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美国衰落与中国崛起无关

2014-05-08    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

First things first. China is not about to replace the US as the world’s superpower. Last week’s news that China’s economy was close to overtaking that of the US on a purchasing-power basis marked a statistical milestone. But little more.
首先让我们谈谈最重要的问题。中国在短期内不会取代美国成为全球的超级大国。上周有新闻报道称,中国按购买力平价计算的经济规模就要超越美国,这从统计上来说是一个里程碑,但其意义仅限于此。

China is neither able nor ambitious to step into America’s shoes. It will be a decade or so before it overtakes the US in dollar terms. The story of our age is that the US is increasingly unwilling – and in crucial respects, unable – to continue in the role it has played for the past 70 years. After America comes multipolarity – not China. The question is, what type? Will it be based on a system of US-framed global rules? Or will it be “après moi, le déluge”?
当前中国既没有能力也没有雄心承担美国的角色。中国按美元计算的经济规模还需要10年左右才能超越美国。我们这个时代的主旋律是,美国越来越不愿意——而且在某些关键方面也越来越没有能力——继续扮演其在过去70年一直扮演的角色。美国时代之后出现的是多极化——而非中国独大。问题是哪种形式的多极化?它将基于一套由美国框定的全球规则体系?抑或是“我死之后,哪管它洪水滔天”?

The shift in geopolitics is already well under way at both ends of the Eurasian land mass. Last week Barack Obama returned from a four-nation Asian tour of China’s neighbors, all of whom fear an expanding regional hegemon. The US president spends much of the rest of his time trying to shore up unity among those living in Russia’s vicinity, from Ukraine westwards. They too fear an increasingly predatory regional power. Two generations ago George Kennan framed America’s famous “containment” strategy for the Soviet Union. Today, the US is stumbling into dual containment of China and Russia.
在欧亚大陆的两端,地缘政治形势已经在发生变化。上周,美国总统巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)在结束了对亚洲四国的访问后回到美国,这些国家都是中国的邻国,它们都担心出现一个不断扩张的地区霸权。奥巴马其余时间的大部分都用于试图增进邻近俄罗斯的国家(从乌克兰开始向西延伸)之间的团结,这些国家也害怕出现一个愈发具有掠夺性的地区强权。两代人以前,乔治•凯南(George Kennan)框定了美国针对苏联的著名“遏制”战略。如今,美国跌跌撞撞地陷入了对中国和俄罗斯的双重遏制。

The demand for US leadership remains strong. But America’s ability to sustain a dual containment strategy is an open question.
世界各国仍然非常需要美国继续保持全球领导地位。但美国推行双重遏制战略的能力是带有问号的。

The return of great power rivalry in Asia and Europe finds a close parallel in global economic shifts. The US remains much the top dog in dollar terms – the only measure that counts. Its per capita income remains five times that of China. It may take 40 years or more for China’s living standards to catch up. But the speed with which it is catching up is breathtaking. At the start of the century China accounted for barely 4 per cent of the global economy in dollar terms. Today it is about 12 per cent. The US has fallen from just under a third, to barely 20 per cent.
亚洲和欧洲重新回到大国角力状态,也密切反映了全球经济实力的转移。按美元计算(这是唯一真正有意义的衡量标准),美国仍是遥遥领先的全球最大经济体。美国的人均收入仍是中国的五倍。中国或许还需要40年甚至更久的时间才能赶上美国的生活水平。但中国奋起直追的速度令人惊叹。本世纪初,中国在按美元计算的全球经济总量中所占比重仅为4%,如今这一比重已经达到大约12%。同期美国所占比重则从略低于三分之一降至仅20%。

China will overtake the US sometime in the next decade. But it can never replace it. Therein lies the danger. The US will no longer have the capacity to uphold the global order, while China will always lack the legitimacy. In addition to being an autocracy, China is not built on immigration and has never sought to project universal values.
中国将在未来10年的某个时点超越美国。但中国永远无法替代美国。这正是危险所在。美国将不再具备维护全球秩序的能力,而中国将永远缺乏承担这一责任的正当性。除了威权政体以外,中国不是一个建立在移民基础上的国家,而且从未寻求倡导普世价值观。

We are already in the early stages of a multipolar economic world. The postwar US global order was built around the international institutions that it launched – the UN, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Nato. It was also founded on the successive world trade agreements that culminated in the Uruguay Round of 1994.
我们已经进入了全球经济多极化的初期阶段。战后美国主导的全球秩序是围绕着美国创立的一系列国际机构建立的,这些机构包括联合国(UN)、国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund,简称IMF)、世界银行(World Bank)和北约(Nato)。以1994年乌拉圭回合(Uruguay round)谈判完成为终点的一系列国际贸易协定,同样为全球秩序的形成奠定了基础。

