The Elements of the China Challenge


by The Policy Planning Staff, Office of the Secretary of State


Executive Summary


Awareness has been growing in the United States — and in nations around the world — that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has triggered a new era of great-power competition. Yet few discern the pattern in China’s inroads within every region of the world, much less the specific form of dominance to which the party aspires.

The CCP aims not merely at preeminence within the established world order — an order that is grounded in free and sovereign nation-states, flows from the universal principles on which America was founded, and advances U.S. national interests —but to fundamentally revise world order, placing the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at the center and serving Beijing’s authoritarian goals and hegemonic ambitions.

In the face of the China challenge, the United States must secure freedom.




China is a challenge because of its conduct. Modeled on 20th-century Marxist-Leninist dictatorship, the CCP eventually spurred rapid modernization and produced prodigious economic growth — thanks in no small measure to the party’s decision in the late 1970s to embrace free-market elements and to the decision by the United States and nations around the world to engage, and welcome commerce with, China. The party today wields its economic power to co-opt and coerce countries around the world; make the societies and politics of foreign nations more accommodating to CCP specifications; and reshape international organizations in line with China’s brand of socialism. At the same time, the CCP is developing a world-class military to rival and eventually surpass the U.S. military. These actions enable the CCP to credibly pursue the quest — proceeding outward through the Indo-Pacific region and encompassing the globe — to achieve “national rejuvenation” culminating in the transformation of the international order.

To understand China’s peculiar form of authoritarianism and the hegemonic goals to which it gives rise, it is necessary to grasp the intellectual sources from which China’s conduct springs: the CCP’s Marxist-Leninist beliefs and the party’s extreme interpretation of Chinese nationalism.

中国是一个挑战,因为它的行为。中国共产党以20世纪马列主义专政为蓝本,最终推动了中国的快速现代化,并带来了惊人的经济增长–这在很大程度上要归功于该党在20世纪70年代末决定接受自由市场的元素,以及美国和世界各国决定与中国接触并欢迎与中国通商。今天,该党利用其经济力量来合纵连横,胁迫世界各国;使外国的社会和政治更加适应中共的规格;并按照中国的社会主义品牌重塑国际组织。同时,中共还在发展一支世界级的军队,以与美军相抗衡并最终超越美军。这些行动使中共能够可信地追求–通过印度洋-太平洋地区向外进行,并覆盖全球–实现 “民族复兴”,最终实现国际秩序的转变。


Notwithstanding its authoritarian rule over PRC citizens and the threat it presents to freedom around the world, China under the CCP is marked by a variety of vulnerabilities. These begin with the disadvantages endemic to autocracy: constraints on innovation, difficulties forming and maintaining alliances, and costs arising from internal repression. They also include vulnerabilities specific to the PRC: economic instability; demographic imbalance; environmental degradation; persistent corruption; oppression of ethnic and religious minorities; daunting expenses incurred in monitoring, censoring, and indoctrinating 1.4 billion people in China; separation of the military, which is controlled by the party, from the people; and — particularly in the wake of the illness, death, and social and economic devastation wrought worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic born in Wuhan — mounting international anger at the CCP’s contempt for human life, indifference to other nations’ well-being, and disregard for international norms and obligations.

尽管中国共产党对中国公民实行专制统治,并对全世界的自由构成威胁,但中国共产党领导下的中国还是存在着各种脆弱性。这些弱点首先是专制统治所特有的劣势:创新受到限制,难以形成和维持联盟,以及内部镇压所带来的代价。它们还包括中国特有的弱点:经济不稳定;人口不平衡;环境恶化;持续的腐败;对少数民族和宗教少数群体的压迫;监督、审查和灌输14亿中国人所产生的巨大费用;中国人的分离。 中国有40亿人;由党控制的军队与人民分离;以及–特别是在武汉发生的COVID-19大流行病在全世界造成的疾病、死亡和社会经济破坏之后–国际社会对中共蔑视人的生命、漠视其他国家的福祉、无视国际准则和义务的愤怒日益增加。

Meeting the China challenge requires the United States to return to the fundamentals. To secure freedom, America must refashion its foreign policy in light of ten tasks.


First, the United States must secure freedom at home by preserving constitutional government, promoting prosperity, and fostering a robust civil society, all of which nourish the civic concord that has always been essential to meeting the nation’s challenges abroad.


Second, the United States must maintain the world’s most powerful, agile, and technologically sophisticated military while enhancing security cooperation, grounded in common interests and shared responsibility, with allies and partners.


Third, the United States must fortify the free, open, and rules-based international order that it led in creating after World War II, which is composed of sovereign nation-states and based on respect for human rights and fidelity to the rule of law.


Fourth, the United States must reevaluate its alliance system and the panoply of international organizations in which it participates to determine where they fortify the free, open, and rules-based international order and where they fall short.


Fifth, in light of that reevaluation, the United States must strengthen its alliance system by more effectively sharing responsibilities with friends and partners and by forming a variety of groupings and coalitions to address specific threats to freedom while, in cooperation with the world’s democracies and other like-minded partners, reforming international organizations where possible and, where necessary, building new ones rooted in freedom, democracy, national sovereignty, human rights, and the rule of law.


Sixth, the United States must promote American interests by looking for opportunities to cooperate with Beijing subject to norms of fairness and reciprocity, constraining and deterring the PRC when circumstances require, and supporting those in China who seek freedom.


Seventh, the United States must educate American citizens about the scope and implications of the China challenge because only an informed citizenry can be expected to back the complex mix of demanding policies that the United States must adopt to secure freedom.


Eighth, the United States must train a new generation of public servants — in diplomacy, military affairs, finance, economics, science and technology, and other fields — and public-policy thinkers who not only attain fluency in Chinese and acquire extensive knowledge of China’s culture and history, but who also attain fluency in the languages, and acquire extensive knowledge of the cultures and histories, of other strategic competitors, friends, and potential friends.


Ninth, the United States must reform American education, equipping students to shoulder the enduring responsibilities of citizenship in a free and democratic society by understanding America’s legacy of liberty and also preparing them to meet the special demands of a complex, information-age, globalized economy for expertise in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Tenth, the United States must champion the principles of freedom — principles that are at once universal and at the heart of the American national spirit — through example; speeches; educational initiatives; public diplomacy; foreign assistance and investment; sanctions in more difficult circumstances as well as other forms of non-military pressure; and, where the nation’s vital interests are at stake and all else has failed, military force.

第十,美国必须通过以下方式捍卫自由原则 — — 这些原则既具有普遍性,又是美国民族精神的核心 — — 以身作则;演讲;教育倡议;公共外交;对外援助和投资;在更困难的情况下实施制裁以及其他形式的非军事压力;以及在国家的重大利益受到威胁而所有其他方式都失败的情况下,使用军事力量。

Grounded in America’s founding principles and constitutional traditions; invigorated by a bustling economy; undergirded by the world’s best-trained and best-equipped military; served by government officials who understand the American people and the American political system, recognize the diversity and common humanity of the peoples and nations of the world, and appreciates the complex interplay of ideas and interests in foreign affairs; and fortified by an informed and engaged citizenry — this multi-pronged approach will enable the United States to secure freedom.


  1. The China Challenge


For a fairly long time yet, socialism in its primary stage will exist alongside a more productive and developed capitalist system. In this long period of cooperation and conflict, socialism must learn from the boons that capitalism has brought to civilization. We must face the reality that people will use the strengths of developed, Western countries to denounce our countrys socialist development. Here we must have a great strategic determination, resolutely rejecting all false arguments that we should abandon socialism. We must consciously correct the various ideas that do not accord with our current stage. Most importantly, we must concentrate our efforts on bettering our own affairs, continually broadening our comprehensive national power, improving the lives of our people, building a socialism that is superior to capitalism, and laying the foundation for a future where we will win the initiative and have the dominant position.

— Xi Jinping, “Uphold and Develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” speech to the CCP Central Committee, January 5, 2013


– 习近平:《坚持和发展中国特色社会主义》,2013年1月5日在中共中央的讲话。

Awareness has been growing in the United States — and in nations around the world — that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has triggered a new era of great-power competition. Even as the United States seeks cooperation and welcomes rules-based competition, responsible American statecraft depends on grasping the mounting challenge that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) poses to free and sovereign nation-states and to the free, open, and rules-based international order that is essential to their security, stability, and prosperity. The CCP’s recklessness in allowing the novel coronavirus born in Wuhan to develop into a global pandemic coupled with the concerted disinformation campaign that Beijing undertook to conceal China’s culpability should put doubts to rest. Yet many people lack a proper understanding of the character and scope of the China challenge.


Home to an extraordinary culture and to moral and political traditions stretching back thousands of years, China today is a great power governed by an authoritarian regime modeled on 20th-century Marxist-Leninist dictatorship. Prodigious economic growth has enriched China. Major military modernization has emboldened it. And nations around the world have enabled the CCP by engaging, and welcoming commerce with, Beijing.


Few, however, discern the pattern in the PRC’s inroads in every region of the world, much less the specific form of preeminence to which the CCP aspires. The failure to understand China’s interests and objectives derives in no small measure from neglect of the CCP’s governing ideas.1 Just as America’s commitment to a free, open, and rules-based international order composed of sovereign nation states arises from our dedication to “unalienable rights” — the language that America’s Declaration of Independence uses to describe the rights inherent in all persons2 — so too does the PRC’s determination to achieve “national rejuvenation” and transform the international order so that it places China at the center and serves Beijing’s ruling ambitions stem from the CCP’s Marxist-Leninist ideology and hyper-nationalist convictions.3

然而,很少有人能看出中国在世界每个地区的入侵模式,更不用说中共渴望的具体优势形式了。对中国利益和目标的不理解,很大程度上源于对中共执政理念的忽视。 正如美国致力于建立一个由主权民族国家组成的自由、开放和以规则为基础的国际秩序,源于我们对 “不可剥夺的权利 “的承诺–美国《独立宣言》用这种语言来描述所有人固有的权利–同样,中国决心实现 “民族复兴”,改变国际秩序,使之以中国为中心,为北京的统治野心服务,也是源于中共的马列主义思想和超民族主义信念。

The conventional wisdom long supposed that China is best understood in accordance with ideas of reasonable state behavior. For decades, influential observers in and out of government viewed China’s rise as an opportunity to enlarge the world market and thereby benefit all nations through increased global commerce. They lauded Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s decision in the late 1970s to introduce capitalist elements into the PRC’s state-controlled economy, which — over time and with assistance from the United States and other advanced industrial nations — spurred rapid modernization and generated double-digit economic growth. They hoped that incorporating a rising China into the established international order would induce Beijing to fully open and privatize its state-directed economy; to liberalize its authoritarian regime; and eventually to become a “responsible stakeholder” upholding the international order. Even after the CCP’s bloody June 1989 crackdown on hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square and throughout the country, many in the United States and around the world clung to high hopes for China.4

长期以来,传统的智慧认为,对中国的理解最好是按照合理的国家行为理念来进行。几十年来,政府内外有影响力的观察家认为,中国的崛起是扩大世界市场的机会,从而通过增加全球贸易使所有国家受益。他们称赞中国领导人邓小平在20世纪70年代末决定将资本主义元素引入中国国家控制的经济中,随着时间的推移,在美国和其他先进工业国家的帮助下,中国经济迅速现代化,并产生了两位数的经济增长。他们希望,将一个崛起的中国纳入既有的国际秩序,将促使北京全面开放其国家控制的经济并实现私有化;使其专制政权自由化;并最终成为维护国际秩序的 “负责任的利益相关者”。即使在1989年6月中共血腥镇压天安门广场和全国各地数十万民主抗议者之后,美国和世界各地的许多人仍然对中国抱有很高的希望。

But the much-anticipated political liberalization did not occur. China might have chosen the democratic path of former dictatorships in East Asia like South Korea and Taiwan. Speculations about “the end of history” — that liberal democracy, owing to its reasonableness and universal appeal, was spreading around the globe — nourished the faith.5 But the CCP has stuck to its authoritarian convictions. The party consistently affirmed its fidelity to Marxism- Leninism as a paradigm for China’s governance, and socialism — the state control of economy and society — as a model not only for the PRC but also for other nations and as the basis of an alternative world order.6 Still, some persist in believing that China’s conduct will stay within recognizable boundaries and that Beijing merely acts as would any great power in its geopolitical circumstances.7

但备受期待的政治自由化并没有出现。中国可能选择了南朝鲜和台湾等东亚前独裁国家的民主道路。关于 “历史终结 “的猜测–自由民主因其合理性和普遍吸引力,正在全球范围内蔓延–滋养了人们的信心。 但中共一直坚持其专制信念。该党一贯申明其忠于马列主义,将其作为中国治理的典范,而社会主义–国家对经济和社会的控制–不仅是中国的模式,也是其他国家的模式,是另一种世界秩序的基础。 但仍有一些人坚持认为,中国的行为将保持在可识别的范围内,而北京只是在其地缘政治环境下与任何大国一样行事。

Meanwhile, the CCP has patiently developed the PRC’s capabilities over the last 40 years with the long-term goal of achieving global preeminence and placing a socialist stamp on world order. Captive to the conventional wisdom, the United States and other countries proceeded largely unaware of or indifferent to the long-term strategic competition launched by the CCP and affirmed with increasing boldness by CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping. As a veteran U.S. policymaker recently wrote, “This prolonged failure in China policy could turn out to be the biggest U.S. policy deficiency in the past seven decades, given the accumulating dangerous strategic consequences of the rise of Chinese power for world order as well as for the United States and its allies and friends.”8


Even as proponents of the conventional wisdom dug in their heels, keen observers of China effected a salutary shift in perspective. Their books and articles bring into focus the CCP’s one-party, repressive rule as well as its defiance of, and determination to remake, international norms, standards, and institutions.9


The Trump Administration achieved a fundamental break with the conventional wisdom. It concluded that the CCP’s resolute conduct and self-professed goals require the United States and other countries to revise assumptions and develop a new strategic doctrine to address the primacy and magnitude of the China challenge. The administration presented its thinking to the public in the 2017 National Security Strategy, 2018 National Defense Strategy, 2020 United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China, 2020 annual report to Congress on China’s military power, and in many high-profile speeches by senior administration figures.10


The administration’s outlook recognizes that it is unreasonable to suppose that today’s leaders of the Chinese Communist Party — who view themselves as heirs to a great civilization, who espouse a 20th-century ideology and political system the cruelty and repression of which have left tens of millions dead, and who pursue hyper-nationalist goals — comprehend domestic politics and world affairs as do the United States and other liberal democracies.11 In recent years, the CCP has consolidated authority and — by nefarious means ranging from digital surveillance to strict indoctrination to concentration camps for religious and ethnic minorities — intensified the subordination of PRC citizens to party-defined collective interests. The CCP has developed — and acquired illegally in many instances — advanced technologies not only to control its own population but also to collect data on persons across the globe and to build a world-class military. The CCP has pursued extravagant claims in, and militarization of, the South China Sea in brazen defiance of international law while crushing freedom in Hong Kong and threatening to do the same in Taiwan. The CCP has undertaken major infrastructure and investment projects, debt-trap diplomacy, and other predatory economic practices in every region of the world, the better to induce or compel sovereign nation-states, particularly their governing and business elites, to aid and abet China in the reshaping of world order. And the CCP has leveraged its integration into international organizations to infuse them with norms and standards rooted in the party’s authoritarianism.


China’s conduct reflects the CCP’s short-term priorities and long-term ambitions, the party’s assessment of China’s current stage of development, and its understanding of the geopolitical environment in which China operates. “In this long period of cooperation and conflict, socialism must learn from the boons that capitalism has brought to civilization,” Xi proclaimed in 2013. “Most importantly, we must concentrate our efforts on bettering our own affairs, continually broadening our comprehensive national power, improving the lives of our people, building a socialism that is superior to capitalism, and laying the foundation for a future where we will win the initiative and have the dominant position.12 Examination of the CCP’s conduct in light of its communist and hyper-nationalist ideas demonstrates that by achieving “the initiative” and attaining “the dominant position,” Xi means displacing the United States as the world’s foremost power and restructuring world order to conform to the CCP’s distinctive way of empire.

中国的行为反映了中国共产党的短期重点和长期雄心,反映了党对中国现阶段发展的评估,反映了党对中国所处地缘政治环境的理解。”在这个长期的合作与冲突中,社会主义必须学习资本主义给文明带来的恩惠,”习近平在2013年宣布。”最重要的是,我们要集中力量办好自己的事情,不断扩大综合国力,改善人民生活,建设优于资本主义的社会主义,为将来赢得主动、占据主导地位奠定基础。 “从中共的共产主义和超民族主义思想来审视中共的行为,可以看出,习近平所说的取得 “主动权”、获得 “主导地位”,就是要取代美国成为世界上最重要的大国,重构世界秩序,使之符合中共独特的帝国之道。

The purpose of this unclassified Policy Planning Staff paper is to step back and take a long-term view, elaborate the elements of the China challenge, and sketch a framework for the fashioning of sturdy policies that stand above bureaucratic squabbles and interagency turf battles and transcend short-term election cycles. The United States’ overarching aim should be to secure freedom.


  1. Chinas Conduct


To understand the character of the contest for supremacy launched by the CCP, it is necessary to grasp the major features of China’s conduct. These include the PRC’s brand of authoritarian governance, its use of economic might to surpass the United States in influence in every region of the world as well as in international organizations, and its development of a world-class military designed to counter and eventually surpass the U.S. military. These features have been studied in isolation and each is well-known to experts in one field or another. Their comprehensive and interlocking character, however, is not widely appreciated. Considering them together brings into focus the CCP’s paramount geopolitical aim: to achieve global preeminence by reorganizing the international order around the party’s understanding of socialism.


