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President Donald Trump was partly voted into office by Americans who felt that the self-proclaimed greatest power on Earth was actually in decline - and they weren’t wrong. Trump is capable of tweeting many things, but none of those tweets will stop that process of decline, nor will a trade war with a rising China or fierce oil sanctions on Iran.

唐纳德·特朗普总统在一定程度上是由美国人投票上台的,他们认为,自称是地球上最强大的力量实际上正在衰落--他们没有错。特朗普可以发很多推文,但这些推文都无法阻止美国衰落的进程,也无法赢得与崛起的中国的贸易战,也无法对伊朗进行严厉的石油制裁。



You could feel this recently, even in the case of the increasingly pressured Iranians. There, with a single pinprick, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei effectively punctured Trump’s MAGA balloon and reminded many that, however powerful the U.S. still was, people in other countries were beginning to look at America differently at the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century.

你最近也能感觉到这一点,即使是压力越来越大的伊朗人,在那里的最高领袖阿亚图拉o阿里o哈梅内伊用一根针有效地刺破了特朗普的MAGA(让美国再次伟大)气球,并提醒许多人,尽管美国依然强大,但在21世纪的第二个十年结束时,其他国家的人开始以不同的眼光看待美国。

Following a meeting in Tehran with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who brought a message from Trump urging the start of U.S.-Iranian negotiations, Khamenei tweeted, “We have no doubt in [Abe’s] goodwill and seriousness; but regarding what you mentioned from [the] U.S. president, I don’t consider Trump as a person deserving to exchange messages with, and I have no answer for him, nor will I respond to him in the future.” He then added: “We believe that our problems will not be solved by negotiating with the U.S., and no free nation would ever accept negotiations under pressure.”

在德黑兰与来访的日本首相安倍晋三会晤后,哈梅内伊发推称:"我们相信(安倍晋三)的善意和严肃性;安倍晋三带来了特朗普的信息,敦促启动美伊谈判。但关于你提到的美国总统,我不认为特朗普是一个值得与之交换信息的人,我对他也没有答案,未来我也不会对他做出回应。"他接着说:"我们相信,我们的问题不会通过与美国谈判来解决,任何自由国家都不会在压力下接受谈判。"

A flustered Trump was reduced to briefly tweeting: “I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!”

慌乱的特朗普只在推特上发了简短的推文:"我个人认为,现在就考虑达成协议还为时过早。他们还没有准备好,我们也没有准备好!"

And soon after, the president halted at the last minute, in a distinctly humiliating retreat, U.S. air strikes on Iranian missile sites that would undoubtedly have created yet more insoluble problems for Washington across the Greater Middle East.

不久之后,总统在最后一刻停止了对伊朗导弹基地的空袭,这显然是一种耻辱性的撤退,无疑会给华盛顿在整个大中东地区制造更多无法解决的问题。



As for Trump, only 27 percent of global respondents had confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs, while 70 feared he would not. In Mexico, you undoubtedly won’t be surprised to learn, confidence in his leadership was at a derisory 6 percent. In 17 of the surveyed countries, people who lacked confidence in him were also significantly more likely to consider the U.S. the world’s top threat, a phenomenon most pronounced among traditional Washington allies like Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.

至于特朗普,只有27%的全球受访者相信他会在世界事务中做正确的事情,而70%的人担心他不会。在墨西哥,你无疑不会感到惊讶,对他领导能力有信心的人只有百分之六。在接受调查的17个国家中,对他缺乏信心的人也更有可能认为美国是世界头号的威胁,这一现象在加拿大、英国和澳大利亚等传统华盛顿盟友中最为明显。

While 39 percent of Pew respondents in that poll still rated the U.S. as the globe’s leading economic power, 34 percent opted for China. Meanwhile, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched in 2013 to lix the infrastructure and trade of much of Southeast Asia, Eurasia, and the Horn of Africa to China (at an estimated cost of $4 trillion) and to be funded by diverse sources, is going from strength to strength.

