中国劳动生产率快速增长,未来是否可能成为经济规模达到美国四倍的单极霸权国家?

01-13 162 22788 凌波飞雁
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With the Chinese population being 4 times that of the United States, and China's high economic growth, will this allow them to become the world's sole

中国劳动生产率快速增长,未来是否可能成为经济规模达到美国四倍的单极霸权国家?

 
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1.        Ethan Young, I live in the US and have a strong interest in politics and global affairs(伊森.杨,居住在美国,兴趣在时政)
Updated Dec 4
I can see why you would be curious about this topic. Indeed, Chinese leadership seems to move from strength to strength. Its economy is still growing, its military is gaining strength, and its deep pockets are winning it influence. To many, therefore, the question is not how or why China will replace the United States, but when. But as an intellectual exercise, let us try making a modest substitution in the argument that China will surpass the US by swapping China for Europe. Europe, excluding Russia and some other, smaller countries, has a land area of 3.9 million square miles, which is to say larger than the U.S. at 3.79 million. 

我大概也能猜到,你为何对这个问题这么感兴趣。确实,中国在整个国际社会中的领导能力看起来正在变得越来越强。中国的经济正在增长,中国的军事力量正在加强,中国的经济实力正在为自己赢得越来越多的影响力。没错,事情看起来确实是这个样子。我倒是认为,这个问题貌似就不该这么问,不是问中国是否能超越美国,而是应该问中国何时会超过美国。但是先别急,我们先来做一个智力练习题。让我们试着做一个等量代换,即中国替换为欧洲,那么这个问题就变为“欧洲什么时候会超过美国”?我要说明一下,这里面欧洲并不包括俄罗斯。也不包括其他的一些相对比较小的国家。我说的这个欧洲,它的面积是390万平方英里的面积。这个欧洲的面积比美国还要大,美国的面积是379万平方英里。

The European Union GDP is roughly $20 trillion (nominal) while that of the United States is around $18 trillion less. Europe had 1,823,000 forces in uniform in 2014, compared with 1,031,000 for the United States today. Where am I going with this? If we add educational and technical levels as well as standard of living, one might be forgiven for thinking that, by the numbers, Europe, not China, was the leading potential challenger to the United States. That of course is what the late Jean-Jacques Servan-Schrieber argued in his immensely popular and influential bit of futurology Le Défi Américan [“The American Challenge”] in 1967. As we all know, however, things didn’t quite pan out that way.

从名义上看,这一个欧洲的经济产值达到了20万亿美元,而美国的经济产值只有18万亿美元。在2014年,这个欧洲有182万现役军人,而美国只有103万现役军人。有了以上的这些资料,那么我们将要从哪个地方开始,来讨论我们的问题呢?如果我们考虑到受教育程度,技术水平以及生活水平,那么有的人可能会认为应该是欧洲,而不是中国,将要成为美国的竞争对手。已故的让-雅克-施里希在1967年曾经写过一本书,书的名字叫做《美国挑战》,这本书所论述的逻辑就是我之前做得那个思维训练的内容——这本书认为欧洲将会成为美国有力的挑战者。

And yet, where China appears to be filling a leadership vacuum, there is often less than meets the eye. Climate change is one example. The world’s largest emitter has done much to cut back on its discharge of greenhouse gases, installing more renewable capacity than any other country. Yet its own transparency and accountability over pollution and emissions still falls far short of the openness a world leader on climate change would need to adopt. Meanwhile, common cause between Europe and China has severe limits. As James Kynge of the Financial Times says, China’s push to cut emissions is motivated by an environmental crisis at home, combined with hopes of conquering world markets for renewable energy. Europe wants to save the planet.

从现在来看,中国似乎正在填补世界的领导力真空。然而,世界广大苍茫,目力所至,不及一隅!气候变化就是这样一个例子,中国是世界上温室气体排放量最大的国家,中国安装了非常多的新能源设备,其数量超过世界上其他任何国家。
中国想成为全球气候变化行动的领导者。然而,中国在污染和排放问题上所采取的透明度与其所担任的角色之间,却有着非常大的鸿沟。同时,欧洲和中国在这个问题上也有着非常大的分歧。正如英国《金融时报》的詹姆斯·金奇所言,中国对国际气候变迁所采取的态度,是受其自身国内环境污染所驱动,中国想要占据国际可再生能源市场,而欧洲则是想要拯救地球,孰高孰低,高下立判。

As for economic leadership, the EU-China relationship again reveals the limits. Mr. Xi pries open markets, but many of China’s own remain closed—and where foreigners may operate, the fear is of technology being stolen. That has led to European frustrations, and additionally, anger is also growing over China’s divide-and-rule tactics in Eastern Europe through its belt-and-road enticements.

至于谈到中国在经济方面的领导能力,从欧洲与中国合作的关系来看,两者之间发展潜力还是受到很多因素制约的。中国承诺开放市场,然而事实上,中国很多市场却依然是对国外投资者大门紧闭。中国在国内实行了准入条件限制,凡准备与中国合作的公司,必须与中国企业进行合资,并将技术进行分享,这在一定程度上导致欧洲技术的流失。这件事情让欧洲感觉非常沮丧,此外,中国对欧洲还采取了分而治之的策略,中国实行的一带一路战略,某种意义上来讲,这是对欧洲的一个分化。

Part One: Obor
China’s signature geopolitical foreign policy deserves close scrutiny. In terms of scale, the Belt and Road (BRI) also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR) has no parallel in modern history. It is more than 12 times the size of the Marshall Plan, America’s post-World War II initiative to aid the reconstruction of Western Europe’s devastated economies. Even if China cannot implement its entire plan, OBOR will have a significant and lasting impact. And OBOR is not the only challenge Xi has mounted against an aging Western-dominated international order. He has also spearheaded the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and turned to China’s advantage the two institutions associated with the BRICS grouping of emerging economies (the Shanghai-based New Development Bank and the $100 billion Contingent Reserve Arrangement).

第一部分:一带一路
中国的地缘政治策略,非常值得关注。这和历史上的丝绸之路不一样,对我们现代社会的人来讲,一带一路战略是人类有史以来一个全新的里程碑。这个项目所涉及到的金额是马歇尔计划的12倍。马歇尔计划是美国在战后为欧洲复兴所采取的一个援助计划。尽管中国并没有完全的披露他计划的内容,然而,从长期来看,一带一路战略依然有着显著的影响。一带一路战略不仅是中国的挑战,对于西方所领导的现代国际政治体系而言,也是一个全新的挑战。中国还领衔成立了亚洲基础设施投资银行,其投资金额达到了一千亿美元。

At the same time, he has asserted Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea more aggressively, while seeking to project Chinese power in the western Pacific. But OBOR takes China’s ambitions a large step further. With it, Xi is attempting to remake globalization on China’s terms, by creating new markets for Chinese firms, which face a growth slowdown and overcapacity at home. So, repeating a mantra of connectivity, China dangles low-interest loans in front of countries in urgent need of infrastructure, thereby pulling those countries into its economic and security sphere.

同时,中国还在南中国海宣示主权,中国正在变得咄咄逼人,中国正在寻求在西太平洋投入更多的军事力量。一带一路战略对中国很重要,他将中国的雄心壮志又往前推动了一大步。中国正在寻求按照自己的意图来塑造全球化,中国国内的经济正在减速,因此,中国想在国际上开辟更大的市场。中国不断的强调互联互通,对于那些急需进行基础设施建设的国家,中国向他们提供了很廉价的贷款,目的就是将这些国家纳入到中国的经济及安全网络里面。

China stunned the world by buying the Greek port of Piraeus for $420 million. From there to the Seychelles, Djibouti, and Pakistan, port projects that China insisted were purely commercial have acquired military dimensions. There is a logic at the core of the Belt and Road—Asia needs more infrastructure—but thanks to jumbled strategic thinking and a suffocating amount of PR fluff, Xi’s flagship initiative looks set to disappoint. Asian and European countries lining up to attract Chinese investment in new roads and bridges will receive less money than the headline figures suggest. 

中国以4.2亿美元的价格买下了希腊的比雷埃夫斯港。由此出发,能够到达塞舌尔,吉布提和巴基斯坦,当然,中国坚称这一个项目是纯粹出于商业的考虑,与军事没有关系。一带一路战略本身是有一个基本的逻辑的——亚洲需要更多的基础设施。但是,中国的战略思考是非常混乱的。中国与周边国家的公共关系也非常不好。这使得这一标志性的项目的进展看起来让人失望。亚洲和欧洲的国家前赴后继的前往中国,希望能够获得贷款来进行他们的基础设施建设,然而事实上,他们所获得的资金比中国原本承诺的要少。

China itself will discover that lending money to its more poorly governed neighbors is not always a profitable business. And foreign policy analysts who see the Belt and Road as a Chinese-style Marshall Plan will be disappointed as the bubble of sky-high expectations pops. For the United States, there is little to fear in the Belt and Road. Asia may get some useful new roads, but the region will also see the limits of Chinese power projection, even in a sphere such as infrastructure where China has a comparative advantage.

中国很多的邻国都是管理能力很差的国家,如果中国将钱借给这些国家,中国将会发现,这其中很多项目都是无利可图的。那些将一带一路战略视为中国的马歇尔计划的外交政策分析人士,恐怕最终将会对这个项目失望。所以,美国对一带一路并不需要太担心。亚洲很多国家将会得到他们梦寐以求的新的道路系统,但是,在一带一路推动的过程当中,中国本身能力的局限性也将暴露无遗。在中国拥有相对优势的基础设施领域,最终都可能会出现这样的现象。

The headline numbers associated with the Belt and Road are impressive, and purposefully so. Asia needs lots of infrastructure and an economic vision. China has an impressive track record building highways and high-speed trains across its own vast territory. With Washington distracted by domestic politics, Beijing rightly sees a chance to set the agenda in Asia. Hence the initiative, which was first launched in 2015, has been repeatedly expanded But the gap between China’s promises and commitments are already being noticed. 

一带一路项目如此激动人心,有关于一带一路的新闻数不胜数。亚洲想要更多的基础设施,想要良好的经济前景。中国在自己的领土上建设了大量的高速铁路系统,中国在高速铁路上面的快速进步让人印象深刻。华盛顿因国内政治而分身乏术。因此,中国认为他有机会在亚洲主导各项议程的建立。一带一路倡议是2015年提出的,但是随着时间的推移,中国的承诺和义务之间却出现了不匹配的状况。

By some estimates, Chinese construction contracts with Belt and Road-related countries may decline in 2017. Already, officials in some neighboring countries are grumbling about not receiving money. Russia, for example, is miffed that that despite applying for funding for 40 different projects, it has yet to receive a dollar. This is despite the purported partnership between the two countries. And Beijing’s mechanism for spending the money appears as likely to generate enemies as friends. For one thing, though small and medium-sized countries are lining up for cash, the region’s great powers are responding with counter initiatives. 

据估计,在2017年,中国与“一带一路”国家之间的建筑合同已经开始有所下降,一些邻国的官员已经开始抱怨没有收到北京的贷款资金了。以俄罗斯为例,俄罗斯已经向中国申请了40个项目的贷款,但是目前为止,俄罗斯还没有收到一个铜板。但是,考虑到俄罗斯与中国目前正处在友好关系阶段,这种做法让人觉得不可理解。中国在该地区的投资既为他赢得了朋友,也为他赢得了一些潜在的敌人,中小规模的国家正在等待向中国申请借款。然而,该地区其他的一些大国却采取了抵制的措施。

India, for example, boycotted the Belt and Road Forum and accused China’s lending program of benefitting Beijing more than its neighbors. Japan is pushing its own “quality infrastructure” initiative, emphasizing inadequacies in Chinese construction. Tokyo is also pushing to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal without the United States, which would give Japan a major role in writing Asia’s trade rules. And Russia, which itself hopes to participate in the Belt and Road, is eying Central Asia nervously. 