Authoritarianism at Home


China’s conduct in world affairs stems from the CCP’s form of authoritarian government. In line with 20th-century communist dogma and the precepts and practices of Marxist-Leninist regimes, the CCP exercises repressive, single-party rule over some 1.4 billion people. Recently, the party amended the PRC constitution to remove term limits on the presidency occupied by CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping.


In the decades after the violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the CCP intensified internal repression and fortified its control over the country by expanding the systematic use of indoctrination, censorship, disinformation, high-tech surveillance, forced disappearances, and other brutal means.13 To erase the ethnic and religious identities of Xinjiang’s nearly 11 million Turkic Muslims, the party has damaged and destroyed mosques; imprisoned more than one million Uyghurs in so-called “re-education” camps that subject prisoners to indoctrination, compulsory labor, forced sterilization, involuntary birth control, and other heinous abuses; and implemented mass surveillance, DNA collection, and other forms of coercive social control.14 As part of China’s national policy to forcibly integrate minorities, which is sometimes referred to as “stability maintenance,” the CCP has heightened repression of some 6 million Tibetans — severely restricting freedom of speech, religion, movement, association, and assembly.15 It has also curtailed the freedom of more than 4 million ethnic Mongolians living in China’s Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in an effort to sinicize them.16 And, as part of its crackdown on Christians in China, a population estimated to number as many as 70 million, the CCP has imprisoned pastors, shut down churches, banned online religious services, and contemplated a plan to rewrite the Bible to purge it of ideas that conflict with party dogma.17

在1989年天安门广场暴力镇压民主抗议者之后的几十年里,中共加强了内部镇压,并通过扩大系统地使用灌输、审查、造谣、高科技监控、强迫失踪和其他残酷手段,加强了对国家的控制。为了抹去新疆近1100万突厥穆斯林的民族和宗教身份,中国共产党破坏和摧毁了清真寺;将100多万维吾尔族人关押在所谓的 “再教育 “营中,对囚犯进行灌输、强制劳动、强迫绝育、非自愿节育和其他令人发指的虐待;并实施大规模监控、DNA采集和其他形式的强制性社会控制。作为中国强行整合少数民族(有时被称为 “维稳”)的国家政策的一部分,中国共产党加强了对大约600万藏族人的镇压–严格限制言论、宗教、行动、结社和集会自由。而且,作为镇压中国基督徒(估计有七千万人)的一部分,中共监禁牧师、关闭教堂、禁止网上宗教活动,并考虑重写《圣经》的计划,清除与党的教条相冲突的思想。

The CCP also seeks to extend the reach of China’s sovereignty. In the months following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China — in defiance of its promises to keep Hong Kong free and open and to maintain the territory’s high degree of autonomy under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law — imposed a national security law that destroys the territory’s autonomy and robs Hong Kong’s residents of their essential freedoms.18 Beijing also insists that Taiwan — today a free and prosperous democracy — has always been and must remain part of China and threatens reunification by military force.19 And, asserting maritime claims in the South China Sea far beyond those recognized by international law, China has shifted the balance of power in the sea by building on and militarizing disputed islands.20

中共还试图扩大中国主权的范围。在COVID-19疫情爆发后的几个月里,中国无视其根据1984年《中英联合声明》和香港《基本法》作出的保持香港自由开放和保持香港高度自治的承诺,强行实施了一项国家安全法,破坏了香港的自治,剥夺了香港居民的基本自由。北京还坚持认为,台湾–今天是一个自由和繁荣的 民主国家–一直是、也必须继续是中国的一部分,并 威胁要以军事力量实现统一。而且,中国在南中国海的海权主张远远超出了国际法所承认的范围,中国通过在有争议的岛屿上进行建设并将其军事化,从而改变了海上的均势。

The communism that the CCP professes is more than a mode of authoritarian domestic governance. It is also a theory of a globe-spanning universal society, the ultimate goal of which is to bring about a socialist international order. At the same time, the CCP proclaims hyper-nationalist aspirations with roots in Chinese cultural and political traditions — however much twisted and deformed by the party — that require the PRC to occupy the commanding position in world affairs. The party’s synthesis of 20th-century communist dogma and extreme Chinese nationalism drives the PRC’s conduct within and beyond its borders.


Economic Co-optation and Coercion


Economic power is a leading element of the CCP’s quest for preeminence in world affairs. Before modernization, China often acquired leverage over its neighbors, whom it more or less viewed as comprising the known world, through the creation of dependence in commerce.21


Today, thanks in part to globalization and to the CCP’s rapid modernization over the last forty years, the known world for China has expanded to encompass the globe. The CCP has adapted the old approach to China’s new circumstances. All major economies are vulnerable to the CCP’s economic co-optation and coercion because of their extensive commercial ties with the PRC and their desire to maintain access to China’s low-cost labor force and enormous consumer markets. America’s own economic entwinement with China dwarfs U.S. commercial relations with the former Soviet Union.22


As China reaped the benefits of modernization and accelerated economic development, the CCP set its sights on dominating the global economy by leading in the cutting-edge sciences and the high-tech revolution. On its way to building the world’s second largest economy after the United States, the party developed various initiatives and programs integral to Beijing’s long-term strategy of using a “whole-of-nation” approach to achieve — including by deceptive, corrupt, and illicit means — decisive advantage over the United States and other advanced industrial nations.

随着中国从现代化和加速经济发展中获益,中国共产党将目光投向了通过在尖端科学和高科技革命中的领先地位来主导全球经济。在建设仅次于美国的世界第二大经济体的道路上,中国共产党制定了各种举措和计划,这些举措和计划是北京的长期战略的组成部分,即利用 “全国性 “的方法,包括通过欺骗、腐败和非法手段,取得对美国和其他先进工业国家的决定性优势。

First, China engages in massive intellectual-property theft.23 The PRC has perpetrated the greatest illegitimate transfer of wealth in human history, stealing technological innovation and trade secrets from companies, universities, and the defense sectors of the United States and other nations.24 According to research cited by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, China’s efforts — including forced technology transfer, cyberattacks, and a whole-of-nation approach to economic and industrial espionage — cost the U.S. economy as much as $600 billion annually.25 This staggering sum approaches the Pentagon’s annual national defense budget and exceeds the total profits of the Fortune 500’s top 50 companies.

首先,中国进行了大规模的知识产权盗窃。 中国进行了人类历史上最大规模的非法财富转移,从美国和其他国家的公司、大学和国防部门窃取技术创新和商业机密。根据美国贸易代表办公室引用的研究结果,中国的努力–包括强制技术转让、网络攻击以及整个国家的经济和工业间谍活动–每年给美国经济造成的损失高达6000亿美元。 这个惊人的数字接近五角大楼的年度国防预算,并超过《财富》500强前50家公司的利润总额。

All 56 FBI field offices are conducting China-related economic-espionage investigations across nearly every industrial sector.26


Second, China pursues control over key international supply chains and essential materials and goods. Since Beijing’s controversial 2001 accession to the World Trade Organization, U.S. multinational companies have relied increasingly on the PRC’s low-cost labor force to produce and export cheaper finished goods, especially in high-technology and advanced-manufacturing sectors. This shift resulted in lower prices for U.S. consumers and higher profits for U.S. companies. Among the costs, however, was a “China Shock” that devastated small- and medium-sized manufacturing in the United States and other nations, wiping out as many as 2.4 million jobs in America alone and leaving crucial international supply chains dependent on China.27 The global pandemic has thrown this supply-chain vulnerability into sharp relief.

其次,中国寻求对关键国际供应链和基本材料及货物的控制。自从2001年北京有争议地加入世界贸易组织以来,美国跨国公司越来越多地依赖中国的低成本劳动力来生产和出口更便宜的成品,特别是在高科技和先进制造业领域。这种转变导致美国消费者的购买价格降低,美国公司的利润增加。然而,代价之一是 “中国冲击”,它摧毁了美国和其他国家的中小型制造业,仅在美国就消灭了多达240万个工作岗位,并使关键的国际供应链依赖于中国。全球性的大流行病使这种供应链的脆弱性变得更加突出。

Third, China seeks worldwide industrial dominance, particularly in critical high-tech sectors. While manufacturing superiority proved decisive in U.S. victories in World War II and the Cold War, the United States lost that advantage in many essential industries. For example, China today accounts for 50 percent of global steel and aluminum production, 70 percent of consumer electronics manufacturing capacity, 90 percent of consumer drone production, 45 percent of shipbuilding production, and, by 2022, will likely account for 35 percent of the world’s integrated-circuit fabrication capacity.28 By 2022, China and Taiwan are set to house 70 percent of global capacity for integrated-circuit fabrication, including virtually all cutting-edge production,29 which is vital to the digital economy, advanced weapons systems, aerospace, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and other essential industries. The PRC aggressively implements industrial policy through efforts like its “Made in China 2025” initiative, which develops Chinese “national champion” companies in ten decisive areas: (1) AI, quantum computing, and next-generation information technology; (2) robotics and automation; (3) aerospace and space; (4) high-tech shipping and oceanic engineering; (5) high-speed railway; (6) energy efficiency; (7) new materials; (8) biotechnology, medical devices, and advanced pharmaceuticals; (9) next-generation energy and power generation; and (10) agricultural machinery.30 By displacing the United States and other advanced industrial nations in these vital domains, China intends not only to acquire control over global commerce, but also to support its “Military-Civil Fusion” (MCF) strategy for leveraging legally and illegally acquired advanced and emerging technologies to strengthen its armed forces. The PRC’s progress in AI poses a particular risk because the CCP, unconstrained by respect for individual liberty and human rights, exploits the massive quantities of data that it collects to refine the AI algorithms that will power the next generation of networked technology.31

第三,中国寻求在世界范围内的工业主导权,特别是在关键的高科技领域。虽然事实证明,制造业优势对美国在二战和冷战中的胜利具有决定性作用,但现在美国在许多重要行业失去了这一优势。例如,中国今天占据了全球50%的钢铝产量,70%的消费电子制造能力, 90%的消费类无人机产量,45 %的造船产量,到2022年,中国可能将占据全球35%的集成电路制造能力。到2022年,中国大陆和台湾将拥有全球70%的集成电路制造能力,几乎包括所有尖端产品生产,这对数字经济、先进武器系统、航空航天、人工智能(AI)、机器人和其他重要产业至关重要。中国通过 “中国制造2025 “计划等努力积极实施产业政策,在十个决定性领域发展中国的 “国家冠军 “企业。(1)人工智能、量子计算和下一代信息技术;(2)机器人和自动化;(3)航空航天和太空;(4)高科技航运和海洋工程;(5)高速铁路;(6)节能;(7)新材料;(8)生物技术、医疗设备和先进制药;(9)下一代能源和发电;(10)农业机械。 通过在这些重要领域取代美国和其他先进工业国家,中国不仅打算获得对全球商业的控制权,而且还打算支持其 “军民融合”(MCF)战略,利用合法和非法获得的先进和新兴技术来加强其武装力量。中国在人工智能方面的进展构成了一个特别的风险,因为中共在不尊重个人自由和人权的情况下,利用其收集的大量数据来完善人工智能算法,从而推动下一代网络技术的发展。

Fourth, China aims to build the world’s fifth generation (5G) wireless-telecommunications physical and digital infrastructure as a steppingstone to broader dominance in emerging and next-generation information technologies. Beijing heavily subsidizes state-directed Huawei and ZTE, enabling these telecommunications behemoths to undercut rivals in the race to construct 5G networks on every continent.32 Since Huawei and ZTE are subject to China’s various national security laws that compel them to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work,” countries that use them as 5G vendors face growing threats to their network integrity, data privacy, economic stability, and national security.33 Moreover, under the guise of so-called “smart city” development projects, Huawei and ZTE can export to autocratic regimes around the world the same Orwellian tools that they provide the CCP to surveil people in China.34 Meanwhile, since military operations, espionage, and political warfare depend on information and data, China invests large sums to gain advantage in cyberspace, including physical architecture, operating systems, and hardware.35

第四,中国的目标是寻求建设世界第五代(5G)无线通信物理和数字基础设施,以此作为在新兴和下一代信息技术领域取得更广泛主导地位的踏脚石。中国政府为国家主导的华为和中兴提供了大量补贴,使这些电信巨头能够在各大洲建设5G网络的竞争中压倒对手。在中国各种安全法规的约束下,华为和中兴必须“支持、协助和配合国家情报工作”,因此,以它们为5G供应商的国家,其网络完整性、数据隐私、经济稳定和国家安全都面临着越来越大的威胁。 此外,在所谓的 “智慧城市 “发展项目的幌子下,华为和中兴可以向世界各地的专制政权供应他们同样为中共提供的监视中国人民的奥威尔式工具。 同时,由于军事行动、间谍活动和政治战争都依赖于信息和数据,中国投入大量资金在网络世界取得优势,包括物理架构、操作系统和硬件。

Fifth, the CCP uses the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — originally called One Belt One Road (OBOR) and still so designated by the PRC in Chinese-language sources — and other undertakings to expand foreign markets for Chinese companies and as a means of drawing nations, particularly their political and economic elites, into Beijing’s geopolitical orbit. BRI infrastructure projects — ports, railroads, highways, dams, industrial parks, civil nuclear facilities and other energy related initiatives, and more — typically rely on imported Chinese workers rather than local labor, and sometimes involve 50- to 100-year business relationships that entrench China’s long-term access to local elites and confer power over key parts of the host country’s critical infrastructure. Because of the heavy economic and environmental costs imposed by the CCP, host countries increasingly find these BRI projects unsustainable. As a result of China’s predatory development program and debt-trap diplomacy, for example, Sri Lanka lost control of a major port after defaulting on a burdensome loan.36

第五,中共利用 “一带一路 “倡议(BRI)–原名为 “一带一路”(OBOR),在中文资料中,中国仍将其称为 “一带一路”–以及其他项目,为中国公司拓展国外市场,并将其作为吸引各国,特别是其政治和经济精英进入中国政府地缘政治圈子的一种手段。BRI基础设施项目–港口、铁路、高速公路、大坝、工业园区、民用核设施和其他与能源相关的项目等等–通常依赖使用中国工人而非当地劳动力,有时是涉及50至100年的商业合作,这巩固了中国与当地精英的长期关系,并攫取了东道国关键基础设施核心部分的权力。由于中共强加的沉重的经济和环境成本,东道国越来越发现这些BRI项目是不可持续的。例如,由于中国的掠夺性发展计划和债务陷阱外交,斯里兰卡在拖欠一笔沉重的贷款后失去了对一个主要港口的控制权。

Sixth, China leverages often unfettered access to foreign capital markets.37 In particular, U.S. stock exchanges today list over 130 Chinese companies — including Alibaba, PetroChina Company Limited, China Life Insurance Company Limited, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, Baidu, and Tencent — with a combined valuation of over $1 trillion.38 Following massive financial and accounting scandals in the early 2000s, the U.S. Congress enacted laws requiring regulators to inspect the audits of all U.S.-listed companies.39 China is the only country that invokes its state security laws to block U.S. regulators from conducting these inspections.40 Moreover, U.S. investors and pension holders unwittingly pour billions into managed funds that invest in Chinese companies that are listed on exchanges outside the United States. Moreover, some foreign-listed Chinese companies — including Hikvision, Dahua Technology, and the weapons-manufacturing subsidiaries of Aviation Industry Corporation of China — have ties to Beijing’s military modernization, espionage, and human rights abuses, and may be subject to U.S. sanctions and export controls.41

第六,中国基金往往不受限制地进入外国资本市场。 特别是,美国证券交易所今天列出了130多家中国公司–包括阿里巴巴、中国石油天然气股份有限公司、中国人寿保险股份有限公司、中国石油化工集团公司、百度和腾讯–总估值超过1万亿美元。 在2000年代初发生大规模财务和会计丑闻后,美国国会颁布法律,要求监管机构检查所有在美国上市的公司的审计情况。 中国是唯一一个援引国家安全法阻止美国监管机构进行这些检查的国家。 此外,美国投资者和养老金持有者在不知不觉中向投资于在美国境外交易所上市的中国公司的管理基金投入了数十亿美元。不仅如此,一些在国外上市的中国公司–包括海康威视、大华科技和中国航空工业集团公司的武器制造子公司–与中国政府的军事现代化、间谍活动和侵犯人权的行为有关,可能本应该受到美国的制裁和出口管制。

Seventh, China exploits the freedom and openness of the world’s liberal democracies to undercut their governance, prosperity, and national security. Beijing regularly threatens to cut off access to its vast markets to force foreign businesses in free countries to conform to the CCP’s political demands and speech regulations. Prominent cases include China’s efforts to compel foreign airlines to list Taiwan as part of the PRC, to silence the National Basketball Association after the Houston Rockets’ then-general manager tweeted — from U.S. soil — his support for Hong Kong protesters seeking to preserve their city’s individual freedoms and political autonomy, and to extract an apology from Mercedes-Benz for using an image of the Dalai Lama in online advertising.42 In addition, the CCP carries out massive propaganda and disinformation efforts.43 The party uses the Thousand Talents Program (TTP) and other party-run recruitment efforts to target universities and impel students and professors to obtain — lawfully or otherwise — technology, trade secrets, proprietary data, and research and development.44 It generously funds Confucius Institutes, which specialize in disseminating CCP propaganda,45 at universities in the United States and in other countries through confidential funding agreements that oblige the institutions to avoid criticism of China and to otherwise comply with CCP objectives.46 And the CCP tracks foreign government officials at the national and subnational levels, not least in the United States, to find opportunities for influence.47

第七,中国利用世界上自由民主国家的自由和开放,破坏它们的治理、繁荣和国家安全。北京经常威胁要切断进入其广阔市场的通道,来迫使自由国家的外国企业服从中共的政治要求和言论管制。著名的案例包括:中共强迫外国航空公司将台湾列为中华人民共和国的一部分;在休斯敦火箭队时任总经理从美国本土发推特支持香港抗议者维护其城市的个人自由和政治自治后,中国压制NBA的声音;以及要求梅赛德斯-奔驰公司就其在网络广告中使用达赖喇嘛的形象道歉。 此外,中共还进行了大规模的宣传和造谣工作。 中共利用 “千人计划”(TTP)和其他由该党管理的招聘活动,以大学为目标,诱使学生和教授合法或以其他方式获得技术、商业机密、专有数据和研究与开发。在秘密的避免批评中国并遵守其他中共规定的协议下,中共慷慨地资助美国和其他国家大学兴办孔子学院,来专门传播中共的宣传。中共跟踪外国政府国家级和次国家级官员,尤其是在美国,以寻找影响的机会。

By means of these and other initiatives and programs — and unconstrained by respect for international law and human rights — the PRC wields its vast economic power globally to bring countries under its sway. Increasingly, the CCP links its clout in commerce and investment to shows of advanced military capabilities, with the aim of expanding its global influence.


