李稻葵:美国盟友加入亚投行释放有力信号

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进入专题: 亚投行  

李稻葵 (进入专栏)  

  中国发起的亚洲基础设施投资银行给美国带来的挫折之大,超乎许多人想象。尽管奥巴马政府努力劝说美国的老牌盟友们不要加入亚投行,但它们仍然选择了注入资金。这显示出,许多国家对美国领导地位心怀不满。
  长期以来,英国、德国、加拿大、法国和新加坡一直支持美国,如今它们却都争先恐后地与北京展开合作,欲在本国建立人民币离岸结算中心。有人抛出阴谋论,认为中国欲从美国手中夺取全球领导地位,所以从幕后操纵了这一切。然而事实并非如此,中国此前已反复表示,欢迎美国作为共同创始国加入亚投行。当亚投行的构想还处于襁褓之中时,中国就已经通过多种渠道向美国政府伸出了橄榄枝。
  事实上,中国政策决策层、学界和舆论界的主流意见是,北京方面应该与美国合作,逐步对包括国际货币基金组织、世界银行和世界贸易组织在内的全球经济治理架构进行改革。长期以来,中国一直是这套全球经济治理架构的受益者,所以中国无意对其进行根本性改造。
  然而,美国拒绝任何形式的渐进改革,这不仅令中国不快,也让美国的传统盟友们感到头疼。美国政府和国会的所作所为似乎是在尽可能削弱本国的全球领导地位。
  国际货币基金组织曾试图推进内部改革,承认中国、印度等新兴市场的重要性,但美国拒绝了这种调整。在经历了艰难的谈判后,投票权损失最大的其实是欧洲国家。可即使连欧洲都同意了改革提案,美国国会仍然断然拒绝考虑投票权改革。
  在全球金融危机爆发后的G-20全球峰会上,国际货币基金组织同意增加资金,以稳定全球金融局势。包括中国在内的主要国家,纷纷承诺拨出备用资源。所谓“资源”并不是真金白银,而只是做出在必要情况下提供支援的承诺。不管怎么说,国际货币基金组织要求美国拿出的资金远远低于美国财政部新增发行的3万亿美元。然而即便如此,奥巴马政府出于对国会反对意见的担心,拒绝做出承诺。
  然而,美国继续坚持维持其在全球经济治理中的影响力,引发金融界的恐慌。几年前,当国际货币基金组织和世界银行迎来领导换届时,许多人呼吁应该以才干而非国籍选择接任者。诚然,今天这些机构的掌门人或许仍是最具有领导资格的,但它至少说明白宫不愿意接受公开寻才的原则。
  通过加入亚投行,美国的盟友以实际行动向美国发出了简单而有力的信息:我们已经厌倦了你的不作为,以及你对全球经济治理改革的抗拒。虽然中国的故事还未经证实,但至少做出了承诺,我们愿意接受中国这一套。
  正因如此,老牌金融国家都渴望加入亚投行。事实上,美国的老盟友申请加入亚投行,使中国十分惊讶,因为北京方面还无法清晰阐述亚投行的治理结构。
  美国担心人民币的崛起将危及美元在国际贸易中的地位,进而威胁到美国的经济繁荣。这样的顾虑自然不是完全没有道理。
  但是,如果美国国会和白宫继续拒绝承认全球治理改革的迫切性,并缺乏实际行动,美国在过去70年中结下的盟友将进一步与其疏远。考虑到美国经济正在稳步复苏,美国国会和白宫的消极态度尤其令人感到遗憾。中国总体上愿意与美方合作落实改革,这使得美国的做法更让人扼腕叹息。
  通过亚投行这件事,美国应感到警醒,自己的领导地位正在消逝。美国国会和白宫不应指责中国,也不应怪盟友背信弃义,反而应认清新的现实。美国应该与包括中国在内的其他国家通力协作,支持对全球治理结构进行必要的改革。
  (本文原载于《华尔街日报》,杨晗轶译。。)
  A Powerful Message From America’s Frustrated Allies
  The new China-initiated Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank is a greater setback for the U.S. than many realize. Despite the Obama administration’s efforts to persuade its longtime allies not to invest in the bank, they are pouring their money in. This is a symptom of wider dissatisfaction with U.S. leadership.
  Consider that the U.K., Germany, Canada, France and Singapore, all longtime supporters of the U.S., are competing to work with Beijing to establish yuan clearing centers. Some say China has conspired behind the scenes to seize the global leadership role from the U.S. That is not the case. China has repeatedly stated that the AIIB welcomes the U.S. as a co-founder. When the idea of the AIIB was in its infancy, the Chinese reached out through many channels to the U.S. administration.
  In fact, the majority view among Chinese policy makers, academics and opinion leaders is that Beijing should work with the U.S. to gradually reform the existing global economic-governance architecture, including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization. China has long been a beneficiary of that architecture, so there is no appetite to fundamentally change it.
  But the U.S. has resisted all efforts at incremental reforms, to the irritation of not just China but also traditional U.S. allies. It seems the Obama administration and Congress have been doing everything in their power to undermine America’s global leadership.
  When the IMF tried to implement reforms to recognize the importance of emerging markets, including China and India, the U.S. refused. After painful negotiations, even the Europeans, who stand to lose the most in any change of IMF voting rights, agreed to the proposal. But the U.S. Congress was not even willing to consider it.
  At the G-20 Global Summit following the global financial crisis, the IMF agreed that it should increase its funding to deal with today’s financial instability. Major countries, including China, pledged more stand-by resources. It’s important to note that stand-by resources is not “real” money, but only a commitment should the need arise. In any case, the amount of money requested from the U.S. paled in comparison to the $3 trillion printed by the U.S. Treasury over the past several years. The Obama administration, however, concerned with objections from Capitol Hill, refused to go along.
  Yet the U.S. continues to insist on maintaining its influence over global economic governance, to the consternation of the financial community. When time came to replace the leadership of the IMF and World Bank a few years ago, many had called for the positions to be filled based on merit and not nationality. It’s possible the candidates who were eventually chosen to lead these institutions were still the most qualified, but the White House was unwilling to accept the principle of an open search.
  Through their participation in the AIIB, America’s allies are now sending a simple but powerful message to the U.S.: We’re tired of your inaction and reluctance to make much-needed reforms to global economic governance. We’re now willing to buy a Chinese story that, while certainly unproven, at least shows promise.
  This is why veteran players of global finance are eager to join the AIIB. In fact, China has been surprised that so many longtime allies of the U.S. would sign up, since Beijing itself is not yet able to articulate the AIIB’s governance structure.(点击此处阅读下一页)

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