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Chaoting Cheng
Beiträge帖子: 109 | Punkte: 81 | Zuletzt Online: 27.11.2020
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    • Chaoting Cheng hat einen neuen Beitrag "美国大选:Trump与Biden竞选策略的差异" geschrieben. 03.11.2020

      不好意思,看到消息晚了。Hunter的丑闻被facebook和twitter删帖的事情,我还缺乏进一步资料。但在今天这个信息化社会,靠删帖是无法阻止信息传播的,有很多种自媒体渠道,比如Podcast就很方便。

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "Is Germany an emerging superpower?" geschrieben. 01.11.2020

      Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the era when the United States and Russia decided the most important global issues was over, and that China and Germany―in terms of political and economic power―were emerging as superpowers. The words of this Russian strongman indicate his basic judgment of the current world geopolitical power landscape.

      Indeed, China’s rapid rise is universally recognized. Lee Kuan Yew, an Asian wise man and former Prime Minister of Singapore, commented on it, “The size of China’s displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world.” A broad consensus has emerged in the U.S. that China is its greatest strategic challenger, surpassing the former Soviet Union in terms of the comprehensive national power. On the other hand, Germany is just a middle power, having no strength to match any superpower. In economic terms, Germany’s GDP is only $3.8 trillion, far less than China’s $14 trillion and the U.S.’ $21 trillion. In military terms, Germany is actually weaker than France as it lacks large-scale offensive weapons and has no nuclear strike force; in addition, its armed forces are too small, having only 265,000 personnel. In political terms, Germany has a heavy historical burden as a defeated country. Although Germany’s economic power is more than that of Britain and France, its political status is lower than that of the latter. Germany’s efforts to pursue the status of permanent member of the Security Council at the UN have failed several times. So why did Putin claim that Germany was also an emerging superpower? Given that Putin is the powerful leader of a former superpower, these words naturally drew widespread interest.

      It is a fact that Germany has in recent years become increasingly assertive in the face of the first-class great powers such as the U.S., China and Russia. The U.S. is the leader of the Western free world and provider of security for Germany. However, since Trump took office in 2017, Germany and the U.S. have been at odds with each other. On major issues such as the North Stream-II gas pipeline, Huawei’s involvement in 5G, and raising military spending to 2 percent of its GDP, Germany did not follow U.S. instructions. Merkel even refused Trump’s invitation to the G7 summit, citing the Corona pandemic. All of these conflicts made Trump quite angry. In order to tame Germany, Trump ordered the withdrawal of more than 10,000 U.S. troops from Germany without consulting with Merkel, plunging the solid post-World War II German-American relations into crisis.

      In terms of relations with China, Germany’s position has also become increasingly assertive since the outbreak of Corona pandemic. Germany has repeatedly criticized China over the Xinjiang and Hong Kong issues, and has even represented 39 countries in the UN General Assembly to accuse China of human rights abuses. The political relations between Germany and China are worsening, while the economic and trade ties are still close. In addition, Merkel’s government insists on maintaining the harsh sanctions against Russia imposed after its dismemberment of Ukraine’s Crimea. Thus, the self-important Russian president Putin has to acknowledge the growing influence of the former defeated country.

      So, does Germany’s increasingly assertive foreign policy mean that its great power ambitions are growing in the time of world chaos? Is the previous ambitious Germany that longed for the “Place in the Sun” coming back? Nevertheless, that is not the case, and the German political elites have a clear sense of its position and strength. The pillar of German foreign and security policies remain the transatlantic partnership. Berlin intends to assume more responsibility in international political and security affairs, provided it is under Washington’s leadership and within the framework of NATO. Germany’s purpose is to reduce the burden on the United States rather than to seek independence. In this regard, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), Germany’s defense minister and chairwoman of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), unreservedly pledged Germany’s allegiance to the United States in a speech on October 23, 2020. She stated:

      “The U.S. has integrated us into the West. And that is more than just a geographical location. Germany is firmly anchored in the family of democratic, open societies in the West. The ties to the West anchor us in NATO and EU, closely linking with Washington, Brussels, Paris and London. It positions us correctly and crystal clear against a romantic fixation on Russia—and also against the illiberal corporative state that despises parties and parliaments. Today, the West as a value system is under threat. It is important that Germany firmly commits itself to the West, so that Europe can maintain peace and defend the culture of the West, freedom, the rule of law, the international order based on binding rules for all, and open markets. Only through Germany’s powerful intervention will Europe be able to regain this strength. It is essential that this development takes place in close partnership with the United States. Because only America and Europe together can keep and defend the West in the face of Russia’s unmistakable exercise of power and China’s global ambitions for supremacy.”

      With regard to China, she stressed that, as a major export nation, Germany shares the critical position of the United States in many respects, such as China’s long-standing “currency manipulation, violations of intellectual property rights, unequal investment conditions and state-subsidized distortion of competition.” Of course, this does not mean that Berlin fully supports Washington’s every attitude and every advance against China. Germany is interested in a functioning multilateralism, particularly in trade. Germany’s goal is not decoupling but to strengthen the global regulatory framework, with the WTO as the core institution. AKK argues German interests―and those of Europe―need an order that can counter both threats to liberal trade: the aggressively managed state capitalism of China and the temptation of unilateral isolation and decoupling currently in Washington. However, the German solution is not to be equidistant from the U.S. and China, but to address global challenges by strengthening the Western alliance with shared values.

      The German Defence Minister stressed that Germany must do something to relieve the burden of the United States as the main force for the maintenance of international order; especially in Germany’s immediate neighbourhood, such as the Baltics, the North Sea, the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean, Germany needs a stronger presence. This is not only about promoting democracy and open societies, but also about European security and interests at stake. Heiko Maas, Germany’s foreign minister, recently published an article in the pro-American “Welt am Sonntag,” saying that Europe has “no more responsible security policy partner than the United States,” and that close cooperation between Europe and the United States will help the latter deal with its biggest strategic challenger, China. Mass has also proposed “building a new transatlantic agenda” after the American presidential election. It is clear that the German Foreign Minister is impatient to get into the arms of the United States and to launch a campaign against China.