尽管皮尤民调中有39%的受访者仍然认为美国是全球领先的经济强国,但34%的受访者选择了中国。与此同时,2013年启动的中国"一带一路"倡议将东南亚、欧亚大陆和非洲之角大部分地区的基础设施和贸易与中国联系起来(估计耗资4万亿美元),并将由各种来源提供资金,该倡议的力度越来越大。

One way to measure this: the number of dignitaries attending the biennial BRI Forum in Beijing. The first of those gatherings in May 2017 attracted 28 heads of state and representatives from 100 countries. The most recent, in late April, had 37 heads of state and representatives from nearly 150 countries and international organizations, including International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

衡量这一点的一个方法是:出席在北京举行的两年一度的一带一路高峰论坛的政要人数。2017年5月的第一次会议吸引了来自100个国家的28位国家元首和代表。最近一次是在4月底,有37位国家元首和来自近150个国家和国际组织的代表,包括国际货币基金组织总裁克里斯蒂娜o拉加德和联合国秘书长安东尼奥o古特雷斯。



As with BRI, the government and media then publicized and promoted Made in China 2025 vigorously. This alarmed Washington and America’s high-tech corporations. Over the years, American companies had complained about China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, the counterfeiting of famous brands, and the stealing of trade secrets, not to speak of the pressuring of American firms in joint ventures with local companies to share technology as a price for gaining access to China’s vast market. Their grievances became more vocal when Donald Trump entered the White House determined to cut Washington’s annual trade deficit of $380 billion with Beijing.

与一带一路一样,政府和媒体随后大力宣传和推广《中国制造2025》。这使华盛顿和美国的高科技公司感到震惊。多年来,美国公司一直抱怨中国窃取美国的知识产权、伪造名牌、窃取商业秘密,更不用说,美国企业与本土企业建立合资企业,向它们施压,要求它们分享技术,以此作为进入中国广阔市场的代价。当唐纳德·特朗普入主白宫,决心削减华盛顿每年3800亿美元的对华贸易逆差时,他们的不满变得更加强烈。

As president, Trump ordered his new trade representative, the Sinophobe Robert Lighthizer, to look into the matter. The resulting seven-month investigation pegged the loss U.S. companies experienced because of China’s unfair trade practices at $50 billion a year. That was why, in March 2018, Trump instructed Lighthizer to levy tariffs on at least $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.

作为总统,特朗普命令他的新贸易代表汉诺威o罗伯特o莱特希泽调查此事。由此引发的为期7个月的调查将美国公司因中国不公平贸易行为而遭受的损失确定为每年500亿美元。因此,2018年3月,特朗普指示莱特希泽对价值至少500亿美元的中国进口商品征收关税。

That signaled the start of a Sino-American trade war which has only gained steam since. In this context, Chinese officials started downplaying the significance of Made in China 2025, describing it as nothing more than an inspirational plan. This March, China’s National People’s Congress even passed a foreign direct-investment law meant to address some of the grievances of U.S. companies. Its implementation mechanism was, however, weak. Trump promptly claimed that China had backtracked on its commitments to incorporate into Chinese law significant changes the two countries had negotiated and put into a draft agreement to end the trade war. He then slapped further tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

这标志着中美贸易战的开始,自那以后,这场贸易战才愈演愈烈。在这种背景下,中国官员开始淡化《中国制造2025》的重要性,称它不过是一个鼓舞人心的计划。今年3月,中国全国人大甚至通过了一项外国直接投资法,旨在解决美国公司的一些不满。但是,其执行机制薄弱。特朗普立即声称,中国背弃了将两国谈判达成的重大变化纳入中国法律的承诺,并签署了一份结束贸易战的协议草案。随后,他对价值2000亿美元的中国进口商品加征了更多关税。

The major bone of contention for the Trump administration is a Chinese law specifying that, in a joint venture between a foreign corporation and a Chinese company, the former must pass on technological know-how to its Chinese partner. That’s seen as theft by Washington. According to Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Yukon Huang, author of “Cracking the China Conundrum: Why Conventional Economic Wisdom Is Wrong,” however, it’s fully in accord with globally accepted guidelines. Such diffusion of technological know-how has played a significant role in driving growth globally, as the IMF’s 2018 World Economic Outlook report made clear. It’s worth noting as well that China now accounts for almost one-third of global annual economic growth.