以印度为例,印度抵制了一带一路的高峰论坛,印度指责中国的贷款项目更多的是以北京的利益为中心,而不是为了他的邻居。日本也提出了“质量基建”的倡议,这个建议正是冲着中国基建的缺点而来。尽管美国宣布退出TPP,但是,日本却想继续推动这个协议。这个协议将使得日本能够在亚洲未来的贸易当中扮演一个重要的角色。俄罗斯也希望参与到一带一路当中来,对于中国在中亚地区的扩张,俄罗斯一直都保持警惕。

The Kremlin had long hoped it could divide the region, with Russia managing the politics and security, while China helped develop these countries’ economy. But as China’s role grows, that division of labor is looking more difficult to sustain. Even in places where China’s influence is not being countered by other powers, Beijing’s massive cash infusions may still lead to headaches. Consider the over $20 billion Beijing has committed for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, much of it on projects in the transport and energy spheres that are already underway. 

一直以来,俄罗斯都有一个基本的构思,这个构思内容是俄罗斯负责中亚的安全,而中国负责发展中亚的经济。然而,随着中国发展越来越强,这个分工正变得越来越难以维持。当然,在某些领域,中国能够非常稳固的推动他的发展建设计划。即使如此,这依然可能会带来一些问题,中国在中巴经济走廊方面投入了两百多亿美元,其中很大一部分都是投入在运输和能源领域。

For Pakistan, this is a big opportunity. The country needs investment, and even though the financing terms and thus the ultimate cost to Pakistan are not clear, Islamabad is desperate for cash. For China, the payoff is primarily geopolitical. Thanks to the project, Beijing is deepening Pakistan’s dependence, while increasing China’s access to the Indian Ocean and its energy trade routes via Pakistan’s port of Gwadar. But will China’s loans to countries such as Pakistan ever get repaid? The history of development lending to countries such as Pakistan is full of disasters, conflicts, and painful defaults. Decades of experience from Western countries and institutions such as the IMF show that making loans is the easy part. 

对于巴基斯坦来说,这是一个巨大的机会,巴基斯坦非常需要投资。当然,对于这些项目,巴基斯坦究竟付出了多少代价,目前还不清楚。中国的主要目标是地缘政治方面的利益。中巴投资项目的推进使得巴基斯坦对中国的依赖进一步的加深。瓜达尔港的建设使得中国获得了进入印度洋的一个大的出海口。中国对于巴基斯坦所提供的贷款,最终是否能够回收,这也是一个有风险的事情。因为从历史上来看,巴基斯坦的信誉非常差。西方国家及IMF等国际机构都曾经与巴基斯坦打过交道,巴基斯坦信誉让人失望。

Sri Lanka is already struggling to deal with debt from Chinese-backed infrastructure projects. And in a worrisome irony, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz spoke at the Belt and Road forum emphasizing his experience in office restructuring his country’s foreign debt. That default is unlikely to be Pakistan’s last. Beijing’s foreign policy credibility now depends on extending as many loans as possible. But the more money it lends now, the larger the future cost will be. China has already had to deal with spendthrift client states such as most Venezuela, which is on the brink of bankruptcy and which China has repeatedly granted extensions. In other words, the more lending expands, the less liekly China will be to swallow the cost of defaults.

因为与中国开展投资项目,斯里兰卡深陷泥潭。巴基斯坦前总理曾经在丝路高峰论坛上面介绍他重组国内债务的经验,什么是重组债务呢,无非就是债务减值,减免,推延。我们大概可以合理的推测,从之前的债务记录来看,巴基斯坦有着很不光彩的表现,这绝对不会是最后一次。现如今,中国的外交信誉的维持,很大程度上要依赖于中国所发放的贷款。但是发放的贷款越多,将来回收的风险也就越大。有些国家,比如像委内瑞拉,他的政府挥霍无度,整个国家正处在破产的边缘。为此,中国不得不多次的延长了委内瑞拉的贷款偿还期限。也就是说,中国发放的贷款规模越大,违约的成本也就会越大。

If China tries to force repayment, however, it will lose it new friends quickly (which would rather defeat the point of the entire project). Consider the IMF, which is reviled in many developing countries for demanding austerity measures to enforce loan repayment. Whenever lenders try to force repayment, relations sour, and when they forgive the loans, they incur a large cost. With Belt and Road-related promises reaching around $1 trillion, the sums are substantial, and the losses—Chinese officials privately estimate that certain projects will lose 80% of the money invested—are even bigger. 

如果中国强迫这些国家偿还债务,那么,这些新交的朋友可能都会失去。国际货币基金组织曾经采取过类似的措施,结果遭到了发展中国家的一致抵制。当你向别人提供贷款的时候,别人都是很乐意的。但是,一旦催债,立马翻脸。而如果选择延期或免除,那么最终受损的还是中国自己。中国已经承诺在一带一路投资项目方面投入一万亿美元,这一数字相当可观,然而,根据中国相关人士估计,很多项目最后将可能会损失80%的资金,甚至可能会更大。

Put simply, China is setting itself up for either significant losses or for painful battles with its neighbors over debt repayments. Notably, only 1% of Belt and Road funding has been extended via institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which actually has credible lending criteria. Instead, the bulk of Belt and Road loans have come through the China Development Bank and the country’s big four state-owned banks, which at times act as slush funds for Beijing’s foreign policy. The financial viability of much of this lending is dubious at best.

简而言之,中国为了能够让他的邻居偿还贷款,将不得不付出巨大的努力。值得注意的是,在一带一路的投资项目当中,亚洲基础设施投资银行只是提供了百分之一左右的贷款。亚洲基础设施投资银行本身也是由中国建立的,这一机构的贷款标准更为严格,所以我们也可以从侧面来看出“一带一路”的项目风险是非常大的。大部分的一带一路贷款都是由中国国家开发银行和中国四大国有银行启动的,某种意义上来说,这些机构都充当了外交工具。很多项目,其经济上的可行性都是很难确定的。

The risk of non-performing loans at state-owned banks is already clouding China’s future economic prospects. Since reaching a peak of $4 trillion in 2014, the country’s foreign-exchange reserves have fallen by about a quarter. The ratings agency Fitch has warned that many OBOR projects—most of which are being pursued in vulnerable countries with speculative-grade credit ratings—face high execution risks and could prove unprofitable. Xi’s approach is not helping China’s international reputation, either. OBOR projects lack transparency and entail no commitment to social or environmental sustainability. They are increasingly viewed as advancing China’s interests, including access to key commodities or strategic maritime and overland passages, at the expense of others.

中国的国有银行拥有不良贷款,这些贷款的数额正在不断增加,这将对中国经济的长期发展造成影响。2014年的时候,中国的外汇储备达到了4万亿美元峰值。从那时开始,中国的外汇储备就在不断下降,已经下降了大约1/4。美国的评级机构惠誉发出警告,一带一路当中的很多项目都是在高风险的国家进行的,这些国家的信誉并不高,项目存在极高的风险,很多项目最终将很可能会被证明是无法盈利的。中国的做法没有办法提高中国的国际声誉,一带一路项目缺乏透明度,这些项目并不承担社会或环境可持续性发展的一些承诺。一带一路的很多项目,被认为是以推动中国的利益为主要目的,这些目的包括获取海上或者陆地上的交通线,很多时候,这都是以牺牲所在国利益为代价的。

In a sense, OBOR seems to represent the dawn of a new colonial era: the twenty-first-century equivalent of the East India Company, which paved the way for British imperialism in the East. But, if China is building an empire, it seems already to have succumbed to what the historian Paul Kennedy famously called “imperial overstretch.” In fact, many countries along the Belt and Road are already pushing back. Sri Lanka, despite having slipped into debt servitude to China, recently turned away a Chinese submarine attempting to dock at the Chinese-owned Colombo container terminal. Another example is the stalled Myitsone Dam project in Myanmar. Conceived well before One Belt, One Road, the Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River would have been Myanmar’s largest infrastructure project. 

从某种意义上来说,一带一路就像是新殖民主义的复辟一样, 这是21世纪的东印度公司。 中国正在尝试建立一个新的帝国,而这个帝国似乎正在陷入保罗肯尼迪所说的”帝国过度扩张”当中。事实上,很多一带一路国家的立场已经开始倒退。斯里兰卡已经陷入了中国的债务奴役状态,前一段时间,斯里兰卡拒绝了一艘中国的潜艇停靠在科伦坡码头。另外一个是缅甸的密松大坝项目,密松大坝位于伊洛瓦底江上,这个项目是缅甸最大的基础设施建设项目。

When the controversy over the dam was “just” a matter of environmental devastation and massive human dislocation, it looked likely to go forward. But once it became clear that most of the electricity produced by the dam would be bound for China, nationalist outrage exploded. The already underwhelming implementation of the Belt and Road project and the likelihood of unpaid debts is not the only reason to expect that it will disappoint Beijing’s geopolitical goals. China is using the Belt and Road to export its excess capacity in heavy industries and construction. Yet what the world outside of China needs is not more supply of Chinese industries, but more demand from Chinese consumers. 

如果这个大坝的争议仅仅是限于“破坏环境”,那么这个项目还是可以继续推进,但是如果这个项目的大部分电力被运往中国,这极有可能导致缅甸民族主义爆发。
一带一路项目可能出现债务违约,但是,这还不是最麻烦的地方。中国希望通过这些建设项目来推动自己的劳动力及产品出口。然而,一带一路国家真正需要的却是中国的进口。

If China were to spend more on its consumers, they would buy more from abroad, increasing demand—and thus employment—in other countries. Instead, China is looking to build roads and bridges that will increase demand for Chinese concrete and steel—and which will in many cases be built by Chinese workers. The Belt and Road is as much a welfare program for Chinese industry as for the country’s poorer neighbors. Already, however, other countries are beginning to realize this. President Trump is not the only world leader complaining about Chinese trade practices, even if he wrongly focuses on the bilateral trade deficit rather than more relevant multilateral dynamics. Kenya’s President was only the most recent world leader to demand that China buy his country’s products in addition to its raw materials. 

如果中国的消费者花费越来越多的钱,那么他们将会需要进口越来越多的外国的产品,这些产品的生产将会增加沿线国家的就业。然而,中国正寻求在一带一路国家建设道路和桥梁,这些都会增加中国的混凝土和钢铁的需求。对于中国来讲,一带一路项目更像是一个福利。而对于他周边的穷邻居而言,则恰恰相反。然而,中国周边国家已经开始意识到这一点。川普一直都在抱怨中国的贸易行为,川普把更多的注意力放在了双边贸易谈判上,川普比较轻视多边谈判。他并不是唯一一个这样做的世界领导人,最近,肯尼亚的总统也提出希望中国能够从肯尼亚进口制成品,而不是仅仅进口原材料。

The more that the Belt and Road succeeds in its current form, the bigger this problem—and, likely, the political backlash—will become. Already, neighbors such as Kazakhstan are imposing restrictions on Chinese laborers and investment in their countries to ensure they benefit, too. Getting Old Before Getting Rich:
But the flaws in the OBOR plan pale in comparison to China’s biggest and least-known domestic crisis: its rapidly aging population. China is graying at a jaw-dropping rate, the frightening scope of which is best expressed in numbers. Today, China boasts roughly five workers for every retiree. But by 2040, this highly desirable ratio will have collapsed to about 1.6 to one. 

一带一路取得的成功越大,类似的呼声就会越多,这在政治上极有可能产生反效果。哈萨克斯坦已经对中国的劳工进行了限制,这些限制要求中国企业在当地进行投资运营的时候,必须要雇用当地人,以便保障当地人的利益。
未富先老:
然而,与中国国内真正的危机比起来,一带一路的瑕疵不过是小菜一碟。中国真正的危机是人口迅速的老龄化,中国的老龄化速度令人咋舌,让我们用数字来重现这一事件的全貌,今天,五个在职人士供养一个老龄人口,但是,到2040年的时候,这个比例将会达到1.6个在职人士供养一个老龄人口.