      It is thus clear that the German leading elites are in fact quite self-aware and increasingly tend to stand with the U.S. in the Sino-American rivalry. Berlin seeks to take more responsibility, strengthen the transatlantic partnership and share American burden under its leadership, instead of breaking away from the American control and the Western alliance. This is exactly in accordance with Trump’s demand for higher defense spending to Germany. Putin’s compliment to Germany is more likely regarded by German elites as Russian trick to drive a wedge between Berlin and Washington.

      References:

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/7229...try-gdp-levels/

      https://www.bundeswehr.de/de/ueber-die-b...hlen-bundeswehr

      https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/newsr...as-wams/2409522

      https://www.bmvg.de/de/aktuelles/akk-red...-schurz-3816700

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "德国正强势崛起成为超级大国?" geschrieben. 01.11.2020


      最近,俄罗斯总统普京在瓦尔代俱乐部会议上说,美国和俄罗斯决定全球最重要问题的时代已经过去,中国和德国——以政治和经济实力来看——正崛起成为超级大国。普京这番话,道出了这位俄国强人对当前世界地缘政治权力格局的基本判断。

      中国的急速崛起确实是世所公认。亚洲智者、新加坡前总理李光耀对此评价说,“中国颠覆世界平衡的规模是如此巨大,以至于世界必须找到新的平衡。世人不能假装认为,中国只不过是步历史上其他崛起大国的后尘;实际上,中国是有史以来最大的一个玩家。” 美国朝野各界已经形成广泛共识,中国是美国霸权的最大挑战者,综合实力超过前苏联。但是,德国只不过是一个中等强国,并没有与超级大国相匹配的实力。经济上,德国的GDP只有3.8万亿美元,远远低于中国的14万亿美元和美国的21万亿美元。军事上,德国缺乏大规模进攻性武器,更没有核打击力量,军队规模偏小,只有26.5万人,实力还不如法国。政治上,德国作为战败国背负沉重的历史包袱,虽然经济实力强于英国和法国,但政治地位却低于英法,数次冲击安理会常任理事国都被无情压制。那么,为何普京称德国也是一个新兴超级大国?此话出自前超级大国的强人领袖之口,自然引起了各界广泛兴趣。

      一个不争的事实是,近年来,德国在美中俄等一流强国面前表现得日益自信。美国是西方世界领袖和德国的安全保护提供者,但是自特朗普入主白宫以来,德美之间龃龉不断。在北溪二号天然气管线、华为参与5G、提高军费开支至GDP的2%等重大问题上,德国都不听美国号令。默克尔甚至以疫情为由拒绝特朗普发出的G7峰会邀请。这一切都让特朗普大光其火,为驯服德国,他不与默克尔商量就下令撤走一万多名驻德美军,让二战后牢固的德美关系陷入危机。

      在对华关系方面,自新冠疫情爆发以来,德国的立场也日趋强硬。在新疆和香港问题上,德国多次批评中国,甚至在联合国大会上代表39国指责中国的人权问题,德中关系正逐渐陷入政冷经热局面。对于前超级大国俄罗斯,默克尔政府坚持维持因俄罗斯肢解乌克兰克里米亚而施加的严厉制裁,无意向国内亲俄派妥协。自视甚高的普京,也不得不承认这个昔日战败国日益增长的影响力。

      那么,德国奉行更加自信的外交政策,是否意味着德国的大国雄心正在天下乱局中如野草般勃勃生长?那个历史上渴望“阳光下地盘”的强势德国是否正在回归?实际情况并非如此,德国政治精英对自身地位和实力有着清醒的认识。德国外交和安全政策的支柱仍然是跨大西洋伙伴关系。柏林打算在国际政治和安全事务中承担更多的责任,但前提是在华盛顿领导之下和北约框架之内,目的是减轻美国的负担而非自立门户。对此,德国国防部长和执政的基民盟(CDU)党主席Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer(AKK)在10月23日的一次讲话中就毫无保留地向美国输诚效忠。她说:

      “是美国让我们融入西方,这一点对德国的命运至关重要。与西方的联系让我们在北约和欧盟中得以立足,从而与华盛顿、布鲁塞尔、巴黎和伦敦紧密相连。德国坚定地站在西方民主和开放社会大家庭一边,明确拒绝浪漫的俄罗斯情节,坚决不与那些蔑视多党议会制的非自由主义国家政权为伍。在冷战结束后的今天,西方作为一个价值体系正在整体上陷入危局。德国再一次表现出对西方的坚定承诺至关重要。唯其如此,欧洲才能捍卫西方文化、自由、法治及基于规则和开放市场的国际秩序。只有通过德国的强力介入,欧洲才能恢复实力。 同时,欧洲只有与美国密切协作,才能在俄罗斯肆无忌惮的强权政治和中国一往无前的全球野心面前,保持和捍卫西方的强大。”

      对于中国,她强调,作为一个出口大国,德国在很多方面抱持与美国同样的批评立场,比如中国长期以来的“货币操纵、侵犯知识产权、投资环境不对等和国家补贴扭曲竞争”等。当然,这并不意味着柏林完全支持华盛顿的对华态度和政策。德国赞成多边主义,特别是在贸易方面。德国的目标不是对华脱钩,而是加强以世贸组织(WTO)为核心机构的全球管理框架。AKK认为,为维护德国以及欧洲的利益,柏林需要支持自由贸易秩序。而中国强力调控的国家资本主义以及美国目前奉行的单边孤立主义和脱钩倾向都对自由贸易构成威胁。但是,德国的方案不是与美中保持不偏不倚的等距离,而是要通过强化拥有共同价值观的西方联盟,来应对全球挑战。AKK认为,欧盟和美国之间通过谈判达成协议,彻底取消跨大西洋伙伴之间的所有关税和贸易壁垒,并非一个不可实现的想法。

