bookmark_borderSinica Podcast – “liberal” Chinese Trump supporters

这个问题困扰我很久。之前我埋头看了一坨文章,然后自己写了一个心得。我的结论是,liberal 理想是很困难的,很多人没有真正接受 liberalism,出了个川普就感觉解放了,因此当他是救世主。另外 liberalism 我感觉也是个 spectrum,并不是非黑即白的,对于一些人不够 liberal 的方面,应该予以帮助,但是 cancel culture 很容易 alienate 他们。

前周的 Sinica Podcast 讨论这个问题,听得我感觉醍醐灌顶。在此记录一下节目里说的。

Yao: 中国的 liberal 支持川普现象,不是 “敌人的敌人是我朋友” 策略,因为他们支持川普的时候贸易战什么的都没开始呢。也不是 neo-liberalism affinity,你看像郭于华这样的为劳工争取权益的教授,你不能说她是 neo-liberalist。这个现象要用灯塔现象解释:

Political beaconism: 中国的自由派,以美国为榜样。他们其实是有意无意地 sanitize 了美国的情况。结果现在美国左派不给中国作榜样,尽在自我批评,这让中国自由派不能向中国人宣传民主了。所以看到川普批评美国左派他们很支持。

Civilizational beaconism: 清朝末年中国人最早接触西方的时候,和先进科技一起接受的是当时的殖民主义思想。你看梁启超的文章可以看到白人至上主义。然后经过一个世纪的战争和政治动荡,中国的人文学科没有得到发展,中国的思想界从来没有反思(甚至意识到)殖民思想的问题。因此很多中国知识分子支持西方的右派,觉得穆斯林移民到欧洲是很可怕的事情。

林垚还分析了白左这个词的用法。他以《三体》的读者推广了 “白莲花” 说法,指出中国人反对 political activism 经常是和厌女联系在一起的。白左这个词还有一个隐含的意思就是要搞这些只有白人可以。(因此在网上用来骂中国人很有效。)

我觉得他的分析太有道理了。虽然我常常看到 “白左”,我没有想得这么清楚过。另外我有时候会看见 “灯塔国” 这个说法,一直不确定它的含义和来源。“白莲花” 也是我偶尔会看到感觉是对女性不友好的词,从来没有查过是什么意思。我对网上的用语的理解一直是很脱节的,后来有了 GFW 之后我被迫不太上外网了,渐渐对一些词熟悉了一些。但是我的理解果然还是很缺乏。林垚这样又理解,又能以正常讨论的思路分析的,实在太少见了。他是怎么做到能呆在微信群里看 pro Trump 阴谋论而不和人争论然后爆炸的呢?

下面是我的……这是什么?这不是 transcription,是不够精准的 transcription,反正就是记录吧。

主持人:K – Kaiser Kuo; J – Jeremy Goldkorn. 嘉宾: Y – 林垚; I – Ian Johnson.

K: What is Liberalism in the Chinese context?

J: Liberal in the US context means a range of people from Joe Biden to Chomsky (?). But in the rest of the world it has a much limited meaning.

I: In the US, liberal often means dissidents. But simply being against the CCP doesn’t mean you are a liberal. You can be against the government for a number of reasons. It can simply be the love of freedom, and less government control, which is the classical liberalism. One of the things that unites a lot of these people is contrarianism. They are skeptical of the perceived wisdom. They want to support the person who is most troublesome. They think there is always another side to things.

Y: In Europe liberal has a more right leaning meaning than in the US. In China, ‘自由派’ basically we can define it a bit more broadly. In China, I think generally liberalism consists of a few beliefs: belief in constitutional right, belief in competitive multi-party electoral system. I think these two are shared among all Chinese liberalism. There are other particular beliefs, aversion to Mao-ist planned economy, they believe in the market economy, but still thinks some government control is necessary. Another trait of Chinese liberalism is being against narrow-minded or military Chinese nationalism, who assert that it’s China’s time to rise etc..

J: What are some egregious examples of Chinese intellectuals actively favoring Trump now? Who are some of the critics of the CCP that are in favor of Trump?

Y: For example 郭于华, a professor of Tsinghua University, who I admire very much, has supported Trump since 2015 since he announced his running for the presidency. She has been fervently critical to the CCP for many years. She isn’t someone you would describe as neo-liberalism or conservative because she has been advocating for worker’s rights, independent worker’s unions, greater transfer of wealth to the lower class for many years. Another example, Xiao Han, a legal scholar at 政法大学, who recently came out as pro-Trump. He said the turning point is the Hunber Biden hard drive, which made him think the US media is covering up things. Those are the two examples that come to my mind.

K: 郭于华 is a staunch support of 许章润, so it’s very surprising.

I: Yes I know her pretty well. I did a Q&A with her for the New York Review of Books. I was also surprised. I think in her case, there is a little bit of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’. She and people like her think that at last the US is awake. Anything that deals the CCP a body blow is good. I think I sort of understand her. But also I don’t understand why she supports someone who is fundamentally anti-democratic. You can support his policies towards China, but you don’t have to support him stock and barrel. The thing that is the most troubling or perplexing is the need to go in whole and hard in support of someone.

K: May I ask a question: why does it matter that some many Chinese intellectuals disproportionally favor Trump?

I: It says something about the intellectual discourse in China, about the poverty of debate in China. Of course you have so many people support Trump in America. Many smart American also voted Trump. (K: name me one.) Maybe also it says a degree of desperation to see people like 郭于华 support Trump. There are other things. Love of conspiracy theories, and also a perverse contrarianism, in some way it’s healthy but also destructive.

Y: I think it matters at least in two ways for China and for the US. Intellectuals are important agencies for public discourses. They invent the terms, set the agendas of discussion, they legitimize certain concepts and ideas, and they steer the direction of the public’s social and political thought. In China, when public intellectuals speak in favor of such a failure, they quickly undermines liberalism in China. For example the ordinary Chinese citizen/netizens, seeing the complete failure of the handling of the pandemic, have been quick to mock the Chinese liberals who are in favor of Trump. In the future if there is opportunity of change in China, the younger generation can ask the liberals that why should we support you who support a destroyer of the US democracy?

J: A pretty good question.

Y: In the future we may face a choice of the CCP on the one hand and on the other hand the degenerated liberalism who supported Trump. For the US, I think it is also important. Part of the effect we have seen this year we have seen the Epoch Times and Apple Daily spreading misinformation. How that began can be found in the larger transformation in the Chinese public discourse. A lot of 自媒体 has internalized the misinformation and join force in report the US election this year and maybe be recruited by 郭文贵 or the Epoch Times. The effect shows. So I think the butterfly effect of the Chinese intellectuals is really huge. We may haven’t seen its full effect at this moment but a few years down the road it will be disastrous.

J: Can you talk about the various explanations you have put forward and why you find them unsatisfying? Let’s start with this, Yao, what is insufficient about the ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’? I can understand that it is satisfying to hear Trump say ‘the CCP is the devil’ when previous administrations would mince their words.

Y: It is one of the hypothesis that I rejected in my paper. I don’t think this tactical explanation is satisfying. If you look into the early endorsements by the Chinese intellectuals since 2015 and 2016, you realize that they were not talking about Trump’s attitude towards China, or the trade war which hadn’t happened yet. They were talking about political correctness, that BLM had gone too far. 孙立平 another sociology professor at Tsinghua University wrote an article comparing Trump with 邓小平 in the late 2017 or early 2018. He says there are two greatest political experiment in human history so far, one is 改革开放 which saved and revived China, the other is Trump’s anit-political correctness war, which will save and revive the US.

K: So you are saying prior to China becoming an issue at all, they were already on board with Trump. Another explanation is the neo-liberalism affinity argument – those who don’t want planned economy finds affinity with neo-liberalism. There is a really important paper by Yiqing Xu and Jennifer Pan that look at how these ideas cluster, how in China and other countries that there is a clustering of certain political values and pro-market values, which is classic neo-liberalism. Why is that not a satisfactory explanation for this pro-Trump phenomenon we are seeing?

—[end of sitting one]—

Y: Yiqing is my friend and I like their work very much, but I disagree with that conclusion. Their questionnaire is designed by random netizens including myself. We put the questions to ordinary citizens, therefore that questionnaire cannot be used in analyzing intellectuals, who might have different understandings and better able to decouple different dimensions. If the conclusion is that Chinese liberals are neo-liberals, I think only some of them have the pro-market attitude from their lived experience, but it cannot be over-generalized. For example 郭于华, 孙立平 are not neo-liberals. 孙 wrote many articles advocating northern Europe model welfare system. Even for those who says we need more privatization, we need to understand how they are neo-liberals. Maybe their support for Trump is the same reason for their becoming neo-liberals.

J: Ian, let me put a question to you. It seems that the neo-liberalism argument might come from a sense that what we are seeing now with these Chinese Trump fans is a lot like what we saw in Poland and Czech Republic and then Slovakia after the cold war, where many of the liberals who enjoyed support of the US turned out to hold some surprising beliefs that did not sit so well with the notion of the golden liberals of Chapel Hill. You also saw this with some of the Russian dissidents. Ian, you were reporting from Berlin at the period. Does that strike you as similar?

I: I think it’s hard for people including us to escape the thinking we are brought up with. I think among the Chinese intellectuals, a lot of the arguments are very ad-hoc, not tested very well. What I’m saying is very unproveable hypothesis but it has a real effect on someone if they’ve never read or have a reliable benchmark information on stuff. I think it’s hard for people who even come up with a coherent argument. If you think of 郭于华, who is a very intelligent person and did some first rate work. But sometimes the lack of reliable facts at their disposal because for them everything is up in the air, open for debate. There is no real hard facts they feel they can rely on, so it leads them down these weird blind alley I find. (K: it sound like you are describing American Trump supporters.) Yes I see a huge similarity, these people don’t read newspapers, and someone tried to advance that, there is no reliable information. If you are in China, what is the reliable newspaper you are going to read? If you are in the US, well you can read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, read a couple of other things to get different points of view. Of course they are all biased, but there is some basic factual basis to them. But in China, what are you going to read? What newspaper is based in reality and decent fact? Everything is swimming in a sea of bullshit. You use intuition to figure things out, you triangulate things against your lived experience. It’s hard for [the Chinese intellectuals] to get real information, and it it leads them to this weird intellectual gymnastics.