From the start of this century to its midway point, the median age in China will go from under 30 to about 46, making China one of the older societies in the world. At the same time, the number of Chinese older than 65 is expected to rise from roughly 100 million in 2005 to more than 329 million in 2050 - more than the combined populations of Germany, Japan, France and Britain. The consequences for China's finances, foreign policy and future capacity for power projection are profound. With more people now exiting the workforce than entering it, many economists inside and outside China say that demographics are already becoming a drag on growth. 

从21世纪初到本世纪中叶,中国的年龄中位数将会从30一直提高到46岁,这将会使得中国成为全世界年龄较大的国家之一。2005年,中国65岁以上的老年人口是一亿,这个数字已经比德国的人口,日本的人口,法国的人口和英国的人口都更多了。这一巨变,将会对中国未来的财政,外交政策和实力的运用都产生深远的影响。随着越来越多的人退出劳动力市场,中国的经济将会受到严重的拖累。

More immediately alarming are the fiscal costs of having far more elderly people and far fewer young people, starting with the expense of creating the country's first modern national pension system. Unlike residents of China's prosperous eastern cities, hundreds of millions of peasants and migrant laborers have scant personal savings and rudimentary retirement coverage, if any. When Xi announced in 2015 that he was slashing China's armed forces by 300,000 troops, Beijing spun the news as proof of its peaceful intentions. But demographics provide a more compelling explanation. The number of working-age Chinese men is plummeting. 

更让人担忧的是,如果年轻人口过少,老年人数量过多,这将会使得财政承受极大的压力。所以,从现在开始,中国就要为未来国家养老金体系开始进行准备了。与中国繁荣的东部城市居民不同,中国还有数亿的农民和农民工,他们缺乏个人储蓄,没有退休保障。中国在2015年宣布将要裁减30万的军队,中国将这一举动视为爱好和平的象征。但是,人口统计却提供了另外一个让人更信服的解释——中国劳动年龄人口的数量正在直线下降。

In fact, China's working-age population shrank by 4.87 million people last year alone. As wages go up, maintaining the world's largest standing army is becoming prohibitively expensive. Nor is the situation likely to improve: after wages, rising pension costs are the second-biggest cause of increased military spending, but pensions will not build aircraft carriers, submarines or fighter jets. Awakening belatedly to its demographic emergency, China has relaxed its one-child policy, allowing parents to have two children. Demographers expect this reform to make little difference, however. In China, as around the world, various forces, including increasing wages and rising female workforce participation, have, over several decades, left women disinclined to have large families.

事实上,仅仅是去年,中国的劳动力人口就下降了487万。随着薪资的上涨,维持世界上最大规模数量的军队正在变的愈发昂贵,这一局面将会一直持续下去。除了薪资的成长,养老金成本上升也是军费增加的一个重要原因。众所周知,养老金的那部分支出无法建造航空母舰,也无法建造潜艇和战斗机。中国已经放宽了计划生育政策,允许父母生育两个孩子。不过,人口统计学家预计,这一政策不会取到多大的效果。中国和世界其他地区一样,工资水平不断增加,女性人口不断的投入到就业大军当中来,女性已经越来越不愿意生育更多的子女。

But the one-child policy did not, in itself, create this demographics time bomb; it only hastened and exacerbated it. In fact, China's fertility rate began declining well before the policy was introduced in 1978, but for amplifying this effect by an order of magnitudes, the one-child policy should be recognized as one of history’s great political blunders. As a result of its effects, single-child households are now the norm in China, and few parents, particularly in urban areas, believe they can afford a second child. Moreover, many men won't become fathers at all because under the one-child policy, a cultural preference for sons led to widespread abortion of female fetuses. 

独生子女政策加速了中国的老龄化,事实上,中国的生育率从1978年政策出台之前,就开始下降了。但是,为了推行计划生育政策,人口问题有扩大化的倾向
(译者注: 中国人口在1991年的时候就达到了世代更替率的平衡点,那个时期,女性的生育率大概是2.1左右)由于计划生育政策的影响,独生子女家庭已经成为中国的常态。中国有很多父母都认为他们无法负担得起第二个孩子,这个现象在城市地区尤其严重。此外,还有很多男性根本不可能结婚生子,重男轻女的文化导致了女性胎儿很多被流产掉,这加剧了人口性别比例的失衡。

As a result, by 2020 China is projected to have 30 million more bachelors than single women of a similar age, and I don’t think I need to tell you how much trouble 30 million sexually frustrated young men can cause. I personally believe that in another decade or two, the social and fiscal pressures created by ageing in China will force what many Chinese find inconceivable for the world's most populous nation: a mounting need to attract immigrants. And that’s going to be hard if the CCP keeps cracking down as it has been doing ever since Xi came to power.

因此到2020年的时候,中国的单身男性将会比单身女性多出3000万,很明显,3000万光棍会产生一些社会问题。我个人认为,在未来的十年或二十年里,随着中国人口老龄化加剧,将会出现一个现象。很多人一定难以相信,这个世界上人口最多的国家,将会需要吸引越来越多的移民。这一进程很难被阻止,因为其发展过程有着明确的经济动机,对劳动力有着刚性需求,而经济动机是最难以被消除的。

With American baby boomers entering retirement, the US has its own pressing social-safety-net costs. What is often neglected in debates about swelling entitlement spending, however, is how much better America's position is than those of other countries. Once again, numbers tell the story best: by the end of the century, China's population is projected to dip below one billion for the first time since 1980. At the same time, America's population is expected to hit 450 million. Which is to say, China's population will go from roughly four and a half times as large as America's to scarcely more than twice its size. Even as China's workforce shrinks, America's is expected to increase by 31 per cent from 2010 to 2050. This growing labor supply will boost economic growth, strengthen the tax base and relieve pressure on the social security system. 

随着美国婴儿潮一代进入退休年龄,美国的社会保障成本也会越来越高。然而和中国不同的是,美国的状况要比其他国家要好得多。有数据为证,在本世纪末,中国的人口将会下降到1980年时候的水平,将会下降到10亿人以下。而那个时候,美国的人口将达到4.5亿。也就是说,曾经中国的人口是美国的四倍半,但是在本世纪末将会下降到只有美国人口的两倍多。中国每年新增劳动力人口正在减少,美国则相反。从2010年起到2050年止,预计美国人口将会增长31%,劳动力的持续增加将会为经济发展提供动力,将会为税收打下基础,相对较年轻的国家在社会保障上的压力也会更小。

At the same time, Americans will continue to enjoy a substantial advantage over the Chinese in terms of per capita income. This advantage in wealth will continue to underwrite US security commitments and capabilities around the world. And that the US is not facing similar population shrinkage is due largely to immigration. America's fertility rate, while higher than that of China and many European countries, is still below the threshold required to avoid shrinkage; about 2.1 children per woman. By keeping its doors relatively open to newcomers, America is able to replenish itself. If the country were to shut its doors, its population would plateau and its median age would climb more steeply. According to the Pew Research Center, immigrants and their children and grandchildren will account for 88 per cent of US population growth over the next 50 years.

与此同时,美国的人均收入水平依然会比中国拥有更大的优势。这种经济上的优势将会使得美国在全球的安全承诺方面投入更大的资源。美国没有面临人口萎缩的问题,移民居功至伟。虽然美国的生育率高于中国和很多欧洲国家,但是其生育率依然低于世界世代更替的水平,通过对移民打开大门,美国可以弥补这部分损失的人口。如果美国关闭了他的移民大门,美国的人口将会趋于稳定,但是美国的中值年龄将会急剧上升,根据皮尤研究中心的数据,在未来的50年里,美国移民及其子女在新增人口当中的比例,将会达到88%。

I don't think it's a coincidence that China's increasingly aggressive stance in the South China Sea comes at a time when its economy is coming under increasing strain and the nation grapples with a rapidly aging, imbalanced populace. Howard French, in his book Everything Under the Heavens, also makes this case, arguing that Xi Jinping is acting so aggressively because he knows that China has only a narrow window of time—10 to 15 years at most—to lock in as many geopolitical gains as it can before China’s demographic crisis knocks it sideways and restricts its ability to project power. 

我不认为中国在南中国海上所采取的强硬立场是一个巧合,中国的经济增长正面临越来越大的压力,中国正在迅速老龄化。霍华德·弗兰彻写了一本书,他认为,中国之所以采取越来越富有进攻性的政策,是因为中国的时间窗口大概只剩下10到15年,中国正在竭力在人口危机爆发之前,获取尽可能多的地缘政治方面的利益。 

Pollution and Other Issues
Aside from aging and gender imbalances, China also has a number of other internal issues that inhibit its becoming a superpower on par with the United States, issues that continually demand a vast amount of money and resources. Of these, pollution is probably the most infamous. China’s air is so polluted that it has become hazardous to breathe, as illustrated by the fact that in late December 2015, Beijing issued the second red-level alert warning for smog in its history. China’s aggressive industrialization has come at a staggering cost in human health and lives, and unregulated emissions have led to environmental catastrophe and a decline in the overall health of the Chinese people. China has a shrinking water supply similar in size to Sudan’s, which means it doesn’t have anywhere near enough. The capital intensity of production is very high too: In China, one standard energy unit used fully produces 33 cents of product. 

污染和其它的问题:
除了老龄化和性别失衡,中国还存在其他的一些问题,这些问题都将会使得中国超越美国之路困难重重。为了解决这些问题,中国将需要消耗大量的资源。然而,工业生产却导致了很严重的污染。这其中最臭名昭著的一个就是环境污染。中国的空气污染非常严重,这很容易导致呼吸系统疾病。2015年12月下旬,北京有史以来第二次发布了空气污染的“红色预警”通报。中国雄心勃勃的推动了工业化,但是这也使得中国人在健康和生活质量方面付出了惊人的代价。污染物的排放使得中国人总体健康水平下降。中国的水资源供应量与苏丹的规模相当,这意味着中国的水资源供应非常短缺。单位经济产出的能量密度也非常高。在中国,单位能量的投入大概只是产出33美分。

In India, the figure is 77 cents. Gradually climb and you get to $3 in Europe and then— in Japan—$5.55. China is poor not only because it wastes energy but water, too, while destroying her ecology in a way perhaps lacking any precedent. But while China’s toxic air and water are well-known—smog alone is estimated to kill anywhere from 500,000 to 1.5 million Chinese every year—what’s even more insidious is the pollution of its soil. While it’s possible to reduce air or water pollution with enough effort, toxins can remain in the soil for centuries and are hugely expensive to eradicate. And China not only has many brownfield sites (contaminated areas near cities that were once used for industry) but vast swathes of polluted farmland, too. In 2014, for example, the government published a national soil survey which showed that 16.1% of all soil and 19.4% of farmland was contaminated by organic and inorganic chemical pollutants and by metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic. 

在印度,这个数字是77美分。在欧洲,这个数字是三美元。在日本,这个数字是5.55美元。中国之所以贫穷,不仅仅是因为它浪费了能源,水资源的浪费也非常严重。而水资源是极其稀缺的资源。工业生产同时破坏了它的生态环境。据估计,中国每年死于空气污染的人数大概是50万至150万。但是,这还不是最严重,最严重的是中国的土壤污染。虽然可以通过种种措施来减少空气和水污染,但是,土壤污染则完全是另外一码事。污染物在土壤中可以停留数个世纪,如果想要清除这种污染的话,其代价非常高昂。中国有很多棕色土地,这些棕色土地是因为其被用于工业生产所污染的区域。除此之外,中国的农田也受到了很严重的污染。2014年,中国发布了一项全国土壤调查,该调查显示,16.1%的土壤和19.4%的农田受到了有机和无机化学污染。此外,土壤中还包含有铅,镉和砷等重金属。

That amounts to roughly 250,000 square kilometers of contaminated soil, equivalent to the all arable farmland of Mexico. Cadmium and arsenic were found in 40% of the affected land. Officials say that at least 35,000 square kilometers of farmland is so polluted that no agriculture should be allowed on it at all. Ethnic Tensions, Drugs and Societal Ills
And then of course there are other issues, such as rampant drug problems and internal ethnic and religious strife such as that between the Han Chinese and the Sunni Islamic Uighurs of Xinjian province, and the ongoing, longstanding persecution and discrimination against Chinese Christians. 

