2015年11月11日 星期三

Geremie R. Barmé on Understanding Xi Jinping白傑明:我喜歡把習近平稱為中國的「COE」——全抓全管的老總(Chairman of Everything)。

Q. and A.: Geremie R. Barmé on Understanding Xi Jinping



Geremie R. Barmé is a professor of Chinese history and founding director of the Australian Center on China in the World at the Australian National University. He has just released “China Story Yearbook 2014: Shared Destiny,” a lively collection of essays on China under President Xi Jinping, edited with Linda Jaivin and Jeremy Goldkorn. Mr. Barmé chose the essays on the basis of readability, as well as depth of knowledge.Mr. Barmé began his career in 1972 studying Chinese at the Australian National University. In 1974, at the age of 20, he went to China to continue his studies, moving from Beijing to Shenyang and Shanghai. As the Cultural Revolution wound down, he did a stint picking apples in northeastern China and observed the collapse of Maoism. From 1978 to 1991, he wrote for Chinese-language newspapers in Hong Kong. He has been based at Australian National University since 1989, with diversions into making films, writing books and even offering suggestions for speeches on China by Australian prime ministers.
白傑明(Geremie R. Barmé)是中國史教授,也是澳大利亞國立大學中華全球研究中心(Australian Center on China in the World)的創始人暨主任。他剛剛推出的《中國故事年鑒2014:共同命運》(China Story Yearbook2014: Shared Destiny)是一本生動的文集,講述習近平領導下的中國,由賈佩琳(Linda Jaivin)和金玉米(Jeremy Goldkorn)編輯。白傑明以可讀性和知識的深度為標準,選擇了這些文章。1972年,白傑明在澳大利亞國立大學學習中文,從此開始了他的事業。1974年,20歲的白傑明前往中國留學,先後在北京、瀋陽和上海居住過。文革末期,他在中國東北做了一段時間採摘蘋果的工作,觀察了毛澤東主義的崩潰。從1978年到1991年,他為香港的中文報章撰稿。1989年後,他一直以澳大利亞國立大學的工作為主,有時候也拍電影、寫書,甚至曾為澳大利亞總理涉及中國的發言提供建議。
In an interview, he explained why, to understand Mr. Xi’s tenure, “you have to have a basic understanding of Mao.”
Q. As a longtime China watcher, what is special for your craft in the Xi era?
Ng Han Guan/Associated Press
A. As an historian who went to universities in Australia, China and Japan and as a Sinologist who learned Chinese from and did a doctorate with Pierre Ryckmans, the Xi era is something of a gift. The dark art of Chinese rule combines elements of dynastic statecraft, official Confucianism, the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist legacy and the mixed socialist-neoliberal reforms of the post-Mao era.
答:對於一個曾在澳大利亞、中國和日本的大學求學的歷史學者,以及一個從李克曼(Pierre Ryckmans)那裡了解中國,跟他讀博士學位的漢學家來說,習近平時代就像是天賜良機。中國人統治國家的「黑魔法」包含王朝式的治國方略、官方推行的儒家思想、馬列主義毛澤東思想的影響,以及後毛澤東時代社會主義和新自由主義混合的改革舉措。
Under Xi Jinping, the man I like to call China’s C.O.E., or Chairman of Everything, these traditions are being drawn on to build a China for the 21st century. For those used to thinking about China as being a country that “just wants to be like us,” or as one that fits neatly into the patterns of the Euro-American past, the Xi era is a challenge. For the many students of China who haven’t bothered reading Mao, taking the Marxist tradition seriously or familiarizing themselves with the country’s dynastic legacies, Xi’s version of China is positively discombobulating.
我喜歡把習近平稱為中國的「COE」——全抓全管的老總(Chairman of Everything)。習近平執政期間,為構築一個面向21世紀的中國,運用了以上的傳統。有些人曾以為中國「就想成為像我們這樣的國家」,或是以為它能與歐美過去的模式相契合,對於他們來說,理解習近平時代就是一個挑戰。一些研究中國的學者疏於閱讀毛澤東著作,不重視馬克思主義傳統,對中國古代王朝的遺產也不熟悉,對於他們當中的許多人來說,習近平治下的中國確實非常令人困惑。
Q. Some people in China refer to Mr. Xi as “Emperor Xi.” Are there similarities?
A. Since the Mao era, it has been a commonplace for even rather levelheaded analysts and observers to speak of Chinese leaders as emperors or want-to-be emperors. This generates a comfortable metaphorical landscape, one that Chinese friends also often encourage. It puts Chinese political culture and behavior beyond the realm of the normal or knowable. It reaffirms Chinese claims about a unique history and political longevity. Mao was an expert at playing off and against the imperial tradition while sitting above factions that he manipulated in pursuit of his radical political and personal goals.
