Saturday, August 2, 2014
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可阻挡的亚洲崛起?

新德里—如今,国际争论最热门的话题是亚洲的崛起是不是意味着西方的衰落。但最近一段时间,欧洲和美国的经济窘境吸引了人们的目光,以至于许多事关亚洲能否持续保持成功的严峻挑战都被忽视了。

诚然,当今世界正在发生的实力转移主要与亚洲令人瞩目的经济崛起相关,亚洲速度是人类历史上所罕见的。亚洲拥有世界增长最快的经济体、膨胀最迅速的军费开支、最激烈的资源竞争。而最重要的热点在于,全球秩序的钥匙显然含在亚洲嘴里。

但亚洲也面临着沉重的约束。亚洲必须处理好根深蒂固的领土和领海纠纷(比如南海问题)、妨碍其最重要国际关系的历史遗留问题、愈演愈烈的民族主义、日滋月长的宗教极端主义,以及日益尖锐的水和能源之争。

此外,亚洲政治一体化严重滞后于经济一体化,更严重的问题是,亚洲缺少安全框架。地区协商机制仍然相当无力。亚洲存在持久的分歧——安全机构或共同体应该将整个亚洲纳入其中,还是只局限于定义模糊不清的“东亚”?

一个关键问题在于,亚洲和欧洲不同。欧洲在20世纪上半叶经历了两次惨烈的战争,时至今日,欧洲人已对战争深恶痛绝。而亚洲在20世纪下半叶所经历的战争加剧了各种仇恨。自1950年的朝鲜战争和解放西藏战事以来,亚洲经历了多场战争,但基本争端仍未得到解决。

一个显著的例子是,中国在其一穷二白、仍面临诸多国内麻烦时仍进行了军事干预。五角大楼一份2010年的报告援引了中国在1950、1962、1969和1979年以战略防御为名进行的先发制人。1974年中国从越南手中夺取西沙群岛、1995年在菲律宾的抗议声中占领南沙群岛美济礁亦是明证。这段历史有助于解释中国快速膨胀的军力为何会引起当今亚洲的严重忧虑。

事实上,日本在明治时期(1867—1912年)跻身世界强国之林方才开创了非西方势力参与决定全球秩序的局面。但日本的例子有一个绝大不同点:其崛起伴随着其他亚洲文明的衰落。毕竟,19世纪时,欧洲人已经在亚洲广开殖民地,因此没有哪个亚洲国家可以制约日本。

如今,中国正在与其他重要亚洲国家一同崛起,包括韩国、越南、印度和印尼。尽管中国现已超越日本成为世界第二大经济体,但在可预见的将来,日本仍将保持超群的实力。从人均水平看,日本仍比中国富裕九倍,而且拥有亚洲最大的海军舰队和最先进的高科技产业。

日本崛起为世界一强后便开始了帝国主义征服,而中国的扩张冲动在某种程度上受着其他亚洲力量的制约。从军事上看,中国还无力染指其所觊觎的土地。但其国防开支增长速度要比其GDP几乎快出一倍。此外,通过与其邻国的领土角力和强硬外交政策,中国领导人正在迫使其他亚洲国家加强与美国和彼此之间的联系。

事实上,中国似乎走在让日本成为激进军事化国家的老路上,这将给地区(以及日本)带来灾难性后果。当年明治维新在“富国强兵”的口号下创造了一支强大的军队,终于造成了尾大不掉之局,文职政府不得不受军队摆布。中国也可能发生这一幕,共产党越来越依赖军队维持权力垄断。

从更广的角度看,亚洲实力格局可能仍将维持变局,新的(或变化的)盟友关系和军事实力的增强将继续对地区稳定构成挑战。比如,中国、印度和日本都在追求战略优势,正在形成一种印日战略合作日渐紧密、与中国竞争日渐尖锐的关系。

未来不会因为亚洲是世界最大、人口最多、发展最快的大洲而属于亚洲。规模并不一定是优势。从历史上说,战略导向的小国也可以成为列强。

事实上,如果人口再少一点,亚洲可以获得更佳的人口规模与自然资源(包括水、食品和能源)之间的平衡。比如,据中国官方数据估计,水资源短缺每年要造成大约280亿美元的工业产出损失,尽管中国并没有出现在联合国面临水压力国家的名单中(印度、韩国和新加坡在列)。

除了日益严峻的政治和自然资源挑战,亚洲还犯了过度强调GDP以至于忽视了发展指标的错误。结果,亚洲的不平等问题愈演愈烈,腐败横行,国内不满情绪日益高涨,环境破坏也日益严重。更糟糕的是,尽管许多亚洲国家接受了西方的经济价值观,但却拒绝接受其政治价值观。

因此,不要搞错了。亚洲面临的挑战比欧洲还要严峻,欧洲的整体发展是其他任何地区所不能比你的。尽管亚洲打上中国烙印已成定局,但面临严峻内部挑战的亚洲能否充当全球增长领头羊并创造新的世界秩序还远未可知。

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  1. CommentedEd L

    I think Brahma Chellaney is forgetting why "Europe" is so politically integrated and "Asia" is so politically isolated.

    Looking at a map/globe you can see that there really is no such "continent" as "Europe". Geographically, "Europe" does not exist as a continent; it is a political construct (it's really Northwest/West Asia), created because the peoples of "Europe" were culturally (and 'racially') different from "Asia".

    The same can be said of the "Middle East", which is Southwest Asia, but in today's international context, there is a separate "Middle East" and "Asia".

    But the funny thing happens when looking at the Indian Subcontinent. There is no "Indian Continent" and "Asia" as is analogous with Europe and the Middle East. The peoples of the "Indian Continent" are culturally and racially different from the peoples of "Asia".

    And I think that is the reason why there is no such political integration. Simply because "India" and "Asia" are two different continents (similar to Europe and the Middle East are considered separate despite geography). There is no united "Asia" because there is no such thing that exits between the two continents of India and Asia.

    Brahma Chellaney is asking the wrong question. The rise of "Asia" is really a rise of Asia versus India, just like back in the middle ages, the rise of "Europe" was really the rise of Europe versus the Middle East.

    This is a battle of civilizations, just like how some political thinkers in the West are contemplating the "West versus Islam", it's really the "Confucian Civilization versus the Indian/Hindu Civilization".

  2. CommentedKonrad Kerridge

    We should all be grateful that the future of Asia is not in the hands of Brahma Chellaney or his like. His anti-China scaremongering is just the sort of poor judged and ill considered rhetoric that has led India to being an irrelevance in international relations. Can someone of competence please contribute something of judgment from that nation please. I am losing faith.

      CommentedAnjaan Aadmi

      @ Konrad Kerridge,

      You think India is irrelevant in international relations ? Which world do you live in .... have you been sleeping , not to see how India is being courted by the US to rope it into the western camp ?
      Brahma Chellani's anti-China view is never without justification. If you are in love with China, good for you, but don't make stupid comments that expose your ignorance.

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