这等同于是25万平方公里的土壤受到了污染,这个面积相当于墨西哥所拥有的全部耕地的数量。40%受污染的土地上发现了镉和砷。中国官方表示,至少有3.5万平方公里的农田在受到污染之后完全无法从事农业生产。

Pushback From Abroad
For that matter, China's behavior on the world stage has already begun to backfire. Despite propaganda efforts to the country, instead of garnering the respect of the world China has gained the reputation of an international bully in the eyes of the global community--a role that, for many, was previously held by the United States. For all its talk of cooperation, China's saber-rattling and aggressiveness has pushed many of its neighbors, including those such as Thailand who might have proven allies under other circumstances, not only into the arms of the United States but also fostered greater, broader cooperation against China, which now finds itself more and more hemmed in by a growing number of economic and military treaties and alliances. 

国际压力:
中国在世界舞台上的行为已经开始产生越来越多的反作用,中国花费大量资金进行宣传,但是中国并没有在国际上赢得尊重,反倒是落下了一个欺负弱者的名声,以前这个角色都是由美国人来承担的。鉴于以上所谈到的各个因素,中国已经将他的很多邻居推向了美国。泰国就是这样的例子,泰国最近接纳了美国,而且与美国的关系更进一步,结盟反对中国。泰国现在与美国之间正在建立越来越多的经济和军事联盟关系。

Relations between the U.S. and Vietnam, for example, have never been this warm, and the U.S. and India are deepening a defense partnership that would have seemed unthinkable even ten years ago. Even Asian nations with historical enmity have begun to put aside their differences in the face of what they see as the greater threat. And why? Because China has proven time and again that it is duplicitous and cannot be trusted to uphold any accord it agrees or signs on to. Case in point: Xi Jinping promised not to militarize the islands China currently holds in the South China Sea during his visit to Washington, and yet, after an American bomber plane accidentally flew too close, China tripped all over itself to militarize the islands and conveniently forgot about its promise.

美国和越南之间的关系是另外的一个例子,美越关系从来没有像现在这么火热。美国和印度之间也在深化国防合作关系,十年以前,这几乎是不可想象的。即使在历史上彼此有敌意的一些亚洲国家,他们也渐渐的开始将分歧放在一边,来共同应对中国。为什么会是这样?因为中国已经一次次的证明他是非常自私自利的,他不愿意维护共同签署的任何协议。举个例子,中国曾经承诺,绝对不会对南海的岛屿进行军事化。然而,因为美国的轰炸机靠近了相关岛屿,中国的这些岛屿就神奇的长大了。不仅如此,中国还对这些岛屿进行了军事化,这违背了中国最初的承诺。

Furthermore, China has antagonized its neighbors in ways that go even beyond the South China Sea issue. It infuriated Vietnam by towing an oil rig into Vietnamese waters, and just recently Chinese armed destroyers were spotted near the Japanese Senkaku islands in the East China Sea—islands which, like those further south, China also claims as its own, though it has not pressed the issue nearly so hard as it has in the South China Sea. The U.S. and many of the Southeast Asian nations are waking up to this fact: Australia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, the list goes on and on. Because of its aggressiveness, China now finds itself the object of increasing hostility and suspicion both abroad and in its own neighborhood, a situation made worse by the fact that it doesn't have the vast web of treaty alliances that America does, a web which--as I have already stated--is growing steadily larger as a result of China's actions. 

此外,中国甚至使对峙的区域延伸到了岛屿争端之外。中国让自己的钻井平台靠近越南水域。最近,中国的驱逐舰还靠近了与日本有争议的钓鱼岛。中国一直宣称钓鱼岛是属于中国的。当然,在钓鱼岛问题上,中国没有像南海对越南那样进行强硬的施压。澳大利亚,台湾,越南,泰国,日本,韩国,菲律宾等这些美国的盟友,都越来越多的认识到中国对这一地区的威胁。中国现在发现,在整个东南亚区地区,国家对中国的敌意正在加深,这对中国来讲是一个非常麻烦的事情,因为中国自己并没有盟友。

Beijing's only real military and political ally is North Korea, and even that is coming under increasing strain because North Korea under Kim Jong-Un has proven less and less willing to dance to Beijing's tune, leaving China's leadership increasingly exasperated at Kim's recklessness and stubbornness. For example, in early December, a North Korean girl band called Moranbong was sent to China in an attempt to show solidarity with the Chinese and foster greater friendship between North Korea and China. The band was scheduled to perform for a solid week in the Chinese capital, but its tour was abruptly cancelled due to "communication issues," according to a Chinese press release by Xinhua, the state media outlet. 

中国真正的军事和政治盟友是朝鲜,这也是中国唯一的盟友。但是这一情况也正变得越来越紧张,因为金正恩领导下的朝鲜,已经越来越不愿意与中国保持一致,朝鲜鲁莽而且固执,这让中国对朝鲜越来越不满。例如,在12月初,朝鲜的牡丹峰女子乐团被派往中国。这原本是为了加深与中国的友谊。然而,据新华社报道,该乐队原本计划在中国演出一周,但因为沟通问题,演出突然取消。(译者注释:牡丹峰乐团访问中国之前,希望中国的高阶官员能够参与,但是在牡丹峰到达中国的时候,朝鲜却突然宣布拥有氢弹。朝鲜想制造中国支持朝鲜拥核的假象,中国降低了参与官员的等级,朝鲜恼羞成怒,遂将牡丹峰乐团取消演出)

And in 2013, when North Korean jets flew over the Korean peninsula in a show of force, China's response was actually more alarmed than that of the United States. Not only that, but when the U.S. sent its own jets over the peninsula not long afterward as a demonstration of its own, the response from Beijing was surprisingly muted. Both of these incidents are part of a larger pattern that shows how relations between Pyongyang and Beijing have become more and more frayed—now more so than ever in light of North Korea’s nuclear ICBM tests, which have put China in an extremely uncomfortable position on the world stage as it comes under increasing scrutiny for its indulgence of the Kim regime. And while China's tarnished global image does little to deter other nations from trading with China, it also means that even many of those who loathe the United States see the U.S.-led world order as preferable to a world order dominated by the Chinese.

在2013年的时候,朝鲜的飞机在半岛巡逻,中国非常警惕。而美国飞机飞行的时候,中国则气定神闲。朝鲜进行了洲际弹道导弹测试,中国居中调解,然而并没有成功。这让中国在国际社会上非常尴尬。以上事件使得中国的全球形象受损。虽然这并不能阻止其他国家与中国进行贸易往来,但这也意味着,即使是许多讨厌美国的人也会看到美国的积极的一面。很多国家认为,由美国主导的世界秩序比由中国人主导的世界秩序更可取。

Military
As for military strength, well, China has undoubtedly made impressive strides in modernizing its armed forces. But it will be decades, if ever, before it achieves the level of dominance that the United States enjoys today. Take defense spending, for example. In 2016, China’s official military spending rose 7.6 percent. Adjusted for inflation, that’s barely 5 percent. In U.S. dollar terms, it’s barely 3 percent. In real U.S. dollar terms, it’s hardly any increase at all. Put simply, China’s defense spending is essentially flat. Real spending increases of anywhere from 0–5 percent are a far cry from the “insider” estimates of just one year ago, when security experts were confidently predicting double-digit spending increases for 2016 and beyond. Figures as high as 30 percent were mooted as tensions rose in the South China Sea. 

军事:
从军事力量上来看,中国无疑在军事现代化方面取得了令人瞩目的进步。但是,要达到美国今天所享有的主导地位,还需要几十年的时间。以国防开支为例。2016年,中国的官方军费支出增长了7.6%。经过对通货膨胀系数进行调整后,按人民币计算的军费比例仅为5%。以美元计算,这一比例仅为3%。从美元的数字上来看,几乎没有增长。简而言之,中国的国防开支基本持平。中国的军费增长低于百分之五。这与仅仅一年前的“内部人士”估计相差很大。当时,很多安全专家们满怀信心的进行预测,他们预测2016年之后的军费将会以两位数的速度进行增长。随着南中国海紧张局势的加剧,有人甚至预估中国的军费将会增长30%。

It is well-known that China’s official budget numbers don’t capture all of its military spending. But then, neither do America’s, or any other country’s. The best analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies concludes that China’s figures are close to real and getting closer. Even if the true total is unknown, the year-on-year increases seem credible. Since the turn of the century, China’s defense spending has bounced up and down between 1.9 percent and 2.1 percent of GDP, according to estimates from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). SIPRI estimates are the highest in the league; the U.S. Department of Defense, the British International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Chinese government itself all give lower figures. China may throw around its growing power in a very aggressive manner, but in comparative terms it does not seem to be spending very much on its military. 

众所周知,中国官方的军事预算数据并没有涵盖所有的军费开支。但是,美国和其他国家也一样。战略与国际研究中心的分析结论是——中国的数据与真实数据应该是很接近的,而且越来越接近。即使真正的总数未知,但同比增长比率似乎是可信的。根据斯德哥尔摩国际和平研究所(SIPRI)的估计,自本世纪初以来,中国的国防开支大致维持在GDP的1.9%至2.1%之间上下浮动。英国国防部、英国国际战略研究所和中国自己也都提供了相关的数据,他们给出的中国军费与GDP占比,这个数字都是很低的。中国不断的对外展示实力,但是就资源本身来讲,中国并没有投入太多的金钱在军事上面。

But defense spending is not the only way to gauge military power, nor is it the most accurate. In order to be a global power (that is, to wield military influence in places around the world) you need to have the military hardware necessary to deploy in different regions. That means things like aircraft carriers, military satellites, and advanced warplanes, and in every case, the US owns the majority of these weapons, while nations like China or Russia own only a relatively small percentage. For example, the US has more than 70 percent of all aircraft carriers, and its air fleet, with over 6,000 planes, is larger than China’s and Russia’s combined. 

但是国防开支并不是衡量军事实力的唯一方面,单纯看军费本身也是不准确的。一个国家如果想成为一个全球大国,那他需要很多的军事基地。这意味着要装备航空母舰、军用卫星和先进战机等。目前来看,美国拥有这些武器的比例是最大的,而中国或俄罗斯等国只拥有相对较小的比例。例如,美国拥有超过70%的航空母舰。拥有超过6000架飞机,其航空机队规模超过了中国和俄罗斯的总和。

Neither China nor Russia nor Germany have anything that can rival America’s capacity for power projection. In terms of quality and quantity of weapons, the United States is also in a league of its own. Nothing fielded by any of our rivals compares to weapons like the Virginia-class submarine, the F-35 fighter jet or the new Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. According to the Washington DC-based Center for Naval Analyses, the Chinese Navy will have between 265–273 ships by 2020. The U.S. Navy, on the other hand, will reach over 300 ships by the end of that same year, as 80 ships that received funding from the Obama administration are currently under construction.

