经济学人:中美军事误解(03)

Part of the problem is the way that China’s armed forces work. The Communist Party is present throughout the military hierarchy. Its political commissars often wield as much power ascommanders who are genuine soldiers. Especially at higher levels, Chinese officers can move only at the speed of a committee. But that is no excuse for China’s habit of unplugging the phone. Swift communication may not end acrisis, but it can certainly reduce the danger of tensions flaring up over a misunderstanding.

部分问题在于军队的工作方式。政治存在于军队的各个阶层。其政治委员通常和真正的士兵指挥官一样拥有同样多的权力。特别是在高层,官员只能以委员会的速度行动。但这并不能成为拔掉电话习惯的借口。迅速的沟通可能不会结束激烈的争吵,但它肯定能减少因误解而引发紧张局势的危险

Going ballistic

勃然大怒

Mercifully, when Barack Obama was president, the two countries managed to establish some rules for managing close encounters between their ships and planes. That has led to fewer near collisions in the air and at sea. But that still falls short. China’s relentless beefing up of its military forces has created an urgent need for wider-ranging agreements. Pentagon officials say China is arming its air force with nuclear weapons. That would give China a complete “triad” of nuclear weaponry, launchable from the air, land and sea. Yet the two armed forces have not held nuclear talks in over ten years. Even the Soviet Union agreed to give warnings about ballistic-missile tests. The Chinese refuse to consider such a confidence-building measure,despite the growing importance of missiles to both countries.

幸运的是,当巴拉克·奥巴马担任美国总统时,两国设法制定了一些规则,管理两国船只和飞机之间的近距离接触。这减少了空中和海上的近距离碰撞。但这仍然不够。不断加强军力,迫切需要达成更广泛的协议。美国政府官员说,正在用核武器武装其空军。这将形成一个完整的“三位一体”的核武器,可以从空中、陆地和海上发射。然而,两军已经10多年没有举行过核谈判。

On a visit to Washington, DC, in November China’s defence minister, Wei Fenghe, said that communication must be strengthened. It is good that China recognises this. But all too often the country lets pique over unconnected business disrupt military contacts. In 2018 it cancelled multiple high-level talks, including an embryonic dialogue between senior military officers. Not since the cold war has it been so crucial for global peace for two defence establishments to talk.

去年11月,中国国防部长魏凤和在访问华盛顿时表示,必须加强沟通。认识到这一点是件好事。但是这个国家经常因为没有联系的商业活动而发怒,破坏军事联系。2018年,朝鲜取消了多次高层会谈,包括高级军官之间尚处于萌芽阶段的对话。自冷战以来,两家防务机构的对话从未对全球和平如此重要。

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