特朗普政府争论的主要焦点是中国法律,该法律规定,在一家外国公司和一家中国公司的合资企业中,前者必须向其中国合作伙伴传授技术诀窍。华盛顿认为那是偷窃。卡内基国际和平基金会高级研究员黄育康在"破解中国难题:为什么传统经济智慧是错误的"一文中说这完全符合全球公认的指导方针。正如基金组织2018年《世界经济展望》报告所明确指出的,这种技术诀窍的传播在推动全球增长方面发挥了重要作用。同样值得注意的是,中国目前占全球年度经济增长量的近三分之一。



In the field of high technology, for example, China is now well ahead of the United States in mobile payment transactions. In the first 10 months of 2017, those totaled $12.8 trillion, the result of vast numbers of consumers discarding credit cards in favor of cashless systems. In stark contrast, according to eMarketer, America’s mobile payment transactions in 2017 amounted to $49.3 billion. Last year, 583 million Chinese used mobile payment systems, with nearly 68 percent of China’s Internet users turning to a mobile wallet for their offline payments.

例如,在高科技领域,中国现在在移动支付交易方面远远领先于美国。2017年前10个月,这一数字为12.8万亿美元,原因是大量消费者放弃信用卡,转而使用无现金系统。与此形成鲜明对比的是,根据eMarketer的数据,2017年美国的移动支付交易额只有493亿美元。去年,有5.83亿中国人使用移动支付系统,近68%的中国互联网用户使用移动钱包进行离线支付。

In a similar fashion, in his untiring pitch for America’s “beautiful” weaponry, Trump has failed to grasp the impressive progress Russia has made in that field.

同样,特朗普在不懈地推销美国的"美丽"武器时,未能注意到俄罗斯在这一领域取得的令人印象深刻的进展。

While presenting videos and animated glimpses of new intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered cruise missiles, and underwater drones in a March 2018 television address, Russian President Vladimir Putin traced the development of his own country’s new weapons to Washington’s decision to pull out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty with the Soviet unx. In December 2001, encouraged by John Bolton, then under secretary of state for arms control and international security, President George W. Bush had indeed withdrawn from the 1972 ABM treaty on the spurious grounds that the 9/11 attacks had changed the nature of defense for America. His Russian counterpart of the time, the very same Vladimir Putin, described the withdrawal from that cornerstone of world security as a grievous mistake. The head of Russia’s armed forces, General Anatoly Kvashnin, warned then that the pullout would alter the nature of the international strategic balance, freeing up countries to restart arms buildups, both conventional and nuclear.

俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔o普京在2018年3月的电视讲话中展示了新的洲际弹道导弹、核动力巡航导弹和水下无人飞机的视频和动画片段,同时将俄罗斯新武器的发展追溯到华盛顿决定退出1972年与苏联签订的《反弹道导弹条约》。2001年12月,在时任负责军备控制和国际安全事务的副国务卿约翰o博尔顿的鼓励下,乔治W布什总统确实以9/11袭击改变了美国国防的性质为由退出了1972年的《反弹道导弹条约》。当时的俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔o普京称,退出条约是一个严重的错误。俄罗斯武装部队总司令阿纳托利o克瓦什宁当时警告称,退出条约将改变国际战略平衡的性质,使各国得以重启常规和核武器建设。

The U.S. is now engaged in a 30-year, trillion-dollar-plus remake and upxe of its nuclear arsenal, while the Russians (whose present inventory of 6,500 nuclear weapons slightly exceeds America’s) have gone down a similar route. In that televised address of his on the eve of the 2018 Russian presidential election, Putin’s list of new nuclear weapons was headed by the Sarmat, a 30-ton intercontinental ballistic missile, reputedly far harder for an enemy to intercept in its most vulnerable phase just after launching. It also carries a larger number of nuclear warheads than its predecessor.