A World-Class Military


China’s economic might and technological prowess advance its development of a world-class military that is intended to rival and in the long-term surpass the U.S. military and those of its allies.48 The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which owes allegiance to the CCP, is central to the party’s goal of empowering China to play the decisive role on the world stage. Following his selection in 2012 as CCP General Secretary, Xi Jinping intensified the PLA’s decades-long military modernization. Also named chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi used the 2012 Defense White Paper to direct the PLA to achieve a status “commensurate with” China’s “international standing.”49 On January 1, 2016, the PLA announced a comprehensive reorganization of its force structure, setting the military on a path of expansion that paralleled China’s economic advances, and which would enable it “to combat and win battles.”50

中国的经济和技术实力推动了其建设世界级的军队,其目的是与美国及其盟国的军队相抗衡,并在远期内超越它们。效忠于中国共产党的人民解放军,是中共寻求中国在世界舞台上决定性话语权的中坚力量。在2012年被选为中共总书记后,习近平加强了解放军长达数十年的军事现代化建设。习近平还被任命为中央军委主席,他在2012年的《国防白皮书》指示解放军要实现与中国 “国际地位 “相称的地位。 2016年1月1日,解放军宣布全面调整部队结构,使军队走上与中国经济进步同步的扩张之路,这将使其 “能打仗、打胜仗”。

The CCP’s extensive military transformation exhibits China’s strategic intentions. The 2016 reorganization created five theater-based joint commands — akin to the United States’ geographic commands — and two functional commands. The responsibilities of the newly formed Strategic Support Force (SSF) include cyber and space operations and electronic warfare as well as psychological-warfare operations. The SSF, along with Joint Logistics Support Force, will enable the PLA to project military power over great distances and to contest “new military strategic commanding heights.”51 The 2016 reform elevated China’s nuclear forces, which Xi emphasizes are essential to China’s major-power status, from a subordinate command to a separate stand-alone military service. Accordingly, he called upon the PLA Rocket Force “to enhance its nuclear deterrents and nuclear counterstrike capabilities.”52

中共广泛的军事变革展示了中国的战略意图。2016年的重组建立了五个战区联合司令部–类似于美国的地域司令部–和两个职能司令部。新组建的战略支援部队(SSF)的职责包括网络和太空战、电子战以及心理战行动。SSF与联合后勤支援部队一起,将使解放军能够远距离投放军事力量,争夺 “新的军事战略指挥高地”。 2016年的改革将习近平强调对中国大国地位至关重要的中国核力量从一个下属指挥部提升为一个单独的独立军种。据此,他要求解放军火箭军 “增强核威慑和核反击能力”。

Having undertaken these structural reforms, Xi used the 19th Party Congress in October 2017 to announce goals for the transformation of the PLA’s operations and capabilities. He directed the military to achieve mechanization, make strides in applying information technology, and improve its strategic capabilities. His goal is to complete the transformation of the PLA and the People’s Armed Police into “world-class forces by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the PRC’s founding.”53

在进行了这些结构性改革后, 2017年10月的党的十九大上,习近平宣布了解放军作战和能力转型的目标。他指示军队实现机械化,在应用信息技术方面取得进展,提高战略能力。他的目标是,到2049年中华人民共和国成立100周年时,解放军和人民武装警察完成转型,成为 “世界级军队”。

China learned well from U.S. military success in the 1991 Gulf War and the military offset strategy the United States adopted in the 1970s to address the Soviet challenge.54 To counter the U.S. military’s technological advantage, PLA leadership developed an offset strategy of its own. Top officials in the U.S. Department of Defense have warned that the United States can no longer take for granted military superiority in East Asia.55

中国很好地学习了1991年海湾战争中美国的成功经验,以及美国在20世纪70年代为应对苏联挑战而采取的军事抵消战略。 为了对抗美军的技术优势,解放军领导层制定了自己的抵消战略。美国国防部高官警告说,美国不能再把在东亚的军事优势视为理所当然。

China embarked on five distinct but mutually supporting lines of effort:

• “Military-Civil Fusion” (MCF) to achieve the world’s most technologically sophisticated military by acquiring, including through illegal means, advanced and emerging technologies from the United States and from countries around the globe;

• “Systems-destruction warfare” strategy — emphasizing attacks on command and control centers — to shut down enemy operational systems;

• Vast arsenals of ground-based precision missiles to penetrate U.S. defenses;

• “Assassin’s Mace” capabilities to surprise the adversary from unexpected vectors;

• Industrial dominance to attain world leadership in artificial intelligence.56

China’s offset strategy has resulted in a form of asymmetric arms racing. Beijing has invested in large numbers of ground-based theater missiles, third- and fourth-generation aircraft carrying advanced standoff missiles, diesel submarines capable of dominating regional waters, counter-space and cyber capabilities, and an increasingly advanced nuclear arsenal. The PLA’s rapid progress in producing and deploying hypersonic missiles — designed to defeat U.S. and allied missile defenses — underscores Beijing’s determination to achieve asymmetric advantages.57 It does not appear that China is mirroring Soviet behavior by sprinting to quantitative nuclear parity, but evidence mounts that Beijing seeks to at least double the size of its nuclear forces and achieve a form of qualitative equivalence with the United States.58


– “军民融合”(MCF),包括通过非法手段等方式,从美国和世界各国获取先进的新兴技术,建成世界上技术最先进的军队。

– “系统破坏战 “战略—-强调攻击指挥和控制中心—-以封闭敌方作战系统。

– 庞大的陆基精确导弹库,以穿透美国的防御系统。

– “刺客之锤 “的能力,用意想不到的载体突袭对手。

– 工业主宰力在人工智能领域取得世界领先地位。

中国的抵消战略导致了一种不对称的军备竞赛。北京投资了大量的陆基战区导弹、携带先进防区外导弹的第三代和第四代飞机、能够支配地区海域的柴油潜艇、反空间和网络能力,以及越来越先进的核武库。解放军在生产和部署高超音速导弹–旨在击败美国和盟国的导弹防御系统–方面的快速进展凸显了北京实现不对称优势的决心。 中国似乎并没有效仿苏联的行为,急于实现数量上的核均势,但有证据表明,北京试图将其核力量的规模至少扩大一倍,并实现与美国在质量上的某种形式的对等。

Meanwhile, China has placed more satellites in space than any country other than the United States.59 Beijing is also working on a range of counter-space and anti-satellite capabilities designed to threaten U.S. nuclear and critical military command and control assets.60 The PLA demonstrated its progress in 2007 when it conducted a successful anti-satellite test, destroying a Chinese satellite operating in the same low-earth orbit as U.S. military-imaging satellites.

同时,中国在太空中布置的卫星数量超过了除美国外的任何国家。 北京还在研究一系列反太空和反卫星能力,旨在威胁美国的核力量和关键军事指挥与控制设施。2007年解放军战室了其进展,在一次成功的反卫星试验中,摧毁了一颗与美国军事成像卫星在同一低地轨道上运行的中国卫星。

The PRC has also adopted non-military stratagems to complicate U.S. military operations. Previous administrations cited nonproliferation as a bright spot in U.S.-China cooperation, but the evidence belies the rosy assessments. Despite Chinese commitments, Iran, North Korea and Syria continue to obtain WMD material and technology from Chinese entities while using Chinese territory as a transshipment point.61 According to the State Department’s annual report on international compliance with arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements, China “has failed to adhere to its November 2000 commitment to the United States not to assist ‘in any way, any country in the development of ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons (i.e., missiles capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kilograms to a distance of at least 300 kilometers).’”62 The report went on to note, “This failure to adhere to its November 2000 commitment is reflected in Chinese entities’ continued supply of items to missile programs of proliferation concern.”63 Beijing’s direct assistance to WMD proliferators declined after it signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1992. Yet China continues to support, or at least condone, the proliferation of WMD and missile capabilities in order to undermine the security of those whom the PRC considers regional or global adversaries.64

中国还采取非军事策略来迷惑美国的军事行动复杂化。虽然前几届政府都将防扩散作为美中合作的亮点,但证据却掩盖了这些乐观的评估。尽管中国做出了承诺,但伊朗、朝鲜和叙利亚扔可持续以中国领土为转运点中国实体获得大规模杀伤性武器材料和技术。 根据美国国务院关于国际遵守军控、不扩散和裁军协议的年度报告,中国 “没有遵守2000年11月向美国作出的承诺,即不以任何方式协助‘任何国家发展可用于运载核武器的弹道导弹(即能够将至少500公斤的有效载荷运到至少300公里的距离的导弹)'”。”报告还指出,”中国实体继续供应不扩散条约限制下的导弹项目物资,反映了中国未能遵守2000年11月的承诺”。 北京在1992年签署《核不扩散条约》后,对大规模杀伤性武器扩散者的直接援助有所减少。然而,中国继续支持,至少是纵容大规模杀伤性武器和导弹能力的扩散,以破坏那些被中国视为地区或全球对手的国家的安全。

While the PRC uses an offset strategy to advance its objectives in the first island chain — stretching from Japan to Taiwan to the northern Philippines to northern Borneo to the Malay Peninsula — CCP leadership and military strategists believe that AI and other emerging technologies will drive a revolution in military affairs that culminates in what they call “intelligent warfare.”65 By implementing a whole-of-system strategy and driving this revolution, the CCP hopes the PLA will achieve military dominance within the next 25 years.

虽然中国采用抵消战略来推进其在第一岛链–从日本到台湾到菲律宾北部到婆罗洲北部到马来半岛–的目标,但中共领导层和军事战略家认为,人工智能和其他新兴技术将推动一场军事事务的革命,最终达到他们所说的 “智能战争”。 通过实施全系统战略并推动这场革命,中共希望解放军能在未来25年内实现军事主导权。

In the near-to-medium term, China will use its military capabilities, operational concepts, and overall doctrine to turn the U.S. military’s technological strengths in the Indo-Pacific into weaknesses by credibly threatening to deliver massive punishment against American power-projection forces while thwarting the United States’ ability to provide reinforcement. This would signal to regional powers a fait accompli too costly to overturn. The PRC’s strategy is not only to prevail but also to demoralize America’s friends and partners by demonstrating that the United States cannot meet its security commitments in the region — at least not quickly or at an acceptable cost. This strategy is especially pertinent to Taiwan.


Chinas Long March to Global Preeminence: Increasing Region-by- Region Influence and Reshaping International Organizations


China’s quest for preeminence — powered by economic might, cutting-edge technology, and an increasingly powerful military — proceeds outward through the Indo-Pacific to encompass the globe. It includes the reshaping of international organizations, a domain critical to the CCP’s efforts to remake the norms and standards of global governance.


The Indo-Pacific


After World War II, the United States helped to develop the Indo-Pacific’s free and open order. The PRC seeks to diminish U.S. influence by fostering a sense in the region’s nations that China’s dominance is inevitable. Prime targets include U.S. treaty-based allies — Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines — as well as emerging strategic partners such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Taiwan. The PRC is also undermining the security, autonomy, and economic interests of many others in the region — such as member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including those in the vital Mekong Region, as well as the nations of the Pacific Islands. Moreover, China perceives rising India as a rival and seeks to impel it to accommodate Beijing’s ambitions by engaging economically while constraining New Delhi’s strategic partnership with the United States, Japan, Australia, and its relations with other democracies.


Beijing provides digital technology and physical infrastructure to advance the CCP’s authoritarian objectives throughout the region, including Northeast Asia, the South China Sea, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In addition to efforts to become the region’s 5G vendor of choice, China pursues deals on airports and seaports and other infrastructure for strategic purposes — for example, a 99-year lease on Australia’s Port Darwin, a $10-billion deal to build the Philippines’s Sangley Point International Airport outside Manila, and a $1.3-billion project to construct Burma’s Kyaukphyu deep-sea port.66


China has employed campaigns of disinformation, and even interference and malign influence, against in democracies across the Indo-Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan.


These and other undertakings erode democratic institutions and norms, not least through intimidation designed to compel the adoption of policies that advance China’s interests.67


In South and Central Asia, the PRC invests heavily in transportation infrastructure to expand trade routes to Eurasia and Europe and to secure the flow of energy, raw materials, and other resources. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) serves as the Belt and Road Initiative’s Central Asia flagship. CPEC also connects to the BRI’s “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” greatly enhancing China’s access to the Middle East through Pakistan’s Gwadar port and linking to PRC projects at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, Bangladesh’s Chittagong port, and the Maldives’s Feydhoo Finolhu Port.68 Through Chinese companies that are often untrustworthy vendors, the CCP offers public-security solutions — featuring “command centers, CCTV cameras, intelligent video surveillance, facial and license plate recognition technology, crowd monitoring, situational awareness detection, noise monitoring or detection, abandoned object detection, and social media monitoring”69 — to countries across the region.

在南亚和中亚,中国大力投资于交通基础设施,以扩大通往欧亚大陆和欧洲的贸易路线,确保能源、原材料和其他资源的流动。中巴经济走廊(CPEC)是一带一路倡议的中亚旗舰。CPEC还连接了BRI的 “21世纪海上丝绸之路”,极大地增强了中国通过巴基斯坦瓜达尔港进入中东地区的能力,并与中国在斯里兰卡汉班托塔港、孟加拉国吉大港和马尔代夫费迪虎菲诺尔胡港的项目相连接。 中共通过中国公司(通常是不值得信任的供应商)向该地区各国提供公共安全解决方案–包括 “指挥中心、闭路电视摄像机、智能视频监控、面部和车牌识别技术、人群监控、态势感知检测、噪音监控或检测、遗弃物检测和社交媒体监控”。

China supplements economic power in the Indo-Pacific with demonstrations of military capability. The PLA Air Force regularly conducts long-range bomber patrols out to the second island chain70 (stretching from Japan through the Mariana Islands and Micronesia) while the PLA Navy operates surface and sub-surface naval forces from Southeast Asia to the Indian Ocean, and challenges naval and law enforcement vessels in the South China Sea and East China Sea. The PLA recently provoked skirmishes along its disputed border with India, which killed dozens on both sides, and remains in a tense standoff with India’s military. Beijing menaces democratic Taiwan, which it considers a renegade province, intending to reunify Taiwan with the Mainland — by force if necessary.71 And the PLA Navy and Chinese Coast Guard increasingly challenge Japan’s administrative control of the Senkaku Islands.72

在印太地区,中国以展示军事能力来补充经济实力。解放军空军定期在第二岛链(从日本延伸至马里亚纳群岛和密克罗尼西亚)进行远程轰炸机巡逻,而解放军海军则从东南亚到印度洋开展水面和水下海军行动,并在南海和东海挑战他国海军和执法船只。解放军最近在与印度有争议的边境挑起小规模冲突,造成双方数十人死亡,并仍与印度军方处于紧张对峙状态。北京威胁民主的台湾,它认为台湾是一个叛逆的省份,打算将台湾与大陆统一–必要时以武力统一。 而解放军海军和中国海岸警卫队越来越多地挑战日本对钓鱼岛的行政控制。

China flexes its muscles in the Indo-Pacific in open defiance of international law. For example, since seizing administrative control of the Scarborough Shoal following a 2012 standoff with the Philippines, China has used PLA naval and civilian patrols to assert sovereignty over the shoal. Beijing dismissed the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling, which rejects the PRC’s so-called “nine-dash line” historical claims to the South China Sea and upholds the Philippines’s claim to the shoal.73 The PRC also ignored the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling that the Mischief Reef in the South China Sea belongs to the Philippines’s continental shelf and falls under its Exclusive Economic Zone. In defiance of the legal judgment, China maintains a military base, harbor, and runway on the atoll.74 By deploying anti-ship cruise missiles, long-range surface-to-air missiles, and other military systems in the Spratly Islands, moreover, the PRC blatantly violates Xi’s 2015 public pledge that “China does not intend to pursue militarization” in the disputed areas.75 China intensified its maritime militarization by provoking a dispute in December 2019, over the sovereignty of Indonesia’s Natuna Islands. In June 2020, China sank a Vietnamese fishing trawler, and, also this year, engaged in a six-month standoff with Malaysia over hydrocarbon resources in the latter’s Exclusive Economic Zone.76 Finally, while China has voted for all ten rounds of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, Beijing has watered down each resolution and continues to aid the dictatorial regime in Pyongyang through the provision of food, oil, and investment.77 By reducing pressure on North Korea, China’s uneven enforcement of the sanctions regime has enabled Pyongyang to develop its nuclear weapons program.78