      这位德国国防部长强调,德国必须有所作为,以减轻美国作为维护国际秩序主要力量的负担,特别是在德国的近邻地区,如波罗的海、北海、巴尔干、中东、非洲和地中海,德国要建立更强大的存在。这不仅是为了促进民主和开放社会,而且攸关欧洲安全和利益。无独有偶,德国外长Heiko Maas近日在亲美的《星期日世界报》发表文章,表示欧洲“除了美国外没有更负责任的安全政策伙伴”,并称欧美紧密合作有利于美国对付其最大战略挑战者中国。Maas还说,德国将在美国大选后向白宫主人提出“构建跨大西洋新议程”的建议。显然,这位德国外长正迫不及待地投入美国怀抱并要发起一场针对中国的行动。

      由此可见,德国领导精英其实颇有自知之明,而且在美中之间的站队倾向日益清晰。柏林谋求承担更多责任,并非要脱离美国羽翼和西方联盟,而是要强化跨大西洋伙伴关系,并在美国领导下主动为美国分忧解难。而这正是特朗普不断敲打德国提高军费支出的用意所在。所以,普京对德国的高度评价,在柏林的精英们看来,更像是一种捧杀和离间。

      参考文献:
      https://www.statista.com/statistics/7229...try-gdp-levels/

      https://www.bundeswehr.de/de/ueber-die-b...hlen-bundeswehr

      https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/newsr...as-wams/2409522

      https://www.bmvg.de/de/aktuelles/akk-red...-schurz-3816700

    • Chaoting Cheng hat das Thema "德国强势崛起成为超级大国?Is Germany an emerging superpower?" erstellt. 01.11.2020

    • There is a highly influential opinion that a new Cold War will not break out between China and the United States. The reason is that, in contrast to the old Cold War between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union which are economically separated from each other, China and the U.S. have close economic and trade ties, which are the ballast that keeps the relationship between the two countries afloat. Moreover, unlike the former Soviet Union, China does not have an aggressive ideological expansionist motivation and does not seek to bury the capitalist system. On the contrary, the purpose of China’s “reform and opening-up” is to integrate its economy into the world capitalist system.

      Economic determinism, however, does not explain why World War I broke out. Globalization, which had reached considerable depth at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the unprecedentedly close economic and trade ties among European countries, especially between Britain and Germany, did not prevent the bloodshed of World War I. In international relations, economic interests are not everything; national security, geopolitics, ideology, or ambitions of leaders can prevail over economic interests. The protracted and increasingly fierce trade and technology wars between China and the U.S. have shown that economic and trade ties are not the ballast of Sino-American relations, but rather a source of contradictions and conflicts.

      The U.S. clearly has the motivation to launch a new Cold War against China, at least the U.S.’ China hawks do have it. This is clearly and unmistakably expressed in the U.S. National Security Strategy, the National Defense Security Strategy, the Indo-Pacific Strategy, and a series of speeches by senior officials such as the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense. In particular, Secretary of State Pompeo’s speech on July 23, 2020―“Communist China and the Future of the Free World”―is a strong signal of an ideological Cold War against China. So, does the Chinese side also have a motive to wage an ideological struggle against the U.S.? The answer is yes. According to Kevin Rudd, an influential China expert, former Australian Prime Minister and now President of the Asia Society of the U.S., China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long believed Washington will never really accept the fundamental political legitimacy of the Chinese administration because it is not a libreral democracy. Indeed, there is a broad consensus among the Chinese elites and people that the U.S. is trying to divide China territorially, subvert it politically, contain it strategically and frustrate it economically. The famous American political scientist Huntington, in his influential book―The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order―also confirmed this perception of China toward the U.S. For CCP, preserving party control and ensuring domestic security and stability have been, and will continue to be, the highest priorities. Pompeo’s speech, which sought to separate CCP from the Chinese people and challenge the legitimacy of the CCP’s rule, undoubtedly confirmed CCP’s concerns. Driven by a strong sense of insecurity, CCP has an equally strong motivation and practical need to wage an ideological struggle against the U.S. This is exactly expressed in “Silent Contest”―a propaganda film made by the National Defense University of China in 2013.

      The scale and intensity of the tense confrontation between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union on all fronts in the ideological, geopolitical and military spheres at that time were long enough to ignite a full-scale hot war. However, what history has shown us is a Cold War that lasted nearly half a century. The root cause was the balance of nuclear weapons between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, which culminated in the so-called “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD). Both sides had sufficient retaliatory strike capability, and if either side launched a nuclear strike first, the result would be mutual destruction. So neither the U.S. nor the former Soviet Union dared to strike the other in risk of suicide. It was because of this balance of terror that the world was able to avoid a devastating nuclear war. The ultimate disintegration of the Soviet empire was not due to a military defeat, but an economic and financial collapse caused by a rigid system.

      Compared to the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, the U.S.-China confrontation has one major difference that most people overlook: the U.S. has an overwhelming nuclear advantage over China. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden (SIPRI), as of January 2020, the U.S. has 5,800 nuclear warheads, while China has only 320, far fewer than the U.S. As a result, there is no “Mutually Assured Destruction” between the U.S. and China. In the most extreme case, the U.S. can destroy China, but China cannot retaliate equally. In this sense, China does not yet have the power to fight a Cold War against the U.S. The former Soviet Union established the Warsaw Pact bloc to counter the U.S.-led NATO bloc, but China lacks such a military-political alliance. Therefore, China can mobilize far fewer economic, political, cultural and military resources than the U.S. Beijing claims it wants neither a new Cold War nor zero-sum confrontation, this is not for lack of strong motivation, but for lack of sufficient power. Huntington once pointed out that the West won the world not through the superiority of its ideas, values or religion, but through its superiority in the use of organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do. The most powerful organized violence of our time is undoubtedly none other than nuclear weapons. It is a ruthless reality that if China’s nuclear weapons cannot reach the scale of “Mutually Assured Destruction” with those of the U.S., it will not have the power to wage a new Cold War against the U.S., even if it has the motivation to do so.

