瑞·达利欧:不要再把中美冲突称为贸易战了

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进入专题: 贸易战   中美关系  

瑞·达利欧  

  

   不要再把中美两国之间的冲突称为“贸易战”了,这是个具有误导性的词。这是旗鼓相当的两个大国在一个狭小的世界里进行的一场观念形态博弈。换言之,这与贸易关系不大,而是事关两个问题:由两种不同的处世之道延伸出的不同的政府、企业、个人行为方式和全球地缘政治形态;与此同时中国正崛起为一个可与美国一较高下的大国,并且在不远的将来还会进一步壮大,但世界并不大,在这样的环境下,这两个国家难免会以各种方式发生碰撞。虽然中美两国可以通过谈判解决贸易问题,但他们无法通过谈判解决更基本的问题(例如,他们的处世之道,以及旗鼓相当的两个大国之间的碰撞)。这些基本问题——比如企业与政府的关系——是贸易争端的核心,也是症结所在,而且将始终存在。

  

   中国人数千年来的处世之道以儒家的、自上而下的家族式模式为核心,也就是他们所说的“中国特色”。美国人近250年来的处世之道则遵循个人主义的、自下而上的民主观念。期望中国人改弦易辙的想法未免天真,指望美国人做出改变也没有道理。这些不同的处世方式影响着两国领导人对政府、企业和个人之间关系的看法。而正是因为这些边界在“贸易战”谈判中被打破而导致了贸易谈判破裂——至少暂时如此。

  

   还有一个事实对谈判非常重要——时间站在中国这一边,因为他们变强大的速度比美国更快,所以任何“战争”或是“对抗”,更早发生对美国有利,而较晚发生则对中国有利。同样值得注意的是,美国和中国对待“战争”或是“对抗”的方式不同。中国人的方法是试图“不战而屈人之兵”,韬光隐晦,再向对手展示肌肉,令其不战而退;而西方人的战斗方式往往更像动物,你一拳、我一脚,斗到两败俱伤,直到一方认输——一些中国领导人认为这种方式是从地中海/欧洲文化演变而来。虽然中国人对这类“战争”很反感,因为它太有破坏性,但若迫不得已,他们也会奉陪。换句话说,中国人更喜欢的“战争”方式是以自上而下的儒家方式建立实力、进行竞争,但如果情非得已,他们也会以针锋相对的方式以牙还牙。而我们现在正濒临陷入这一局面。

  

   无论如何,这将是一场长期的观念形态博弈,其结果主要取决于不同的观念形态将如何作用于成为世界强国所必需的各方面的实力,譬如教育、经济、社会、技术、财政和军事。对于那些以“竞争”为主旋律的领域,我可以想象到两种结果:如果两国领导人对待这种竞争,就像对待其他使双方变得更强大的重大竞争一样,而且如果双方意识到双赢的竞争比双输的战争要好得多,那么将得到有益的结果;但如果两国领导人致力于让对方改变生存方式,则会引发对抗,招致严重后果。再强调一次,就像我们的国内冲突一样,最大的问题在于掌握权柄的人将如何相处。这将对我们生活的方方面面都有重大影响。

  

   英文原文

  

The Ideological War of Comparable Powers in a Small World


By Ray Dalio

   Co-Chief Investment Officer & Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, L.P.

   May 14, 2019

  

   People need to stop calling the conflict between the U.S. and China a trade war because that term is misleading. It is an ideological war of comparable powers in a small world. In other words, it is not nearly as much about trade as it is about 1) two different approaches to life that extend to different approaches to government, business, individual behavior and global geopolitics, with 2) China emerging to be a comparable power to the U.S. now and in the not too distant future a greater power in a small world in which these two countries will be bumping into each other in all sorts of ways. While these two countries can negotiate their trade issues away they can’t negotiate these more fundamental issues (i.e., their approaches to life issues and the comparable powers bumping into each other issues). These fundamental issues - such as how companies relate to governments - are at the heart of the “trade” dispute and where the stumbling blocks lie and will remain.

  

   One would be naive to expect the Chinese to approach life differently than they have approached life for thousands of years (which is what they refer to as “with Chinese characteristics” which is at its heart their Confucian, family-like top down way of being) one shouldn’t expect Americans to approach life differently from how they approached it for nearly 250 years (which is individualistic, bottom-up and democratic). These different ways of being affect the ways the leaders of these two countries believe relationships between governments, businesses and individuals should be. The boundaries of these were pushed in the “trade war negotiations” which is what led to the “trade talks” breaking down, at least temporarily.

  

   Also relevant to these negotiations is the fact that time is on the Chinese side (because they are getting stronger faster than the U.S.) so it is in the interest of the U.S. to have any wars/confrontations that might happen earlier and it is in the interest of the Chinese to have them later. Also noteworthy, the U.S. and China have different approaches to wars/confrontations. The Chinese approach is to try win without fighting by quietly building one’s power and then showing it to one’s opponent so that the opponent will give up without fighting, while the Western approach to fighting (which some Chinese leaders believe has evolved from how Mediterranean/European cultures evolved) tends to be more like animals do via exchanging harmful blows, hurting both, until one submits to the other. While the Chinese have an aversion to this type of war because it’s so terrible, they will do it if pushed to do it. In other words the Chinese preferred approach to “wars” is to do them more as a competition to build strength which the Chinese do in a top-down Confucian sort of way, but they will fight in a tit-for-tat exchange of blows way if pushed. That is what we are now at the brink of.

  

   In any case, this will be a long ideological war with the outcome being primarily dependent on how well these different ideological approaches produce the various types strengths — i.e, their educational, economic, social, technological, financial and military strengths— that are needed in order to be great world powers. Regarding where that competition will lead, I can envision either a) good outcomes if these two countries’ leaders treat this competition like other great competitions that make both sides stronger and if both sides realize that win-win competitions are much better than lose-lose wars, or b) terrible outcomes if these two countries’ leaders fight to make the others make existential changes that they will fight against. Once again, as with our domestic conflicts, the biggest question is how the people who have their hands on the levers of power will be with each other. That will significantly influence just about everything in our lives.

  

    进入专题: 贸易战   中美关系  

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