中国公然藐视国际法,在印太地区大秀肌肉。例如,自2012年与菲律宾对峙后夺取斯卡伯勒浅滩的行政控制权以来,中国利用解放军海军和民兵来维护对该浅滩的主权。北京否认常设仲裁法院2016年的裁决,该裁决驳回了中国对南海的所谓 “九段线 “历史主张,支持菲律宾对该浅滩的主权主张。 中国也无视常设仲裁法院2016年的裁决,该裁决认定南海的美济礁属于菲律宾的大陆架,属于其专属经济区。中国不顾法律判决,在环礁上维持军事基地、港口和跑道。 此外,通过在南沙群岛部署反舰巡航导弹、远程地对空导弹和其他军事设施,中国公然违反了习近平2015年在争议地区 “中国无意推行军事化 “的公开承诺。 2019年12月,中国挑起印尼纳土纳群岛主权争端,加强了海上军事化。2020年6月,中国击沉了一艘越南拖网渔船,同样在今年,与马来西亚就后者专属经济区的油气资源进行了为期半年的对峙。 最后,虽然中国在联合国对朝鲜的十轮制裁中都投了赞成票,但北京稀释了每一项决议,并继续通过提供粮食、石油和投资来援助平壤独裁政权。 通过减少对朝鲜的压力,中国不均衡地执行制裁制度,使平壤得以发展其核武器计划。



China finds a strategic partner in Russia, a fellow authoritarian power. In recent months, U.S. government officials and other international observers have noted Beijing’s growing efforts to coordinate with Moscow to spread disinformation around the world on COVID-19.79 The current version of China’s and Russia’s strategic partnership, however, long predates the global pandemic.80 While neither a formal military alliance nor devoid of tension, this partnership is grounded in shared interests — most notably weakening U.S. power and influence — and in recent years Beijing and Moscow have substantially expanded it.81

中国与同为独裁大国的俄罗斯成为战略伙伴。最近几个月,美国政府官员和其他国际观察家注意到,北京越来越努力地与莫斯科协作,在全世界传播关于COVID-19的虚假信息。 然而,当前版本的中俄战略伙伴关系,早已在全球大流行之前就存在了。 虽然既不是正式的军事联盟,也不缺乏关系紧张时刻,但这种伙伴关系的基础有着共同的利益—最大程度削弱美国的权力和影响力–近年来,北京和莫斯科这种伙伴关系更加紧密了。

China has intensified economic, energy, and technological ties with Russia — especially after the United States and European nations imposed sanctions in response to Moscow’s illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continuing aggression in the eastern Ukraine. The PRC worked with Russia to increase use of the Chinese yuan and Russian ruble over the U.S. dollar in bilateral trade, in part to insulate both nations from U.S.-led financial sanctions.82 China remains Russia’s biggest trading partner,83 and Russia has emerged as one of Beijing’s top oil suppliers: Moscow dropped to number two in 2019 after Saudi Arabia’s record 83.3 million tonnes of annual oil exports to the PRC slightly eclipsed Russia’s previous record of 77.6 million tonnes.84 Beijing and Moscow also initiated a “Power of Siberia” natural gas pipeline to the PRC, a $55 billion project over the next three decades that forms part of a larger $400 billion development deal for Russian natural gas.85 In addition, Russia and China cooperate in pursuit of energy in the Arctic, though Moscow and other Arctic nations eye with varying degrees of wariness the PRC’s efforts to establish itself as a “near-Arctic state.”86

中国加强了与俄罗斯的经济、能源和技术联系–尤其是在美国和欧洲国家针对莫斯科2014年非法占领和吞并克里米亚及其在乌克兰东部的持续侵略行为实施制裁之后。中国与俄罗斯合作,在双边贸易中增加使用人民币和俄罗斯卢布而不是美元,部分原因是为了使两国免受美国主导的金融制裁。 中国仍是俄罗斯最大的贸易伙伴,俄罗斯已成为北京最大的石油供应国之一。在2019年,超越了俄罗斯7760万吨的记录后,沙特阿拉伯创纪录地向中国出口8330万吨石油,莫斯科降至第二位。 北京和莫斯科还启动了一条通往中国的 “西伯利亚之力 “天然气管道,该项目在未来30年内耗资550亿美元,是俄罗斯天然气4000亿美元大型开发交易的一部分。 此外,俄罗斯和中国还合作在北极地区寻求能源,尽管莫斯科和其他北极国家对中国谋求成为 “近北极国家 “的努力抱有不同程度的警惕。

Beijing and Moscow share a strong interest in the race for advanced technologies, with Russian President Vladimir Putin describing the U.S.-led international campaign against China’s telecommunications giant Huawei as “the first technological war of the coming digital era.”87 Authoritarian powers deeply distrustful of their own peoples, the PRC and Russia cooperate on surveillance and artificial intelligence for security and strategic applications.88

北京和莫斯科对先进技术的竞赛有着浓厚的兴趣,俄罗斯总统普京将美国主导的针对中国电信巨头华为的国际行动描述为 “即将到来的数字时代的第一场技术战争”。作为对本国人民深感不信任的专制大国,中国和俄罗斯在涉及安全和战略应用的监控和人工智能方面进行合作。

The convergence in their extensive use of propaganda and disinformation reflects the growing strategic alignment between Russia and China. Like Russia, the PRC finds fertile opportunities for expanding influence in European countries that are struggling to fight endemic corruption as they build sturdy, transparent, and accountable political institutions. Both China and Russia use strategic corruption — that is, the weaponization for strategic ends of corrupt individuals, organizations, and government bodies — to weaken freedom and democracy.89 Chinese influence operations in Europe, which have accelerated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, increasingly resemble those of Russia in their aggressive use of disinformation, manipulation of social divisions, and propagation of conspiracies.

中国和俄罗斯广泛使用宣传和虚假信息,反映了中俄之间战略同盟日益增强。与俄罗斯一样,中国也发现了在欧洲国家扩大影响力的有利时机,这些国家在建立坚固、透明和负责任的政治机构的同时,征在忙于打击地方性腐败。中国和俄罗斯都利用战略腐败–即利用腐败的个人、组织和政府机构来达到战略目的–来削弱自由和民主。在COVID-19大流行的背景下, 中国加快了在欧洲的影响行动步伐,在积极利用虚假信息、操纵社会分裂和宣传阴谋方面越来越像俄罗斯。

The renewed Sino-Russian partnership involves a consequential military component. Having long served as China’s principal arms supplier and exercise partner, Russia recently enhanced the types of weapons — including the S-400 air-defense system and Sovremenny-class destroyers and advanced cruise missiles for anti-ship warfare — that it sells to China.90 The partnership also has resulted in more sophisticated joint military exercises aimed at preparing for encounters with the United States and its allies and partners.91 Cooperation between Beijing and Moscow extends beyond the operational military level to include nuclear and strategic issues. In June 2019, Xi and Putin released a joint statement pledging to work together on nuclear arms-control issues and committing to maintain global strategic stability.92 A short time later, the two nations marked a new stage of strategic cooperation by conducting a joint long-range bomber patrol with nuclear-capable aircraft that violated South Korean and Japanese airspace.93  

中俄重新建立的伙伴关系涉及到一个相应的军事部分。长期以来,俄罗斯一直是中国的主要武器供应国和演习伙伴,最近俄罗斯加强了向中国出售的武器类型–包括S-400防空系统和 “苏维埃 “级驱逐舰以及用于反舰作战的先进巡航导弹。 这种伙伴关系还导致了更复杂的联合军事演习,旨在为与美国及其盟友和伙伴的遭遇做准备。 北京和莫斯科之间的合作超越了军事行动层面,包括核和战略问题。2019年6月,习近平和普京发表联合声明,承诺在核军控问题上共同努力,并承诺维护全球战略稳定。 不久后,两国联合进行了一次携带核能力飞机的远程轰炸机巡逻,侵犯了韩国和日本的领空,标志着两国的战略合作进入了新阶段。 

While the PRC and Russia operate as strategic partners, growing power disparities — along with the inevitable distrust that marks relations among authoritarian powers — make the establishment of a formal alliance unlikely.94 As the U.S. Economic and Security Review Commission has observed, “There are a number of areas where Beijing’s and Moscow’s national interests do not align, such as territorial claims and partnerships with countries that Russia or China consider regional rivals.”95 Moreover, Russia’s economic decline and China’s global rise — the PRC’s GDP is about eight times that of Russia’s economy, which suffers from stagnant growth and onerous sanctions96 — render Moscow the “junior partner,” raising Russian concerns that the PLA will become a military threat.97

虽然中国和俄罗斯以战略伙伴的身份运作,但日益增长的实力差距–以及专制大国关系中不可避免的不信任–使得建立正式联盟的可能性不大。 正如美国经济与安全审查委员会所观察到的那样,”在一些领域,北京和莫斯科的国家利益并不一致,比如领土要求和与俄罗斯或中国认为是地区竞争对手的国家的伙伴关系。”  此外,俄罗斯的经济衰退和中国的全球崛起–中国的GDP约为俄罗斯经济的8倍,而俄罗斯则遭受增长停滞和繁重的制裁–使莫斯科成为 “初级伙伴”,这让俄罗斯担心解放军会成为军事威胁。

Europe and the UK


With their advanced economies and considerable diplomatic influence, Europe and the UK have emerged as an important front in the strategic competition between the United States and China. Knowing that a united transatlantic alliance would provide great advantages to the United States and allies and partners in the struggle over the shape of world order, the PRC wields its economic power to divide Europe and the UK from the United States and pull European nations and the British toward Beijing. Beijing does not necessarily seek allies in Europe and the UK; rather, it seeks to dissuade nations in the region from aligning with the United States and to limit the ability of Europe and the UK to unify against China. The PRC wants to convince Europe and the UK that their political future lies not in the free, open, and rules-based international order, but in a new multipolar arrangement that respects geopolitical spheres of influence and regards allegations of internal repression as infringements on national sovereignty.


As early as 2013, China identified Europe as a core component of the Belt and Road Initiative. That year, Xi introduced the Silk Road Economic Belt to “forge closer ties, deepen cooperation, and expand the development space in the Eurasian region.”98 The PRC later announced a New Eurasian Land Bridge traversing Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus and ending in Rotterdam. Beijing also proposed a China-Arctic Ocean-Europe Blue Economic passage, one of three maritime passages.99 Beyond the economic, political, and technological benefits, the PRC sees a BRI-forged direct line from Beijing to Europe as a counter to what it describe as U.S. encirclement efforts and as a way to balance against U.S. or Western encroachment in the Indo-Pacific.100

早在2013年,中国就将欧洲确定为一带一路倡议的核心组成部分。当年,习近平提出了 “丝绸之路经济带”,以 “在欧亚地区建立更加紧密的联系,深化合作,拓展发展空间”。 随后,中国宣布了横跨哈萨克斯坦、俄罗斯和白俄罗斯,以鹿特丹为终点的新欧亚大陆桥。北京还提出了中国-北冰洋-欧洲蓝色经济通道,这是三条海上通道之一。 除了经济、政治和技术上的好处,中国认为,北京与欧洲之间的一带一路直达线可以对抗它所描述的美国的围堵努力,并作为平衡美国或西方在印度洋-太平洋地区侵占的一种方式。

Striving to persuade Europeans to pursue economic opportunities in the East, China is conducting negotiations with Brussels over an EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement. Between 2014 and 2019, China leveraged its initial investment in Europe’s eastern and southern periphery through a series of Memorandums of Understanding. Beijing develops these investments through what was originally called its “16+1 cooperation framework,” the nominal purpose of which was greater regional economic integration. In 2019, in the face of growing EU skepticism toward BRI, China turned the 16+1 into the 17+1 by incorporating Greece into the framework. The CCP viewed Athens’ inclusion as a victory, especially given China’s substantial investment in the port of Piraeus and the potential for greater access stemming from other investments in European ports and railroads. With a symbolic nod to the ancient Silk Road connecting the empires of Han and Rome, Italy recently became the first G7 country to sign a BRI MOU.

中国力争说服欧洲人在东方寻求经济机会,正在与布鲁塞尔就欧盟-中国全面投资协定进行谈判。2014年至2019年间,中国利用其在欧洲东部和南部周边地区的初步投资,从而达成了一系列备忘录。北京通过最初所谓的 “16+1合作框架 “来发展这些投资,其名义目的是加强区域经济一体化。2019年,面对欧盟对BRI越来越多的怀疑,中国将16+1变成了17+1,将希腊纳入框架。中共认为雅典的纳入是一个胜利,特别是考虑到中国对比雷埃夫斯港的大量投资,以及对欧洲港口和铁路的其他投资所带来的更大准入潜力。意大利最近成为G7中第一个签署BRI谅解备忘录的国家,这象征着向连接汉帝国和罗马帝国的古代丝绸之路致敬。

Despite skepticism in the European core, the UK, France, and Germany remain open to Chinese foreign direct investment, both to achieve greater independence from the United States and as a path out of the Eurozone’s economic struggles. The PRC has greatly increased investment in Europe — from less than $1 billion in 2008 to a high of approximately $42 billion in 2017.101 These large sums promote PRC military and technology interests and include investments in robotics, biotechnology, real estate, financial services, and infrastructure. Beijing uses its enhanced leverage to stifle meaningful criticism of its policies.


Huawei is keen to build Europe’s 5G networks. To the extent that this Chinese “national champion” succeeds, Beijing would obtain access to European states’ information flows, achieve a fuller understanding of their telecommunications vulnerabilities, acquire the ability to disrupt critical infrastructure and intercept sensitive transmissions, and accumulate enormous amounts of data crucial to refining AI algorithms.

华为热衷于建设欧洲的5G网络。如果这个中国的 “国家冠军 “成功,北京将获得欧洲国家的信息流,实现对其电信漏洞的更全面了解,获得破坏关键基础设施和拦截敏感传输的能力,并积累对完善人工智能算法至关重要的海量数据。

Likewise, China pursues opportunities in the civil nuclear markets across Europe, hoping to benefit from long-term partnerships, not least by obtaining control of important elements of European energy infrastructure.102 Backed by state financing, Chinese nuclear companies distort the market and undercut European and U.S. companies. The CCP has openly threatened governments in Europe that have merely paused to consider the economic and national-security costs of cooperating with China on key critical infrastructure projects.103

同样,中共国也在欧洲各地的民用核电市场寻求机会,希望从长期的合作关系中获益,尤其是通过获得欧洲能源基础设施重要要素的控制权。 在国家资金的支持下,中国核电公司扭曲市场,削弱欧洲和美国公司的实力。中国共产党公开威胁欧洲各国政府,因为这些政府只考虑了与中共国在关键基础设施项目上合作的经济和国家安全成本。

The Middle East and Africa


In the near term, China aims to enhance its energy security in the Middle East and obtain market access to extend the Belt and Road Initiative and other PRC interests. Beijing also actively engages with the Iranian regime and Syria’s Assad regime, both of which face significant U.S. and international sanctions and also are U.S.-designated State Sponsors of Terrorism, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, and egregious abusers of human rights. At the same time, the PRC’s brutal repression of millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang raises profound questions of conscience in particular for Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and around the world. In the long term, China seeks to increase its economic and security influence in the region at the expense of the United States.104

短期内,中国的目标是加强在中东的能源安全,并获得市场准入,以扩大 “一带一路 “倡议和其他中国利益。北京还积极与伊朗政权和叙利亚阿萨德政权接触,这两个政权都面临着美国和国际社会的严厉制裁,同时也是美国指定的恐怖主义国家支持者、大规模杀伤性武器扩散者和严重的人权侵犯者。同时,中国对新疆数百万维吾尔族和其他突厥族穆斯林的残酷镇压,使得中东和全世界穆斯林占多数的国家引起了良知方面的深刻思考。从长远来看,中国试图以牺牲美国为代价来增强其在该地区的经济和安全影响力。

Beijing’s reliance on oil imports from the Middle East has grown tremendously in the last two decades, rising from 0.33 million barrels per day in 1998 to just over 4 million barrels per day in 2018.105 Meanwhile, the PLA Navy visits the region with an eye to developing deep-water ports like that of Salalah in Oman. China also wants to expand military sales — for example, Chinese defense companies sell unmanned aerial vehicles at cut-rate prices with little-to-no regard for nonproliferation106 — and expand security cooperation with regional states in other ways. This undermines U.S. defense companies. It also endangers regional partners’ access to U.S. military networks, eroding U.S. military interoperability and other forms of cooperation with regional partners.