美国现在正在对其核武库进行长达30年、价值超过万亿美元的改造和更新,而俄罗斯(其现有6500枚核武器的库存略高于美国)也走上了类似的道路。在2018年俄罗斯总统大选前夕发表电视讲话中,普京的新核武器清单以30吨重的洲际弹道导弹"萨姆特"为首,据说在发射后的最脆弱阶段,敌人更难拦截。它还拥有比其前身更多的核弹头。

Another new weapon on his list was a nuclear-powered intercontinental underwater drone, Status-6, a submarine-launched autonomous vehicle with a range of 6,800 miles, capable of carrying a 100-megaton nuclear warhead. And then there was his country’s new nuclear-powered cruise missile with a “practically unlimited” range. In addition, because of its stealth capabilities, it will be hard to detect in flight and its high maneuverability will, theoretically at least, enable it to bypass an enemy’s defenses. Successfully tested in 2018, it does not yet have a name. Unsurprisingly, Putin won the presidency with 77 percent of the vote, a 13 percent rise from the previous poll, on record voter turnout of 67.7 percent.

他名单上的另一种新武器是核动力洲际水下无人机Status-6,这是一种潜射自动装置,射程为6800英里,能够携带1亿吨核弹头。然后是他的国家的新型核动力巡航导弹,其射程"几乎是无限的"。此外,由于它的隐形能力,在飞行中很难探测到它,而且它的高机动性至少在理论上能使它绕过敌人的防御。在2018年测试成功,目前还没有名字。不出所料,普京以77%的得票率赢得了总统选举,比前一次选举创下的67.7%的投票率纪录增加了13%。

In conventional weaponry, Russia’s S-400 missile system remains unrivalled. According to the Washington-based Arms Control Association, “The S-400 system is an advanced, mobile, surface-to-air defense system of radars and missiles of different ranges, capable of destroying a variety of targets such as attack aircraft, bombs, and tactical ballistic missiles. Each battery normally consists of eight launchers, 112 missiles, and command and support vehicles.” The S-400 missile has a range of 400 kilometers (250 miles), and its integrated system is believed to be capable of shooting down up to 80 targets simultaneously.

在常规武器方面,俄罗斯的S-400导弹系统仍是无可比拟的。据总部设在华盛顿的军控协会称,"S-400系统是一种先进的、移动的地对空防御系统,由不同扫描范围的雷达和不同射程的导弹组成,能够摧毁各种目标,如攻击机、炸弹和战术弹道导弹。每个炮台通常由8个发射器、112枚导弹以及指挥和支援车辆组成。"S-400导弹的射程为400公里(250英里),其集成系统能够同时击落多达80个目标。

Consider it a sign of the times, but in defiance of pressure from the Trump administration not to buy Russian weaponry, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the only Muslim member of NATO, ordered the purchase of batteries of those very S-400 missiles. Turkish soldiers are currently being trained on that weapons systems in Russia. The first battery is expected to arrive in Turkey next month.

土耳其总统雷杰普o塔伊普o埃尔多安是北约唯一的穆斯林成员国,他不顾特朗普政府的压力,下令购买这些S-400导弹。土耳其士兵目前正在俄罗斯接受这种武器系统的训练。第一批S-400导弹预计将于下月运抵土耳其。



According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic holds petroleum reserves equal to 412 billion barrels of oil, or about 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered hydrocarbons. It also has deposits of rare earth metals. China’s second Arctic vessel, Xuelong 2 (Snow Dragon 2), is scheduled to make its maiden voyage later this year. Russia needs Chinese investment to extract the natural resources under its permafrost. In fact, China is already the biggest foreign investor in Russia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the region — and the first LNG shipment was dispatched to China’s eastern province last summer via the Northern Sea Route. Its giant oil corporation is now beginning to drill for gas in Russian waters alongside the Russian company Gazprom.