K: Yao, your paper says it’s not tactical, it’s not the neo-liberalism affinity, it’s actually this phenomenon of ‘beaconism’. You talk about ‘川化’. You talk about two types of beaconism, the political and the civilizational. What are these and how they work at this metamorphosis?

Y: Political beaconism is the kind of psychological mechanism that grows out of Chinese liberal’s collective lived experience of Maoism and later the collective memory of it. At the time of Reforming and Opening, they had already suffered so much during the Cultural Revolution. They were opening their eyes to the western world. They internalized this black and white contrast between China and the West political regime. They intentionally or unintentionally internalized the rhetorical strategy that sanitize the actual western democracies. The US is the major contrast point. By sanitize I mean they allow small problems in the US democracy as no system is perfect, but they do not admit any major failure on the US part. So when the US self criticize, for example the systematic racism, the Chinese liberal intellectuals recoiled. Such self criticism can be taken advantaged by the CCP. How can they preach democracy to China if the US has systemic problem? Because of their experience, the Cultural Revolution is the most readily available vocabulary for them. When they see BLM tearing down the confederacy monuments, they see the CR ‘破四旧’. Political correctness is of course ‘狠斗私心一闪念’. They reconstruct the US events with their CR vocabulary, which distorted their understanding of the US politics. They are frustrated with the US intellectuals for their owning of the issues. With Xi, the Chinese intellectuals are feeling more and more suffocated. They hoped the western intellectuals would do something. But they are prioritizing self criticism. And they sided with Trump in their criticism of the western intellectuals.

K: What about civilizational beaconism?

Y: When we look at contemporary Chinese political thought, we need to go back to the late Qing Dynasty when China first encountered the western world. The Chinese intellectuals were shocked by how scientifically advanced the western world was. They wanted to learn from the west. They gobbled everything the west offered. Unfortunately it was also the time when colonialism was on the rise in the West. If you look at Chinese intellectual at the time, for example 梁启超 wrote that the white is the best, the black is the worst, the yellow people can be as great as the white people. Over the next century the development of social sciences and humanities in China has been largely stalled. There has not been the reckoning of the racist past. Fast forward to the present, the Chinese intellectuals both liberals and non-liberal nationalists still have colonial racism internalized. They think the European countries shouldn’t take muslim immigrants because that will destroy the western civilization. So MAGA really hits home for them. There is a small distinction among Chinese intellectuals between the liberals and nationalists. The Chinese liberal thinks the west is the best, but hopes that China will rise and join the west and be the best civilizations in the world, and keep the inferiors (blacks and muslims) in check. The non-liberal nationalists fantasize a moment that China could replace the west to take the top of the hierarchy. But they don’t want the west to be brought down by inferior races.

K: You don’t have to look at May Fourth era to find Chinese liberal being racists, look at 1989 He Shang you will still find it. Let’s talk about political correctness. Ian, why is political correctness such a fixation for Chinese intellectuals?

I: I think many people see this as a way to force people to have certain viewpoints that you have to do things a certain way. In China many people are told to think in a certain way. For Chinese intellectuals think this is a fundamental problem. They want to break free of these straight jackets, the correct way of thinking and doing things. For example in the American academia, you have to have a tag in your email to tell people how to refer to you. You are under pressure to do that now. It’s a typical issue when you take your own experience and apply it elsewhere.

J: Before we get into Yao’s piece, let’s talk about 白左. What does it mean? How is it used? Why is the anti-白左 congregated around 知乎? Yao could you give some background on this?

Y: 白左 is literally white lefties, I think first used on 知乎 to describe the social justice activism in the west. Those who cared about the plight of the refugees. I think the term was first popularized in 2015 during the European refugee crisis. 左 is derogatory in the Chinese context, meaning that you care about equality without any consideration of feasibily etc. 白 white has a connotation in Chinese slangs meaning pure but naive 白莲花、傻白甜. Also 白 has a racial connotation that the white people can be naive because they are white, the political agency of black and brown people is eliminated by using this term. Every social justice proposal must come from white people. However naive they are, they are the people who have the ideas and agencies, they can act, they are coming to save the black and brown people. But they save them in the wrong way. They make it worse.

K: 白 in 白左 alternatively means 白痴, a matching term by the conservative is lib-tard.

Y: I think that was later added. Before it was popularized, it means white people. Also 白莲花. If you read 三体, which popularized the image of a woman Cheng Xin, who was designated by earth people as the savior but was so naive and innocent and inadvertently destroyed the earth. The real hero was some male guy. Readers of 三体 quickly invented a term 白莲花 to describe Cheng Xin. It is obviously misogynistic. This attitude against social activism is tied to misogyny in the Chinese discourse.

K: And 白左 is no longer used to describe white people, it is now also used against people in China.

Y: Yes.

I: I wanted to add something. When I hear this criticism, it reminded me also when I was living in Europe, just after the refugee crisis, I went to the US and talked to some Trump voters who said, what a disaster this refugee crisis is, letting these refugees in. I felt it really wasn’t actually a disaster. I sensed something almost like jealousy, that you are able to do something that we are not able to do. There seems to be some parallel here.

J: Shouldn’t we talk about the piece you wrote for 澎湃思想市场? It is translated and published by David [] “Reading the China Dream”. Your piece is about the conversation in Shanghai involving four public intellectuals discussing the BLM movement. Can you give us a sense of how prevalent this is even among people who do not support Trump? [你们 show notes 怎么网站上没有啊,apple podcast 网页上也没有。]

Y: Yes. Among four professors in China who are anti-Trump, who you might call true liberals in China, they have been taking in and using the term political correctness and they have been falling prey to this way of framing public discourse. I think that is one of the defining features of the Chinese internet. People keep talking about those terms and framing discussion with them. Political correctness, cancel culture etc. despite the vast difference between the Chinese and US context. Political correctness is on top of their minds. Whenever there is and argument on the internet, one party is quick to accuse the other to use political correctness to suppress the other side’s opinion.

K: Ian, what explains the eagerness so many Chinese intellectuals use this term? When they see tearing down statues they say ah they are red guards. What strikes me is that so many of their arguments are directly from the US. They are quick to take in Jordan Peterson and American Alt-Right websites. Cultural Revolution experience isn’t sufficient to explain this.

I: Yeah, it’s always interesting what one culture takes from another. When the Chinese look at our culture, they seem to take the least convincing part of it. They don’t take the brightest from the west. Look at Ai Wei Wei, the snarky way of taking down people. Of course it is all around the world. There aren’t peer review journals or magazines where reasonable opinion makers will debate issues. It’s all in social-media-sphere now. So if you can poke someone in the eye, that’s the only way to win argument. It comes across well. It’s a cocktail party debate.

J: We’ve already talked about watching them watching us. Let’s add another layer. Ian, Yao, you must have got quite a lot of response from Chinese or Chinese Americans about your recent work on this topic. What do they say about what you said about what they say about American politics?

I: I can tell you one thing. I interviewed for my piece Li Rei’s daughter Li Nanyang before. She’s a real pro-Trumper. I’m probably the perfect example of 白左 in their eyes. White, 傻瓜 type of guy, which is probably true. 🙂 That is one reaction I got.

K: Li Rei was a long march surviver, who was quite high in the political life in China and became sort of a dissident.

I: He championed the history of China and was one of the patron saints of China through the Ages. His daughter sort of kept the flame alive. She’s living temporarily in the US but she’s a Chinese citizen. She is somewhat representative of the Chinese left thinkers.

J: What about you Yao? Because we can’t blame your whiteness.

Y: I’ve been receiving response of two kinds as you can imagine. One kind is like “thank you so much for explaining this. this has been puzzling me for years, and finally I see a convincing explanation”. The other kind is “you are a piece of shit, you are wumao sent by the CCP to defame the great Trump. When Trump is reelected, you will get deported”.

K: In your piece you said the outcome of this election will determine whether the political beaconism or the civilizational beaconism is stronger. What is your conclusion now that the election result is known?

Y: Now the pro-Trump intellectuals are falling into two camps, they are even fighting each other now. One camp says that let’s accept the lost and uphold and support American democracy. The other camp which I think is much larger still refuses to accept the lost and circulating conspiracy theories. I’m having a lot of fun as I’m in several pro-Trump groups to just observe what they are saying. They come up with a different theory every day.

K: One more question for you before we go back to Ian. You say that younger Chinese will be less persuaded by Trump. But they are more nationalistic. Did you coin that phrase ‘civilization vindictiveness’? [Y: yes] What will the balance be?

Y: I will be cautiously pessimistic. I think within the liberal camp, younger liberals is less receptive to Trump. But the liberal camp is shrinking. Not only because of the disastrous performance of the liberal camp this time, but also because of the larger environment, the indoctrination from very early on in primary schools, and censorship etc.. You can see the rise of wolf warrior generation, who are also tech savvy, and they know how to appropriate the liberal top points and turn them into backing nationalist policies and ideologies. I think in the future we will see less this bizarre liberal supporting Trump phenomenon but a strong illiberal camp firmly against liberalism in China.

K: You are absolutely right about the appropriation. Cui Zhiyuan did that.

J: Ian, a big question for the future, what will dissident intellectuals do now given that their support for Trump will not endear them to the Biden’s team. Do you think they will change with the change of the political administration?

I: I don’t think they will change. Trump may fade in a year or two, but they are too … to change. That poses a question for the Biden administration, who they are going to help? Obviously there are victims of human rights violations in China, the Uighurs etc.. Some of the affinity is no longer there.

K: It’s going to be 滕彪 and 滕彪 and 滕彪. He’s the only one there now. That’s not true. There are still others. Like Yao for example.

K: Thank you both for this conversation.

Yao’s recommendation: book by Chen Yinghong, racism in China (correspond to my civilizational beaconism). Antonin Scalia and American Constitutionalism. How American conservatism used legal rhetorics to advance their partisan goals.