      YouTube: https://youtu.be/jSLImMk6wvU

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "中国是否具备与美国打一场新冷战的动机和实力?" geschrieben. 25.10.2020


      有一种影响很大的意见认为,中美不会爆发一场新冷战。理由是,与当年在经济上相互隔离的美苏阵营大相径庭的是,中美之间有着紧密的经贸联系,这是维持两国关系斗而不破的压舱石。此外,中国与前苏联不同,没有咄咄逼人的意识形态扩张倾向,并不追求埋葬资本主义制度。恰恰相反,中国推行改革开放的目的就是要将中国经济融入世界资本主义体系。

      然而,经济决定论却不能解释第一次世界大战为何爆发。实际上,全球化在二十世纪初就已经达到相当深入的程度,欧洲各国之间(尤其是英国和德国之间)存在空前紧密的经贸联系,但这却并未能阻止血流成河的第一次世界大战。在国际关系中,经济利益不能代表一切,国家安全、地缘政治、意识形态或者领袖野心都可以压倒经济利益。中美之间旷日持久并日趋激烈的贸易战和科技战,表明经贸联系不但不是中美关系的压舱石,反而是矛盾和冲突的来源。

      至于发动新冷战的动机,美国显然具备,至少对华鹰派早就磨刀霍霍。这在美国的国家安全战略、国防安全战略、印太战略以及国务卿和国防部长等高官的一系列讲话中有明确无误的表述。尤其是美国国务卿Pompeo于2020年7月23日发表的名为《共产中国与自由世界的未来》演说,发出了对华意识形态冷战的强烈信号。那么,中方是否也有发动对美意识形态斗争的动机呢?答复是肯定的。Kevin Rudd(富有影响力的中国问题专家、澳大利亚前总理、现美国亚洲协会主席)指出,执政的中国共产党(CCP)一直认为,华盛顿永远不会真正接受中国政府的根本政治合法性,因为它不是一个自由民主政体。的确,在中国政治精英、学者和群众中存在一个广泛的共识,即美国长久以来一直试图在领土上分裂中国、在政治上颠覆中国、在战略上遏制中国、在经济上削弱中国。美国政治学大师亨廷顿在其名著《文明的冲突与世界秩序的重建》中也谈到了中国各界对美国的这一重要认知。对于中国共产党而言,维护党的领导和确保国内安全与稳定一直是、并将继续是最高优先级。因此,中国共产党认为美国的敌意是对其生死存亡的重大威胁。Pompeo的讲话企图将中国共产党和中国人民分割,挑战中国共产党领导权的合法性,无疑实锤确证了中国共产党的忧虑。在强烈不安全感的驱使下,中国同样有发动对美意识形态斗争的动机。这在2013年中国国防大学的宣传片《较量无声》中有鲜明的表述。

      当年美国和苏联之间在意识形态、地缘政治和军事领域的全方位紧张对峙,其规模和烈度早就足以引爆一场全面热战。然而,历史给我们上演的却是一场持续近半个世纪的冷战。其根本原因在于,美苏之间存在核武器的均势,两个超级大国达成了所谓的“相互确保摧毁”(Mutual Assured Destruction)局面。双方都拥有足够的二次核反击能力,任何一方率先发动核打击,其结果将是同归于尽,所以美苏都不敢冒着自杀的威胁打一场热战。正是由于这种可怕的恐怖平衡,才使得世界避免了一场毁灭性的核大战。苏联帝国的最终解体,不是因为军事上战败,而是由于僵化的体制造成经济和财政的崩溃。

      与美苏冷战相比,美中对抗有一个被大多数人都忽略的重大差异,即美国拥有对中国压倒性的核优势。根据瑞典斯德哥尔摩国际和平研究所的数据,截至2020年1月,美国拥有5800枚核弹,而中国只有320枚,远远低于美国。因此,美中之间并没有形成“相互确保摧毁”局面。在最极端的情况下,美国可以毁灭中国,而中国却没有能力同等报复。从这个意义上来说,中国其实还不具备与美国打一场冷战的实力。前苏联当年建立了华约,来对抗美国领导的北约集团,但中国却缺乏这样的军事政治同盟。所以,中国能够调动的经济、政治、文化和军事资源远远低于美国。北京强调不打新冷战、不搞零和对抗,并非没有强烈动机,而是缺乏足够实力。美中对抗,很大程度是美国主动挤压中国的战略空间,而中国无力全面反击。亨廷顿曾经指出,西方赢得世界不是通过其思想、价值观或宗教的优越,而是通过它运用有组织暴力的优势。西方人常常忘记这一事实;非西方人却从未忘记。当今时代最强的有组织暴力,无疑非核武器莫属。如果中国的核力量不能达到与美国“相互确保摧毁”的规模,即便中国有对美冷战的动机,也没有对美冷战的实力,这是一个无情的现实。

      YouTube: https://youtu.be/jSLImMk6wvU

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "Is German economy dependent on Chinese market?" geschrieben. 18.10.2020

      The German economy is recovering quickly after being hit hard by the corona pandemic, and a V-shaped rebound has been seen in many sectors, largely thanks to China’s strong economic recovery. In the automotive industry, for example, 40 percent of Volkswage’s, 24 percent of BMW’s and 26 percent of Mercedes-Benz’s cars were sold to Chinese customers. In the second quarter of 2020, sales of the Mercedes-Benz brand fell 20 percent globally, but rose in China by 22 percent. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, German exports to China totaled 23 billion euros from April to June 2020, compared to just $20 billion to the United States during the same period. The U.S. had previously been Germany’s largest export market, but that position is being replaced by China, as the U.S. economy has been hit hard by the pandemic.