根据美国地质调查局的数据,北极拥有相当于4120亿桶石油的石油储量,约占世界未发现碳氢化合物储量的22%。它也有稀土金属的矿藏。中国的第二艘北极船只"雪龙二号"将于今年晚些时候进行首航。俄罗斯需要中国的投资来开采其永久冻土下的自然资源。事实上,中国已经是俄罗斯在该地区液化天然气项目的最大外国投资者。去年夏天,第一批液化天然气通过北海航线运往中国东部省份。其庞大的石油公司现在正与俄罗斯天然气工业股份公司一起开始在俄罗斯海域开采天然气。

Washington is rattled. In April, in its latest annual report to Congress on China’s military power, the Pentagon for the first time included a section on the Arctic, warning of the risks of a growing Chinese presence in the region, including that country’s possible deployment of nuclear submarines there in the future. In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used a meeting of foreign ministers in Rovaniemi, Finland, to assail China for its “aggressive behavior” in the Arctic.

华盛顿感到不安。今年4月,在向国会提交的有关中国军事实力的最新年度报告中,首次包括了一个关于北极的章节,警告中国在该地区的存在越来越多的风险,包括中国未来可能在那里部署核潜艇。今年5月,美国国务卿迈克o彭佩奥在芬兰罗瓦涅米召开外长会议,抨击中国在北极的"侵略行为"。

In an earlier speech, Pompeo noted that, from 2012 to 2017, China invested nearly $90 billion in the Arctic region. “We’re concerned about Russia’s claim over the international waters of the Northern Sea Route, including its newly announced plans to connect it with China’s Maritime Silk Road,” he said. He then pointed out that, along that route, “Moscow already illegally demands other nations request permission to pass, requires Russian maritime pilots to be aboard foreign ships, and threatens to use military force to sink any that fail to comply with their demands.”

彭佩奥在早些时候的一次讲话中指出,从2012年到2017年,中国在北极地区投资了近900亿美元。"我们担心俄罗斯对北海航道国际水域的主权主张,包括它最近宣布的将其与中国海上丝绸之路连接起来的计划,"他接着指出,在这条航线上,"莫斯科已经非法要求其他国家受到许可才能通过,要求俄罗斯海上飞行员登上外国船只,并威胁要动用军事力量击沉任何不符合其要求的船只。"

Altogether, the tightening military and economic ties between Russia and China have put America on the defensive, contrary to Trump’s MAGA promise to American voters in the 2016 campaign. It’s true that, despite fraying diplomatic and economic ties between Washington and Moscow, Trump’s personal relations with Putin remain cordial. (The two periodically exchange friendly phone calls.) But among Russians more generally, a favorable view of the U.S. fell from 41 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018, according to a Pew Research survey.

总之,俄罗斯和中国之间日益紧密的军事和经济关系让美国处于守势,这与特朗普在2016年竞选期间对美国选民做出的让美国再次强大的承诺背道而驰。诚然,尽管华盛顿和莫斯科之间的外交和经济关系不断恶化,但特朗普与普京的个人关系依然友好(两人定期进行友好的电话交流)。但皮尤研究公司的一项调查显示,总的来说,俄罗斯人对美国的好感从2017年的41%下降到了2018年的26%。

There’s nothing new about great powers, even the one that proclaimed itself the greatest in history, declining after having risen high. In our acrimonious times, that’s a reality well worth noting. While launching his bid for reelection recently, Trump proposed a bombastic new slogan: “Keep America Great” (or KAG), as if he had indeed raised America’s stature while in office. He would have been far more on target, however, had he suggested the slogan “Depress America More” (or DAM) to reflect the reality of an unpopular president who faces rising great power rivals abroad.

大国并没有什么新鲜的东西,即使是宣称自己是历史上最伟大的国家,在崛起后衰落了。在我们这个充满敌意的时代,这是一个值得注意的现实。在最近发起连任竞选时,特朗普提出了一个夸大其词的新口号:"保持美国伟大"(或KAG),仿佛他在执政期间确实提高了美国的地位。然而,如果他提出"进一步打压美国"(或称"DAM")的口号,以反映一位不受欢迎的总统面对海外崛起的大国对手的现实,他的目标将会更加明确。