Ian’s recommendation, an article in Vanity Fair about political elite with Clinton, the corruption that explains the rise of Trump. Forbidden Memory, Tibetan during the Cultural Revolution, photos accompanied by long essays.

Lin Yao’s podcast 时差.


今天是周六,所以有时间随手记。第一个想说的节目是这周的Sinica里,采访了香港大学的一位教授,让他讲讲在校园的角度来看待反送中的那么多事情的。我本来一直以为暴力升级是夸张的新闻,或者完全是警方的挑衅造成的。很高兴Sinica的嘉宾纠正了我的理解,因为别人说我都不会相信的。即使如此,我一开始听的时候还是有点cynical,不是很相信。我觉得,即使是真的,也是因为正义的需求一直没得到回应,很可以理解。而且你看看mouthpiece都是怎么说话的,就让人觉得对待北京不能松懈一点点。Kaiser问,那么北京有没有做对什么,嘉宾Reyes教授说,他们没有采取什么措施是做对了。听到这里我简直要掀桌了。Kaiser反问,是不是they can’t do anything right? 我很想回答是的。真的让我转变态度的是Reyes后来说,有一次就在他的学校里,有长辈老师出来对学生说,you are better than this。是的。如果我是香港学生的话,我也会这样想的。但是我现在是第三方,所以我觉得谴责学生方面的暴力,是在高标准要求受害者。

第二个想说的节目是最近被推荐的百灵果新闻最近一期节目,采访了一个职业年龄已经二十几年的台湾记者范琪斐,谈了很多这二十多年来的变化。我就想说一点,里面她说在美国cover 2016年总统选举之后,她和很多左派意识到,像星战里面一样,我们一直不面对黑暗面(忽略全球化后受到伤害的人),所以黑暗面上位了。我觉得这个比喻特别精辟啊!不过,我并不是很赞同她的一些观点。和前面那个在香港的教授的观点联系在一起想,我觉得他们对CCP的黑暗还是低估了。并不是希望贸易就会鼓励开放的。

百灵果是第一个我听了很喜欢的中文节目。之前试图听一天世界(感觉主持人有点snob)、声东击西、迟早更新,都听不下去。百灵果最近在读Wild Swan,也是在我的想读列表上的,感觉要提上日程快点读起来,以便可以感受一下和一个节目同步读书的乐趣。

bookmark_borderDo you (still) believe in Capitalism?

看我起了这么好的标题,但实际上这只是一篇工作日晚上随便写的日志。就是刚才我听了这周的Sinica Podcast,听到了最动摇我对资本主义的信任的论点。提出这个论点的是嘉宾Evgeny Morozov。他说:资本主义的基本原则是,相信市场是调节分配资源最有效的手段。然而未来完全有可能有更有效的手段。本来资源是靠市场、资本、金钱的流动来调整的,但是大数据技术可能可以让我们绕过经济规律,直接更有效地调整社会资源。说到资本主义是在大家都获得知识的情况下运作,但实际上资本主义也经常靠无知来运作,我们不知道一次google搜索的费用(我们不知道房产泡沫)。

最近几年看到不少文章反思资本主义的,不是说反思资本主义对穷人的不利,而是反思资本主义是不是比社会主义优化,带来技术创新和全民富裕。说实话,所有指着中国的崛起说这是另一条更有效的道路的,我都是不同意的。中国的崛起是因为走了资本主义道路,而我觉得中国崛起最大的阻碍是如今偏离西方民主+资本主义的模式。最近看到Elizabeth Warren说要拆分硅谷大科技企业,第一次对她有了真正的兴趣,因为促进竞争应该是资本主义该做的事情。


另一个我的同龄人是斯诺登。昨天下午打开了他的自传后,一晚上都被抓住了。正好今天Morozov说了和斯诺登说的相反的观点。哦,其实并不是相反的,还是compatible的。我的思想经历和斯诺登比较像(请忽略我自大把自己和斯诺登相比),成长的年代经历了web 1.0。斯诺登写道:

In the early 2000s the Internet was still just barely out of its formative period, and, to my mind at least, it offered a more authentic and complete incarnation of American ideals than even America itself. A place where everyone was equal? Check. A place dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Check, check, check. It helped that nearly all the major founding documents of Internet culture framed it in termes reminiscent of American history: here was this wild, open new frontier that belonged to anyone bold enough to settle it, swiftly becoming colonized by governments and corporate interests that were seeking to regulate it for power and profit. The large companies that were charging large fees — for hardware, for software, for the long-distance phone calls that you needed back then to get online, and for knowledge itself, which was humanity’s common inheritance and so, by all rights, should have been freely available — were irresistible contemporary avatars of the British, whose harsh taxation ignited the fervor for independence.


维基百科上看,Morozov在2011年就说了因特网带来民主这个信念是很可笑的。我觉得他的论证很可靠:网络和其它技术一样,只是一种工具,可以被矛盾的双方利用。他觉得可笑的是很多人认为互联网这个东西的存在可以do our work for us,我们就不需要去uphold民主的大旗了,好像它是force of nature,不需要人工干预就能达成的一样。

关于forces of nature我还有一点有点哲学的想法。不过今天太晚了,我还要洗头,明天还要上班,就打住吧。最后,为了证明我脑子是一团浆糊,下面是一个叫做Evegeni’s Waltz的曲子。这个曲子是我第一次遇到这个俄国名字。


update:忘记写他说的资本主义信念是quasi-religious信念了。因为最近看宗教改革所以我其实有点想法。。另外,spotify widge怎么变得这么大!

bookmark_border记一个碎片关于Sinica podcast w\ 查建英 – activism in China

我觉得这一期节目很引人入胜。主要是因为这是我关心的话题吧!他们提到的moderate liberals(你直接说无能懦弱liberal好了),其实就是我和我的朋友们。这个华裔记者& activist家属的角度,就和以前那堆学者外交官什么的很不一样了,不再讨论美国应该怎样怎样(engage?decouple?)。对我来说这个角度挺惊喜的。

我就想记一个细节:他们提到了海外华人dissident内部吵架这么厉害。Kaiser还说最凶的吵架就是这些人里的了。这个问题一直困扰我,也没什么人可以讨论。查建英回答说,you are the mirror image of your enemy. 她说这句话的一瞬间我好像忽然明白了。感觉这个问题她显然有很深的了解(这种人我毕竟一个也不认识)。她说,在集权主义下的人,出来后自己也带有集权主义的味道,对人不信任和尽量去理解,看事情非黑即白,默认接受权力hierarchy等等。她说得很spontaneous,感觉她一定是个很好的作者(惭愧从来没看过她写的东西,她哥哥的名字听说过,但我没仔细了解过,就是因为以为是那种好斗但无用的dissident)。然后Kaiser说了一堆也很有道理,(但第一次觉得Kaiser说话的spontaneity被比下去了:))他说他听说就是这个制度下会真的表态反对,一般都是性格有这种倾向:egoistic或者好斗的之类的。查还说,在美国的华人有很多川普支持者呢!很多人自己是移民,却不同情穆斯林,甚至受不了metoo。我也第一次意识到,这种现象和“反华华裔移民爱内部吵架”是相关的现象。


“Well, [I respond] never in anger, as my mother told me. That would’ve be self-defeating. Always as an opportunity to teach. I did see myself as a kind of kindergarten teacher in those days. Because the judges didn’t think sex discrimination existed.”


bookmark_borderSinica Podcast – trade talks







bookmark_borderSinica 两位大使的采访


Jorge Guajardo在2007到2013年期间担任墨西哥驻华大使。David Mulroney在2009到2012年期间担任加拿大驻华大使,此前他有很丰富的和东亚打交道的经历。

关于态度改变。Guajardo大使说,他会出席一些记者招待会,一般都是很友好的soft ball question。那种招待会最后,总是会问他,你觉得中国能向墨西哥学习什么。他会回答,没有什么,我们是来增进贸易的,不是来授课的。在他任期的最后几年,他注意到这个最后的问题变成了:“你觉得墨西哥可以向中国学习什么?”他的回答还是,没有什么,我们不是来学习的。Mulroney大使说,有时候发生了什么摩擦,公开场合下,官员们会跟你讲party line,但是结束后他们往往会单独送你上车,这段路上会私下说几句客气话。但是也是在他的任期的最后一阵子,这个送你上车时的客气话没有了。

Guajardo说了一句别人说的话:Trump is not the President America deserves, but he’s the President China deserves. 他说他不赞成川普做的大多数事情,但是他觉得对中国的态度是有作用的。他不赞成美国退出巴黎公约,但是以前中国会说,你看你需要我们和你们在气候问题上合作;他不赞成美国直接和朝鲜谈判,但是现在在这件事上不需要看中国脸色也蛮好的。他还说中美贸易受阻后,其实对墨西哥是有好处的。在对中国的问题方面,别的国家都是采取投机态度,希望别人出头。如果英国和中国吵架,法国会想办法从中获利(换成别的国家亦然)。大家并不团结起来。而川普显然也不是build coalition的类型。


记完上面这些,再去看了一下官网的highlight,发现我的注意点和highlight重复率挺低的。这里面提到的我前面忘了提的我觉得有意思的只有墨西哥大使说,在川普之前,好像一直有一种默认的规则是墨西哥会和美国一起抵制华为。川普上任后墨西哥忽然不再抵制华为了。墨西哥本来就不认为自己的安全收到威胁。但是我觉得podcast里他并没有分析为什么。那么作为一个layman我想很可能是川普对墨西哥的态度(and the rest of the world except North Korea)让墨西哥觉得没必要配合美国了吧!这么说来,川普对中国的强硬态度得到的一点点成效也被在墨西哥的效果抵消了。

bookmark_borderSinica – Chas Freeman interview part1


podcast released on 8/17/18

仍然不是完整的transcribe。连着三星期听完后,觉得很有必要记录一下。这位嘉宾Chas W. Freeman的背景和经历也是非常丰富。听他说事情非常受益。当然他说的东西是out of depths of me。要记录对我挺有难度的。Kaiser和Jeremy讲到的很多东西我也都不知道。。