无论是中国、俄罗斯还是德国,其军事投送能力与美国都相距甚远。就武器的质量和数量而言,美国也拥有着一套完整的体系。美国的任何一个对手都没有与弗吉尼亚级潜艇、f35战斗机或新福特级核动力航空母舰这些尖端装备匹敌的武器。
根据华盛顿特区海军分析中心的数据,到2020年,中国海军将拥有265-273艘军舰。另一方面,美国海军将在2020年年底抵达到300多艘军舰,美国目前有80艘舰艇正在建设当中。

By contrast, of the 1,321 fighter jets in China’s air fleet, only 502 can be called modern. These are 296 variants of the Russian Su-27 (India has a more advanced SU-30 MKi) and 206 indigenously built J-10s that even Pakistan has refused to buy. Even China’s newest class of submarine, the Type 095, is estimated by American military experts to be as quiet as the Los Angeles-class submarines that were built in the 1980s. 

相比之下,中国空军拥有1321架喷气式战斗机。只有502架可以称得上是现代化战机。这些战机主要是俄罗斯苏-27的变种。印度拥有更先进的苏-30 MKi。中国的战机当中有206架都是j-10,这款战机甚至连巴基斯坦都拒绝购买。据美国军事专家估计,即使是中国最新的潜艇095型潜艇,它也仅仅大致相当于20世纪80年代建造的洛杉矶级潜艇的水平。

In other words, China is about thirty years behind the United States in submarine quieting technology. To be sure, China has made impressive gains in its efforts to modernize its military, but it still has a long, long way to go. For the foreseeable future, America’s military superiority is not going anywhere, nor is the globe-spanning alliance structure that constitutes the core of the existing liberal international order (unless Washington unwisely decides to throw it away). Economic Influence
In terms of economic power, China also lags significantly behind the United States. Last year, economists at the International Monetary Fund estimated that the Chinese economy was larger than America’s. That statement made front-page headlines but was somewhat misleading because it used purchasing power parity (PPP), a measure of welfare that is somewhat dubious as an index of power. After all, a country imports oil or engines at the exchange rate, not purchasing power parity. 

换句话说,中国在潜艇静音技术方面落后美国大约30年。可以肯定的是,中国在实现军事现代化方面取得了令人瞩目的成就,但仍有很长的路要走。在可预见的未来,美国的军事优势不会有太大的改变。
经济影响:
从经济实力来看,中国也远远落后于美国。去年,国际货币基金组织的经济学家估计,中国经济规模大于美国。这一新闻登上了头版头条。然而,事实上,这在某种程度上误导了人们。因为IMF使用了购买力平价(PPP),这是一个衡量福利的指标。但是,但作为一种衡量权力的指数,PPP多少有些可疑。毕竟,一个国家是以汇率来进口石油或发动机,而不是购买力平价。

China’s per capita income is only a quarter of America’s: $8,261 to $57,294 in the United States. And then there’s the problem of capital flight, which has cost China trillion of dollars. The old saying goes that money is a coward, and so it is. All the rich people who can leave are leaving China. In cities across America, thousands of Chinese buyers are flocking to buy homes in cash. Even Xi Jinping sent his daughter to Harvard. American private secondary schools are inundated by Chinese applicants, and American real estate remains the number one choice for Chinese buyers looking to get out of Dodge. As such, any forecast of future Chinese parity with the United States depends on heroic estimates of China's continued GDP growth. Of course, total size matters. Having a large attractive market and being the largest trading partner for a large number of countries is an important source of Chinese power, but that is not the same as equality. 

中国的人均GDP仅为美国的四分之一,中国的人均GDP为8,261美元,而美国为57,294美元。中国还有资本外逃的问题,因为资本外逃,中国已经损失了一万亿美元的外汇储备。美国的私立中学被中国的申请者所淹没,而美国的房地产依然是中国买家的首选。很多预测认为中国未来前景光明,是因为他们相信中国的经济将会持续增长。当然,经济总量是非常重要的。如果一个国家拥有很大的经济体量,那么他在进出口贸易上,将会有更多的贸易伙伴。这是一个国家实力的重要来源。但是,经济规模与经济本身的质量却没有必然的联系。

For example, although China surpassed Germany and the U.S. as the world’s largest trading nation in 2013, Chinese trade in services is lackluster, many exports have low added value. Moreover, China lacks many global brands. Coca-Cola is universally recognized, but how many people can name a Chinese soda brand? 

举例来说,尽管中国在2013年超越了德国和美,成为世界上最大的贸易国。但中国的服务贸易却乏善可陈,中国出口的很多产品附加值都很低。此外,中国缺乏国际知名品牌,很少有人能够说出一家中国的知名企业。

Soft Power
But there’s more to being a superpower than just military prowess. We cannot neglect the importance of cultural power, or “soft” power. Soft power, as defined by Harvard professor Joseph Nye, is just as important as hard power, and in many ways more so. Heck, it helped us win the Cold War. Long before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it had been pierced by American television and movies. Yet few people in those developing nations have fallen in love with China the way they might fall in love with the United States. According to Dr. Nye, whom Chinese officials acknowledge as a guru on the topic, there are three main ways that a country can gain soft power: through its political values, its culture and its foreign policies. But winning on all fronts is not easy. The party knows that its ideology has little chance these days of attracting others. Arguably China’s soft power was stronger in the 1950s and 1960s when Mao, a brutal but charismatic dictator, espoused a socialist Utopia that inspired many people around the world. Nowadays some Chinese academics speak of a “China model”—the winning combination, in their view, of authoritarian politics and somewhat liberal economics (with a big role for the state). 

软实力:
任何一个国家,如果想成为超级大国的话,他所需要的不仅仅是军事实力,文化上的力量同样至关重要。软实力帮助美国赢得了冷战。在1989年柏林墙倒塌之前,苏联的铁幕已经被美国的电影和电视所刺穿。然而,在那些发展中国家,却很少有人会爱上中国的影视剧。一个国家获取软实力的途径主要有三种——政治价值观,文化以及外交政策。然而,一个国家想要在这三个方面都取得胜利实在不是件容易的事情。中国的意识形态在现今的世界里并没有什么吸引力。实际上,在上个世纪的五六十年代,中国的软实力更加强大。当时中国的领袖是一位非常有魅力的人,他信奉的是一个社会主义的乌托邦,这一理念一度在全世界广泛流传。现在,一些学者提出了“中国模式”。

Confucius, condemned by Mao as a peddler of feudal thought, is now being proffered as a sage with a message of harmony. Since 2004 China has established some 500 government-funded “Confucius Institutes” in 140 countries. These offer language classes, host dance troupes and teach Chinese cooking. China has also set up more than 1,000 “Confucius Classroom” arrangements with foreign schools, providing them with teachers, materials and funding to help children learn Mandarin.

中国想起了他古代的文化,想要借助于古代的思想家孔子来传播他的文化理念。孔子曾经被中国批判,被谴责为封建思想的小贩,现在却被当作圣人。自2004年以来,中国已经在140个国家设立了500多个孔子学院,这些孔子学院都是由政府部门资助的。这些课程提供语言教学,并开设舞蹈团,教授中国烹饪。中国还与外国学校合作,建立了一千多所“孔子课堂”,为他们提供教师,材料和资金,帮助这些学校的学生学习汉语。

In June 2016, Hu's successor, Xi Jinping, criticized the nation's propaganda bureau for failing to reach younger audiences and called on them to be more innovative. The Party's soft power failures are especially visible in the music industry. One of China's most cringe-worthy efforts is a hip-hop music video aimed at millennials abroad, entitled This is China, produced by China's Communist Youth League and the rap group Chengdu Revolution. The video promotes China with rambling lyrics such as, "First things first, we all know that China is a developing country. It has large population and it is really hard to manage," and the gem, "As for scientific achievement, we have [Nobel prize winner] Tu Youyou, who discovered Artemisinin.” 

2016年6月,中国批评了自己的宣传部门,认为他们没有能够与年轻的观众进行更紧密接触,缺乏创新精神。在音乐产业中,中国的软实力尤其薄弱。
中国最值得一提的宣传是其制作的面向海外千禧一代的嘻哈音乐视频,该视频名为“这就是中国”。这是由中国共青团的说唱团体“天府事变”表演的。这段视频提供了歌词,这些歌词是用来描述中国的,但是其描述却杂乱无章。比如有这些歌词:“第一件事,我们都知道中国是一个发展中国家,他有大量的人口,而且很难管理。我们有我们的科学成就,我们有诺贝尔奖获得者屠呦呦,她发现了青蒿素”。

The only way Chinese state media could outdo itself on this one is if it were to, say, promote a rap song praising Karl Marx. When Mr. Nye wrote about soft power, he suggested that governments could not manufacture it. He argued that much of America’s had sprung from its civil society: “everything from universities and foundations to Hollywood and pop culture”. The party is distrustful of civil society; its soft-power building has been almost entirely state-led. China has tried to combine elements of soft power with the hard power of its illiberal politics. Far from enhancing China’s global image, this approach has often served to undermine it.

约瑟夫.奈提到软实力的时候,提到这个问题。他认为如果一个国家要宣传他的形象的时候,政府最好躲在后面。他认为。美国的文化都是从公民社会当中发展而来的,每一种文化都是从大学和社区这些地方开始,最后传播到好莱坞。中国目前为止还不能充分动员他的社会力量,因而中国自己承担了大部分的职能,但是这个效果并不好。中国试图将软实力与中国的政治结合起来,然而这其实是行不通的。这完全是两个层次的东西,这种做法非但没有增强中国的形象,恰恰相反,却常常会破坏中国的努力。

Take the Confucius Institutes mentioned earlier, for example. In 2007 a senior party leader described these as “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.” But many cash-strapped universities have gratefully supplanted their own language courses with ones led (even funded) by Confucius Institutes. China’s efforts to use its global media to paint a rosier picture of the country also face a tough challenge. Its television networks employ foreign anchors (and plenty of panda footage) to try to win audiences abroad. 

以孔子学院为例,2007年,一位政府的官员将孔子学院描述为“中国海外宣传的重要组成部分”,这种说法起到了相反的效果。很多大学资金紧张,但是,他们已经开始用自己的母语来取代孔子学院的汉语课程。中国成立了他自己的全球网络传播媒体,他们大量的雇用外国主播,通过他们来传播中国的形象,中国希望通过这样的努力,来赢得海外的观众。

Thus, it is highly doubtful that China can present a system more workable and universal than democracy and a market economy of the kind you see in Britain and America. Soft power cannot be manufactured at will or forced down someone else’s throat; it must be voluntarily accepted.
Innovation
In innovation, too, China is encountering difficulties. The major components that enable a country to lead in cutting-edge technology depend on intangible assets, most notably what economists call the forces of agglomeration: systems of property rights and a sophisticated industrial base, full labor markets, an efficient judicial system and flexible organizations, presence of specialized service providers, knowledge spillover and trust embedded within society. 

中国能否拿出一个比民主和市场经济更可行、更普遍的宣传体系,这一点值得怀疑。软实力不能随意制造,也不能强行塞入别人的喉咙,软实力必须是别人自愿接受的。
创新:
在创新领域,中国也正在遭遇瓶颈。核心零组件对于一个国家来讲至关重要,他是组成一个国家尖端科技的一个主要的方面,是一个国家赖以维持领先优势的无形资产。明晰的产权制度、图书的工业基地、完整的劳动力市场、有效的司法体系、灵活的组织方式、专业化的服务、有效的知识传播体系、市场主体之间的信任关系,这些东西都会影响到一个国家的创新能力。

Many authors have contended that open societies, like the US, benefit from these trends vis-à-vis their authoritarian counterparts.As noted international relations scholar Ian Bremmer states, “openness is a measure of the extent to which a nation is in harmony with the crosscurrents of globalization—the processes by which people, ideas, information, goods, and services cross international borders at unprecedented speed.” China has clearly been exceptionally gifted at managing low-and medium-cost technologies ever since globalization has contributed to the spread of technology. It is, in fact, leading the world in patent filings. But patent filings are not, in and of themselves, an accurate indicator of a nation’s level of innovation. 