在过去的20年里,北京对从中东进口石油的依赖程度大大增加,从1998年的每天0.33万桶增加到2018年的每天400多万桶。 同时,解放军海军访问该地区,着眼于开发像阿曼萨拉拉赫那样的深水港。中共国还想扩大军售–例如,中共国国防企业以削价出售无人驾驶飞行器,几乎不考虑防扩散问题–并以其他方式扩大与地区国家的安全合作。这损害了美国国防公司的利益。它还危及地区伙伴对美国军事网络的访问,削弱了美国与地区伙伴的军事互操作性和其他形式的合作。

China sees a particularly appealing target for the Belt and Road Initiative in Israel, which possesses an innovative high-tech economy with few barriers to entry.107 Perhaps the most controversial of several projects underway is the Shanghai International Port Group’s partial construction and operation of a new terminal at the Haifa port, which also serves as the strategic port for the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet. If Chinese workers obtain “high levels of access to potentially sensitive commercial or military information,” the United States will face surveillance and cyber-espionage risks.108

中共国认为一带一路倡议的目标特别吸引人,因为以色列拥有创新的高科技经济,几乎没有进入壁垒。 在正在进行的几个项目中,最具争议的或许是上海国际港务集团在海法港建设和运营部分新码头,该港口也是美国海军第六舰队的战略港口。如果中国工人获得 “高度接触潜在敏感商业或军事信息的机会”,美国将面临监控和网络间谍风险。

In Africa, the PRC is bent on acquiring vast amounts of the continent’s abundant raw materials and mineral wealth to provide Chinese manufacturing with key components while disadvantaging companies in the United States and allied countries. Largely debt-financed, China’s projects in Africa often fail to meet reasonable international standards of sustainability and transparency, and burden local economies with heavy debt and other problems.109 China also expands its influence in African states by aggressively cultivating high-level relationships. General Secretary Xi, China’s premier, and the PRC’s foreign minister, for example, collectively made 79 visits to Africa between 2007 and 2017.110 At the same time, nationals from African countries who work in the PRC frequently face racism and discrimination, a problem that drew international outrage amid Beijing’s domestic reaction to the novel coronavirus.111

在非洲,中国一意孤行地获取大量非洲大陆丰富的原材 料和矿产资源,为中国制造业提供关键零部件,同时使美 国和盟国的公司处于不利地位。中国在非洲的项目大多由债务融资,往往不符合可持续性和透明度的合理国际标准,并给当地经济带来沉重的债务和其他问题。 中国还通过积极培育高层关系来扩大在非洲国家的影响力。例如,中国总理习总书记和中国外长在2007年至2017年期间集体对非洲进行了79次访问。 与此同时,在中国工作的非洲国家国民经常面临种族主义和歧视,在北京国内对新型冠状病毒的反应中,这个问题引起了国际社会的愤怒。

In 2017, China established in Djibouti its first foreign military base. The base looks out on the Bab-el-Mandeb Straits in the Gulf of Aden, through which passes nearly 10 percent of the world’s total seaborne-traded petroleum. This comprises 6.2 billion barrels per day of crude oil, condensate, and refined petroleum.112 Together with China’s anti-piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden and growing presence in the Gulf of Guinea, the base has extended China’s military reach off Africa’s coasts and into the Indian Ocean.113

2017年,中国在吉布提建立了第一个外国军事基地。该基地眺望亚丁湾的曼德海峡(Bab-el-Mandeb Straits),世界海运贸易石油总量的近10%通过该海峡。其中包括每天62亿桶原油、凝析油和成品油。 加上中国在亚丁湾的反海盗活动和在几内亚湾日益增长的存在,该基地将中国的军事触角延伸到了非洲沿海和印度洋。

Western Hemisphere


China’s geopolitical influence stretches deep into America’s backyard. Beijing accelerated bilateral trade investment in Latin America after the 2008 financial crisis to acquire extensive stakes in the region’s petroleum, mining, and energy sectors. China’s Huawei and ZTE are among the region’s top providers of telecommunications equipment and networks as well as of surveillance architectures — all of which pose espionage risks.114 In addition, Beijing pursues nuclear contracts in Brazil and Argentina, not only furnishing preliminary financing but also, in Argentina’s case, offering a slush fund of more than $2 billion for use as the government sees fit.115 Meanwhile, poorer Latin American countries export commodities and foodstuffs to the PRC while importing increasingly high-value Chinese manufacturing and technology goods. Loaning far more than it invests, the PRC often requires Latin American countries to repay in commodities, yielding resource security for China while incentivizing corruption abroad.

中国的地缘政治影响力深入到美国的后院。2008年金融危机后,北京加快了对拉美的双边贸易投资,在该地区的石油、矿业和能源行业获得了广泛的股权。中国的华为和中兴通讯是该地区电信设备和网络以及监控架构的顶级供应商,所有这些都会带来间谍风险。 此外,北京还在巴西和阿根廷寻求核电合同,不仅提供初步融资,而且在阿根廷的案例中,还提供了20多亿美元的专项基金,供政府酌情使用。  与此同时,较贫穷的拉美国家向中国出口商品和食品,同时进口价值越来越高的中国制造和技术产品。中国提供的贷款远远多于投资,经常要求拉美国家以商品还 款,为中国提供资源保障,同时鼓励海外腐败。

As the world’s biggest oil importer, China regards Venezuela — possessor of the world’s largest oil reserves — as an important partner. The PRC began lending to Venezuela to obtain oil, signing “loans-for-oil” agreements with former President Hugo Chavez.116 The largest recipient in South America of Chinese official finance, Venezuela has accepted more than $60 billion in loans from the China Development Bank (CDB) since 2007 in exchange for future oil shipments.117

作为世界上最大的石油进口国,中国将拥有世界上最大石油储备的委内瑞拉视为重要的合作伙伴。中国开始向委内瑞拉提供贷款以获得石油,与前总统乌戈-查韦斯签署了 “贷款换石油 “协议。 委内瑞拉是南美地区中国官方融资的最大接受国,自2007年以来,委内瑞拉已经接受了中国开发银行(CDB)超过600亿美元的贷款,以换取未来的石油运输。

In addition, Beijing takes advantage of the Western Hemisphere to further its ambitions in outer space. China has conducted nearly a dozen satellite launches from Latin American states and operates space observatories in Chile and a deep-space radar in Argentina.118


The United States and Canada are by no means exempt from China’s influence operations.119 The PRC targets key U.S. technological and economic sectors — at the national, state, and local levels — using cyberattacks, theft, and other methods to transfer to China valuable information, data, and technology. In Canada, where the government has yet to make a final decision on 5G vendors, Huawei partners with companies to bring high-speed internet access to remote communities. The United States and Canada also rely on China as a supplier for a number of critical minerals. At the same time, China’s state-owned and state-directed companies — including those sanctioned by the United States and linked to China’s military modernization, espionage, and human rights abuses — enjoy active and passive investment from a number of the public pension funds in various U.S. states.120 As the price of doing business in China, the CCP demands that American and Canadian businesses — from finance and industry to media and professional sports — toe the party line, which companies often do. And the PRC exploits consulates in the United States as platforms to steal American intellectual property.121

美国和加拿大也绝不能幸免于中国的影响行动。 中国的目标是美国的关键技术和经济部门–在国家、州和地方层面–利用网络攻击、盗窃和其他方法向中国转移有价值的信息、数据和技术。在加拿大,政府还没有对5G供应商做出最终决定,华为与公司合作,为偏远社区带来高速互联网接入。美国和加拿大还依赖中国作为一些关键矿产的供应商。与此同时,中国的国有和国家指导的公司–包括那些被美国制裁的、与中国军事现代化、间谍活动和侵犯人权有关的公司–享有美国各州一些公共养老基金的主动和被动投资。 作为在中国做生意的代价,中共要求美国和加拿大的企业–从金融和工业到媒体和职业体育–都要服从党的路线,而这些公司往往都会这样做。而中国利用驻美领事馆作为平台,窃取美国知识产权。

The PRC commits serious abuses in American higher education. Although in many cases China obtains technological knowledge from the United States through legitimate and productive academic exchanges, it also acquires such expertise illegally through the Thousand Talents Program and other state-run or party-run recruitment efforts. Recent cases at the University of Kansas and Harvard illustrate the dangers.122 Furthermore, while the United States welcomes Chinese students to introduce them to the blessings of political freedom, the CCP has an interest in conscripting Chinese nationals studying abroad to advance the interests of communist dictatorship. Indeed, the PRC punishes Chinese students studying in the United States for dissenting from official CCP views and for otherwise speaking freely.123 Universities’ financial dependence on tuition dollars from China complicates matters: in recent

years, American universities have intentionally admitted more Chinese nationals because they, unlike many American students, pay ballooning tuition costs in full.124 At the graduate and undergraduate level, China sends more students to the United States than any other country.125 And Beijing uses Confucius Institutes not only to promulgate CCP-approved views about China and the world but also to press U.S. universities to censor discussion, curtail inquiry, and generally conform to CCP dogma and political objectives.126

中国严重滥用美国高等教育。尽管在许多情况下,中国通过合法和富有成效的学术交流从美国获得技术知识,但它也通过 “千人计划 “和其他国营或党营的招聘活动非法获得这些专业知识。最近在堪萨斯大学和哈佛大学发生的案件就说明了这种危险。 此外,虽然美国欢迎中国学生并向他们介绍政治自由的好处,但中共对征召中国公民出国留学有兴趣,以推进共产主义专政的利益。事实上,中共惩罚在美国留学的中国学生当中持和中共官方的观点相左的人或自由发言的人。大学对来自中国的学费的财政依赖使问题变得更加复杂:近年来,美国大学有意招收更多的中国公民,因为他们与许多美国学生不同,全额支付膨胀的学费。 在研究生和本科生阶段,中国向美国输送的学生比其他任何国家都多。 而中国政府不仅利用孔子学院颁布中共认可的关于中国和世界的观点,而且还向美国大学施压,要求它们审查讨论,限制探究,并要求校方符合中共的教条和政治目标。

Transforming International Organizations from Within


Beijing continues to throw its weight around at the United Nations and in other international organizations to align these institutions with China’s transformative ambitions. China generally delivers higher levels of development assistance to countries voting with it in the UN General Assembly.127 As a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, the PRC — in cooperation with Russia — has frustrated significant measures proposed by the United States and European nations to address challenges in Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and elsewhere. To advance its revisionist agenda and counter U.S. efforts to promote transparency and accountability, the PRC vigorously pursues leadership positions, using its voting advantages as a member of the Group of 77 at the United Nations and in the Non- Aligned Movement.128 A growing number of PRC citizens now serve as heads of international organizations — including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) — and in other top-level leadership and management positions at such organizations.129 China tries to insert into multilateral documents communist language derived from so-called Xi Jinping Thought and references to the Belt and Road Initiative and other signature efforts to give China’s communist propaganda a UN imprimatur.130 Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, China provided a dramatic illustration of abuse of the international system, compelling the World Health Organization to comply with Beijing’s self-serving preferences — including the exclusion of Taiwan.

北京继续在联合国和其他国际组织中施加压力,使这些机构与中国的转型雄心保持一致。一般来说,中国向在联合国大会和其投相同票的国家提供的发展援助较高。 作为联合国安理会拥有否决权的成员,中国与俄罗斯合作,挫败了美国和欧洲国家为应对叙利亚、乌克兰、朝鲜、委内瑞拉、伊朗和其他地区的挑战而提出的重大措施。为了推进其修正主义议程,对抗美国促进透明度和问责制的努力,中国利用其作为77国集团成员在联合国和不结盟运动中的投票优势,积极争取领导地位。 越来越多的中国公民现在担任国际组织–包括国际电信联盟(ITU)、国际民用航空组织(ICAO)、联合国工业发展组织(UNIDO)和粮食及农业组织(FAO)–的负责人,并在这些组织中担任其他高层领导和管理职务。 中国试图在多边文件中插入源自所谓的习近平思想的共产主义语言,并提及 “一带一路 “倡议和其他签字努力,以使中国的共产主义宣传得到联合国的认可。 在COVID-19大流行期间,中国提供了一个滥用国际体系的戏剧性例子,迫使世界卫生组织遵从北京的自私偏好–包括排除台湾。

Over the long run, the CCP views international organizations as an opportunity — to shield its abusive development practices and egregious human rights record from criticism, and to gradually adjust global norms, standards, and institutions to socialism’s tenets.




Viewed as a whole, the major components of China’s conduct — preservation of a Marxist- Leninist dictatorship; leveraging of the country’s wealth to produce economic dependence and political subordination abroad and to reorient international organizations from within around CCP criteria and goals; and development of a world-class military — reveal a great power that sees the transformation of international order as critical to its plans to dominate world affairs. The PRC’s interests and ambitions have not developed accidentally, nor do they simply reflect China’s geopolitical circumstances. They give expression to ideas rooted in 20th-century communist ideology and the party’s extreme interpretation of Chinese nationalism. These ideas are the intellectual sources of China’s conduct.


  1. The Intellectual Sources of Chinas Conduct


Many misunderstand the shape and significance of China’s conduct because they disregard the Chinese Communist Party’s ideas about communism, about China, and about the world. In the United States, this neglect of ideas is sometimes rooted in the supposition that all governments want the freedom for their people in which the United States was conceived and to which it remains dedicated. At other times, the neglect stems from an unrealistic internationalism that downplays power in politics or an unrealistic geopolitical realism that discounts the political significance of opinion, culture, and tradition. The China challenge demands a more reasonable approach, one that honors principle in the execution of prudent judgment by taking seriously both interests and ideas.131 Instead of imposing America’s self-image on China or foisting America’s preconceived notions about international politics on world affairs, it is crucial to examine the CCP’s understanding of its short-term priorities, long­-term objectives, and rightful place among nations in order to grasp how, and the purposes for which, the PRC exercises power.

许多人误解中国行为的形态和意义,是因为他们忽视了中国共产党关于共产主义、关于中国、关于世界的思想。在美国,这种对思想的忽视有时根源于这样一种假设,即所有政府都希望自己的人民享有自由,而美国正是在这种自由中被孕育出来的,并且仍然致力于这种自由。在其他时候,这种忽视源于一种不切实际的国际主义,这种国际主义淡化了政治中的权力,或者是一种不切实际的地缘政治现实主义,这种地缘政治现实主义忽视了舆论、文化和传统的政治意义。面对中国的挑战,我们需要一个更加切合实际的方法,一种通过认真对待利益和思想,在执行审慎判断时尊重原则的方法。 与其将美国的自我形象强加给中国,或者将美国对国际政治的先入为主的观念强加给世界事务,不如审视中国共产党对其短期优先事项、长期目标以及其在国家中的合法地位的理解,从而把握中国如何行使权力以及行使权力的目的。

It is reasonable to wonder to what extent CCP statements, speeches, and authoritative writings are designed for domestic consumption — to preach to the faithful, to demonize dissenters, and to define the full range of the regime’s supposed enemies — and to what extent they reflect the party’s core convictions and essential thinking. But without examining them, one cannot determine whether CCP statements, speeches, and authoritative writings are only rhetorical weapons of great-power competition or also expressions of deep-seated beliefs and abiding aims and aspirations. Such examination discloses a tight connection between the CCP’s words and deeds. As John Garnaut argues. “There is no ambiguity in Xi’s project. We see in everything he does and — even in a system designed to be opaque and deceptive — we can see it in his words.132

我们有理由怀疑,中共的声明、讲话和权威性著作在多大程度上是为了国内消费–向信众说教、妖魔化异己、全面定义政权的假想敌–以及在多大程度上反映了党的核心信念和基本思想。但如果不对它们进行考察,就无法确定中共的声明、讲话和权威性著作是否只是大国竞争的修辞武器,还是也表达了根深蒂固的信念和持久的目标和愿望。这样的考察披露了中共的言行之间的紧密联系。正如约翰·加诺特(John Garnaut)所认为的那样。”习近平的项目没有任何模糊性。我们从他所做的每一件事中都能看到,而且–即使在一个被设计成不透明和具有欺骗性的系统中–我们也能从他的言语中看到。

China’s pursuit of global preeminence and drive to remake world order flow from the CCP’s overarching sensibility. That sensibility is authoritarian, collectivist, and imperial. Two streams of ideas nourish it. Seminal CCP writings and speeches proclaim cardinal tenets of Marxism- Leninism as interpreted by successive Chinese communist leaders beginning with Mao Zedong, CCP chairman from 1943 to 1976 and the PRC’s founding ruler. CCP writings and speeches also espouse an extreme interpretation of Chinese nationalism. The result is an ideological stance that is neither strictly communist nor purely nationalist, but resolutely authoritarian, collectivist, and imperialist.


Although both communism and nationalism are compatible with authoritarianism, collectivism, and imperialism, communism and nationalism are generally seen as opposing ideologies. Communism, as Marx taught, culminates in a single, worldwide, classless society. In pursuit of that goal, communist parties have tended to be authoritarian, collectivist, and imperialist. Nationalism emphasizes a particular people and its distinctive traditions and sense of political destiny; it varies as customs, practices, and political experiences vary. Accordingly, national traditions can be drawn on to justify repression and conquest but also to vindicate the claims of freedom and democracy — as, for example, in the United States, whose founding principles and constitutional system revolve around individual liberty, human equality, and government grounded in the consent of the governed. The CCP reconciles the conflicting imperatives of Marxism-Leninism and its extreme intrepretation of Chinese nationalism by assigning to China the dominant role in interpreting the ultimate configuration of, achieving, and administering international socialism.


Neither the communist authoritarianism the CCP has imposed on the people in China nor its hyper-nationalism are inevitable. Indeed, prominent alternatives to CCP authoritarianism have prospered in the region. No less steeped in Confucian traditions than the population of the People’s Republic of China, the people of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea embraced freedom and democracy.


Nevertheless, because the Chinese Communist Party calls the shots in China, the party’s ideas about communism must be well understood. So too must the traditional political ideas that the party draws on be taken into account.133 Grasping both brings into focus the authoritarian, collectivist, and imperial synthesis that drives the CCP’s conduct.