他的汉语讲得非常流利。在1972尼克松访华的历史性事件里,他是主要翻译员。中美恢复外交关系之后的1979年到1981年,他是State Department的director of Chinese affairs。然后81到84年他在美国驻华大使馆工作;93到93年是(国防部工作);他后来出任美国驻沙特阿拉伯大使,他的任期内萨达姆侵略了科威特。在奥巴马第一个任期时,他被提名担任Director of Intelligence Council,但是由于他坚持出版Mearsheimer的关于在美国的以色列lobby的影响力的书,早到了很多亲以色列的人士的反对,不得不退出,而这件事正好说明亲以色列派系在美国政治中很有影响力。Freeman大使目前是Senior fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institution for international and public affairs。他写了很多关于美国、中东的书,当然还有关于中国的书。

Kaiser: 我们今天当然就是来讲中国的。Freeman大使在这方面发表过很多。在我看来,对中国的最理想的态度是”informed empathy”。没有人比Freeman大使更embody我的这个理想。

Kaiser & Jeremy: 一般我们只和我们的嘉宾深入讨论一个话题,但是你的经历那么丰富,我们想要覆盖更多,我们这次录的节目会分两期播放。我们第一部分会讲如今的态势,中美双边关系。第二部分来讲讲你早起和中国的关系,特别是你在台湾的经历,你参与尼克松访华的事情,还有接下来两国建交时期的事情。

Kaiser: 让我们从我脑中第一个话题开始说起:美国对如今中国的崛起的反应让人担忧。你在今年2月的演讲中,说到美国针对中国的”strategy deficit”。你能不能解释一下你说缺乏战略是什么意思,你觉得美国针对中国应该要有什么战略?

Chas W. Freeman jr. : 战略是clear statement of objectives,然后可以针对这些目标来调度手里所有的资源,比如经济上的、军事上的、外交上的、信息上的各种资源。美国如今缺乏这个目标,所以美国国家的这么多资源现在完全没有协调。历史上中美关系转折很多。我们曾经发展出了非常互相依赖的经济;政治上我们一直还能相处,尽管本质上有很大的不同;文化上我们虽然大不相同,但互相都对对方有好奇;军事上出了80年代,两国关系非常差(80年代两国有过好几次军事合作,美国帮助人民解放军现代化,在阿富汗一起和入侵的苏联作战,中国也帮助美国更了解苏联的模式和技术以帮助美国提防苏联)。

Kaiser: 那么没有战略,是不是只有ad-hoc的行动?

Chas W. Freeman jr. : 不幸的是,现在每个方面两国都是互相有敌意的。政治上,美国对中国有敌意,原因可能是美国还没准备好不再是无可争议的最大国家;经济上,本来的互相依赖现在变成了贸易战争,而且是美国发起的,而且执行起来也非常没有重点,不给中国信号说美国想要什么,美国自己也看起来没有明确的目标;军事上两国还是互相敌对,都在备战,我并不是说战争就要开打了,而是两国互相有深深的猜忌。

Jeremy: 这个缺乏战略的问题,是川普独有的吗?我猜不是?有过不少人批评奥巴马和布什对中国也没有战略,他们注意力都在反恐上面了。

Chas: 我认为自从冷战结束之后,美国对中国的外交战略就开始随波逐流了。首先在冷战时期,我们有Kennan的containment策略。在这个策略上,美国的所有外交和别的行动,都致力于孤立围堵苏联,知道苏联解体。这个策略我们执行了四十几年,所以在不需要它了之后,我们已经不会有策略地思考了。冷战之后,我们的外交就变成discretionary的活动了,你想engage就engage,不想就不想,自己判断。所以做什么决定就被各种不同的意识形态的影响左右了。我们开始不太注重人权了,只要觉得不会被批就可以放松。我们发现在亚洲的影响力渐渐被中国夺走了而感到警觉。中国改开以来,我们的策略一直是想办法让中国融入到国际社会(注:应该意思是和中国交好是为了制衡苏联),后来我们没有新的策略。各部门的合作变得ad-hoc。所以在我看来川普上任时,中美关系并不是很好,当然他上台后加速了美国的国际地位下降,包括对中国的关系。

Kaiser: 奥巴马时期对中国提出过re-pivot策略。这不够成为战略是吗?(注:我大概基本没听懂问题)而且中国看来好像这策略就是一种containment。

Chas: 我觉得re-pivot有好几个问题。首先,中国带来的挑战是经济上的而不是军事上的。我们自从很久很久以前开始就在军事上把守亚洲。然而中国强大后,他们想要自己维护边境。这第一个问题是,我们用军事手法去应对经济挑战。其次,我们把守亚洲,并没有得到非常significant的资源。假如说60%的美国海军驻守在亚洲,这个priority到底是否有效?最后,和你提到的一样,美国这样做等于在给中国发送敌对信号,好像美国不想看到中国复兴。所以总结一下问题就是:军事投入太多,priority不对,还给中国发送不合适的敌对信号。

Kaiser: 那么中国做得如何?中国的战略是什么?有的人说中国只想建设小康社会,另一个极端是说中国想重新成为天朝。

Chas: 中国的文化一直强调谋略。我的经历来看中国人都更是谋略家,而不是tacticians。他们虽然很有战略,但是执行层面经常犯错。所以我认为中国是有战略的。我不觉得是称霸全球。我觉得中国目前在国际上地位上升,一部分是因为美国的退缩留下的余地,这一点多于中国的predatory instinct。一带一路就是战略,它的目标是把亚欧大陆连接起来。我认为中国人是在认为由于自己是最大的国家,所以一带一路建成后会在其中起关键作用。所以我的回答是,中国一方面想建设小康社会,另一方面又很想保卫自己。我觉得南海态势有很多保卫领土的意思。(注:我一直觉得南海问题是霸权。可能因为在我眼里国家就长着无赖的脸。)

Jeremy: 能不能请问一下,你觉得美国对中国的战略应该是怎样的,或者起码你觉得不应该是怎样的?

Chas: 考虑到如今的政治环境,双边关系已经取代了多边关系。在这个环境下,现实一点地说,选择范围很小。我认为二战之后美国建立起来的国际多边关系,给美国带来了不小的经济上的帮助。中国也是多边关系战略的产物。我觉得我们的战略应该是想办法使中国继续按照这个我们建立起来的多边关系的规则来运作。但是川普已经放弃了多边关系玩法。二战后美国取代了日本成为了东亚的军事力量。然而这种状况如今正在结束。从日本、南北韩、印尼、印度、越南这些国家的军事力量都发达起来了。二战后东亚的军事格局有空白,所以美国填补了。但如今美国应该像奥巴马说的那样,从背后来引导。这个地区的国家自己可以保卫自己、制衡中国这样的predatory力量。最后我还想说,如今世界的大问题:气候变暖问题、难民问题、国际秩序等等,这些事情都需要中美合作。没有中美合作这些事情都做不到。(注:忽然又想到我的阴谋论了:即使我的阴谋论不对,世界上的退步势力看到让川普这样的人当选可以造成多少退步、中美两个大国不合作等等,现在他们也应该知道支持川普对全世界的退步势力是多么有帮助)。所以我觉得尊重中国,让中国进入国际秩序的领导层,是非常有用的。我刚才说的这些够不够格算是一种战略我不确定。但目前的现实是我们没有战略没有计划,因此造成了很多负面的变化。(注:啊用尊重的态度来引导中国会不会有用?我现在很怀疑。)

Kaiser: 我觉得现在美国对中国的敌对,有很大一部分是针对中国的技术进步。现在的贸易战争在我看来不是针对钢铝,而是针对“中国制造2025”。我们有很多针对中国技术的负面报道,大数据不尊重隐私、在新疆采集生物信息等等等等。美国现在还要减少对某些科技领域的留学生签证。想想两三年前我们还很看不起中国的技术,认为都是抄袭。你觉得我们如今对中国的技术如此警觉有道理吗?如果没有你觉得我们为什么会这样反应过激?

Chas: 首先,中国的社会诚信系统,对于任何一个liberal的人来说都是非常可怕的事情。我认为中国想要做的事情是借鉴了李光耀在新加坡的成功:李光耀把一群完全符合孙中山说的“一盘散沙”的人转变成了一群有道德、有纪律、基本上很诚信、不腐败和富裕的社会。要把这种成功事迹在中国大陆这么大的范围内复制几乎不可能。但用大数据技术也许有希望。这个手段可能很可怕,但目标大概是可以的。(注:我再一次完全不同意。诚信系统只是想要更多手段监控你罢了。还可以看看哪里可以更多地压榨一下。)这个先放一边不说。问题是:我们应该对中国的技术水平感到紧张吗?我觉得是的。这个国家有1.6bl的人口,以后在技术领域工作的人数会比OECD国家的总和还多。我们可以质疑中国的教育质量。但是人口基数那么大,肯定有很多创业点子,是催生创新的温床。(注:最近出来的打击民企的政策他没料到吧?)美国总觉得中国的任何创新一定是哪里抄来的,这种想法很pathetic啊。中国历史上很长时期是创新的龙头,再次回到领头的宝座不是不可能。(注:又想起之前那篇文章里说,是时候比拼中央集权和分布式竞争哪个能在科技创新竞争中领先了。)那么剩下的问题是,为什么我们对此感到concerned。很简单,这是个地位的问题。自从1875年左右开始,美国就是世界最大经济体。我们在perchasing power parity这一项上我们已经输给了中国。更说明问题的是,如果你看实体工业产出,中国已经是美国的1.6倍。金融行业会误导人(原话是the currency translations are misleading)。保险bureaucrats、financial engineers、华尔街的各种各样的寄生虫,这些方面中国还没追上我们。在经济竞争中,后者帮助不大。financial engineering does not trump real engineering. 抱歉用了trump这个词。所以我们在说的是地位问题。中国是更大的经济体,以后更是如此。中国可以自主创新,包括在军事领域上。他们唯一没有创新的领域是政治领域。然而我们正在自毁我们在政治上的先进优势,所以中国还是很占便宜。我觉得我们感到担忧不是没有道理的。(其实我一开始想记录这个podcast是因为他随口提了说金融工程(在经济竞争中?)是没用的。有趣。然后没想到这个采访那么长啊啊啊。)

Jeremy: 你对中国制造2025的想法很特别。你能说说你觉得我们应该怎样应对中国制造2025吗?

