王缉思:MULTIPOLARITY VERSUS HEGEMONISM:CHINESE VIEWS OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS[1]

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  Chinese views of international politics are reflected by official statements available to the general public. The “official line” of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on foreign affairs, stated by its national leaders, newspaper editorial, and government spokesmen, is generally consistent and “standard.” The general official line, however, is subject to specific interpretations and divergent deliberations, often articulated by China’s international specialists and commentators in various publications. Since the end of the Cold War, and with new international surroundings and expanding connections with the outside world, a great number of new research centers, newspapers, journals, and publications concerned with international affairs have been brought into existence. While they are all “official” in the sense of being affiliated one way or another with respective government agencies, the views they reflect are by no means unanimous.

  

  This presentation of Chinese views is based on both the “standard” and the “divergent” levels. Although the points on the divergent level are less restricted, they rarely deviate form the standard official line, or they are made in those areas of interest where there is no clear-cut official line from which to deviate. The combination of these two levels of Chinese views can be defined as “elite views.” In addition, there are occasionally “popular views” expressed by Chinese intellectuals. One example of this is a best-selling book published in 1996 entitled China Can Say No,[2] which is emotionally nationalistic. This article will focus on the elite views but make reference to the popular views when the latter seem to be relevant to the foreign policy of China.

  

  INTERNATIONAL STURUCTURE; MULTIPOLARIZATION

  

  Chinese leaders have always looked at the world as whole and not form a partial viewpoint. What is the existing and desirable global political structure, therefore, is of great importance to the foreign policy orientation of the PRC. A key judgment in Chinese perceptions of post-Cold War international politics is that “the world is moving into multipolarization.” The prelude to the notion of “multipolarity” could be dated back to the earlier periods of the Chinese communists’ description of international structure.[3]

  

  Even before the founding of the PRC, Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong put forward the concept of “intermediate zone” between the United States and the Soviet Union. Mao remarked in 1946 that “(t)he United States and the Soviet Union are separated by a vast zone which includes many capitalist, colonial and semi-colonial countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Before the U.S. reactionaries have subjugated these countries, and attack on the Soviet Union is out of the question.”[4] Identifying itself with the international communist movement headed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s, the Communist Party of China nonetheless emphasized the role of the national liberation movement in the “intermediate zone,” which served as a buffer against the imperialist pressure on the socialist camp.

  

  Also as early as the 1950s, the PRC leadership noticed the difference of position and policy between the United States on the one hand and its European allies on the other, and conceived the cleavage between them as inevitably widening. In discussing the Suez crisis in 1957, Mao Zedong noted that the United States was contending with Britain and France for domination of the large area around the Suez Canal. He observed two kinds of contradictions: first, those between the United States and British and between the United States and France and, second, those between the imperialist countries (the above three powers) and the “oppressed nations” (Egypt, Iraq, etc.). In Mao’s analysis, three kinds of forces were in conflict in the Middle East: “one, the United States, the biggest imperialist power, two, Britain and France, the second-rate imperialist powers, and three, the oppressed nations.” He concluded that Asia and Africa were “”today the main area of imperialist contention.”[5]

  

  Events like the Suez crisis, therefore, cast a shadow on the preparedness of the intermediate capitalist powers (Britain and France) to accept their reduced world role and cooperate to some extent with the socialist countries against the biggest imperialist power, the United States.[6] Beijing saw itself as representing the interests of both the socialist countries and the oppressed nations.

  

  How to evaluate the importance of the national liberation movement in “fighting against the imperialist bloc headed by the U.S.” became a central issue in the Sino-Soviet ideological dispute in the 1960s. The Chinese Communists held the view that national liberation revolutions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America were playing an “extremely important role” in supporting the socialist camp and safeguarding world peace. One characteristic of “Soviet revisionism,” according to the Chinese at the time,(点击此处阅读下一页)

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