美国是一个开放的社会,他从这种社会当中受益,这种优势是威权体制所不具备的。在现在这个世界,人,思想,信息,商品和服务正在以前所未有的速度跨越国际边界。全球化导致了技术的快速传播,借助于这样的一个趋势,中国成功的变成了世界工厂。中国在管理低成本和中等成本的技术方面,一直都很有天赋。不仅如此,中国在专利申请方面走在世界的最前列。但是,专利申请本身并不能准确的反映一个国家的创新水平。

Closer examination of these figures reveals that about 43% of patent filings in China are for non-inventive patents. Called Utility Models, Petty Patents, or Design Patents, these cover only appearances or structural features. and many of these were filed by foreign inventors, not Chinese. And even when a patent filing is for an actual invention, it’s difficult to classify the value of that invention. Some inventions are trivial (like a slight tweak to making a screw thread) and some are important (like cold fusion). In other words, large numbers of filings don’t prove anything one way or the other about creativity and innovation in China. And alongside poor infrastructure, heavy reliance on foreign technology and lack of top-notch R&D capabilities, China also falls short in human capital and investments and is held back by a bloated bureaucracy. 

对这些数据的进一步研究表明,中国约43%的专利申请属于非发明性的专利。这些专利被称为实用新型专利,小专利或设计专利,这些专利都只是涉及产品的外观或结构特征。这其中还有许多是外国发明者申请的。很难对这些发明的价值进行评估。同样是发明,但是其重要性却并不相同,大量的申请专利并不能够证明中国的创造和创新能力。落后的基础设施,严重依赖外国的技术,缺乏一流的研发能力,这些都制约了中国创新能力的发展。

Therefore, the prospect of narrowing the gap is slim—more so now that China is cracking down on VPNs, which might very will trigger another massive brain drain. It will be hard for China to lead in science and innovation, or attract foreign talent, when its scientists and scholars do not have access to the World Wide Web. By contrast, the United States could not have achieved the level of pre-eminence it enjoys today without the pervasiveness of its ideas, products, and image abroad. American popular media and TV stars are everywhere. So are American products, American cars, American fast food chains, and so on and so forth. Even with Trump in the Oval Office, the U.S. is still near the very top of the list when it comes to soft power. This is because the United States, for all its flaws, is quite good at selling its story: a disorganized group of colonies join together in common cause, overthrow the rule of the mightiest empire of the day and go on to enjoy unparalleled success. 

此外,中国正在打击VPN,这很可能引发另外一场大规模的人才流失。当这么多专家和学者无法接触到因特网的时候,中国将很难在科学和创新领域领先,也很难吸引到外国人才。相比之下,美国的思想、产品和形象在全世界广泛传播。如果没有这些软实力,美国就不可能达到今天所享有的卓越地位。美国大众媒体和电视明星无处不在。美国的产品,美国的汽车,美国的快餐连锁店等等。即使川普入主白宫,美国在软实力方面仍然处于最靠前的位置。目前美国尽管遭遇到了种种的问题,但它善于推销自己的故事,这个故事的内容就是,“一群松散的殖民地,为了共同的目标走到了一起,他们推翻了强大的帝国,从此以后过上了幸福快乐的生活”。

Whether the U.S. actually lives up to its ideas of freedom and equality is not the point here; the point is that the vast majority of people around the world like those ideas too, and even the most cynical of America's critics still find the idea of America inspiring. It is therefore almost impossible for it to export its ideas abroad in the way the United States has been able to do, because its global audience--barring a few notable exceptions--is not, as it were, interested in buying. For China's ideas to be accepted by the world at large would require the very ideological fabric of the modern world to be turned on its ear, and that is not likely to happen if history is any indication. The Soviet Union tried to do the same thing for decades during the Cold War. 

美国是否真的实现了自由和平等的理念呢?这并不是这篇文章要讨论的内容,但是,很重要的一点是大多数人都喜欢这一套宣传。即使是那些对美国持有严厉批评态度的人,都认为这些理念是鼓舞人心的。与之相反,中国几乎不可能像美国那样,将自己的理念输出到国外。除了几个例外,其他的愿意接受中国理念的国家是很少的。如果中国想要让自己的想法被世界所接受,就必须要创造出一套全新的价值体系,这几乎是不可能发生的。在冷战期间,苏联曾经付出极大的努力,想要达到这个目标,但苏联最终失败了。

America’s Enduring Strengths
The United States, on the other hand, enjoys a number of strengths across a broad spectrum. Unlike China, it is not facing population shrinkage, and this is due largely to immigration. America's fertility rate, while higher than that of China and many European countries, is still below the threshold required to avoid shrinkage; about 2.1 children per woman. China is rapidly enhancing its technological inputs, increasing its R&D spending and its numbers of graduates with degrees in science and engineering. But there are limits to how fast any country can leap forward in such matters, and there are various obstacles in China’s way—such as a lack of effective intellectual property protections and inefficient methods of allocating capital—that will be extremely hard to change given its rigid political system. 

美国的优势:
另一方面,对美国而言,却享有着非常多的优势。美国和中国不同,本身并没有面临人口缩减的问题。中国正在不断的加强其在技术方面的投入,在研发方面,中国正在投入越来越多的资源。中国拥有着庞大的理工科毕业生数量。但是在科学技术的发展上面,很难实现跨越式的发展。中国缺乏知识产权保护体系,中国资本的使用效率偏低,中国的体制也不太有利于创新。

Adding to the difficulty, China is chasing a moving target. In 2012, the United States spent $79 billion on military R & D, more than 13 times as much as China’s estimated amount, so even rapid Chinese advances might be insufficient to close the gap. Conclusion:
All of this leads us to one inevitable conclusion: that China is in no position to become a superpower, and America, far from in decline, is in a rather comfortable position at the head of the pack. To be sure, there is a frantic, almost panicked desire in certain circles to see U.S. power and prestige take a nose-dive because the American people chose Donald Trump as their president. 

更麻烦的是,中国所追赶的是一个快速移动的目标。2012年,美国在军事研发上投入了790亿美元,这个数字是中国的13倍。即使中国快速的发展,也很难弥补这一差距。
总结:
综合以上分析,我们可以得到一个结论,结论如下:
中国不可能成为一个超级大国,而美国远未衰落。就目前的状况来看,美国依然处在一个相当有利的位置。因为美国选出了川普总统,导致很多人对美国产生了失望的情绪。

But those pushing this narrative are out of touch. Geopolitical reality remains unchanged, and America remains a hegemonic force: It has the largest and best equipped military that secures peace and prosperity from Europe to the South China Sea, the most prestigious university system, the largest consumer market, the largest economy, and it remains the source of much innovation. It still has a commanding lead in many scientific fields and leads the world in many cutting-edge technologies, such as space exploration and artificial intelligence. Nor has Trump diminished America’s broad appeal, if the most recent numbers are anything to go by. 

但是,这种说法已经越来越没有市场了。虽然川普当选了美国总统,但是美国的地缘政治的现实并没有改变,美国依然是一个霸权国家,他拥有最大且装备精良的军队。美国的军队确保了西欧到南海的和平与繁荣,美国拥有的全世界最负盛名的大学教育体系,美国拥有的全球最大的消费市场,美国是最大的经济体,美国依然是全球的创新中心。美国在很多科学领域依然遥遥领先,比如航空航天技术,人工智能技术等等。从最近的数据来看,川普也没有削弱美国的吸引力。

Contrary to many post-election fears, as of this writing both tourism and international student applications to the United States have increased, according to the most recent figures in April and May of 2017, and a recent Gallup poll showed that America continues to be the most favored destination for immigrants around the world. According to the survey, 147 million people worldwide would move to America if given the chance. America is not in decline, and China is not the juggernaut it appears to be.

美国大选之后,全世界对美国有很多的担忧。在撰写本文的时候,数据显示,去美国旅游和学习的人的申请的数量增加了。2017年4月和5月的盖洛普数据显示,美国仍然是最受青睐的世界各地的移民目的地。根据这项调查,如果有机会的话,全世界将有1.47亿人移居到美国。因此过分夸大美国的问题并不合适。美国并没有在衰落,中国也没有他看起来的那么强大。

1.1        Fred Civish(弗莱德.斯威士)
Mar 27 · 2 upvotes including Ethan Young
This is one of the most cogent and wide ranging analyses that I have seen of China and its future military and economic prospects. It should be required reading for everyone. Other authors and students of history are also predicting the end of China’s international influence, but I haven’t seen anyone else bring everything together as well as you have. One last thing. Do not forget that China has built its economy on the strength of its low cost industrial output, which brings in money as they sell their high quality but low priced goods on the world market, with the largest share going to the United States. 

这篇分析的内容是关于中国未来的经济与军事前景展望,他是我见过类似的最全面的一个分析。我认为任何关心中国的人都应该看看这份报告。历史上有很多其他的作家也都有类似的预言,他们预言中国的国际影响力将最终消退。但是,很少有人会将这么多的因素合并到一起,进行综合性的分析。我觉得有一件事需要特别注意,中国的工业优势是建立在低成本的基础之上的,当中国将这些质优价廉的产品销售出去的时候,他们赚取了大笔的美元。购买这些产品最多的国家就是美国。

But that source of income to China might well change. It is quite possible that in the current political climate, the United States might put increased tariffs on Chinese goods (as well as on other countries), and through tax cuts, tax penalties and other incentives, the current administration is trying to influence U.S. corporations to bring their jobs and their production back home. When you add the effect of future robotics in manufacturing jobs in the U.S., it becomes apparent that in the coming decades, the Chinese are likely to find themselves with a much less lucrative market for their goods. Add this to their developing demographic patterns and China might be in for significant downsizing of their economy.

但是中国的收入来源极有可能会发生变化。在当前的政治气候条件下,美国极有可能会对中国的出口商品征收重税,其他国家也有可能会遭遇到类似于中国这样的情况。通过减税等措施,美国希望能够将一些海外的就业机会重新转移到美国国内。考虑到智能机器人在美国制造上面的作用,中国相对于美国的工业优势将会逐渐降低。最终,中国出口到美国的产品将变得无利可图。鉴于中国未来的人口发展趋势,中国的经济规模可能会出现明显的下降。

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2.        Aaron Lichtig, Lived in Guangzhou, studied a bit of Mandarin(艾伦.李奇格,汉语菜鸟)
Updated Sep 11, 2014 · Upvoted by Marc Bodnick, Harvard Gov major, Stanford PoliSci PhD student
China already is a great power, but it's hard to see it becoming the world's sole super power by 2030.  I don't think it wants to take on that role, even if it ends up being the world's most economically and militarily powerful country.  China - unlike the US or USSR - doesn't seek to export an ideology or universal system like democracy or communism.  The CCP is most concerned with maintaining territorial integrity and making things better for Han Chinese people.  If they do these things, they'll stay in power, which is really all they care about.  If they overreach and try to police the world, their odds of losing power would actually go up. Success for China over the next 15 years would look like resuming its historical role as the preeminent power in East/SE Asia.  To do this, it would have to displace the US, which won't be an easy task.

中国已经是一个超级大国了,但是在2030年之前,中国很难成为世界上唯一的一个超级大国。即使中国最终成为了全世界经济和军事实力最强大的国家,我也不认为中国真的有意愿去承担这样的一个角色。中国不像美国或苏联那样,中国并不寻求向全球输出一种意识形态。中国最关心的是维护领土的完整,为自己的国民创造更美好的生活。只要中国解决了自己内部的问题,他就可以长期稳定的发展下去,这才是中国真正关心的。像中国这样一个有着超大规模人口的一个国家,它的发展一定是内向的,如果中国的影响力过大,并试图对全世界进行管理,他们最终极有可能会失去他们所拥有的一切。在未来的15年,中国极有可能会恢复其在东亚和东南亚的主导地位,要做到这一点,中国必须要超过美国,对于中国来讲,这是一个很大的挑战。

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3.        Samuel Lee, American who likes history
Answered Jan 3, 2016(萨缪尔.李,美国的历史爱好者)
If you look at the relative stature of "China" through recorded history, and assume that the current PRC is a legitimate successor to that line of regimes, then it is safe to say that China is destined to be at least a top five power even if it does nothing to distinguish itself, and stays unified. This is probably now also true of the United States as well. We are, for the foreseeable future the preeminent and therefore the representative power of the North American continent. If we currently do nothing to renew the exceptional performance and circumstances of the "American Century", we will slowly slip back to a top five power as well.