Chas: 反正绝对不是关税。关税不会帮助我们的工业。限制签证也没用。关于签证,创新是在合作中产生的,而不是中国人说的“闭门造车”能达到的。限制中国留学生研究员对美国没好处。美国的长处一直是对外国人的openness。我们一直是脑力进口者。所以我觉得针对“中国制造2025”,我觉得正确的做法是研究这个政策,想办法和中国谈判达成一个合理的竞争机制。在这件事上,欧洲、日本、印度和我们有共同的利益。所以这又是个需要多边合作的问题,而不是单纯的中美双边关系。我们要接受没有什么能阻止中国成为一个更加创新的国家。

Kaiser: 我感觉吧,现在大家对中国科技发展这么反应过激,原因就如你在Interesting Times里描述的:大家把“科技进步以及市场经济运作和言论自由联系在一起了”。这其实是两个点,一个是集权国家居然也能有市场经济,另一个点是科技和言论自由,似乎如果你不知道8964事件你就不能写好程序。我们总是觉得我们的创新能力是我们得到的自由赋予的,你觉得这样有道理吗?

Chas: 就像说“大黄蜂不会飞”但实际上它们会一样,中国给我们带来的问题是挑战了我们的意识形态。我们认为自由是创新和经济发展的前提。这种想法显然是不符合历史的。纳粹德国、苏联、俄国就很创新【K:这几个例子的经济都不好吧?前两者被击败了,俄国现在在对抗中。】。只要科技交流的自由还在,就会有创新。在这方面我觉得中国正在犯错,比如说过分监管网络。另一些方面中国有优势,比如说在美国科技发展我们越来越受到宗教势力的阻碍。但是现在任何在中国做任何研究的人会发现,网络监管几乎无法突破,而且越来越受到更强大的管制。所以在中国做研究基本上是在不同的星球了。这对中国来说没好处。

Jeremy: Chas,你用词精准,这一点我很钦佩,特别是考虑到你是外交官。比如你今年在committee of 100上面说的话,毫不客气地说这届政府是被xenophobia、地方保护主义者、好战的军方,和chicken hawk militarists主导的【K:我乱翻然后跳过一些不了解的了就。。】。我特别喜欢这句话:To appease American (m-?) and to deal with a wealthy and powerful China, President Trump is experimenting with economic theories that appear to have been crow-sourced to right-wing talk radio and to know-nothing TV. 然而,你一定发现现在中国威胁论不仅是右派的观点,越来越是两党共识了?右派敌视中国很可以理解。你觉得民主党为什么也开始讨厌中国了?是不是和中国在国际上越来越霸道、在国内越来越集权有关?

Chas: 中国的确在国际上越来越assertive,或者我觉得应该说truculence。在国内越来越集权。我曾经观察了台湾社会的现代化过程,也是进进退退很不一帆风顺的。所以我觉得目前的illiberal趋势不是不可逆转的。我觉得还是可以希望中国的正在壮大的中产阶级能够扛住,抵抗这个趋势。我还是抱着希望,希望中国能发展得和我们的价值观更加compatible一些。【K:过十年发现,美国变成中国现在这个样子了!】都说每个不幸的家庭都有不一样的故事,每个美国的政治观点都有不同的敌对中国的原因。中国的人权状态,中国对待少数民族的做法。民主党当然有各种反对中国的理由。另外不要忘记,一直到最近,美国的labor movement一直是反对贸易、保护本国工作岗位的。而这个运动是民主党主导的,所以这也可以是民主党讨厌中国的理由。所以我们既有政治动力,又有意识形态信仰来讨厌中国。不仅是elites,如果你看民意调查会发现,对中国的反对大部分来自商业。比如知识产权问题等等。。。但我觉得一个主要的问题是,现在国防问题越来越烫手,美国的企业本来是可以为了商业利益来为中国说话的,但现在他们越来越不愿意介入国防问题。

Kaiser: Jeremy刚才提到了Christopher Wray提到的国防问题。你觉得,在中国越来越大力施加的影响力,和美国的应对这两者里,哪一个造成的破坏更严重?

Chas: 坦白地说,我觉得我们又走入了一个phase,和一战时期的Palmer Raids、二战时期对日本后裔的控制一样。在美国的华裔将会越来越受到歧视。这不是历史上的首例,但这很糟糕。关于中国施加影响力,我觉得这里有几个大家搞不清楚的地方。一个是统战工作,这个是针对中国人而不是外国人的,让这些中国人能够支持中国并且neturalize反对中国的(中国)人,不管ta在中国还是外国。另外还有一种针对外国人的influence operation,我觉得在这方面中国人做得非常差,影响力非常糟糕。他们正在进步。比如China Daily的确发布中国视角的文章,但他们根本没有什么影响力。我觉得大家在担心这个问题的原因,一方面是反对中国的言论总是会找一些内容,另一方面是在澳大利亚发生的事情,一些中国学生显然受到了统战工作的影响,越过了一些界线。我没看到这在美国发生。在美国的孔子学院基本上是语言学习机构,大部分学校也不允许它们参与学术。所以我一点也不担心被中国洗脑。比较有问题的是美国的过激反应。

Jeremy: 一个相关的问题:你觉得中国有没有在有意识地对外输出一个政治理念?如果有的话,你觉得这值得警惕吗?

Chas: 哦我觉得对外输出意识形态很正常,每个国家都是这样的。特别是美国,已经对外输出了两百年了。然而我并不觉得中国在试图对外输出他们的模式。我觉得“中国特色社会主义”非常中国特色,没办法加到别的国家上去。中国是个civilization state,而不仅是个nation state。也许中国取得的经济发展很吸引人,但是他们的手段真的没人能学。有趣的是,你要是问中国人,他们更喜欢新加坡的模式。

Kaiser: 哈哈。之前有个人对我说,美国和中国同样自大。美国认为自己的模式是最好的,大家都应该学他们;中国认为自己的模式是最独特的,没人能学。

Chas: 他说得没错。另外中国还有一个自大的点是,中国人认为只有自己是文明人,别人都是野蛮人。

Kaiser: 你在那个百人会上的讲话里有说:The administration’s indifference to China’s anxieties is a reminder that the greatest vulnerability of any nation are the blind spots that its arrogance creates. 我觉得你是apostle of informed empathy,就是这个意思。美国两党对对方的anxieties的indifference,我个人觉得,是造成我们糟糕的现状原因。中美关系走下坡路我觉得是从08,09年开始的。你能不能说说当时的状况?

Chas: 首先我觉得08年的一个大事情是deflation of the American model. 这之前中国以美国为榜样来发展,虽然不是直接借用美国的模式,因为邓小平有自己的设计。邓小平说的“黑猫白猫抓到老鼠就是好猫”,他强调“实事求是”,这些都说很实用主义的,而不是照着任何一个模式发展。这么做也是否决的像刘少奇那样的人想要借用苏联模式。邓小平认为中国有能力自己选择使用别人模式里的部件,而不是照抄别人的模式。然而08金融危机之后,中国人发现自己经济还不错。美国的榜样作用忽然影响力小了很多。中国加大了基建,经济开始通货膨胀,来应对世界的状态。我一直在想,中国人总是说中国不会称霸,这是什么意思?我觉得大概和美国在19世纪的时候说的“我们这么特殊,我们永远不会变成(殖民)帝国”。然而这么说的同时,美国占领了一个大洲,赶走土著,解散夏威夷土著,还把势力延伸到了菲律宾。实际上就是在做帝国的事情。

Kaiser: 那么再过了几年呢?阿拉伯之春对中国的影响?他们可能意识到美国从来没有真正把single party power完全当作合法政权。他们也许并不担心美国迫使中国regeme change,但他们一定很担心soft power影响?

Chas: 你知道,像CCP这样的一个“枪杆子打下江山”的政权,几十年后会感觉到当权的legitimacy有动摇,这种现象很自然。09年左右发生的各种颜色革命。被西方媒体叫做阿拉伯之春的革命,其实做的事情和西方媒体报道的很不一样【K:这里不是很确定我听懂了】。我记得当年我在台湾的时候(69年到71年),我记得听到无数的对国民党的抱怨,那时国民党是个列宁主义的政党,当时的台湾政治是集权的。那时候我作为一个无知的外国人,问他们,如果你们这么讨厌这个政权,为什么不想办法赶走这个政权呢?人们会惊惧地看着我说,总是得有人当官啊,如果我们起来反抗,很可能会被杀。反正生活质量在变好。这种对话在大陆也不知道重复了多少遍。如果说政权合法性是基于经济状况的,2008年的时候经济危机,如果中国经济因为什么过失而萧条,如果反腐把私营经济逼死了,那么那个时候国家会担心自己的政权合法性。回想一下天安门事件。学生们不是在崇拜民主,他们有别的诉求。现在的CCP高层应该还记得这个事件。我觉得这些担心还是有影响的。


Kaiser: 我记得你在哪里还说过,(经济发展以外的)另一个政权合法性的基石是国际地位。你好像说川普现在在做的事情是打击经济(trade war)。你能不能再解释一下,北京方面可能是怎样看待川普在对中国做什么?