The CCPs Communism


In 1954, Mao stated, “The force at the core that leads our cause is the Chinese Communist Party; the theoretical foundation that guides our thinking is Marxism-Leninism.”134 Daniel Tobin has underscored the continuity of the party’s ideological convictions: “In his first speech to a Politburo group study session as general secretary in November 2012, Xi [Jinping] echoed each of his post-Mao predecessors in insisting: ‘Only socialism can save China, and only Chinese socialism can lead our country to development.’”135 And only socialism, from the party’s point of view, can confer upon China its deserved role in world affairs. The CCP aims to make China “a global leader in terms of power and global influence,” as Xi stated in 2017, by strengthening socialism as its “path, theory, system, culture.” Following former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, Xi calls this approach “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”136

1954年,毛泽东指出:”领导我们事业的核心力量是中国共产党,指导我们思想的理论基础是马克思列宁主义。”  丹尼尔-托宾强调了党的思想信念的连续性。”2012年11月,习[近平]作为总书记在政治局集体学习会上的第一次讲话中,呼应了毛泽东之后的每一位前辈,坚持:’只有社会主义才能救中国,只有中国社会主义才能引领我国发展’。”  而从党的观点来看,只有社会主义才能赋予中国在世界事务中应有的作用。正如习近平在2017年所言,中国共产党的目标是通过加强社会主义这个 “道路、理论、制度、文化”,使中国 “成为全球力量和全球影响力的领导者”。继中国前领导人邓小平之后,习近平将这种做法称为 “中国特色社会主义”。

In governing China, the CCP adheres to familiar features of 20th-century Marxism-Leninism. The party is supreme. It acts on the assumption that the communist end sanctifies all means. It absorbs the state, subordinating the individual to the collectivity. It directs the economy (even as it permits a degree of private ownership and creates limited space for market forces). It controls education, media, culture, and religion. It regularly purges counterrevolutionary forces. It preaches the priority of socialism’s struggle to defeat international capitalism and political freedom. It proclaims the inevitability of socialism’s victory, which, it maintains, the scientific laws of social and economic development guarantee. And it promulgates among the people a rigid ideology from which it tolerates no dissent


Ideological indoctrination is among the party’s paramount concerns. The CCP imposes conformity of thought and action, for example, through the Great Firewall of China, which censors the internet, and a national “social credit” system that rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior. To control information and surveil the population, “Chinese authorities are knitting together old and state-of-the-art technologies — phone scanners, facial-recognition cameras, face and fingerprint databases and many others.”137 Meanwhile, Xi is determined to put the power of the state behind the one and only legitimate understanding of economics, politics, and international relations. “We will work harder to study and develop Marxist theory,” he vowed in 2017. “We will foster a Marxist-style of learning, and make it regular practice and an institutionalized requirement for all Party members….”138

思想灌输是该党最关心的问题之一。中国共产党强行规定思想和行动的一致性,例如,通过审查互联网的中国长城,以及奖励良好行为和惩罚不良行为的国家 “社会信用 “系统。为了控制信息和监视民众,”中国当局正在将旧的和最先进的技术–手机扫描仪、面部识别相机、人脸和指纹数据库等编织在一起。”  同时,习近平致力于将国家权利集中于一人之手,并致力于对经济,政治,国际关系的合法化理解。”我们将更加努力地学习和发展马克思主义理论,”他在2017年发誓。”我们将培养马克思主义的学习方式,并使之成为全体党员的经常性实践和制度化要求….”

In a landmark 1979 speech, Deng announced the Four Cardinal Principles, which distill the CCP’s communist convictions: “1) We must keep to the socialist road; 2) We must uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat; 3) We must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party; 4) We must uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought.”139 In 1982, the CCP wrote the Four Cardinal Principles into the PRC Constitution; the principles also form an essential part of the party’s constitution. Since then, party leaders have emphasized that the CCP’s loosening of state control of the economy in some areas beginning in the late 1970s — a decisive factor in unleashing China’s economic potential and propelling China to great-power status — did not diminish China’s dedication to communism. In 2019, Xi lavishly celebrated the 40th anniversary of the declaration of the Four Cardinal Principles.140

邓小平在1979年发表了具有里程碑意义的讲话,宣布了 “四项基本原则”,浓缩了中国共产党的共产主义信念。”1、必须坚持走社会主义道路;2、必须坚持无产阶级专政;3、必须坚持共产党的领导;4、必须坚持马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想。”  1982年,中国共产党将 “四项基本原则 “写入《中华人民共和国宪法》,这些原则也是党章的重要组成部分。此后,党的领导人强调,中共从上世纪70年代末开始在一些领域放松国家对经济的控制–这是释放中国经济潜力、推动中国走向大国地位的决定性因素–并没有减少中国对共产主义事业追求的热衷。2019年,习近平奢华庆祝 “四项基本原则 “宣布40周年。

Central to the CCP’s understanding of world affairs is the Marxist teaching that throughout history human societies have been divided into an oppressed class and an oppressor class. In the modern era, the emergence of two opposed economic and political systems dividing the world heightens the contradiction. On one side, according to the Marxist view, stands capitalism, with its fraudulent commitment to a political and economic freedom that inherently exploits the individual. On the other side, Marxism teaches, stands communism, based on central planning and the conscription of the people in service to the party, and devoted to what communism believes to be true human emancipation.141


Xi embraces this Manichean view of world affairs. In 2013, shortly after he came to power, the CCP issued “Document No. 9,” which enumerated seven perils to Chinese society emanating from the West. 142 These include constitutional democracy, human rights, free speech, robust civic participation, and a vigorous free market. Daniel Tobin stresses that for the CCP, “individual human rights, including freedom of speech, assembly, and religion are to be subjugated in the name of the collective ends of security, development, and the Chinese nation’s status in the world.”143 At the 19th Party Congress in 2017, the CCP reaffirmed that China offered a new model of socialism that would prevail in the great struggle with capitalism and, by so doing, overcome the division between oppressor and oppressed and bring harmony to world affairs. As some Central Party School scholars have noted, the party intends to replace the post-World War II order which, in its view, is grounded in unjust Western political and economic principles, with a new one rooted in the CCP’s socialism.144 Despite Xi’s promises of “win-win” deals with the outside world, a recurring phrase from internal CCP directives proclaims the encounter between capitalism and socialism to be a matter of “you die, I live.”

习近平接受了这种摩尼教式的世界观。2013年,他上台不久,中共发布了 “9号文件”,列举了中国社会面临的来自西方的七大危险。  其中包括宪政民主、人权、言论自由、强有力的公民参与和充满活力的自由市场。丹尼尔-托宾强调,对中共来说,”个人的人权,包括言论自由、集会自由和宗教自由,都要以有碍安全,发展以及中华民族在世界上的地位为名而受到压制。” 在2017年的党的十九大上,中国共产党重申,中国提供了一种社会主义新模式,这种新模式将在与资本主义的伟大斗争中取得胜利,并以此克服压迫者与被压迫者之间的分歧,使世界事务和谐发展。正如一些中央党校学者所指出的那样,该党打算用根植于中共社会主义的新秩序取代二战后的秩序,因为在该党看来,二战后的秩序是建立在不公正的西方政治和经济原则之上的。尽管习近平承诺与外界进行 “双赢 “交易,但中共内部指令中反复出现的一句话却宣称,资本主义和社会主义的交锋是 “你死我活 “的问题。

According to the CCP, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc communist countries betrayed the cause, which compelled China to lead the struggle for socialism. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and the emergence of a post-Cold War international order that welcomed fledgling Eastern European democracies, the CCP — though governing the world’s most populous country — saw China as greatly outnumbered in a perilous geopolitical environment.145 Since then, the accumulation of economic clout and military power have fortified the CCP’s belief that China is socialism’s savior and herald of an alternative world order.


Notwithstanding the CCP’s unswerving professions of fidelity to the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism, decisive features of the PRC’s conduct resist explanation in strictly communist terms. The CCP’s determination to indoctrinate the nation with an extreme theory of Chinese moral and institutional superiority is not drawn from the Marxism-Leninism playbook.146 While communism aims to create a universal and classless international order, the CCP seeks to export the Chinese model of authoritarian governance and create economic dependence on Beijing in nation-states around the world. And whereas communism envisages the eventual withering away of the state, the CCP has made a paramount national priority of rectifying the indignities and injustices that it believes China has suffered at the hands of the West — starting with the recovery of what the party asserts as the Chinese nation’s rightful rule over Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea.

尽管中国共产党坚定不移地表示忠于马列主义的基本原则,但中国行为的决定性特征却无法用严格的共产主义术语来解释。中国共产党决心向全国人民灌输中国道德和制度优越性的极端理论,并不是从马克思列宁主义的演义中得出的。 共产主义的目标是建立一个普遍的、无阶级的国际秩序,而中共则试图输出中国的专制治理模式,在全世界的民族国家中制造对北京的经济依赖。共产主义设想的是国家的最终消亡,而中国共产党则把纠正它认为中国在西方国家手中遭受的侮辱和不公正作为国家的首要任务–从恢复该党宣称的中华民族对香港、台湾和南中国海的合法统治开始。

These defining components of China’s conduct derive support from the CCP’s hyper-nationalist convictions.


The CCPs Chinese Nationalism


At no point in its long history has China embraced the idea — assumed by liberal democracies and affirmed by the United Nations — of sovereign equality among nations grounded in respect for rights inherent in all persons. Instead, traditional Chinese thinking about government encompasses a strategic outlook that asserts China’s right and responsibility to rule the world “under heaven” through its uniquely refined culture and institutions. This strategic outlook also comprises views about China’s proper position in world affairs, the flow of history, military strategy and tactics, economic power, and domestic political order.147

在其漫长的历史中,中国从未接受过自由民主国家所假定的、联合国所确认的、以尊重所有人固有权利为基础的国家间主权平等的理念。相反,中国传统的政府思维包含了一种战略观,主张中国有权利和责任通过其独特的文化和制度来统治 “天下”。这种战略观还包括对中国在世界事务中的适当地位、历史流变、军事战略和战术、经济实力和国内政治秩序的看法。

First, traditional Chinese thinking sees China as the “Middle Kingdom,” the central state surrounded by lesser states.

首先,中国传统思想认为中国是 “中原”,中央国家被小国包围。

Second, traditional Chinese thinking understands history cyclically. While the fortunes of particular Chinese dynastic empires wax and wane, China remains at the center and deserving of exalted status.


Third, traditional Chinese thinking is marked by a long view of military strategy and tactics. Military power should be accumulated, stored, and showcased publicly but only to the extent necessary to dissuade adversaries from compelling China to use it. Tactics revolve around the slow, incremental acquisition of positions so that opponents only grasp after it’s too late that they are surrounded and face overwhelming power with no reasonable choice but to submit. Sometimes an opponent will suffer a crisis that creates “an auspicious moment” for the landing of a decisive blow.

第三,中国传统思维的特点是对军事战略和战术有长远的看法。军事力量应该积累、储存和公开展示,但只在必要的程度上劝阻对手不要强迫中国使用它。战术围绕着缓慢的、渐进式的阵地获取,使对手只有在被包围后,面对压倒性的力量,没有合理的选择,只能屈服时,才会把握住。有时对手会遭遇危机,为决定性打击的落地创造 “吉时”。

Fourth, traditional Chinese thinking views economic power as a primary component of imperial power. China should use its advantages in size and excellence to convey to partners in commerce the benefits of acquiescing to a China-dominated system.


Fifth, traditional Chinese thinking features authoritarian proclivities. It is characterized by a statism that directs economics and society. It is home to a legalism that employs a strict penal code to create the domestic stability that allows for the building of wealth and military might. And it sees political power as properly residing in an elite bureaucracy rather than springing from the people.


This is not to deny the depth and crosscutting complexity of Chinese tradition and the richness of the moral, philosophical, and religious ideas within it.148 Nor is it to suggest that freedom and democracy cannot flourish in China, as they do in Taiwan and South Korea, and did in Hong Kong. It is to observe, rather, that the CCP draws on certain prominent components of traditional Chinese thinking to bolster the conviction that authoritarian government undergirds China’s manifest superiority and inherent centrality. That conviction is as basic to the CCP’s self-understanding as is the communist dogma of intractable class conflict until capitalism’s demise.


All of the CCP’s paramount leaders, from Mao to Xi, have affirmed China’s nationalist  prerogatives, envisaging China as the “big country” or “major country,” which should not be resisted by “little countries.” In the early decades of CCP rule, however, China’s economy was relatively small and weak. Because of the need to modernize and accumulate wealth and power, Xi’s predecessors tended to balance Chinese assertiveness with accommodation and compromise. Deng famously counseled that China should “bide its time, and hide its capabilities.” Early in the post-Cold War era, the PRC’s growing engagement in regional and international institutions — from the ASEAN Regional Forum to the World Trade Organization — created an image of moderation that encouraged the belief that Beijing would play fair and sometime soon embrace the norms of freedom and democracy.

从毛泽东到习近平,中共的最高领导人都肯定了中国的民族主义特权,设想中国是 “大国 “或 “大国”,不应受到 “小国 “的抵制。但在中共执政初期的几十年里,中国的经济规模相对较小,实力较弱。由于现代化和积累财富与权力的需要,习近平的前任们倾向于在中国的强硬与通融、妥协之间取得平衡。邓小平有一个著名的忠告:中国应该 “韬光养晦”。在后冷战时代的早期,中国越来越多地参与地区以及国际组织–从东盟地区论坛到世界贸易组织–创造了一个温和的形象,促使人们相信北京会公平竞争,并在不久的将来接纳自由和民主的规范准则。

However, underneath PRC rhetoric lay the CCP’s steadfast belief in China’s status as the “big country” and the need to protect the nation’s sovereignty against foreign influence. In the 1990s, former PLA Navy Chief Liu Huaqing repeatedly told his American counterparts that the problem was not China, the big country, bullying the little countries, but the other way around — that is, the little countries bullying the big country.149 “China is a big country and other countries are little countries, and that’s just a fact,” China’s then-Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi explained to his Singapore counterpart in 2010.150 Although insisting that China would act benevolently toward “smaller countries” in the dispute over maritime claims in the South China Sea, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated in March 2014 that “we will never accept unreasonable demands from little countries.”151 Similarly, China’s state-run media — most notably the jingoistic Global Times — justifies Beijing’s bellicosity toward its many neighbors as “punitive” actions undertaken to teach the little countries to submit to the big country.152

然而,在中国的华丽辞藻的掩盖下,却隐藏着中国 “大国”地位以及其国家主权不容受外国国家干预的强烈理念。上世纪90年代,前解放军海军总司令刘华清曾多次对美国同行说,问题不是中国这个大国欺负小国,而是反过来,即小国欺负大国。”中国是大国,其他国家是小国,这只是一个事实。”2010年,中国时任外交部长杨洁篪向新加坡同行解释。虽然坚持认为中国会在南海海洋权益争端中对 “小国 “采取仁慈的行动,但中国外交部长王毅在2014年3月表示,”我们绝不会接受小国的无理要求”。 同样,中国的国营媒体–最著名的战狼外交媒体是《环球时报》–将北京对其众多邻国的好战行为辩解为为了教导小国向大国屈服而采取的 “惩罚性 “行动。

Xi can be assertive because of the fruits of his predecessors’ patience and determination, and because of the failure of liberal democracies — for fear of damaging commercial relations with the PRC — to put pressure on Beijing for bad behavior. China’s size and recently developed strength enable Xi to energetically pursue “Big Country Diplomacy” (or “Major Country 34 Diplomacy”). Such diplomacy is bolstered by party propaganda and growing international influence,153 and champions the nationalist privileges and prerogatives to which the CCP remains dedicated.154

习近平之所以能够自信,是因为他的前任们耐心和决心的成果,也因为自由民主国家–因为担心损害与中国的商业关系–未能对北京的不良行为施加压力。中国的规模和最近发展起来的实力使习近平能够精力充沛地推行 “大国外交”(或 “主要国家34外交”)。这种外交得到了党的宣传和日益增长的国际影响力的支持,并宣扬了中共一直奉行的民族主义特权。

Even as the CCP proclaims China’s supremacy among nations and indoctrinates the people with a belief in the PRC’s paramount status, the party has for decades fostered in China an acute sense of historical victimhood and national shame. The CCP traces the nation’s grievances to the concessions the British imposed on China in the mid-19th-century Opium Wars. While seeing itself as the rightful heir of China’s ancient and storied civilization, the CCP resents the Qing dynasty’s failure to modernize, which it blames for China’s territorial losses and other disgraces at the hands of Western imperial powers during the so-called “century of humiliation” (1839-1949).155 Notwithstanding its destruction of major parts of China’s magnificent cultural heritage, the CCP stokes popular indignation by promulgating the belief that, for a protracted period, smaller and morally and intellectually inferior countries deprived the Middle Kingdom of its rightful status. The refusal of the United States to recognize China’s exalted position as the CCP understands it provides ammunition for the party’s narrative of China as a victim.