      So, is the German economy really dependent on the Chinese market? Did China thus gain significant influence over Germany? How do German economic and political elites view this situation?

      On the one hand, the Chinese market is indeed important for the German economy, especially for the automotive industry, which is one of the pillars of Germany’s national economy. However, on the other hand, we must also realize that the EU market is still most important for German economy, the scale and interdependence of Germany’s trade with EU countries far exceeds those of the Chinese market. In 2018, intra-EU trade accounts for 59% of Germany’s exports (France 8% and the Netherlands 7%), while outside the EU 9% go to the United States and 7% to China. China’s contribution is comparable to that of the Netherlands, but with a population of only 17 million, the Netherlands does not have as many people as a single city in Shenzhen, China. Thus, the close economic ties between Germany and its EU neighbors are evident.

      Compared to exports, the share of EU member states in Germany’s total imports is even higher, at 66%, with the Netherlands accounting for 14%, France 6% and Belgium 6%; among non-EU countries, China accounts for 7% and the U.S. 4%. Just because of the extreme importance of the EU market, after the outbreak of corona pandemic, Germany has taken a completely different position from its past fiscal policies, and joined France in pushing for the adoption of the largest fiscal and economic recovery plan in the EU’s history, which was approved on July 21, 2020. The plan totals €1.8 trillion, of which €1074 billion is allocated to the budget over the next seven years and €750 billion as a fund for post-pandemic recovery. Of this fund, €390 billion is non-reimbursable assistance and another €360 billion is used as a bailout loan. As the EU’s largest economy, Germany is of course one of the main contributors to this huge sum. For Germany has been pursuing a conservative and prudent fiscal policy, this generous donation is indeed unprecedented. In the 2010 European debt crisis, Germany also vigorously assisted Greece, but the conditions were quite harsh, free aid is unthinkable. It can be seen that Germany has made a great deal of effort to stabilize the EU internal market, which is vital to its own economy.

      Given that the current international geopolitical situation is becoming increasingly tense, the closer the economic and trade ties between Germany and China and the greater the dependence on the Chinese market, the more worried Germany is. The economic elites are increasingly worried that China is becoming a competitor, while the political elites are worried about how to take sides in the increasing sino-american confrontation. Germany’s dependence on the Chinese market would not have been a problem in the days when the United States still pursued its engagement policy toward China. Volker Perthes, the former director of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Germany’s most important research institute for international issues and security affairs, pointed out that the U.S.-China confrontation has become the guiding paradigm in international relations today and that all major international issues must be seen within this paradigm. His successor, Stefan Mair, is even less optimistic about Sino-German relations. He previously worked for the Confederation of German Industry (BDI), and first proposed the concept of China as a “systemic rival” to Germany in January 2019, which was subsequently adopted by the European Commission in March 2019. As the head of an important German government think tank, he will have significant influence on German policymakers.

      Therefore, close economic and trade ties with China are increasingly a source of pressure for Berlin’s policymakers in a challenging international context. How to reduce dependence on the Chinese market, diversify supply chains and geopolitical ties, and strengthen cooperation with like-minded partners is now on the agenda of German government. It is against this background that the much-anticipated German version of the Indo-Pacific strategy has emerged. In addition, political tensions between Germany and China have increased since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. On the Xinjiang and Hong Kong issues, the German government has taken a tougher stance against China, even going so far as to offend China by representing 39 countries in the UN General Assembly and accusing China of human rights issues on October 6, 2020. All of this signals a shift in the direction of German policy toward China. Germany is now trying to promote a unified strategy toward China at the EU level, because it has realized Germany alone is not powerful enough to confront China. For many years, German policy towards China has been a balance between ideological values and economic and trade interests. It is certain that, due to major changes in the international situation, German policy toward China will become more assertive and that values will play an even more important role.

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "德国经济是否依赖中国市场?" geschrieben. 18.10.2020


      德国经济在遭受新冠疫情沉重打击之后正在迅速回升,许多领域已经出现V型反弹态势,这很大程度上是得益于中国经济强劲的复苏势头。以汽车产业为例,大众40%、宝马24%和奔驰26%的汽车都卖给了中国顾客。在第二季度,梅赛德斯-奔驰品牌在全球范围内销量下跌20%,但在中国却不降反升,增加了22%。根据德国联邦统计局的数据,从2020年4月至6月,德国对中国的出口总额达230亿欧元,而同期对美国的出口额只有200亿美元。此前美国一直是德国最大的出口市场,但是由于美国经济遭受疫情重创,这个位置正被中国夺走。

      那么,德国经济是否真的依赖中国市场?中国是否由此获得了对德国的巨大影响力?德国经济界和政界如何看待这个形势?