Chas: 至少川普没有对习用别称和侮辱的语言。我觉得国际地位是关乎脸面的事情。脸面是通过别人的尊重得到自我尊重【K:哇!我从来没想到过】。脸面不是光是中国的概念,当然中国人的表达很特别。所以,国际地位有两部分组成。第一是对国土外的力量。第二是脸面,是外国人对你的尊重。我觉得中国官方目前的一个目标是得到尊重,我还不觉得可以称之为战略。

Jeremy: Chas, 目前在美国的中国圈子里,有一个流行的观点是以前的合作(engagement)战略需要停止。Kaiser最近和Kurt Campbell聊的时候,Kurt说他还是支持engagement。但是读他最近发表在FP上的文章,我觉得很明显他仍然觉得engagement的方式需要修改。James Mann的书The China Fantasy是这方面的代表,而现在越来越被更多人接受了。对这些批评engagement的观点,你怎么回应?你觉不觉得批评engagement观点的人,对支持这一观点的人对engagement的expectation的理解有误?【K:我去,这个问题用英语这么轻松就说出来了。中文环境里辩论好像很难说清楚啊!Do you think it’s been fair how critics of engagement have characterized the expectations set by its proponents?】当年尼克松时代,和中国建立关系的时候,你们是期待通过互动可以影响中国变成民主国家吗?特别是在短时期内?

Chas: 当时我们没有期待中国能在短时期内变成民主国家。那之后我们的政策也一直没有这样期待。唯一的例外是克林顿总统上任的前两年,那时所有的事情都跟人权挂钩。那个政策失败了,也被放弃了。但是,希望改变中国,是根深蒂固存在于美国精神里的。你也许能记得这件事,一个美国议员(我一下子想不起来名字),有一次在上海的一个活动上,举杯祝酒辞的一部分是,with God’s help, we will lift Shanghai up until it is just Kansas City。这种传教的热情,是美国人根深蒂固的观念。这么多年来也有很多人希望这种传教真的进入美国对中国的政策。但是它并没有被当作政策。相反的,中美关系的奠基文件《中美联合公报》中【K:好像是指这个,不考证了】明确说到,尽管我们双方的社会经济结构不同,但是我们还是会合作。意思就是我们不会继续打意识形态战争。我觉得现在大家回头看美国的中国政策的时候,一方面他们会把自己的意图代入其中;另一方面他们也是在之前人做过的事情里寻找哪里做错了。我觉得这些批评是历史修正主义,基于史实的成分很少。


Kaiser: 我们来说一说一带一路吧!你觉得华盛顿方面对它足够重视吗?我觉得似乎很多人很不以为然,有的人似乎觉得不去想它,它就会消失;有的人仅在有时候失败的项目爆出来之后笑一笑。也有人对它非常敌意。但是不管是川普政府内还是外,似乎没有一个人觉得我们应该加入合作。

Chas: 美国企业肯定会想参与的,因为里面有钱赚。对于美国政府来说,一带一路的问题是,它不是一个项目,而是一个战略。还有一个问题是我们没钱参与,我们的钱都花在了军队上,而我们打的每个仗都失败了。我们没钱造成本土的基建落后,不管是物质的基础还是人力的基础都在慢慢腐烂。我们没有在本土投资。更不用说在国外投资,不管是和一带一路合作还是竞争。第二个问题是,这是一个经济战略,它基于国际关系、投资建设。但是我们看待它的时候主要觉得是军事战略,我觉得这里的军事成分很不重要。对这个问题的最后的一个评论是,当然一带一路下的项目会失败。我也做过生意,我知道项目十有八九会失败。你知道的,如果你不冒险,就得不到回报。中国人在学着做项目。我觉得这方面最有意思的一个项目是中国巴基斯坦经济走廊项目。说实话,能在巴基斯坦做成一丁点事情的人都是很了不起的了。我觉得中国人做这些非常大胆(也许有点无知者无畏),我不知道结果会怎样。但是肯定会有些项目挂掉。我也觉得在巴基斯坦和其他国家,都会有nationalist backlash。比如斯里兰卡的港口:那是上一个总统(是个专政者)的家乡,他让中国人做的,10%是欠中国人的钱,其余是来自市场,或者日本或者其他国家。有种说法说中国人故意逼斯里兰卡欠债,然后可以把自己的大船完全占领这个港口,这种说法说实话很荒谬。中国人是擅长战略,但还没擅长到这个地步。

Jeremy: 所以说,那种说一带一路的目标是death trap diplomacy,最终中国会得到遍布世界的港口,然后可以用以军事目的的说法,你是完全否定的咯?你是觉得这种说法是paranoid fantasy?【K:我的个人经验:祖国可以治好我的受迫害妄想症,因为这些妄想都会变成非妄想。】


Chas: 【K:一开始说Djibouti的部分怎么也听不懂,大致好像说到:】19世纪末,还没有开始利用石油的时候,各国在Djibouti建造[当时的船的相当于加油的设备],俄国的海军被日本打败之前在这里加油。These were just depos【K:OK就是这个关键的词不认识,试图google assistance语音,也认不出我念的】。但是中国人现在在做的比这个聪明。They have built a hinderland【K:要命的是这个词也听不出来是什么】。所以现在Djibouti和快速发展的Ethiopia之间的贸易很多。在Ethiopia又很多中国投资,很多正在发展的工业,都是围绕着中国帮忙建造的通往Djibouti的铁路。所以我觉得即使他们真的有军事目的,他们还是把经济可行性放在第一位。【K:厄那当然啊,如果没有经济利益,人家怎么会待见你呢?】很多年前,我和中国国防部长关于中国的太空计划有过一次交流。那是在中国第一批宇航员升空后。我问他,你们花在太空计划的经费有多少?他的回答是累计300亿美元。那是个小数目,我问他怎么做到的?他说,每个阶段我们都试图赚钱。我觉得太空计划反映了中国人的一种放眼长期可持续的习惯。他们做的和普林斯顿大学教授Gerard O’Neill说的模型【K:具体描述也没完全听懂】。这个计划需要50年,中国人能在这个时间跨度上做计划很厉害了。同时我也觉得一个需要50年来实行的计划,要fail的机会可能是很多的。他们能不能成功我觉得也是个问题。【K:我觉得这里没有正面回答Jeremy的提问。但可以推测说,他认为可能是有军事计划的,但中国人更看重经济。我觉得Chas一直觉得军事没有那么重要。另外我也觉得,拿经济来握住对方,岂不是比军事更强有力的bully吗?】

Jeremy: 让我们再来说一说台湾。你在台湾住了好多年,你写了很多关于台湾的文章,特别是1995到1996的海峡危机,最终在1996年3月双方face off了。川普政府好像是想要把台湾拉回舞台上的。他当选后第一时间提到了和蔡英文的电话。很多人说1996年达成的东西现在都被扔了。你觉得现在和当年有什么区别?还有海峡两岸的关系正在怎样发展?

Chas: 很多东西都不一样了。比如台湾的执政党是偏向独立的TPP。台湾这么多年来吸取了很多教训。他们现在不追求武力达到独立。它知道必须和大陆达成某种政治合约。和古巴一样,台湾无法在和临近的大国敌对的情况下繁荣。台湾现在没有在向美国要求买更多的武器。他们自己也在研制军备,比如潜艇、新式航空,如果瑞典可以做到,他们当然也可以。但是他们并没有在军事方面逼得很紧。但是川普政府继承了很多希望和台湾交好的人,他们有些是因为意识形态而支持台湾,有些是觉得战略上台湾可以牵制中国。所以现在主要是美国在紧逼。美国人当然也喜欢卖武器。我觉得现在的情况太不一样了,和以前很难相比。最后我还想说一句,美国的最大特征是失忆,我们从来不记住任何事情,每天都是新的一天。人们错误引用台湾关系的文件,而我非常熟悉因为起草的时候法律方面的工作是我做的。他们引用《联合公报》但是他们并不知道美国在里面承诺了什么。所以关于台湾的方面,我们的是political fantasy,非常失真。川普政府只是把这个趋势加强加大了。

Kaiser: 很多人说台湾未来的走向可以从香港的当前看出来。现在占中运动已经过去四年了,香港的情况每况愈下。你觉得香港的问题在哪里?北京可以怎么做让情况变好?美国可以做点什么?

Chas: 关于香港我觉得出了好几个问题。首先香港是六四运动连带伤害到最大的受害者了。中英商量97年回归的时候,英国虽然有100年的时间,却没有在香港建立民主制度,当时中英商量的结果是,中国会给香港民主制度。天安门事件后,英国忽然想在回归前建立民主。这个的结果表面上是港人治港,但实际上是fat cats rule Hong Kong,统治香港的是中国寡头。这些寡头虽然并没有直接问北京的意图,但是他们推测出来了,然后按照这些意图来行事。所以结果是有一代港人挑战中国统一。他们做的事情引起了中央的重视,引来了中央的overreact。冲突升级后的结果就是,香港本来是一国两制的模范,现在已经不能成为台湾会觉得有吸引力的结果。【K:Chas说的样子,好像应该怪英国100年来都没有民主化,最后十年里这么做了,造成了分裂的一代。这个话题上我难道偏激了?但是我觉得真的不能accommodate中央一点点啊!这样的政府什么都做得出来。北京和香港年轻一代的冲突,可能英国的做法让它快速发生了,但总是会发生的。我还期望发生在大陆呢。占中运动开始,就希望香港不要沦陷。现在情况这么糟糕,就希望台湾不要沦陷了。虽然和我都没有直接关系,但是看到它们还在,就感觉还有点希望。当然不和中国合作就很可能经济难以发展。但拿更大的经济去要挟,这是bully,这是原则。还有真tmd讨厌为什么我们经济这么夸张,政策这么愚蠢,大家都没保障,却还是经济力量这么强大?】

Kaiser: Is there a way back from this?

Chas: 一方面香港人要更加现实一些。我很遗憾地说,那些在占中运动中非常prominent的人,将无法参与香港的未来,北京会限制他们的。【K:WTF? you sound like you are blaming them.】香港可以变得民主的,但情况和伊朗一样,在伊朗你不能质疑伊斯兰教。在中国也一样,你不能质疑中国统一。如果你质疑,你就完了。如果你不质疑,你还是有很多别的事情可以说的。【K:WTF,能说的已经越来越少了。这一段听得我要发火了。】

Kaiser: 如今对中美关系要乐观越来越难了。比如term limit的去除、新疆的事情等等,都显示中国和我们越来越不一样了。而且川普有这么奇葩。你似乎觉得这还是会过去的。如今你从哪里来找到乐观?