如果你仔细的去看过中国的历史,并认为中华人民共和国会继承这个历史的话,那么我们可以肯定的说——即使中国什么都没有做,中国至少是世界五强之一。而且鉴于中国在历史上长期保持大一统的传统,中国也能够维持统一。美国的情况可能与中国也有一点相似,可预见的未来,美国仍然会是北美大陆最杰出的国家。如果我们不能采取任何措施来恢复美国国力的话,美国也会由全球的单一霸权国家退回到五强中的一个普通国家。

So as a sort of abstract baseline, I'd wager that it is the long term destiny for China and USA to be roughly equals in power and influence.Now, the question doesn't ask whether China will merely surpass the USA by 2030, which would merely yield a bipolar world order. (my opinion...maybe, depending on how you measure it), but asks whether China could surpass the USA, and everyone else, to such an extent as to attain a hegemon status in the world order. In order for that to happen, we need to have something that China is truly doing exceptionally. Not just competently, which China has done in many areas, to their credit--but exceptionally. Something that the world looks at in awe, and says, "this is what the future looks like", and willingly passes China the Torch. America had this, in 1900, 1920, 1950. The Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Rock n' Roll, heck even today's Elon Musk--where are China's versions of these? It can't just be cheap labor, or sheer scale....it has to be something extraordinary.

因此,中美可以彼此互为参考,我敢大胆的断言,在未来的历史上,中国和美国将会将有着大致相同的影响力,这是历史的宿命。中国是否能够在2030年之前超越美国?我们无需对这个问题太过在意!中国无论在未来的哪一年超过美国,其所形成的大概都是一个两超多强的格局。至于你问中国是否能够成为世界上独强的单一霸权国家这个问题,我有一些我自己的看法。想要这个局面真的发生的话,我们必须首先要假定中国确实能做出了一些非常卓越的事情。也就是说,在有关中国未来发展的各个方面,中国做的不仅仅是好而已,必须是非常卓越才行。卓越到全世界的所有国家看到中国都会心生敬畏,并由衷的感叹——“人类的未来就应该是这个样子”。到那个时候,全世界所有国家都愿意将人类文明的火炬传到中国手上,将他们的国家的命运与中国的命运联系起来。美国就曾经经历过这样的阶段,1900年,1920年,1950年,莱特兄弟,亨利福特,摇滚音乐,甚至于21世纪特斯拉的艾隆马斯克。中国自己的科技明星和文化明星在哪里呢?中国不能仅仅提供廉价劳动力,也不仅仅是市场规模庞大而已,它不仅需要优秀,而且需要卓越。

So long story short....I don't see where that is happening in China today. Not yet. Someone please prove me wrong. Maybe it's just too early. Chinese firms and organizations are still methodically moving up the competency chain, making better versions of things that exist. Maybe one day they will start aiming to "break the world". But I don't see any evidence of that today...and so they probably won't be there by 2030.
Edit: I didn't see the subtext about the population theory. Regarding that, I believe population sets a potential for a nation's achievement but consequently increases the challenge in truly reaching that potential. So it's not just a straightforward matter of just scaling everything up...

长话短说,我不知道今天中国究竟在发生了什么?但是我所提到的一切,现在来说都还没有发生。如果你不认同的话,请证明我是错的。也许我现在提出这个话题,可能稍微早了一点。中国的企业和科研团队正在有条不紊地提升他们的生产制造及研发能力,也许未来的某一天,中国真的会打破一个旧世界,建设一个新世界。但是,就目前来看,这个趋势还并不明显,所以在2030年的时候,可能中国还尚未达到这样的一个水平。
说明:
关于中国人口的问题,我并没有投入过多的精力来进行关注,人口对一个国家来讲,既可以是资产,也可以是潜在的挑战。所以,我们不能用单一的视角来看待人口问题。

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4.        John Lombard, Founder of "The Language of Culture" | Consultant | Speaker(乔恩.伦巴第)
Answered Nov 29, 2016
I sure as hell hope not. In fact, I do not want any country to be a “sole superpower”. History more than adequately demonstrates that when any country gains power over everyone else, they abuse it. This is true of the U.S. It will be true of China if it ever reaches that point. Having two or three countries that share ‘superpower’ status is, in my opinion, the best result we can hope for. Then each country is balanced by the others…they know that they cannot simply do whatever they want, they have to negotiate with and reach agreements with the other superpowers.

我当然不希望中国成为全球唯一的霸权国家。事实上,我不希望任何国家成为“唯一的超级大国”。历史证明,当超级大国出现的时候,他们就会滥用权力。美国现在就是这个样子,如果中国成为超级霸权国家,中国也有可能会变成像美国那样。如果世界变成两超多强或者是三超多强的格局,这样对于大多数国家来讲,可能才是最好的结果。每一个强大的国家都会被其他的国家所平衡,每一个国家都不能随心所欲的去做他们想做的事情,多强共治才是世界最好的局面。

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5.        Leigh Hincks(利.辛克)
Answered Aug 30, 2014
There are many comments that are extremely relevant to the super power status of China.  Population is both an asset and a liability.  The enormous population has driven the development of China with the assistance of foreign investment.  This has particularly come from Japan,which currently has about 80,000 companies operating singularly or in joint ventures. The population will decline shortly with the effects of the one child policy coming to fruition.  Once again, an asset and liability.  The cost of labour in China has increased enormously over the past 10 years, and even more dramatically over the past 5 years.  Even Chinese companies are going off-shore for cheaper labour options.

这里的很多评论都提到了中国的超级大国的地位,对于中国来说,人口既是资产,也是负债。在过去的几十年里,人口是帮助中国经济大发展的一个极其重要的因素。中国丰富的人力资源吸引了大批的外国投资,这其中很大一部分是来自于日本,日本有大约8万多家公司在中国进行投资。然而,随着独生子女政策的效果逐渐开始发酵,中国的人口在未来将会迅速减少。在过去十年里,中国的劳动力成本已经有了很大的提高,在过去的五年当中,人工成本的上升尤其显著。成本的上升对企业的经营产生了很大的影响,即使是中国企业都开始纷纷转向海外,以寻求更廉价的劳动力。

China has a dearth of resources.  Due to its population and it's increase in income of the citizens, it requires a continual increase of energy.  25 million cars were sold in China in 2012-2013.  Where does the fuel come from? Yet China has gone on a rampage of aggression with it's neighbours.  It has conflict and border disputes with 20 nations which are neighbours or nearby.  China has NO allies.  Russia is just there to pick up the pieces and step in to the Pacific region, which it has been trying to do for a century.  

此外,中国的矿产资源和能源都非常缺乏。随着中国人口的增加和居民收入的增长,对能源的需求会越来越多。在2012年至2013年的时候,中国销售了2500万辆汽车。那么问题来了,这些汽车所需要的能源从哪里来呢?此外,中国与自己的邻国之间也存在着很严重的边界冲突,中国与20多个国家存在边界争议。中国没有盟国,俄罗斯步履蹒跚,而且俄罗斯一直都想进入到亚太地区。“寻找不冻港,进入世界主要的贸易海域,加强与全世界之间的联系”——几个世纪以来,这一直都是俄罗斯人的梦想。

To be a super power a nation needs to make alliances that are strategically useful.  China is incapable of doing this.  There is an old Chinese adage, "keep you friends at a distance and have conflict with your neighbours".  It is about as stupid an adage as you can get in the modern world.  Yet, PRC mouthpieces will still use this.

如果一个国家想要成为一个超级大国,他必须要组建联盟体系,中国无法做到这一点。中国有一句古老的外交格言“和远方的国家结交成盟友,然后和你的邻居打在一起(译者注:远郊进攻)”。这就是中国现在正在做的愚蠢事。但是,似乎中国很多媒体都对此津津乐道。

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6.        Christopher Strong, Happy-Go-Lucky Scamp
Answered Dec 7(克里斯多夫.斯特朗)
Before last year I would say “no way” but now I'm thinking China will be the world's superpower by default, in one area at least: Soft Power, or the ability to win influence without force or coercion. The Trump presidency has been so catastrophic and destabilizing as far as the US's image abroad, and his random, unpredictable behaviors that do nothing but create global mayhem and hostility (like deciding to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which serves no purpose other than to antagonize the Arab world), belittling allies like Mexico, Australia, Europe, etc.

在去年之前,如果你说这样的话, 我一定会对此嗤之以鼻。但是今天,我认为中国有可能会成为世界上的超级大国。至少从软实力的角度来看,是很有机会的。(软实力:采用说服,而不是武力的方式来达到他的目标)川普总统的当选使得美国在全世界的形象出现了毁灭性的下跌,川普的很多做法毫无章法,他的一系列的行为只能遭受越来越多国家的敌意。他承认耶路撒冷是以色列的首都,这是在于整个阿拉伯世界为敌。此外,川普总统还不断的贬斥我们的盟友,比如墨西哥,澳大利亚,欧洲等。

undoing positive breakthroughs made under the Obama Presidency (Cuba, Iran) just because they were made under Obama, insane domestic policies, and acting like a psychotic toddler on social media; all of these actions serve to neutralize any soft power the US has built over decades or even centuries with other nations. And it's not like there is or should be any sympathy for Americans for allowing this to happen, 3/4 (roughly) of voting adults either stayed home or voted for Trump or voted for some third party idiot vanity candidate, there is no longer enough sane rational adults to stop bad actors from running amok on a political level. 

川普总统还取消了前任奥巴马总统取得的积极成果,奥巴马总统实现了与古巴和伊朗的和解。川普总统现在就像个精神病人一样,他的这些行为可能会使得美国积累了几十年,甚至是几个世纪的软实力化为灰烬。美国沦落到今天这个地步,一点都不值得人同情。75%的成年选民要么就是呆在家里,要么就是投票选择川普,要么就是选择其他的第三党的白痴,美国理性的力量完全的消失了,只剩下一些小丑在台上表演。

Sure, it's possible that the Mueller investigations will end his presidency, but it might not. Or we might vote in an awesome President in 2020 but by then the damage will be too late to undo (and Congress will stay the same, because of gerrymandering and voter apathy towards midterm elections).Bottom line, the end result I see is the United States with zero or negative soft power internationally.Putin's Russia is also another country that has zero or negative soft power. They tipped the scales in November 2016 to confuse easily-duped Americans and sow chaos and discord by actively working to put Trump in the White House. 

当然,美国情报机构对川普的调查可能会结束他的总统任期,但是也并不一定就是这样。也许我们在2020年的时候会选出一位好的总统,但也许到那个时候就为时已晚了。简而言之,以我的观察,美国现在在世界上的软实力正在快速下降。普京的俄罗斯是另外一个例子,俄罗斯的软实力目前在国际上来看,也基本上趋于零或者是负值。俄罗斯卷入了2016年的美国大选,美国人民实在是太淳朴了,他们把美国人民给搞糊涂,最后把川普抬入了白宫,川普入主白宫造成了美国和全世界的混乱。

The collusion between the Trump people and the Russians, with full support of the FSB, will continue to come to light in the Mueller investigations (again, I can't say what the results will be), their attempts to meddle in other Western democracies are well known, not to mention their illegal annexation of Crimea and their invasion of the Donbass region of Ukraine, and their alliance with Assad in Syria and subsequent brutal treatment of non-Assad, non-ISIL Syrian citizens in places like Aleppo, fomenting discord in Eastern Europe and Baltic States; all of these behaviors do not endear themselves to the rest of the international community. And Putin, like his minion Trump, only has one strategy: to continue to double down, forever.