Of course, Xi aspires to something like that, if not more. But he is a long way from having Mao’s charisma or being able to play the system or the people with similar alacrity, though not for want of trying. The official adulation of Xi and the fact that he is omnipresent are reminiscent of the leader complex of other, older socialist states. Emperors were far more constrained and media shy.
Q. How is the current crackdown on expression affecting creativity on the Internet?
A. There is no doubt that the threnody of the era of “Big Daddy Xi,” as the official media call the C.O.E., is boredom. The lugubrious propaganda chief, Liu Yunshan, the Internet killjoyLu Wei and Xi himself have together cast a pall over Chinese cultural and intellectual life. At the same time, the party-state is at pains to extol homegrown innovation and creativity. Does not a semi-Maoist state revel in the unity of contradictions?
Perhaps one of the challenges China poses to our understanding of narratives of development, progress and modernity is that innovative change may well also be possible, if not flourish, under postmodern authoritarianism. Or does one just pickpocket innovation from elsewhere and use state-controlled hyperbole to lay claim to creativity?
Q. Do you see nationalism getting out of hand?
A. In a way, nationalism in China has been out of hand for years: the intense and costly nationwide re-education campaign launched in the wake of June 4, 1989, emphasized China’s unique national situation, its undivided “nationhood” and grand history. The popular sense of exceptionalism is here to stay.
But this exceptionalism is threatened by Taiwan, which has taken such a different sociopolitical path. It is threatened by Hong Kong, where the complex legacies of colonialism feed into local identity and political conscience. It is threatened by the very pluralism that market reforms engender in China itself.
Of course, China is achieving long-cherished goals of strength and power, but in the process it has forged a one-party nation-state that, apart from tireless police action, maintains unity through aggravated propaganda and public bellicosity. But there is also the “Other China” — one that is educated, informed, skeptical, well-read, often well-traveled and part of a modern global society. This Other China is often silenced, ignored or ill-understood, but it will flourish well beyond the tenure of Xi Jinping.
Q. Where will the relationship between China and the United States stand five years from now?
For an Australian this is a discomforting question, in particular since my country has participated in just about every U.S. venture since World War II. Most of these gambits have been bloody, costly and enjoyed suboptimal results. Therefore, living in a country that is bound in a cap-doffing alliance with our American cousins I can only hope that if the U.S. and its regional partners proceed with a policy of “China deterrence” they will prove successful.
Failing that, one would hope that China and the U.S. reach an accommodation along the lines suggested rather idealistically by my colleague Hugh White [professor of strategic studies at Australian National University’s Strategic and Defense Studies Center]: a “Concert of Asia and the Pacific.” However, having been educated at Maoist universities in my 20s, in my darker moments I think that a series of regional conflicts may well be the reality in the years to come.
如果做不到這一點,我希望中美兩國能夠依照我的同事休·懷特(Hugh White)提出的相當理想化的路線,即「亞太協調」(Concert of Asia and the Pacific)來達成諒解。[休·懷特是澳大利亞國立大學戰略與國防研究中心戰略研究學教授。]然而,作為一個20多歲時曾在信奉毛澤東思想的大學裡接受過教育的人,我有時候會比較陰暗地想,一系列地區衝突很有可能是未來幾年的現實。