Chas: 我觉得从历史来看我们还是有理由乐观的。中美建交的时候,我们希望改变中国对外的behavior,我们从没想要改变他们的internal behavior。这些发生了,中国加入了世界,加入了对苏联的containment,后来,中国内部也改革了。邓小平的“去毛化”很有效的。最近的四十年总体是进步的,虽然其中也有退步的事情。你说到的那些事情都很可怕,但我不觉得它们改变了整个trend line。我觉得中国内部有改变的动力,中国人出来见世面的人群也越来越多了。中国人也有自尊心,我觉得肯定有很多中国人也觉得你说的事情很可怕。我觉得irrational behavior迟早会变成现实,然后需要被纠正。我觉得现在这些糟糕的事情,很多是特别糟糕,但很多其实一直是这样。比如security forces一直是中国很丑恶的部分【K:这里指新疆?】。我想,in order to be disillusioned you have to have illusions. I think we shouldn’t have illusions about China. It’s a very different place, different values, moving in its own pace. But I don’t think it’s exempt from the basic social economic forces that have shaped the rest of human society. 【K:我理解为,他这么平和的态度是因为他本来就没有过高期待。他说的靠中国人来改变中国我也是非常同意。那就是我啊?可是?】

Kaiser: 美国人就是这样,先设立高期待,失望后又觉得很委屈。

Chas: 我已经见过好几波了。我小时候1950s,美国人觉得中国是land of blue ants;1960年代,是疯狂的文革;1970年代,保守派发现中国的学生在课堂上坐得笔直,都剪短发,in every respect the admirable reactionaries;1980年代,我们发现中国在发展,他们就要和我们一样了,忽然1989年事件发生了。我看到了这些不切实际的印象从一个极端到另一个极端摇摆,希望未来我们能更加平衡地看待中国。

Jeremy: 我们第一部分谈话结束前,我想问问你,因为我们说了这么多我们搞错关于中国的事情,你能不能推荐什么文章或者书把搞对了?

Chas: 我觉得美国的学术界因为liberal ideology而很少有搞对的。我好像推荐不出来。当然你可以读我写的书:Interesting Times: China, America and the Shifting Balance of Prestige。这本书还是比较recent的。

Kaiser: 我们的正式推荐栏目会在下一集节目里。但我想推荐Chas Freeman an Oral History。

bookmark_borderSinica Podcast 3/9 Carl Minzner 记录

不是完整的transcription / 翻译。(之前试图transcribe 19大那一集,听写比我想的要累好多啊。追求完整不如去研究一下这方面的app?)就是听的时候觉得醍醐灌顶所以记录一下吧。

嘉宾Carl Minzner最近出版了一本书 End of an Era: How China’ Authoritarian Revival Is Undermining Its Rise. (看了一下Amazon,书是2月1日出版的。上周日的新闻简直是给这本书造势(




Kaiser:我这么问是因为,好多被我们采访的嘉宾,对如今的illiberal turn什么时候开始的,基本都同意那个时间点是2008到2009年左右。胡锦涛的时期我们开始看到vicious crack down on human rights lawyers, big waves of tightening internet, 孟建柱开始说网络上有外国敌对势力等等。。。然而你认为从1989年开始就可以看出这个走向。。。

Carl:I would say there were several crucial inflection points. (拐点,学到了新词)1989年是一个,2003也是一个重要的拐点。当局关注public interest lawyers,我觉得早在2005、2006年就可以看得出了。

Carl:我认为1989年是非常重要的一个拐点。自那之后,deeper political, institutional reform is taken off the table. 那之后还有很多改革比如乡镇选举、public interest law、ministrative legal reforms。但是这一切都是前进一步后退一步甚至两步。never fully take off.

Jeremy:Kaiser和我经常开玩笑说胡温时期(查了wiki: 2002到2012)是golden era of Chinese liberalism。我俩都认为2000s年间,911之后、2008年西藏riot之前这段时期,weak collective leadership造就了一段比较开明的时期(不管是故意为之还是无能不作为)。这段时期,反正我是看到了一定的法制、一定的public discussion。你是否同意?

Carl:我很同意。我认为这里有两个因素在起作用。一方面是,改革时期,中共决定他们不想事事都管。这种inattention下,一些事物开始产生了,比如独立电影、一些more obscure areas of acdemic work。。。很多活动有了空间。。。另一方面,改革时期,中共的确想要治理一些abuse of power,1990s和2000s早期想要改革,尝试了一些事物比如乡镇选举、加强法制。但是一旦人们开始利用这些空间push the line,中共就开始有点担心,所以就回来把之前都改革undo掉。checks emerge in each of the areas I looked at.

Kaiser:。。。what brought it (the authoritarian) back (after 2008)?

Carl:正因为political reform的可能性被拿走了,当中共遇到crisis的时候,他们的选择很少。他们只能double down on security apparatus。在rising corruption方面,如果没有第三方监督或者别的办法,渐渐地就出现了像周永康这样的。。。


Carl:有好多因素。比如媒体,特别是SNS(微博),explosive growth。刚开始的时候这被看作是marginal area,中共并不关心。然而在胡的末期,我们看到了温州动车事故(在微博上被激烈讨论),SNS上出现了关注人数很多的社交媒体红人。因此忽然社交媒体成为了中共需要管制的地方。这就导致了对媒体的控制加强,然后导致了对文化的管制。

Carl:类似的,you can see the growth of the security apparatus under 周永康。that begins to bloom significantly over the same period of time。【北京奥运2008、上海世博会2010开始。每天被地铁安检弄得心神不宁的我深有体会】中共开始越来越依赖security forces来迎战stability challenges。

Jeremy:Carl, 我们已经提到言论管制、对人权律师的抓捕、对各种dessent的压制。这些通常是大部分人会与authoritarian revival联系起来的内容。但是你的书里提到了一些一般人不会直接联想到的方面,一些cover中国的记者和学者缺乏重视的地方?

Carl:我可以说出两个方面。第一是ideological focus on Xi himself. 第二是对中国梦的强调,对传统的强调。


Kaiser:personality cult还是很明显的啊,不过你都说说吧!(

Carl:好那我们先说说中国梦。作为对比,我们可以先想想1970年的批孔运动。。那时中共自身发起了打击中国传统的运动。。。然而如今中共开始强调中国传统,把中共的形象投射到中国传统上。细想一下,这是因为中共明白,共产主义的ideology早就不是大多数民众所相信的了。对中共来说,共产主义信仰是个负担,他们无法说,我们现在不代表共产主义了。所以如今中共渐渐挪到传统的一边。。。改革时期,中国开始对外开放。邓小平的名言是,即使有苍蝇飞进来,我们也要开窗。如今中共发现,进来的ideology,比如西方民主、underground Christian house churches(?)。中共如今发现他们需要ideological shield。而中国人民本身也有不少在对外开放很多年之后,想要问,那我们有什么?世界各地的人都想要为自己的heritage骄傲。所以一拍即合,中共选择了用传统来抵挡西方意识形态的入侵。。。所以我认为,对传统的强调会让对外开放越来越受阻,学术交流也会减少。【学者角度啊】


Carl:这是个好问题。我觉得在最高领导人圈子里,这还仍然是个疑问。因为他们很多人是革命的孩子。他们从小应该是信仰革命的。然而如今中共早就不是1930年的中共了。they are a ruling party well into multiple decades of rule…. Their identities are more similar to ruling dynasty. in fact if you are looking for an interesting example of that, you really should go to the 复兴之路 exhibit. Xi’s first act… was to take the politburo standing committee to that. The depiction of the Chinese history is much different from what existed 10 or 15 years ago. 【这里不太明白意思是这个展览对中国历史的介绍,和15年前类似的介绍历史的展览会很不一样,还是说,这个展览展出了最近15年的历史,和真实的很不一样。

Kaiser:anything else is historical nihilism.


Kaiser:那么再来说说personality cult。。。

Jeremy:是啊来说说,Kaiser,这方面我要对你挑刺。几年前我和你有过争论,是不是有incipient personality cult building. Let’s hear Carl’s view on this.

Carl:The term I always use is ‘with’ a cult of personality. 因为我觉得现在我们离毛的那种个人崇拜还很远。目前的状态是,有不少state media focus在Xi和其他领导人身上。我们也可以看到有些人use his image in a particular way。。。there are art student that are taught to paint his pictures… 这些和Hu和Jiang很不一样,值得注意。but you don’t want to go over the board and say (it’s same as Mao)。【你还想怎样。。。】

Jeremy:the ‘with’ is getting fairly strong… it’s getting stinky…

Kaiser:Carl, the central argument to your book is that the authoritarian revival will fraught China’s rise. 你说的rise是指什么,是指经济增长,还是国际地位。。。?

Carl:最近四十年(改革阶段),我们一般说是modern China history,这段时期中国不仅在国际上rise了,而且如果仅看国内的话,prosperous, relatively stable… that’s founded on a certain set of political assumptions. Partially institutionalized political norms of the late 1970s or early 1980s… 我看来就好像是一个janga set(就是木条搭起来,抽掉木块看谁抽倒了的游戏)的基础被渐渐拿走了,让人担心。我不觉得拿走那些政治稳定的假设的同时会没有越来越大的问题。。。

Kaiser:你说得太好了。我前几天被PRI节目采访的时候,就没有想到janga set的比喻。你说的political norm太对了。改革时期我们不再把政治犯处死等等。。。虽然仍然是authoritarian,但你可以说是authoritarian lite。。。【我觉得也许可以得出结论说,根本没有什么lite,或者说lite不是一个稳定状态,不彻底改革会倒回去。】

Carl:Absolutely。1980年左右,中共领导人personally scarred by the excesses of the Maoist era, implemented these things. 因为他们知道如果政治体系缺乏这些(规则?)的话后果很可怕。五六十年代和七十年代初,政治是很血腥。。。We are not there yet, but… you have to think how much worse it can get.

Jeremy:我还想问一下关于反腐运动。how does it fit into the authoritarian revival.