      一方面,中国市场对德国经济确实很重要,尤其是对德国国民经济的支柱产业——汽车工业,可以说是举足轻重。但是另一方面,我们也必须看到,欧盟市场才是德国的根本,德国与欧盟国家的贸易规模和依存度远远超过中国市场。2018年,德国出口总额的59%是欧盟国家贡献的,其中法国占8%,荷兰占7%。非欧盟国家中,美国贡献了9%,中国贡献了7%。中国的贡献与荷兰相当,但荷兰只有1700万人口,还没有中国深圳一个城市人口多,德国与其欧盟邻国之间紧密的经济联系由此可见一斑。与出口相比,欧盟成员国在德国进口总额中的占比更高达66%,其中荷兰占14%、法国6%、比利时6%;在非欧盟国家中,中国占7%,美国占4%。正是因为欧盟市场对德国的极端重要性,在新冠疫情爆发后,德国才一反常态,与法国一起推动欧盟在2020年7月21日通过了欧盟历史上最大的财政和经济复苏计划。该计划共计1.8万亿欧元,其中10740亿欧元用于未来七年的财政预算,7500亿欧元作为疫情后的重建基金。在这笔基金中,3900亿欧元为无需偿还的拨款,另外的3600亿欧元作为救助贷款使用。作为欧盟最大经济体,德国当然是这笔巨款的主要出资国之一。对于一直奉行保守稳健财政政策的德国来说,这次慷慨解囊,堪称史无前例。此前在2010年的欧债危机中,德国也大力援助了希腊,但条件相当苛刻,无偿援助更是不可想像的事。由此可见,这次德国为了稳住对自身经济至关重要的欧盟内部市场,可以说是下了血本。

      鉴于当前国际地缘政治形势日趋紧张,德国与中国经贸联系越是密切,对中国市场越是依赖,德国各界反而就越是担忧。经济界越来越担心产业升级换代的中国日益成为其竞争对手,政界则为如何在日趋激烈的美中对抗中选边站队而忧心忡忡。倘若是在美国仍然奉行对华接触政策(Engagement)的时代,德国对中国市场的依赖并不是问题,但世易时移,美中对抗正在不断加剧。德国最重要的国际问题和安全事务研究机构——德国科学与政治基金会(SWP)前任总监Volker Perthes对此指出,美中对抗已经成为当今国际关系的指导范式,一切重大国际问题都必须在该范式下来看待。而他的继任者,SWP新任总监Stefan Mair对中德关系则更不乐观。他此前在德国工业联合会(BDI)任职,于2019年1月首次提出了中国是德国的“体制对手”(systemic rivalry)这一概念,随后在2019年3月被欧盟委员会采用。Stefan Mair现在担任SWP这一德国政府重要智库负责人,他对德国决策者的影响力将大大增加。

      因此,在严峻的国际形势下,与中国密切的经济联系反而日益成为柏林决策者们的一个压力。如何才能减轻对中国市场的依赖,促成供应链和地缘政治关系的多样化,并加强与价值观相同的伙伴国家(like-minded partners)的合作,已经提上德国政府日程。备受关注的德国版印太战略就是在这个大背景下应运而生的。此外,自新冠疫情爆发以来,德国与中国的政治关系日趋紧张。在新疆和香港问题上,德国政府的对华立场更加强硬,甚至不惜触怒中国,在2020年10月6日的联合国大会上代表39国指责中国的人权问题。这一切都预示着德国的对华政策风向正在转变,只不过德国一国分量不够,所以他们正在努力促成欧盟层面采取统一的对华战略。多年来,德国的对华政策一直在价值观和经贸利益之间寻求平衡。可以肯定的是,由于国际形势的重大变化,德国的对华政策将更趋强硬,价值观将扮演更加重要的角色。


    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "谈谈Trump和Biden不同的竞选策略" geschrieben. 10.10.2020

      夺取并保持权力永远是政治斗争的核心问题,中外亦然,而美国大选则是观察世界上最波澜壮阔和跌宕起伏政治斗争的一个绝佳机会。在本届大选中,Trump和Biden分别采取了不同的策略来赢得选民支持。Biden希望占领道德制高点,所以他指责Trump通过制造分裂来获取政治利益,声称自己虽然是民主党总统候选人,但是致力于成为所有美国人的总统。Biden承诺他会架桥,而不是筑墙。总之,他希望通过向美国人许诺一个美好未来而战胜Trump。而Trump的策略则大相径庭,他不是诉诸于对未来的美好希望,而是通过制造恐惧来构建并夯实自己的选民基础。在2016年那次竞选中,他就给美国选民,尤其是那些所谓被希拉里称为deplorable(可悲的人)的美国群众描绘了一幅黑暗未来:如果他们不选他而选了希拉里,美国将变成一个社会主义国家;墨西哥非法移民将长驱大进占领美国;法律和秩序将会崩溃;美国为保护世界而耗尽国力,吃了大亏,中国则占尽美国便宜。结果我们都知道,他成功了,跌破所有精英的眼镜。

      西方近代政治学之父和现实主义大师马基雅维利在其传世之作《君王论》中就论述说,与其受人爱戴,不如让人畏惧。Biden一心想团结美国并获得民众拥戴,而Trump则执意分裂美国并激发选民(尤其是他的基本盘)内心的恐惧。在2020大选中,他也如法炮制。他不断宣传说:如果“北京Biden”当选,就会加税;就会剥夺美国人的拥枪权;就会向北京屈膝投降,美国人将不得不学习中文。总之,Biden获胜将是美国的末日。

      显然,Biden的政治姿态更加积极正面。但从选举策略视角而言,必须要承认的是,Trump的伎俩却可能更有效,因为恐惧比希望更能激发政治支持。Biden与Trump竞选策略的差异,有点像美中父母教育孩子的差别。美国父母一般尊重孩子兴趣爱好,鼓励孩子挑战更高目标;而中国父母则往往会警告孩子,不好好学习的下场是上街要饭。前者是激发对未来成功的美好希望,后者则强化失败场景的可怕后果。所以,尽管相当多的中国人憎恨Trump,而Trump也企图通过煽动美国群众仇视中国来赢得选举,但他的竞选策略却是中国式的。对于他这一套,中国的执政者当然也是了然于胸的。比如“战狼外交”八方树敌,招致举世反感,当局当然不可能不知道。但是,为何却不准备改弦更张呢?原因无他,外部世界的压力和敌视反而会激发内部民众的恐惧和憎恨,从而有利于动员民众并增强执政合法性。中国的执政者非常清楚,外部势力无法动摇他们的执政根基,内部民变才是心腹大患,如果外部压力有利于巩固内部团结,那又何乐而不为呢?