尽管中国共产党宣称中国在各国中至高无上,并向人民灌输中华人民共和国至高无上的地位,但几十年来,该党在中国培养了一种强烈的历史受害感和国耻感。中国共产党将民族的不满追溯到19世纪中叶鸦片战争中英国对中国的让步。中国共产党将自己视为中国古老而传奇的文明的合法继承人,但同时又对清朝未能实现现代化感到不满,它将所谓的 “屈辱世纪”(1839-1949年)期间中国在西方帝国主义列强手中遭受的领土损失和其他耻辱归咎于清朝。 尽管中共破坏了中国壮丽的文化遗产的主要部分,但它却煽动民众的愤慨,宣扬小国、道德和智力低下的国家长期以来剥夺了中原王朝的合法地位。美国拒绝承认中共所理解的中国的崇高地位,这为该党将中国视为受害者的说法提供了弹药。

For the CCP, pride in China’s inherent centrality and resentment at its mistreatment by the West reinforce one another. This potent mix of pride and resentment nourishes party members’ conviction that China is endowed with incontrovertible title to rule in a loose system in which other countries enjoy considerable autonomy provided they recognize their place and submit to China’s socialist norms. At the same time, the combination of pride and resentment weakens China’s inclination to compromise and cooperate. Built around defeat at the hands of the West, the CCP’s founding myth disposes China to dwell on settling old scores and righting historic wrongs.156


Xis Synthesis of Communism and Chinese Nationalism


All five Chinese Communist paramount leaders — Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping — have affirmed the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism while adhering to an extreme interpretation of Chinese nationalism. A beneficiary of the massive modernization campaign launched by Deng and stewarded by Jiang and Hu, Xi has spoken most forcefully and openly about the union of communism and Chinese nationalism in service to the CCP’s ambitions for global preeminence.


At the 19th Party Congress in October 2017, the CCP amended its Party Constitution to enshrine Xi’s concept of “the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.”157 Xi emphasized the fidelity of his synthesis of Chinese communism and Chinese nationalism to the party’s fundamental teachings: “At its founding,” he said, “the Communist Party of China made realizing communism its highest ideal and its ultimate goal, and shouldered the historic mission of national rejuvenation.”158

在2017年10月的党的十九大上,中共修改党章,将习近平的 “民族复兴的中国梦 “理念写入其中。习近平强调,1他对中国共产主义和中国民族主义的综合,忠实于党的基本教导。”他说:”中国共产党在成立之初,就把实现共产主义作为自己的最高理想和最终目标,肩负着民族复兴的历史使命。”

The flourishing of the individual, according to the party, flows from the flourishing of the nation. History shows that the future and destiny of each and every one of us are closely linked to those of our country and nation,” Xi said in a 2012 speech. “One can do well only when one’s country and nation do well. Achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is both a glorious and an arduous mission that requires the dedicated efforts of the Chinese people one generation after another. Empty talk harms the country, while hard work makes it flourish.”159


Individual and national flourishing, Xi emphasized in a 2019 speech, are indissolubly bound up with the triumph of communism and socialism: “In today’s China, the essence of patriotism is the complete combination of our devotion to the country, to the Chinese Communist Party and to socialism.”160 The patriotic work of national rejuvenation, as Xi explains it, culminates with China’s dominance of a globe-spanning socialist order.161  

习近平在2019年的讲话中强调,个人和国家的兴旺发达,与共产主义和社会主义的胜利密不可分:”在今天的中国,爱国主义的本质是我们对国家、对中国共产党、对社会主义奉献的完整结合。”  习近平解释说,民族复兴的爱国主义工作,随着中国主导全球的社会主义秩序而达到高潮。

The party’s Constitution contains a passage known as the “basic line” that summarizes the goal for national rejuvenation:

党章中有一段话被称为 “基本路线”,概括了民族复兴的目标:

The basic line of the Communist Party of China in the primary stage of socialism is to lead all the people of China together in a self-reliant and pioneering effort, making economic development the central task, upholding the Four Cardinal Principles, and remaining committed to reform and opening up, so as to see China become a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.162


Notwithstanding its brevity and seemingly anodyne language, the “basic line” captures the mingling of communism and Chinese nationalism in the service of the CCP’s ambition to prevail in great-power rivalry with the United States. Such terms as “democratic,” “harmonious,” and “beautiful” appear compatible with government that protects rights, and which is grounded in the consent of the people. However, the words reflect the CCP’s autocratic intentions, alluding to Mao’s concept of “the people’s democratic dictatorship” as well as to the party’s comprehensive control of society and the CCP’s unyielding conviction that the United States heads an international capitalist conspiracy to prevent socialist China from achieving global dominance.

尽管 “基本路线 “言简意赅,看似平淡无奇,但它却抓住了共产主义和中国民族主义的交融,为中共在与美国的大国竞争中获胜的野心服务。诸如 “民主”、”和谐”、”美好 “等词汇,似乎与保护权利、以人民的同意为基础的政府相适应。但是,这些词语反映了中共的专制意图,暗指毛泽东的 “人民民主专政 “概念,也暗指党对社会的全面控制,以及中共坚信美国领导着国际资本主义阴谋,阻止社会主义中国取得全球主导地位的不屈信念。

In short, the “basic line” points to the CCP’s quest to make the Chinese nation the world’s greatest power.163 The CCP set a deadline of 2049 — the PRC’s 100-year anniversary — for achieving this national rejuvenation,164 and has identified several steps to accomplish it.

总之,”基本路线 “指向了中共追求使中华民族成为世界上最伟大的强国。中共将实现这一民族复兴的最后期限定为2049年–中国成立100周年,并确定了实现这一目标的几个步骤。

First, China must complete the project of modernization by developing a world-leading economy and world-class military. The economic, social, and political order necessary to achieving this objective, according to the CCP, is socialism.


Second, China must overcome its “century of humiliation” by recovering what the CCP views as lost territory and as its full maritime claims over littoral waters. The CCP’s 2017 Constitution states that the party “shall work continuously to strengthen the unity of all the Chinese people, including compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese.” It will also achieve “the reunification of the motherland” — a euphemism for recovery of Taiwan — “in conformity with the principle of ‘one country, two systems.’”165 In his address to the 19th Party Congress, Xi explicitly identifies “achieving China’s reunification” as “essential to realizing national rejuvenation.”166

其次,中国必须克服 “百年屈辱”,收复中共认为是失去的领土和对沿岸水域的全部海洋要求。中共2017年党章指出,党 “要不断努力加强包括香港、澳门特别行政区同胞和台湾同胞以及海外华人在内的全体中国人民的团结”。还将按照’一国两制’的原则,”实现 “祖国统一”–收复台湾的委婉说法。”  习近平在党的十九大上的讲话中,明确将 “实现中国的统一 “作为 “实现民族复兴的根本”。

Third, China must lead the struggle to institute socialism globally. “In this long period of cooperation and conflict, socialism must learn from the boons that capitalism has brought to civilization,” Xi instructed the CCP in 2013. “Most importantly, we must concentrate our efforts on bettering our own affairs, continually broadening our comprehensive national power, improving the lives of our people, building a socialism that is superior to capitalism, and laying the foundation for a future where we will win the initiative and have the dominant position.”167 To win the initiative and have the dominant position, China must displace the United States as the world’s foremost power. Xi plans for China by 2049 to complete its emergence as “a global leader in terms of composite national strength and international influence.”168

第三,中国必须领导在全球范围内推行社会主义的斗争。”在这个长期的合作与冲突中,社会主义必须学习资本主义给文明带来的恩惠。”2013年,习近平对中共中央作出指示。”最重要的是,我们要集中力量办好自己的事情,不断扩大综合国力,改善人民生活,建设优于资本主义的社会主义,为将来赢得主动、掌握主导权奠定基础。”  中国要赢得主动权,拥有主导地位,就必须取代美国成为世界最主要的大国。习近平计划到2049年,中国要完成 “综合国力和国际影响力全球领先 “的崛起。

Fourth, socialism must culminate in the unification of humanity under Chinese leadership. In his address to the 19th Party Congress, Xi refers several times to a “community of common destiny for mankind.”169 This notion figures extensively in China’s far-reaching efforts under Xi to extend its global influence. In August 2018, top diplomat Yang Jiechi, director of the CCP’s Office of Foreign Affairs Commission and a Politburo member, went so far as to assert, “Building a community of common destiny for mankind is the overall goal of China’s foreign affairs work in the new era” and requires a “new type of international relations.”170  Xi’s community of common destiny for mankind would replace the established international order grounded in free and sovereign nation-states with a unity of nations in shared deference to the CCP’s interpretation of international socialism.171

第四,社会主义必须最终实现中共国领导下的人类统一。习近平在党的十九大上的讲话中,多次提到 “人类命运共同体”。 这一理念广泛地出现在习近平领导下的中共国扩大全球影响力的深远努力中。2018年8月,中共外事委员会办公室主任、政治局委员、最高外交官杨洁篪甚至断言:”构建人类共同命运共同体是新时代中国外交工作的总目标”,需要建立”新型国际关系”。习近平的人类命运共同体,将以共同遵守中共对国际社会主义的解释的国家统一取代以自由主权民族国家为基础的既有国际秩序。

In a 2016 speech to a Politburo collective study session on global governance, Xi stressed the need to “improve our ability to participate in global governance, and in particular, our ability to make rules, set agendas, and carry out publicity and coordination.”172 Accordingly, Xi exhorts PRC diplomats to “take an active part in leading the reform of the global governance system.”173 Xi, however, does not envisage improvements in democratic accountability, impartial administration, and fidelity to human rights. To the contrary, those essentials of individual freedom and human equality must be defeated by implanting socialism’s norms, standards, and goals in international organizations.

习近平在2016年政治局集体学习会议上关于全球治理的讲话中强调,要 “提高我们参与全球治理的能力,特别是提高我们制定规则、制定议程、开展宣传协调的能力”。 据此,习近平勉励中国外交官 “积极参与引领全球治理体系改革”。 然而,习近平并没有设想在民主问责、公正行政和忠于人权方面有所改善。相反,必须通过在国际组织中植入社会主义的规范、标准和目标来击败这些个人自由和人类平等的基本要素。

The difference of opinion about the reform of world order between the United States and China is stark. For the United States — and for fellow liberal democracies — the aim is to preserve the freedom and sovereignty of nation-states by fortifying the established order, which is grounded in respect for human rights and in fidelity to the rule of law, understood as the impartial application of publicly disclosed, settled, and binding rules. For China, the objective is to transform world order. The CCP seeks to reconfigure the community of nations by placing China at the center while subordinating freedom, national sovereignty, human rights, and the rule of law to socialism with Chinese characteristics.



结  论

China’s conduct flows from a distinctive blend of Marxism-Leninism and of the party’s  extreme version of Chinese nationalism. Viewing the conduct in the context of the ideas that inspire and shape it dispels the starry-eyed optimism about the PRC that has distorted U.S. policy. It also encourages sobriety in cooperating with, containing, and deterring the CCP. Grasping China’s conduct in light of the CCP’s governing ideas, moreover, illuminates the vulnerabilities that afflict China’s authoritarian regime, and clarifies the tasks the United States must undertake to secure freedom.


IV. Chinas Vulnerabilities


After Mao Zedong’s disastrous Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) and bloody Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the Chinese Communist Party presided over great increases in China’s industrial and technological capabilities, economic prosperity, and military power. The PRC’s global reach and international influence have expanded accordingly. Notwithstanding its progress in pursuit of national rejuvenation and the transformation of the international order, the PRC’s vulnerabilities have also grown under the CCP’s watch.


Some of China’s vulnerabilities derive from the nature of autocracy.174 For want of freedom, autocracies tend to struggle to maintain economies that over the long term can adapt, innovate, and grow. Because of their imperial ambitions and disdain for international norms and standards, autocracies make poor friends and are prone to estranging allies and partners. And because of the need to repress their own citizens, autocracies typically must divert resources from military affairs abroad to the preservation of order at home.

中国的一些脆弱性来自于专制的本质。 由于缺乏自由,专制国家往往难以维持能够长期适应、创新和增长的经济。由于其帝国主义的野心和对国际规范和标准的蔑视,专制国家的朋友不多,容易疏远盟友和伙伴。而且由于需要镇压自己的公民,专制国家通常必须将国外军事事务的资源转用于维护国内秩序

In addition to the vulnerabilities that inhere in all autocracies, the CCP’s blend of communism and hyper-nationalism along with the country’s particular circumstances expose China to a variety of specific vulnerabilities.


First, China’s economy faces significant difficulties. Although China is a global manufacturing and technological powerhouse, Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang conceded in May 2020, “There are still some 600 million people earning a medium or low income, or even less…. Their monthly income is barely 1,000 yuan (about $142), not even enough to rent a room in a medium-tier Chinese city.”175 The pandemic has compounded the problem by increasing unemployment. Before the COVID-19 crisis, moreover, social unrest in the PRC percolated as the economy experienced its lowest growth rate in 30 years.176 The new reality compels the CCP to adopt more stringent measures to control the population.177

首先,中国经济面临重大困难。虽然中国是全球制造业和科技强国,但国务院总理李克强在2020年5月承认,”目前仍有约6亿人收入处于中低收入,甚至更少….。他们的月收入勉强达到1000元人民币(约合142美元),甚至不够在中国中等城市租房。” 疫情加剧了失业率,使问题更加严重。此外,在COVID-19危机之前,随着中国经济经历了30年来的最低增速,中国的社会动荡也在不断渗透。新的现实迫使中共采取更严格的措施来控制人口。

Several forms of dependence could hinder the sustained and substantial economic growth that supports the CCP’s popular legitimacy. The CCP plans to overcome its reliance on exports by bringing the 600 million or so Chinese who live on modest wages into the middle class. Nevertheless, in the short term Beijing must export manufactured goods to consumers in the United States and other advanced industrial nations to keep factories running and people working even as, particularly in the wake of the global pandemic, the United States and others seek to reduce reliance on Chinese manufacturing.178 Notwithstanding the CCP’s lagging efforts to establish the yuan as a global reserve currency, China depends on the American dollar to settle many international transactions. And China’s advanced manufacturing uses sophisticated microchips and other high-value technological goods from the United States and other advanced industrial nations.179 This leaves critical sectors of China’s economy vulnerable to temporary disruption by foreign governments’ imposition of export controls.180

几种形式的依赖可能会阻碍支持中共民众合法性的持续和大幅度的经济增长。中共计划通过将靠微薄工资生活的6亿左右中国人带入中产阶级来克服对出口的依赖。然而,在短期内,北京必须向美国和其他先进工业国家的消费者出口制成品,以维持工厂的运转和人们的工作,即使在全球大流行病之后,美国和其他国家寻求减少对中国制造业的依赖。尽管中共将人民币确立为全球储备货币的努力滞后,但中国在许多国际交易中仍依赖美元结算。而中国的先进制造业使用来自美国和其他先进工业国家的精密微芯片和其他高价值技术产品。 这使得中国经济的关键部门容易受到外国政府实施出口管制的暂时干扰。

Furthermore, while the extent in China of the economic contraction caused by COVID­19 is uncertain, the pandemic’s consequences are bound to exceed what Beijing endured in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Stimulus measures stretching across more than a decade have taken their toll on China’s corporate sector while saddling the government with immense debt.181 In response, China has imposed strict lending standards on its banks, the efficacy of which is to be determined.182 While many Chinese companies depend on capital markets in the United States, Britain, and other countries, some use secondary listings in Hong Kong or Shanghai to insulate themselves from limitations on access to foreign capital markets.183 Meanwhile, China’s manufacturing sector is likely to keep contracting due to sharp drops in consumer demand at home and abroad. Declining manufacturing, diminished consumption, and limited stimulus tools would depress GDP and increase unemployment,184 yielding further dissatisfaction and social unrest.185


A booming Chinese economy creates its own vulnerabilities. While the last several decades show that greater economic freedom does not guarantee political liberalization, China’s powerful economic engine, combining choice with state command and control, may still encourage a frame of mind within the middle and upper-middle class that is at odds with authoritarian government. The opportunity to choose that a growing economy fosters and the prosperity it unleashes tend to produce a taste for more freedom. Making decisions about work and property can increase citizens’ expectations for choice in other realms while producing greater affluence. Choice and affluence, moreover, tend to heighten the demand for the protection of the fruits of one’s labor through property rights and laws that are settled, public, and fairly applied. Alternatively, as some have argued, middle- and upper-middle-class urbanites may continue to support the CCP because of the comfort and wealth they have achieved under the party’s dominion even while dissatisfaction mounts among the hundreds of millions of rural citizens whom economic development has left behind.186 Either way, continued economic growth as much as economic stagnation could spur a destabilizing demand in China for government accountability and for greater protection for basic rights and fundamental freedoms.