Carl:有些人说this is only about getting rid of his political rivals。我觉得这种观点是不对的。there is an element of it。Xi actually believes in the idea of making the Party the ruling force within Chinese society, something that people can believe in. You have to suppress at least the manifestations of corruption in order to maintain the legitimacy. 在这个过程中顺便特别针对political rival是很可能的。另外我觉得还有更深的一层。如果你想要remodel the bureaucracy,你需要维持一定的insecurity,这使得人们更加听命。当人们有点担心的时候,他们会更加遵命。这也是他下达I am in charge信号的手段。




Carl:是啊,我们已经看见很久它的走向了。去年秋天19大的时候发现没有明显的接班人;然后我们又看到xi思想被写进了党章。These are clear signals. 我觉得对中国不太了解的人会觉得“Xi思想,什么鬼?”但是“修宪取消连任限制”对普通美国人来说都可以理解是一件大事。我觉得很多人震惊是因为这个原因。


Jeremy:和我交谈过的很多中国人。。比如说chinachange.org的作者Mo Zhixu,他写道:The basic assumption about China’s politics and economy, and about the future of Xi and the prospects of reform have been punctured by this development. There is now no immediate prospects for change。我觉得这是为什么修宪消息一出,大家都一片哀叹,即使这个消息unsurprising。


Jeremy:现在在美国有很多关于engagement with China的讨论。很多人说,觉得engage with China可以促使他们变成democracy。的确有很多人是不切实际的天真。你觉不觉得这种说法是straw man?(股沟了一下straw man: 就是偷换话题)

Carl:I’m conflicted on this question of engagement. 一部分我心里想,what would you expect instead?

Jeremy:我的问题是,很多美国的中国专家和商业家,支持和中国engage,最近几年soured on it. Could the US / US companies have done anything different? Would not engaging make things different?

Carl:我觉得现在回过头去看这个问题很不公平。1990年代,在中国内部有很多想要改革的人,包括政府。这些想要改革的人并不是在挂羊头卖狗肉。我觉得问题的关键是如今中国本身和那时不一样了。实际上美国自身也有很多改变。如果现在说,当时不该engage的,认为engagement would be a failure… I’m not sold on that. 我觉得Party内部有很多tension as to which direction it should go. It turns out to have gone a different direction than many of us would have hoped.

Kaiser:Jeremy, you asked about whether it’s a straw man’s claim to say proponents of engagement really thought they were going to become like us. Nobody thought that! Maybe a tiny number of people. Most people thought it was going to begin a process of nudging China in a direction of to become a more open more participate… Nobody thought they were going to become a full fledged democracy.


Kaiser:好吧的确有。另外,why give up now?你看看现在的中国(起码上周日之前的中国),和1978年相比,法制、personal liberty、economical liberty,其实各方面都进步了许多的。

Carl:我觉得需要强调的是,you definitely sense the mood turning negative in the US as well. 我担心在美国会兴起只要是中国的就是不好的的思维定势。


Carl:我写书的时候很小心。。。我觉得需要提醒大家China as a state和中国人大不相同。就和Trump administration和各种美国人截然不同一样。

Kaiser:我还想说说关于传统文化的强调的问题。你好像没有说which is the cause which is the effect.

Carl:这里有两件事,一个是what is the Party doing,还有一个是民众的反应。


Carl:我觉得这两件事是相辅相成的。中国人本身对自身文化想要感到骄傲,为什么我们的孩子需要花那么多时间学英语;同时,中共一方面想要主导迎合人们的思想,一方面这种意识形态又对他们的目的有好处。They play well into one another. 儒家学者或者佛教人士,他们现在的机会就变多了。

Jeremy:你在书里让读者站在xi的角度想他有限的选择。。。可以得到结论说,反腐、破坏继承人传统、集中权力、煽动爱国民族情绪等等,这些都是xi达到目的必要的手段。我觉得你的书有这样一层对xi的empathy很厉害。Can you channel Xi here and explain what the world looks like through his eyes?


Carl:谢谢。我觉得这种思路很重要。如果你是一个中共领导人,是一个红二代,一步一步爬上这个系统,这个系统看起来有点腐朽了。你又觉得Party有historical mandate要带领中国达到某种目的。你发现你周围有很多政敌。那么你要怎么着手做事?这样想我们也许可以理解一些打击薄熙来和一些战略性的举动,集中自己的权力。你可能在这个过程中树敌。另外群众中又有别的challenge,我们看到社交媒体上的不满言论,你会担心底层干部做不好。你看到美国也有社交媒体的问题。你又想要调整军事。。。这一切要从Xi的角度去想才能make sense。你去想what options are open to Xi. 你看到俄国是个失败的例子。。。


Carl:我觉得Xi不需要看阿拉伯之春(他可以看见),他看到1989年,看到东欧的政变。美国把这一切都看成是natural progression of liberalism。但是共党领导如Xi看到的是一个个教训需要吸取。those are the exact paths we don’t want to walk down. 那些不仅引发了共产党的下台,还引发了社会不稳定。。都是他不想看到的。

Kaiser:And what about the populist and nationalist uprising of 2016? how does he look at the world in the time of Brexit and Trump?

Carl:同样的,他看到了社交媒体的作用。。。(Kaiser:patting themselves on the back)


Carl:你的总结非常准确。的确有种说法是,经济发展到一定的水平,institutional democratic change just somehow happens。然而我觉得民主的产生还需要更深的东西。很多人看到1980s在台湾lifting of martial law。。。在我看来台湾和韩国的变化从1970年开始就有,in both of these countries at a much earlier period there was a state society engagement, sort of pre-reform shift that was starting to take place. opposition activists started to go into local legislative bodies and the like… and created the pre-condition to the change we see and when it happened you see opening and stability.

Carl:而中国不一样,在1900s和2000s初期,也许表面上有改革的迹象,当时的中共领导人的决定,quote孟子,是揠苗助长。比如说许志永(音)他是2003年海淀local congress。。。it could have gone a different direction but it didn’t happen. now it looks to me like China is going a different way.

Jeremy:Carl,你的书并不长,但是你花了整整一章说宗教。can you explain that this feature of China’s authoritarian shift merited that much space? (Kaiser:我就知道你要问这个。。(

Carl:很多像我们这样的研究者最关注politics,law,what is the most recent documented issue on the politburo。。。我觉得还有比这更深层次的问题。我们需要看社会本身。religion and belief是指导一个社会中很多人的生活的,是一个不可忽视的力量。我觉得这方面我也看到了中国的变化,所以觉得必须写一写。




Kaiser:让我们来说说social mobility, 高考。。。



Jeremy:Carl, is there any force at all by your reckoning, any force in Chinese society that could possibly nudge the country off the authoritarian path you described?

Carl: this s a tricky question,很多人问。。。I don’t see any, not in the top… 不过你总是很想留点希望。。。(Jeremy:give us some hope, please!)well…. people are concerned about China independent of the Party. 如果人民看到了危险,想要改变这一切。这不是西方国家对中国的要求,中国人如果自己意识到了这样下去的危险。。。因为不管会发生什么,都需要中国人自己来推动,国家官员和民众。

Kaiser:Unfortunately there is this feedback loop that does not help those people you and I hope exist. 现在我很担心的是中国的发展加强了中国威胁论。。。就像美国在911后对穆斯林的态度一样。。。

Carl:我觉得这样想这个问题也许有帮助:美国本身也在经历erosion of political institution. 在美国,你说的这些问题是自下而上的。而中国的也有类似的变化,我的书就是说中国的变化的。individual leader might seek to emerge and manipulate that very cheap nationalize, rally around our group, rally around our flag. That’s going on in both countries. 两国都有理性的人注意到这些问题。不一样的是在中国因为是集权国家所以是自上而下的erosion,而在美国是自下而上的。there is some similarity that is taking place. Hopefully in both systems you resist the urge to say that the problem is because of them. When in reality, some of the problems are internal.


Carl:对,但是我们能做的就是work to uphold our own liberal democratic ideal.

Kaiser:Absolutely. 如果我们的open liberal democratic pluralist society无法对付中国的这种影响而变得越来越狭隘,what the hell are we fighting for.


Carl:I’m just worried. 各种trend line看起来都很糟。我就怕这样下去issues would break forth。。。

Kaiser:Carl Minzner,非常感谢你跟我们聊了你的非常timely的书。

一小时的采访,我的简略记录花了起码4小时。。。因为太喜欢主持人和嘉宾的话。有时候觉得光写总结不够信服,那些细节例子也很重要。甚至怎么讲话的对我来说也有意义。也许比我更熟悉这些话题的人只需要读总结就行了。同时大概会买书来看。(上周已经买了The China Questions了,但感觉这本书更值得读。。。



bookmark_borderSinica podcast 10/27 notes and takeaways

通常周五下班最期待路上听sinica podcast。但这周的我听到一半决定去听星战有声书。周一早上听完,随便记一下。

嘉宾叫Lina Banabdallah,最近出版了一部讲中非关系的书。

– 这方面的研究有stereotype,一上来人家总是想要先确定你是赞还是反中国。(主持人:对非洲也有这种非黑即白的态度。)【我喜欢这个podcast也是因为他们的观点不那么粗暴。即使我自己没意识到其实我自己经常盲目黑,我还是很自然喜欢他们

– 在内政方面,中国也喜欢以经济发展来带来社会稳定。【这是最动摇我黑立场的一点。

– 中国政府资助非洲记者和学生来中国获得第一手资料,而不是仅接受西方媒体对中国的报道。【这一招本身我觉得是很好(只要不带附加洗脑项目,让人家自己去从第一手资料判断)。但是我不禁为中国政府担心:人家一来发现没法上股沟和推特,岂不是要跳?

– 当然有负面的地方:比如直接把土地收走进行发展

– 川普当选也很可能为中国加大影响力提供了机会,比如奥巴马有YALI计划,川普大概没或要停(?)

– 种族歧视在中国还是很大的问题。Kaiser说89年有种族歧视学生运动(!不过那时的人真诚恳啊!)最近的《战狼2》毫不知耻的种族歧视,还是中国史上票房最好的电影。