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "另类视角看美国总统大选首场辩论" geschrieben. 02.10.2020

      万众瞩目的美国总统大选首场辩论已经曲终人散,舆论普遍大失所望,认为本应是高大上的庙堂政争堕落成了一场村野老叟间的胡搅蛮缠。美国著名政治评论家Fareed Zakaria撰文称这是一个四流恶霸和一个老好先生之间的对决。我则从另一个角度来看待这场辩论。若论对治国安邦之道的清晰完整表述,商人出身的真人秀主持人Trump显然不是从政长达47年的老政客Biden的对手。辩论的实际情况也是如此,尽管不断被Trump打断,Biden仍然抓住机会更好地表述了他的政见。但Trump的策略显然是要掌控辩论的场面,在群众面前塑造一个强有力的支配者形像。从实际效果来看,他的目的达到了,尽管他采用了令人不齿的手段。在主持人偏向Biden的情况下,群众看到Trump不但以一敌二,而且还支配了整场辩论。

      对于受过良好教育的精英而言,这场辩论的赢家显然是Biden;但是对于广大的群众,尤其是那些没有受过大学教育的Trump基本盘而言,情况很可能正好相反。群众是情绪化的,是非理性的,他们对复杂精妙的政策要么不感兴趣,要么无力理解。他们所需要的,是一个拥有强大掌控力的强者。对于普遍争强好胜的美国群众而言,这一点尤为重要。在一个好勇斗狠的老恶棍和一个温文儒雅的老绅士之间,那些中西部的美国男性群众更可能会选择前者,这在以前的美国总统选举中屡见不鲜。比如2000年小布什和戈尔之间的电视辩论,戈尔表现出明显的精英派头,蔑视小布什粗鲁的牛仔作风。然而戈尔自命不凡的傲慢姿态却冒犯了那些平凡普通但憎恨精英的群众,他们让他付出了落选的代价。同样的教训,2016年的Hillary Clinton和2020年的Biden都没有吸取,两人都认为自己在道德和能力上碾压Trump。然而,在社交媒体影响力无远弗届的今日,政治越来越民粹化,精英的质量优势难敌群众的数量优势。深谙群众心理的民粹主义大师Trump不可能忽视这一点,2016年他就是凭借这个天才入主白宫的。这次他故伎重演,能否奏效?一个月后就有分晓。

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "换个视角,豁然开朗" geschrieben. 30.09.2020

      最近需要办理一个认证,但疫情期间,到柏林市政厅办事需要网上或电话预约。然而,全柏林12个区的市政厅网上预约全满,预约电话极为难打,好不容易打通,三次都被告知没位。一筹莫展期间,我突然想到,为什么不到波茨坦试试呢?波茨坦是勃兰登堡州的首府,该州包围了柏林,相当于河北省包围北京市,所以波茨坦相当于石家庄。果然,波茨坦人少,当天就预约上并成功办理。

      此事让我颇有感触:如果思路局限在人口众多因而资源紧张的柏林,那么不知道猴年马月才能得到一个预约;但如果将目光跳出柏林,在一个更大的范围内来思考,则立即柳暗花明。由此可见,视角不同,认知大异。当面临困境时,换个视角来思考,也许会豁然开朗!

      在看待中美关系上,同样如此。美国是战后国际秩序的创建者,习惯了以全球霸主视角来看待这个世界。美军的战区划分,也是覆盖全球的,比如中央司令部是管中东和中亚地区的,印太司令部是管印度洋-太平洋地区的,此外还有欧洲司令部、南方司令部(管拉美)、北方司令部(美国本土和北美)和非洲司令部(目前位于德国斯图加特)等。如此视全球为囊中之物,独有美帝一家。相比之下,中国的中部战区就只是管华北和华中,东部战区覆盖华东,西部战区管西南和西北,北部战区管东北,南部战区管华南。所以,美国是一个全球霸权大国,由于在二战尤其是冷战胜利后提供了足够的全球公共产品(特别是安全),其合法性基本上是得到各国认可的(尽管正在减弱);而中国目前只是一个未经考验的地区强国(尽管成为全球强国的野望很炽热),其崛起也是在美国创建和领导的国际秩序框架内实现的,所以并不能深孚众望。在美国眼里,中国挑战美国,就是地方挑战中央,当然要全力镇压,这是“平叛”,有法理上的合法性。看看中国对于台独、疆独和藏独的决绝反应和无情压制,就能明白美帝的处境和想法了。然而,天朝现在似乎失去了同理心。在中国眼里,中美是平起平坐的,是peer power,中国崛起,只不过是恢复历史上的应有地位,美帝的打压“是可忍孰不可忍”!双方认知南辕北辙,导致冲突不可避免,除非美国接受中国能够与之平起平坐甚至取而代之,或者中国认可美国的霸权领袖地位并甘心臣服。

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "评普京毒杀纳瓦尔尼事件对德俄关系的影响" geschrieben. 30.09.2020

      正当白俄罗斯人反抗卢卡申科长达26年的独裁统治风起云涌之时,普京选择公开毒杀纳瓦尔尼,意在震慑俄罗斯潜在反对派不得轻举妄动,否则他一定痛下杀手。这次事件,向世界充分展示了这位克格勃特务出身的俄国总统脑子里没有半点民主法治和公平竞争的思想,而是凭借暴力恐怖和阴谋诡计治国。普京在叶利钦时代造成的一片混乱中上台,靠强权铁腕手段迅速恢复了秩序,发动大军平定了久拖不决的车臣叛乱,用石油价格大涨赚来的钱撑起了还算优越的社会保障体系,又趁乌克兰内乱之际悍然吞并克里米亚,满足了俄国人根深蒂固的帝国情节。这是他能够赢得俄国民意支持并统治俄国长达二十年之久的原因。然而,普京长期雄踞俄国权力金字塔最顶端,也是俄罗斯人民之大不幸。这个狡诈凶狠的特务头子,正在让俄国越来越远离现代文明治理观念,俄国人民必将为他们的选择或顺从付出代价。