川普总统与俄罗斯人互相勾结,联邦技术规范局也参与到了这场阴谋当中,随着米勒调查的深入,一切终将会大白于天下。当然,我还是要强调一下,事情的结局究竟会怎样,我也不是很清楚。俄罗斯人想要干涉西方的大选,这件事众人皆知。更不用说俄罗斯人非法侵吞了克里米亚以及入侵乌克兰顿巴斯地区。俄罗斯还与阿萨德联合,对那些反抗阿萨德的力量进行了残酷的镇压。此外,俄罗斯还在东欧与波罗的海地区煽动动乱。这些行为很难被国际社会所接受。普京就像他的小伙伴特朗普一样,谁也不理,就这样埋头的走下去。

This is why, at least on a soft power level, I believe China may well end up the world's sole superpower when it comes to soft power (hard power like military and economics are a different story, of course).The beautiful thing about soft power is that any country can participate! All it takes is good and innovative ideas, and a desire to make the planet a better place. At this point in time, however, I don't think the United States or Russia has this capacity any more. China wins by default…and as a bonus, they know exactly what soft power is and how it works!

鉴于以上所说的各个方面,我认为中国将会在软实力方面成为全球唯一的霸权国家。当然,经济实力和军事实力是另外一码事,我暂且不提。软实力的好处就在于依靠这种力量,所有的伙伴都能够参与进来。软实力所依靠的是好的,有创意的想法,这些目标都是为了让人类社会变得更好。我认为美国和俄罗斯已经不再具有这种能力。世界三强去掉了两个,所以在默认的情况下,中国就成为了唯一的胜出者。软实力是什么?他应该如何运作?中国在这方面正在积累越来越多的经验。

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7.        Ben Kelley, Strong interest in geopolitics and defence
Answered Nov 29, 2016(本.凯利)
Nope.
Firstly I wouldn’t call anything currently a super power. The US was a superpower after the cold war. Every other major nation was in ruins, US was untouched. They had the wealth, the technology, the post WW2 machinery and all the nuclear weapons. They really were a superpower, making up nearly 50% of the worlds GDP. While China is industrializing, things have been getting better every year in China. The economy grows at 6% or more, every year. It seems like this growth is going to go one for ever. Eventually Chinas economy makes up 99% of the worlds economy.

首先我要强调一下,我不会把现在的任何国家称为是超级大国。二战结束的时候,世界几乎所有大国都陷于一片废墟之中,而美国则基本没有受到什么影响,美国拥有着巨大的财富,先进的技术,二战当中积累起来巨大的军事力量以及核武器。当时美国确实是超级强国,他们占据了全球50%的GDP。当中国开始与世界贸易进行接轨的时候,中国每年经济增长率大概在6%左右,看起来似乎这个进程要永远一直持续下去一样。最终,中国的经济规模达到世界的99%。

 

Its doubtful that China will continue to grow at the same rate for the next 20 years. But its in a graph, so has to be true. I doubt China’s economy will ever be two times the size of the US economy. China’s growth is not sustainable, no one ever said it was. Eventually industrializing will slow down, growth will slow. Also China’s population is going to shrink. China’s having its moment in the sun, enjoy it.

            

事实上,这种局面是很难实现的,中国无法保持以往的增长速度。中国最终的经济规模是否能够达到美国的两倍,针对这一点,我持怀疑态度。中国的经济增长是不可持续的,似乎很少有人去强调这一点。中国的工业化进程最终将会慢下来,增长也会减速。而且中国的人口也将会出现下跌。现在正是中国的“甜蜜时光”,所以中国应该好好珍惜当前的机会。

Now, China isn’t the only developing country, its not even the going to be the largest. India will end up with a larger population. The US population is going to keep growing. It remains to be seen if China can avoid the economic stagnation of Japan and the problems that is caused.

 

中国现在并不是唯一一个正在快速发展的国家,中国甚至不是最大的发展中的国家,印度的人口将会超过中国,美国的人口将会继续成长,中国最终是否能够避免日本曾经的衰退,这一点仍待观察。

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8.        Je Kaire, Thinker, futurist, legal scholar, voracious reader, rocker and Renaissance man.(杰.卡热)
Answered Feb 29, 2016
This is an interesting question, not because of the proposed date, which is impossibly near, but because of the attention it demands to the concept of China and the path of any nation to becoming a sole leader of the world, attracting emulation worldwide by being a superior example of human cooperation and wise possessor of economic and military power. Instead of focusing on ways the United States could decline, the question for me gave rise to thoughts about how China could change. The first doubt I have is that this event could ever occur with its current form of central government.

这是一个非常有趣的问题,有趣的并不是这个问题本身,而是提出的这个日程表,看起来题主认为中国取代美国并不需要太长的时间。也许我们应该对全球单极霸权好好的进行一下定义,单极霸权代表了人类最高级的组织动员能力,最丰富的智慧,最大的经济实力,最强的军事力量,这个国家能够对全世界产生吸引力。
我对于这个问题的关注点并不是美国会如何衰退,而是中国会以什么样的方式来崛起。我大胆的推测,中国最终将会以中央集权国家的形式登上世界舞台中央。

Succession of power in China is determined by the precarious hold on,the government its current leadership has. When scandal or death rocks the national boat, a scramble takes place to form a new governing panel and allocation of duties, without any legal framework, so that the most machiavellian plotter is likely to dominate the process to become either the leader or the proclaimed leader's key supporter. Look to history, especially the history of leadership in imperial Rome and its succession of emperors, and the history of control of communist Russia. The history of the Vatican papacy prior to its rigid conformance to the Cardinals' election procedures will also be instructive on how things can go badly.

中国不断的完善自己选贤任能的制度,这一点对中国未来的发展至关重要。
我们回顾一下历史,我们可以审视罗马帝国的继承人制度,苏俄的政治继承人制度,梵蒂冈的枢机主教选举制度。梵蒂冈在确定枢机主教选举制度之前,其选举教皇的过程也是非常混乱的,这些都可以为我们提供一些参考。中国如何完善自己的人才培养制度,这件事情本身还需要继续观察。

China could use a written constitution and an independent judiciary appointed for life  to interpret and enforce it's strictures. Such separation of powers and constitutional regulation might be a foundation for a permanent rise to power. It is often ignored that China internally is an amalgamation of provinces and ethnic groups with different geography, languages, histories, cultures and economic interests. It is held together by powerful and dogmatic leadership which threatens dissenters and civil disobedience; but the resentment caused by constrained urges for different policies in the provinces cannot be eliminated in this way. Improving education of the citizens will only lead to their greater awareness of inequalities and and more internal dissatisfaction with the nation. This is definitely a problem which will become larger with economic success; until it dwarfs the concerns China has with the rest of the world. I think China may follow a long term path leading to its division into multiple and separate nations based on the divergent interests of its people. This does not have to be acrimonious, they could cooperate like the members of the British commonwealth did and do, but with the current central form of government rising expectations and awareness of inequalities may lead to civil war. The historical basis for the American civil war was the South's realization that it was about to lose any control over the national policies of the USA because it would forever in the future represent a minority in the congress as more non-slave states were admitted to the union. A disgruntled minority without hope for political control always leads to the thought of leaving the national entity. Another example is the American Revolutionary War. Some big internal changes are ahead for China over the next 100 years which I believe will make the above question moot. The options for the future are many; but sole leader of the world is very unlikely.I hope the direction taken internally will foster peace, happiness and improved economic circumstances in China and worldwide.

中国可以通过成文宪法和司法独立来实现人才梯队的稳定性,司法独立,宪法监管,这极有可能是实现中国永久崛起的基础。中国疆域广大,各个省份的地理,语言,历史,文化和经济等都有差异,这一切掺杂在一起,构成了一个极其复杂的中国。历史上,中国通过不断的加强中央的权力来将整个国家牢牢的捆在了一起。我认为中国在未来可能会采取类似于俄罗斯那样的联邦制度,每个邦的文化风俗等相同(译者注:历史上行省的划分采用了切断相同文化区,地理险要关隘分割的做法,将相同文化族群和利益诉求的人联合到一起,这是国家分裂的前奏,中国不可能这样做),每一个邦都有着不同的利益诉求,他们之间就像英联邦那样进行协作。历史上,美国曾经发生过内战。当时的情况是由于新的非蓄奴州的加入,南方意识到它将失去对美国国家政策的影响力。最后为了保护自己的利益,决定脱离联邦。中国要以此为鉴,对于国家内部不同群体之间的利益处理,必须要非常小心谨慎。在接下来的100年里,中国将要面对非常多的挑战。在这些真实的挑战面前,我们所讨论的那些可能都没有太大的意义。单极的世界有可能永远都不会出现,随着中国不断的发展,希望中国与世界能共赢,能够给世界带来和平,欢乐及经济增长。

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9.        Siddharth Pathak, Hindi Chini bhai bhai
Answered Aug 29, 2016(桑迪哈斯.帕沙克)
The problem behind this question is the same that plagues all of the perspectives on the world from the West - the assumption that the rest of the world somehow looks with a distinctly Western notion. It doesn't.The era of the West's primacy over the world will most likely die a natural death with the dissolution of Pax Americana. There's not going to be another power looking to partake in the relay, continuing the current status quo structure of world polity. China isn't by any means seduced to maintain the power held by the US. Neither is Russia, India or Iran.

这个问题背后所折射的东西其实非常深刻,他不禁又让人想起那个一直萦绕在西方人心头的,挥之不去的梦魇。西方人一直都认为自己是独特的,世界是以欧洲为中心的,欧洲与世界其他地区迥然不同。然而,事实并非如此。西方世界对于世界的主导地位,极有可能随着美国和平“解体”而自然消亡。也许,未来并不会有哪一个国家像现在的美国一样来主导这个世界,中国看起来并没有任何的意愿想要去接替美国的位置,俄罗斯看起来也没有这样的打算,或者说俄罗斯没有这样的能力。印度和伊朗也是如此。

They do not share the same obsession of dictating the world what standards the domestic societies ought to be held, and ironically each has been dealt bad hands through such policies. It seems absurd that the Chinese - themselves the recipient of an excruciatingly arrogant, horrible war in the 1850s over their internal affairs - would even fathom to engage in such businesses yo other hapless nations. The world is going back to the multipolar structure, which the former Russian Prime Minister, Yevgeny Primakov conceived in the midst of the evisceration of his society in the 90s.What is likely to be seen is the usage of the colonial narratives by the resurgent powers, which were former colonies, as a justification to break apart the current unipolar order. To paraphrase Solzhenitsyn, the former colonies are goig to present the bill for the indulgence the European powers had, often at the expense of their colonies.

中国并不像美国一样,执意要去介入别的国家,干涉他们的内政。然而在历史上,有很多国家都持有类似于美国这样的政策。世界正在重新进入一个多极化的政治权力结构当中。在上个世纪的90年代,俄罗斯的总理普里马科夫曾经设想过这样的政治秩序——新兴的国家开始不断的崛起,打破原有的政治结构。根据索尔仁尼琴的说法,这些殖民地将摆脱原有欧洲列强的控制,欧洲国家在殖民地犯了太多的错误,为这些错误买单的方式就是欧洲国家放弃在殖民地的利益。

So the more apt question isn't whether China is going to replace US as a superpower, but that of how large of a magnitude is the drastic shift in power going to be for the Western powers which are used to having their ways.

所以,问题的关键不是中国是否会取代美国成为超级大国,而是在东方崛起,西方衰落的整体背景下,西方人是否能够及时调整他们的心态。

 
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