蓬勃发展的中国经济带来了自身的脆弱性。虽然过去几十年的经验表明,更大的经济自由并不能保证政治自由化,但中国强大的经济引擎,将选择权与国家的命令和控制结合起来,仍可能鼓励中上阶层形成一种与专制政府相悖的心态。增长的经济所培养的选择机会和它所释放的繁荣,往往会产生一种对更多自由的体会。对工作和财产进行决策,可以增加公民对其他领域选择的期望,同时产生更大的富裕。此外,选择和富裕往往会提高人们对通过产权和法律来保护自己的劳动成果的要求,而这些权利和法律是确定的、公开的、公平适用的。或者,正如一些人所言,城市中上层人士可能会因为在党的统治下获得的舒适和财富而继续支持中国共产党,即使在经济发展所留下的数以亿计的农村公民中,不满情绪也在不断上升。 无论哪种情况,持续的经济增长和经济停滞都会刺激中国对政府问责制以及对基本权利和基本自由的更大保护的不稳定需求。

Second, China suffers from worsening demographic conditions. The size of the population is on track to peak in the coming decade and then gradually decline. To make matters worse, Beijing is about to experience an explosion of those 65 and above while its working-age population shrinks sharply. The absence in China of a modern social-safety net will impose strains as workers struggle to support a steadily growing retiree population. In addition, as a consequence of China’s one-child policy — abolished in 2016 but with consequences that will reverberate for generations — China’s working-age population will suffer from a prolonged gender imbalance (the 2010 census reported 120 males for every 100 females).187


Third, China’s accelerated economic development has severely degraded the environment. The PRC has been for more than a decade and remains the world’s largest source of carbon emissions. Pollution produces dystopian conditions in many of China’s major cities while reducing the country’s arable land and clean water. As a consequence, life expectancy in China has been falling.188A recent Lancet study found that every year 1.1 million people in China die prematurely due to air pollution.189


Fourth, corruption — at the local level as well as in the party’s upper echelons — creates risks for the CCP. Many members of the elite have enriched themselves at the expense of the people. Along with uneven economic growth and demographic and environmental problems, repression and land expropriation exacerbate discontent, provoking more than 130,000 protests of varying types annually. Such protests are likely to shake the system for years to come.190


Fifth, the CCP devotes considerable resources to the repression of ethnic and religious minorities. In gross violation of the principles set forth in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the CCP maintains a military occupation of Tibet that dates to the 1950s, conducts a brutal program in Xinjiang to “re-educate” Uyghurs and millions of other Turkic Muslims, oppresses ethnic Mongolians in China’s Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, and imposes onerous regulations on China’s Christians, who number around 70 million.191  

第五,中共将大量资源用于镇压少数民族和宗教少数群体。中共严重违反1948年《世界人权宣言》规定的各项原则,自1950年代以来一直对西藏实行军事占领,在新疆实施残酷的计划,对维吾尔族和其他数百万突厥穆斯林进行 “再教育”,压迫中国内蒙古自治区的蒙古族人,并对中国约7 000万基督教徒实行严厉的管制。

Sixth, Beijing allocates extraordinary sums to internal security. The PRC refers to these expenses, which include central-government and regional-level costs, as “national domestic security spending.” One open-source analysis suggests that China directs approximately 18% more to internal security than to external defense.192 PRC spending on national domestic security grew from 348.6 billion RMB ($57.2 billion) in 2007 to 1.24 trillion RMB in 2017 ($197 billion in nominal dollars). These estimates “exclude billions of dollars spent on security-related urban-management and surveillance initiatives” even as China’s lower wages and costs “render Chinese security capabilities much higher per dollar spent” than U.S. security spending.193

第六,中国政府为国内安全划拨了非常多的资金。中国将这些包括中央政府和地区一级的费用在内的支出称为 “国家国内安全支出”。一项公开来源的分析表明,中国用于国内安全的支出比用于对外防御的支出多出约18%。中国在国家国内安全方面的支出从2007年的3486亿元人民币(572亿美元)增长到2017年的1.24万亿元人民币(名义美元为1970亿美元)。这些估算 “不包括用于安全相关的城市管理和监控举措的数十亿美元”,即使中国较低的工资和成本 “使中国安全能力的每美元支出远高于 “美国的安全支出。

Seventh, China’s military lacks popular legitimacy. The PLA’s purpose is to fight for the CCP, not the people. Consistent with Mao’s motto, “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” the party presides over military decision-making. Nevertheless, as the PLA has modernized, ideological conviction within the ranks has declined while corruption has increased. Xi has sought to restore party allegiance — more specifically, allegiance to him — by reinstituting mandatory ideological training and purging the military’s most senior generals.194 The “re-redding” that the PLA must frequently undergo highlights the tension between the party’s need for a professional military and its demand for unquestioned loyalty.195

第七,中国的军队缺乏民众的合法性。解放军的目的是为中共而不是为人民而战。根据毛泽东的座右铭 “枪杆子里出政权”,党主持军事决策。然而,随着解放军的现代化,队伍内部的思想信念下降,而腐败却在增加。习近平试图通过恢复强制性的意识形态培训和清洗军方最高级将领来恢复党的忠诚–更具体地说,是对他的忠诚。 解放军必须经常接受的 “再培训 “凸显了党对职业化军队的需求和对毫无疑问的忠诚的要求之间的紧张关系。

Eighth, the CCP faces questions about leadership succession. Uncertainty surrounds the person who will follow Xi Jinping as China’s paramount leader. The party’s practices under Xi have diverged from the CCP’s norms for leadership succession established after Deng Xiaoping. Whereas in the past, the party would have given some indication at this point in the paramount leader’s tenure as to his successor, that question remains under Xi shrouded in mystery.196


Ninth, China’s conduct of foreign affairs generates distrust abroad. According to an October 2020 Pew Research Center survey, “Views of China have grown more negative in recent years across many advanced economies, and unfavorable opinion has soared over the past year.”197 Before the global pandemic, Beijing faced a backlash from foreign capitals springing from its authoritarian schemes of economic co-optation and coercion, intellectual-property theft, rejection of reciprocal treatment, lack of transparency, and egregious human rights abuses. The global pandemic has amplified international discontent with the PRC. The new coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan in late 2019 quickly spread to peoples and nations around the globe, in part because China concealed the outbreak from the world. Beijing further damaged its reputation through its international campaign of disinformation, and its “wolf warrior” diplomacy to deflect responsibility for the pandemic. The CCP’s shameful misconduct — major factors in producing a known worldwide death toll that has surpassed one million with ruinous consequences for societies and economies around the world — has given rise to international demands for accountability over the spread of COVID-19.198

第九,中国的外交行为在国外产生不信任。根据2020年10月皮尤研究中心的调查,”近年来,在许多发达经济体中,对中国的看法变得更加负面,不利的意见在过去一年中急剧上升。”  在全球大流行之前,北京面临着来自外国首都的反击,这种反击来自于其经济合作与胁迫的专制计划、知识产权盗窃、拒绝对等待遇、缺乏透明度以及令人震惊的人权侵犯行为。全球性的疫情扩大了国际社会对中国的不满。2019年底在武汉出现的新型冠状病毒迅速蔓延到全球各国人民和国家,部分原因是中国向世界隐瞒了疫情。北京通过国际上的造谣运动,以及 “战狼 “外交来转移疫情责任,进一步损害了自己的声誉。中共可耻的错误行为是造成已知的全球死亡人数超过100万的主要因素,给全世界的社会和经济带来了灾难性的后果,这使得国际社会要求对COVID-19的传播负责。


结  论

The CCP confronts a classic dilemma of authoritarian government: the more the party employs repressive means to perpetuate its monopoly on state power, the more it risks driving a wedge between itself and the people. At the same time, and even as hundreds of millions in China remain mired in poverty, hundreds of millions have attained middle-class affluence under the CCP. To what extent the delivery of economic growth, the manipulation of nationalist sentiments, and the generation of fear and submission by a totalitarian surveillance state will enable the CCP to retain its hold on power remains to be seen.


It also remains to be seen to what extent the CCP can address effectively the variety of specific vulnerabilities China confronts. The party’s discipline and ruthlessness have enabled it to marshal vast resources and patiently pursue the production of wealth at home and the acquisition of power and influence abroad. At the same time, the CCP’s authoritarianism, which eradicates dissent, constrains the party’s ability to recognize the regime’s weaknesses, correct errors, and adjust to changing circumstances.199


Along with knowledge of China’s conduct and its intellectual sources, understanding of the CCP’s vulnerabilities — not least the limitations of its ability to address its vulnerabilities — must inform U.S. efforts to meet the China challenge.


V. Securing Freedom


Following the Chinese Communist Party’s massacre of civilians that ended the six-week Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and Beijing’s subsequent imposition of harsh restrictions on freedom of speech and press, U.S. administrations of both parties doubled down on a China policy focused on engagement. That policy had its justifications and brought its benefits. However, rapid modernization, prodigious economic growth, substantial progress toward building a world-class military, and integration into the world economy have not inclined China to join, let alone play its part in maintaining, the community of nations dedicated to an international order grounded in freedom, democracy, national sovereignty, human rights, and the rule of law.


To the contrary, having survived the 1989 protests, the CCP proceeded to build a hyper-modern police state based on repression and indoctrination at home and committed to predatory schemes of international trade, investment, construction, surveillance, and disinformation. Rather than yielding political liberalization, China’s outsized economic development and acquisition of international influence have given new life among the party’s faithful to the objective of forging a socialist world order with Chinese characteristics. Xi Jinping’s resolute pursuit of “the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation” has intensified the great-power competition launched by the CCP.

相反,在经历了1989年的抗议之后,中国共产党在国内建立了一个以镇压和灌输为基础的超现代警察国家,并致力于掠夺性的国际贸易、投资、建设、监视和造谣计划。中国经济的超大规模发展和国际影响力的获得,非但没有屈服于政治自由化,反而使党的信徒们对打造中国特色社会主义世界秩序的目标产生了新的生机。习近平对 “民族复兴的中国梦 “的坚定追求,加剧了中共发起的大国竞争。

In one crucial respect, the China challenge resembles the one presented by the Soviet Union to the free world. Soviet authoritarianism combined communism and traditional Russian nationalism.200 The Soviet synthesis governed the USSR’s quest to construct a worldwide socialist order with Moscow at the center. Similarly, Chinese authoritarianism combines communism and a hyper-nationalist interpretation of China’s status and destiny. The CCP synthesis governs China’s quest to construct a worldwide socialist order with Beijing at the center.

在一个关键的方面,中国的挑战与苏联向自由世界提出的挑战很相似。苏联专制主义结合了共产主义和传统的俄罗斯民族主义。 苏联的综合体支配着苏联寻求构建一个以莫斯科为中心的世界性社会主义秩序。同样,中国的专制主义结合了共产主义和对中国地位和命运的超民族主义解释。中国共产党的综合体支配着中国寻求构建以北京为中心的世界性社会主义秩序的努力。

In another crucial respect, however, the China challenge differs from the Soviet challenge. The Soviet Union primarily enlarged its dominions and sought to impose its will through military coercion. For almost fifty years, the USSR ruled over half of Europe through force of arms and extended its global influence by means of weapons sales, security expertise, troop deployments, proxy fighting forces, and the installation and propping up of Marxist regimes. In contrast, the China challenge is not in the first place a military struggle. China’s saber rattling in the South China Sea and gradual acquisition of positions, its crushing of freedom in Hong Kong, and its menacing statements about and behavior toward Taiwan are of major concern. The CCP’s conventional military is a force to be reckoned with. And Beijing’s nuclear, cyber, and space capabilities pose substantial threats. Nevertheless, China primarily  pursues the reconfiguration of world affairs through a kind and quantity of economic power of which the Soviets could only have dreamed.


The harsh reality is that to advance vital U.S. interests and defend cherished American principles, the United States must maintain cooperative relations with a great power whose economy represents a hefty component of world commerce but whose systematic conduct deprives its own people of freedom and threatens the freedom of nations around the world. The China challenge, so understood, is likely to dominate American foreign policy across many administrations.


Meeting a challenge of such urgency, scope, and complexity requires the United States to return to the fundamentals. To secure freedom, America must refashion foreign policy in light of ten tasks.


First, the United States must secure freedom at home. The nation must preserve the constitutional order, which is grounded in respect for individual rights, democratic self-government, and national sovereignty. The nation must also foster a growing economy based on a free market that rewards hard work and entrepreneurship and ensures equal opportunity while both making accommodations for those hit hardest by globalization’s disruptions and devising incentives to equip individuals to prosper in industries crucial to U.S. security. And the country must cultivate a vibrant civil society that enables people to care for their families, safeguard their communities, and form associations of all sorts. Fidelity to America’s traditions of individual freedom and democratic self-government will produce the prosperity and restore the civic concord that have always been essential to meeting the nation’s challenges abroad.


Second, the United States must maintain the world’s most powerful, agile, and technologically sophisticated military while enhancing security cooperation, grounded in common interests and shared responsibility, with allies and partners. A strong military depends on a strong economy — to provide the resources to train and maintain troops, to purchase the best equipment, and to conduct the research and development to produce the next generation of state-of-the-art weapons. At the same time, a strong economy depends on a strong military — to ensure the open seas, safe skies, and secure communications networks that enable international commerce to thrive. For the sake of security and prosperity, moreover, the United States must rededicate itself to preserving its status as the world’s leader in technological innovation. Since neither security nor prosperity can be achieved by one country alone, the United States must regard the cultivation of allies and partners with whom it can share responsibilities as a strategic imperative.


Third, the United States must fortify the free, open, and rules-based international order — which it led in creating after World War II — composed of sovereign nation-states and based on respect for human rights and the rule of law. Such an order reflects American principles and serves American interests.


Fourth, the United States must reevaluate its alliance system and the panoply of international organizations in which it participates to determine where they fortify the free, open, and rules-based international order and where they fall short. A thorough assessment is long overdue.


Fifth, in light of that assessment, the United States must strengthen its alliance system by more effectively sharing responsibilities with friends and partners and by forming a variety of groupings and coalitions to address specific threats to freedom. At the same time, in cooperation with the world’s democracies and other like-minded partners, the United States must reform international organizations where possible and, where necessary, build new ones rooted in the underlying principles of the established international order. To those ends, the United States must not only share responsibility for peace and security but also must work with friends and partners to reconfigure supply chains to eliminate dependence on China for critical materials and goods; to devise common standards for trade, technology, communications, travel, and health; and, building on such initiatives as the International Development Finance Corporation and the emerging Blue Dot Network, to invest in friendly nations’ physical and digital infrastructure and commercial ventures, especially in the Indo-

Pacific region, the countries of which China most immediately threatens.


Sixth, the United States must promote American interests by looking for opportunities to cooperate with Beijing subject to norms of fairness and reciprocity, constraining and deterring the PRC when circumstances require, and supporting those in China who seek freedom.


Strategic competition with China requires delicate balancing: The United States must engage with Beijing cautiously and creatively while countering its economic imperialism and military adventurism and firmly opposing the brazen violations of the rule of law and the gross human rights abuses that seem to be inseparable from CCP rule.


Seventh, the United States must educate American citizens about the scope and implications of the China challenge. Only an informed citizenry can be expected to back the complex mix of demanding policies that will enable the United States to secure freedom. Executive-branch officials and members of Congress must address the public regularly and forthrightly about China’s conduct and intentions, and about the policies the U.S. government must implement to secure freedom at home and preserve the established international order. In addition, the State Department, Congress, think tanks, and private sector organizations must work together to ensure that government officials as well as the public have access to English-language translations of CCP officials’ major speeches and writings along with  important publications and broadcasts from China’s state-run media, scholarly community, and worldwide propaganda machine.


Eighth, the United States must train the rising generation of government officials and public-policy thinkers to navigate the new era of threats and opportunities. Not only diplomats but also military strategists, economists, technologists, political theorists and more who deal with China must be well-versed in the country’s language, culture (including moral, philosophical, and religious traditions), and history (including politics, economics, and war). The same goes for the training of the next generation in the languages, cultures, and histories of other strategic competitors, as well as of friends and potential friends across the globe. It is not enough to acquire a passing familiarity with critical languages or even a working knowledge. The pressing and intricate problems of world politics require the U.S. government to recruit and cultivate officials who have mastered critical languages — that it, who are capable of reading documents, giving talks, and conducting the affairs of state in the languages spoken by strategic rivals as well as by friends and partners. The State Department has recently expanded programs that promote the serious study of Mandarin. It must also make a priority of accelerating training in Russian, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, and other languages. At the same time, Congress must create new programs to encourage students of all ages to achieve fluency in critical languages and to use their skills in public service.


Ninth, the United States must reform American education to enable students to shoulder the enduring responsibilities of citizenship in a free and democratic society and to meet the special demands of a complex, globalized, information-age economy. Sinister efforts from abroad seek to sow discord in the United States. And America’s grade schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities have to a dismaying degree abandoned well-rounded presentations of America’s founding ideas and constitutional traditions in favor of propaganda aimed at vilifying the nation. In the face of these polarizing forces, the United States must reclaim its own legacy of liberty. That begins with renewing appreciation of the enduring principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence — that all are endowed with unalienable rights, that the principal purpose of government is to secure those rights, and that all legitimate political power springs from the consent of the governed. It also depends on serious study of the history of America’s efforts down to the present day to live up to those principles, not least through the establishment and preservation of a constitution of limited powers. This will enable American citizens to grasp the nation’s interest in maintaining an international order that favors free and sovereign nation-states. At the same time, the United States must rededicate itself to the promotion of excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Rather than directing the economy in the manner of authoritarian regimes, the United States government must supercharge the economy in the spirit of freedom and opportunity by funding a variety of educational programs that promote mastery of STEM subjects so that 21st-century America leads the world in innovation, entrepreneurship, and production.


Tenth, the United States must champion the principles of freedom — principles that are at once universal and at the heart of the American national spirit — through example; speeches; educational initiatives; public diplomacy; foreign assistance and investment; sanctions in more difficult circumstances as well as other forms of non-military pressure; and, where the nation’s vital interests are at stake and all else has failed, military force.

第十,美国必须通过以下方式捍卫自由原则 — — 这些原则既具有普遍性,又是美国民族精神的核心 — — 以身作则;演讲;教育倡议;公共外交;对外援助和投资;在更困难的情况下实施制裁以及其他形式的非军事压力;以及在国家的重大利益受到威胁而所有其他方式都失败的情况下,使用军事力量。

Grounded in the nation’s founding principles and constitutional traditions; invigorated by a bustling economy; undergirded by the world’s best-trained and best-equipped military; served by government officials who understand the American people and the American political system, recognize the diversity and common humanity of the peoples and nations of the world, and appreciate the complex interplay of ideas and interests in foreign affairs; and fortified by an informed and engaged citizenry — this multi-pronged approach will enable the United States to secure freedom.




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