      毒杀纳瓦尔尼事件在德国引起轩然大波,再次把充满争议的“北溪2号”天然气管线项目推上前台,德国朝野为此议论纷纷,不少重视价值观的德国政治家主张封杀该项目,以制裁俄国无法无天的行为,同时满足美国的愿望。然而,考虑到该项目对德国能源安全和对原东德地区的经济价值,德国政府将不会真的下马;另一个重要的原因是,俄国现在不是美国的首要对手,德国在此问题上顶住美国压力,华盛顿在一定程度上也能够容忍。然而,在华为5G问题上,柏林不大可能顶住华盛顿的压力,因为中国现在是美国的首要对手。本周美国助理国务卿Krach(就是刚访问台湾那位)到访德国,就华为问题继续向柏林施压。德国内部的强硬派和亲美势力也正在集结,正如国会外交事务委员会主席Röttgen所称,“在华为问题上,德国过去没有做出错误决定,但现在是做出正确决定的时候了。” 他所谓的正确决定,就是将华为事实上从德国5G建设排除。这个可能性正在急剧上升,因为在美国的严厉制裁之下,通讯业界和政界开始怀疑华为的供货和交付能力,这将是压死骆驼的最后一根稻草。按照Röttgen的说法,华为事实上已经出局。

    • Chaoting Cheng hat den Blog-Artikel "评德国版“印太战略”出台:中国的地缘政治压力将有增无减" geschrieben. 12.09.2020

      2020年9月2日,德国外交部发布了德国联邦政府的对印太(印度洋-太平洋)地区指导方针,从而成为继法国之后第二个推出“印太战略”的欧盟大国。作为长期关注“一带一路”和“印太战略”的观察家,我有如下评论:

      1. 德国已经承认了“印太地区”这个新兴的地缘政治概念,并希望与法国一起推动欧盟层面的印太战略。这不是中国方面所愿意看到的,因为中国认为“印太”这个概念是美日等国为了遏制围堵中国而制造出来的。中国更倾向于原来的“亚太”概念,因为亚太经合组织(APEC)是美国对华实行“接触”(engagement)政策时代的产物,APEC也是中国能够施加影响的一个多边合作机制,所以积极参与其中。从“亚太”到“印太”,一字之差,对中国的地缘政治含义却是天差地别。

      2. 德国外长Maas说,”在未来几十年内,我们的繁荣和地缘政治影响将取决于我们如何与印太地区国家打交道。” 历史上,德国地缘政治理论家Karl Haushofer的“生存空间”论曾经被作为纳粹扩张的理论基础,导致地缘政治在战后德国是一个非常负面的学术和政治概念,甚至被视为伪科学,德国政府在外交政策表述时也回避地缘政治。因此,Maas公开把印太地区和德国的地缘政治利益联系在一起,是一个不同寻常的举动,这表明德国政府对地缘政治的态度正在发生变化。原因是,国际大环境正在发生重大变化:美国公开宣布已经进入大国竞争时代;在特朗普治下,德美矛盾加深,而且特朗普对北约的存在必要性提出疑问,导致德国开始担心自身安全问题,默克尔在慕尼黑安全会议上曾说,“德国可以依靠美国的时代过去了”,言下之意,德国必须要自立。在这种情况下,德国越来越重视地缘政治是可以理解的。不仅德国,欧盟委员会主席von der Leyen(德国人)也称欧盟要成为“地缘政治欧盟”。这些情况都表明,德国有自己的地缘政治传统,一旦时机合适就会复苏;同时,欧盟也将加强自己在世界地缘政治角逐场上的存在感。

      3. 德国版印太战略侧重于经济、社会、科技、教育和价值观等层面,安全和战略方面不是重点。但是,德国能够并有意配合法国的行动,加强欧盟在印太地区的地缘政治存在感。此外,德国提倡的价值观明显有针对中国的意味。

      4. 在基础设施和“connectivity”方面,德国对“一带一路”提出了间接的批评,强调要推进EU-Asia Connectivity计划,重视质量、环保、劳工、透明、法治和人权等方面,从而给印太地区国家提供了中国“一带一路”之外的另一个选择。

      5. 德国提出了要推动供应链多样化,进一步表明了对中国过度依赖的担忧,后续将被转化为实际行动。

      6. 但是,德国也强调要推进多边机制,反对遏制和脱钩,这一点与美国通过推进印太战略来制衡中国的目标并不完全一致。

      总体而言,德国认识到印太地区对于德国作为一个贸易国家的极端重要性,将来会加大在该地区的介入。德国希望与法国一起,推动独立和统一的欧盟印太战略,从而成为美中之外的第三势力。

      不过,尽管欧盟意识到地缘政治在当今大国争雄时代日益上升的重要性,但实际上,欧盟不但很难形成统一的地缘政治战略,比如对华/美/俄/土战略,而且缺乏必要的实施手段,因为欧盟的军事力量不足且奉行权力政治的意志薄弱。但是,欧盟可以在经济、社会和价值观等方面有所作为,从而分担美国负担,让美国能够心无旁骛地聚焦安全、军事和地缘政治,并从全局统领印太战略。所以,欧盟介入印太地区,尽管不会完全追随美国遏制中国的步伐,但客观上是在帮助美国分忧解难,从而造成对中国的地缘政治压力将有增无减。

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Chaoting Cheng
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