习近平就越认为中国对俄罗斯的支持是正确的,”白明说。

Meanwhile, the threat of European tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, a major concern for Beijing, may have lessened this week after Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, and Ulf Kristersson, the Swedish prime minister, warned against following the United States in imposing duties on the Chinese automobiles. Mr. Kristersson said it was “bad to dismantle global trade,” highlighting the divisions within Europe about how to handle China.
与此同时,欧洲对中国电动汽车征收关税的威胁本周可能有所减轻,此前德国总理肖尔茨和瑞典首相克里斯特松警告,不要效仿美国对中国汽车征收关税。欧洲对中国电动汽车征收关税是北京方面的一个主要担忧。克里斯特松说,“破坏全球贸易是不好的,”这凸显了欧洲内部在如何处理中国问题上的分歧。

“The idea of economic retaliation against China is very scary for many European decision makers,” said Ms. Bachulska of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “There is definitely a mental shift developing in European capitals that China is a strategic rival, but it isn’t necessarily translating into an ability or political willingness to act.”
“对许多欧洲决策者来说,对中国进行经济报复的想法非常可怕,”欧洲对外关系委员会的巴胡尔斯卡说。“欧洲各国政府肯定正在出现一种心态的转变,认为中国是一个战略竞争对手,但这并不一定转化为采取行动的能力或政治意愿。”

Mr. Xi’s seemingly ironclad backing of Mr. Putin, no matter what it might cost China in its relations with the West, points to how his focus on building an authoritarian partnership to counter American economic and ideological might has overshadowed China’s growth agenda, analysts say. This could be a grave and shortsighted miscalculation.
分析人士表示,习近平看起来是铁了心要支持普京,不管这会给中国与西方的关系带来什么代价,由此可见他看重的是建立威权主义的伙伴关系,从而对抗美国的经济和意识形态实力,这方面的重要性已经盖过了中国的增长议程。这可能是一个严重的、目光短浅的误判。

“Xi thinks this is a good trade for China. He’s exchanging a United States he can’t control with an isolated, declining Russia that he can,” wrote Michael Schuman, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
“习认为这对中国来说是笔好买卖。他正在把他控制不了的美国换成他能控制的、日益孤立而衰落的俄罗斯,”大西洋理事会的非常驻高级研究员迈克尔·舒曼写道

“The problem is that Xi is exchanging ties to a twenty-five trillion dollar economy with the advanced technology China needs for a two trillion dollar economy that’s not much more than a gas station,” he added. “It’s not a great bargain.”
“问题是,习近平正在把一个拥有中国所需要的先进技术的25万亿美元经济体换成一个分量比加油站大不了多少的2万亿美元经济体,”他补充道。“这笔买卖并不划算。”

For the partnership to remain strong, Mr. Putin will have to stay in power and stave off a humiliating defeat in Ukraine. Mr. Xi will probably do as much as he can to back Mr. Putin, but he will ultimately be guided only by China’s best interests.
要想保持牢固的伙伴关系,普京就必须继续掌权,避免在乌克兰遭遇耻辱性的失败。习近平可能会尽其所能地支持普京,但他最终只会以中国的最大利益为原则。

Natasha Kuhrt, a security expert at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, said Mr. Xi was preparing for all outcomes in Ukraine. If Russia wins, he will offer to help reconstruct Ukraine, as outlined in China’s 12-point peace proposal last year, a document widely dismissed in the West for being insincere and focused only on protecting Russian interests.
伦敦国王学院战争研究系的安全专家娜塔莎·库尔特说,习近平正在为乌克兰战争的所有结果做准备。如果俄罗斯获胜,他将提出帮助重建乌克兰,就像中国去年提出的12点主张一样。西方普遍认为那份文件缺乏诚意,只关注保护俄罗斯的利益。

But if Russia loses, Mr. Xi will need to distance himself from Mr. Putin to avoid dragging down China’s global status.
但如果俄罗斯输了,习近平就需要与普京保持距离,以免拖累中国的全球地位。

“Whatever happens, China will try to make sure it is pole position,” Ms. Kuhrt said. “If it seems like Russia is going to be defeated, China will put some distance between itself and Moscow. It doesn’t want to be shackled to a corpse.”
“无论发生什么,中国都会设法确保自己处于优势地位,”库尔特说。“如果看起来俄罗斯即将败北,中国将与莫斯科拉开一些距离。它不想被绑在一具尸体上。”

 

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