Since then the US has lacked the capacity to finish a new round. The Doha trade round is all but dead. Mr Obama’s big trade initiatives in Europe and the Pacific are foundering. Both were launched for defensive reasons – China was not included in the Transpacific Partnership and Russia is not part of the transatlantic talks. But the US lacks the clout to see them through.
自那以后,美国一直未能推动新一轮贸易谈判顺利完成。多哈(Doha)回合贸易谈判已几乎死亡。奥巴马在欧洲和太平洋地区主推的大手笔贸易倡议进展不顺。这两项举措都是出于防御目的而发起的——中国没有被纳入《跨太平洋战略经济伙伴关系协定》(TPP),俄罗斯也不是跨大西洋贸易谈判的一员。但美国缺乏推动这两项谈判顺利完成的影响力。

The same applies to reform of the IMF. It is absurd that China’s voting share of the world’s top economic body is just 4 per cent – barely a third of its dollar weighting in the global economy.
这一问题在IMF的改革中同样存在。中国在这一世界顶尖经济组织中的投票权重仅为4%(勉强达到中国在全球经济总量中所占比重的三分之一),这非常荒谬。

Countries such as India, Mexico and Brazil are also woefully under-represented: Belgium still has a greater voting weight than either. Understandably they are beginning to drift away from the institutions the US built. To his credit, Mr Obama concluded the IMF governance negotiations that were begun under George W Bush and reached a deal to increase the emerging world’s representation. But even this marginal reweighting has been blocked by Congress, which is also blocking Mr Obama’s leeway to pursue his trade initiatives. The US is behaving like a declining hegemon: unwilling to share power, yet unable to impose outcomes.
印度、墨西哥、巴西等国的投票权重同样严重偏低(比利时的投票权重仍比上述任何一个国家都要高)。可以理解的是,新兴国家正开始渐渐疏远美国打造的国际机构。值得肯定的是,奥巴马完成了始于乔治•W•布什(George W  Bush)任内的IMF治理谈判,并达成了一项协议,提高新兴世界国家在IMF中的投票权重。但即便是这种小幅度的权重调整也遭到了美国国会的阻挠,美国国会还封杀了奥巴马推动贸易谈判的自由空间。美国表现得像是一个日渐衰落的霸权:不愿分享权力,但也无法强迫别国接受安排。

The same influences are visible in America’s approach to tackling climate change. As the world’s richest country, the US cut a deal to subsidize carbon emission reductions in the emerging world. But the so-called “cash for cuts” strategy is missing a vital ingredient – cash.
同样的影响在美国处理气候变化问题的方式中也能看出。作为全球最富有的国家,美国达成了一项协议,拟为新兴国家缩减碳排放提供补贴。但这个所谓的“以减排换资金”(cash for cuts)战略缺少一个关键元素——资金。

Neither the US nor its partners will come up with anything like the $100bn a year in climate aid promised in the Copenhagen talks in 2009. Again, Congress is blocking America’s leadership. Mr Obama is powerless to do much about it. Thankfully, China, India and others are beginning to see that energy efficiency is in their own interests. But they are making changes on their own initiative.
美国及其盟国都根本无法履行它们在2009年哥本哈根气候变化大会上作出的承诺,即每年提供1000亿美元的气候援助。美国国会再一次叫停了美国的领导角色。奥巴马对此有心无力,做不了太多。所幸中国、印度以及其他国家开始认识到,提高能源效率符合它们自身的利益。但这些国家正按照自己的打算做出改变。

The die has not yet been cast. The US holds more cards than any other in shaping what the multipolar world will look like. It has more legitimacy than any potential rival – China in particular. But America’s ability to address these vast challenges is stymied by domestic paralysis. Central to this is the declining fortunes of America’s middle class – the foundation of its postwar global strength. Growing economic inequality across the US, and the political fallout in Washington, have killed the spirit of magnanimity that defined cold war American leadership. This loss is impossible to quantify. It is no less real for that.
形势尚未达到不可逆转的地步。就塑造未来多极世界的格局而言,美国手中的牌比其他任何国家都要多。相对于任何潜在竞争对手——特别是中国,美国具备更强的正当性。但美国国内的瘫痪状态,削弱了美国应对这些巨大挑战的能力。问题的核心在于,美国中产阶级的境遇(这是战后美国全球实力的根基)在走下坡路。美国国内经济不平等的加剧,加上华盛顿的政治冲击波,扼杀了冷战期间奠定美国全球领导角色的宽宏大度的精神。这一损失无法量化,但它是真真切切存在的。

America still has the power to set the tone of global engagement and negotiate outcomes that benefit both itself and the world. But it will require the US to retrieve the spirit of enlightened self-interest that once defined the nation. We must all hope that spirit is dormant rather than extinct.
美国仍然有实力为全球接触奠定基调,并通过谈判达成对于自身以及世界各国都有利的结局。但这就要求美国找回曾经界定这个国家的开明的自利精神。我们都应抱有希望:这种精神仅仅是沉睡了,而非绝迹了。



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