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Behind the Scenes, Communist Strategist Presses China’s Rise

中共顶级战略家、习近平密友王沪宁

BEIJING — He was a brilliant student during the dark days of China’s Cultural Revolution. He visited America, and left unimpressed with democracy. Plucked from academia, he climbed the ladder of Beijing’s brutal politics.

北京——在中国文化大革命的灰暗日子里,他是名出色的学生。他访问过美国,但并没有被它的民主打动。后来他获得提携离开学界,在北京残酷的政界一步步向上爬。

He did not attend President Trump’s meeting with Xi Jinping last week, but his ideas and advice almost certainly helped shape it: Few in the Communist leadership have pressed China’s effort to surpass the United States for as long as Wang Huning, a shrewd strategist who has served three Chinese presidents from behind the scenes.

上周,他没有出席特朗普总统与习近平主席的会晤,但几乎可以肯定,他的想法和建议帮助塑造了这次会晤:中国共产党领导层中几乎没有人像王沪宁那样力促中国超过美国。作为一位精明的战略家,他从幕后辅佐过中国的三位国家主席。

As Mr. Trump pits his advisers against each other and sows doubt about America’s future in Asia, Mr. Wang has emerged as one of Mr. Xi’s most influential confidants, one who has brought a steadiness of vision and purpose to China’s rivalry with the United States.

在特朗普让他的顾问们互相争斗、让人们对美国在亚洲的未来产生怀疑之际,王沪宁已经成为习近平最具影响力的一位密友,他给中国与美国的竞争设定了坚定的愿景和目标。

9月,王沪宁在北京的一个仪式上。“人们称他是三位最高领导人背后的大脑,”一位中国专家说。

Jason Lee/Reuters

9月,王沪宁在北京的一个仪式上。“人们称他是三位最高领导人背后的大脑,”一位中国专家说。

A college professor turned party theoretician, Mr. Wang, 63, has long argued that China needs a strong, authoritarian state to restore it to national greatness after a century of humiliation by foreign powers. He has helped cast Mr. Xi as leading China into a “new era” of global ascendance by keeping society under the party’s tight control.

63岁的王沪宁曾是一名大学教授,后来成为共产党的理论家。他一直主张,在忍受外国势力一个世纪的羞辱之后,中国需要一个强大的威权政府来实现国家的伟大复兴。他曾帮助塑造了习近平带领中国进入一个支配全球的“新时代”形象,让整个社会处于党的严密控制之下。

His efforts were recognized last month when he was elevated into the all-powerful seven-man Politburo Standing Committee despite never having governed a province or run a state ministry. He is now the party’s top ideologue and the chief interpreter of Mr. Xi’s new style of authoritarian rule.

他的努力得到了认可。上个月,他获得提拔,加入了权力最大的七人政治局常委——尽管他从未担任过省部级领导。现在,他是共产党的顶级理论家,也是习近平新威权统治风格的主要阐释者。

Some liken his shadowy role — though not his ideas — to that of Mr. Trump’s former adviser Stephen K. Bannon, or Karl Rove, who counseled President George W. Bush.

有些人把他的影子角色(不是他的思想)与特朗普的前顾问斯蒂芬·K·班农(Stephen K. Bannon)或乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)总统的顾问卡尔·罗夫(Karl Rove)相提并论。

But Mr. Wang moved from leader to leader, shaping the outlook not only of Mr. Xi but also his two predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin. In doing so, he has played a key role in justifying one-party rule during China’s transformation into a geopolitical rival of the United States.

不过,王沪宁曾辅佐过多位领导人,他不仅塑造了习近平的观念,也包括他的两位前任胡锦涛和江泽民的观念。在中国转变为美国地缘政治对手的过程中,他为证明中国一党统治的合法性起到了关键作用。

“People call him the brain behind three supreme leaders,” said Yun Sun, a China expert at the Washington-based Stimson Center.

“人们称他是三位最高领导人背后的大脑,”华盛顿史汀生中心(Stimson Center)的中国问题专家孙韵说。

As a young professor in Shanghai in the late 1980s, Mr. Wang won attention for advocating “neo-authoritarianism,” the idea that a nation as big and poor as China needed a firm hand to push through modernization before it could consider becoming a democracy.

20世纪80年代末,王沪宁还是上海的一名年轻教授,因为倡导“新威权主义”而获得了关注。他认为,像中国这样又大又穷的国家,需要一个铁腕来推动现代化发展,然后才能考虑转变成一个民主国家。

As others argued that China could never modernize without becoming democratic — a view that later gave rise to the ill-fated student movement based in Tiananmen Square — Mr. Wang made the case in a 1988 article that an enlightened autocracy would be “highly effective in distributing social resources” in order to “promote rapid economic growth.”

其他人都认为,没有民主,中国永远也不可能实现现代化——这种观点后来引发了结局不幸的天安门广场学生运动——但是王沪宁在1988年的一篇文章中指出,一个开明的独裁政府能“高效分配社会资源”,“促进经济快速增长”。

“He believed in modernization and that China needed strong political leadership,” said Ren Xiao, a professor of international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai and a former student of Mr. Wang. “That is still on his mind. It is his firm belief.”

“他支持现代化,认为中国需要强大的政治领导力,”上海复旦大学的国际关系教授、王沪宁曾经的学生任晓说。“他依然这样认为。这是他的坚定信念。”

In Mr. Xi, the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, Mr. Wang has found an ideological soul mate. Mr. Wang is believed to have helped craft Mr. Xi’s key slogans, including the one the party enshrined in its constitution last month, elevating Mr. Xi to the same status as Mao: “Xi Jinping Thought for the New Era of Socialism With Chinese Special Characteristics.”

习近平是几十年来中国最强势的领导人,王沪宁将他视为意识形态上的灵魂伴侣。据信,王沪宁帮助起草了习近平的主要口号,包括上个月被载入党章的那句口号——“习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想”——它将习近平擢升至和毛泽东一样高的地位。

Just as Mao made China independent and Deng Xiaoping made it prosperous, Mr. Xi has vowed to make China strong again. With Mr. Wang’s help, he has centralized power, tightened control of society and emphasized the need to keep a firm grip on the party itself using a sweeping anticorruption campaign.

和毛泽东实现中国独立、邓小平实现中国繁荣一样,习近平曾誓言要实现中国的伟大复兴。在王沪宁的帮助下,他集中权力,加强对社会的控制,并强调有必要通过一场全面反腐运动来牢牢控制共产党本身。

To the outside world, their message is one of national pride: China has followed a different path to development from the United States, which it hopes to eclipse.

对外界来说,他们传递的是一种民族自豪感:中国走上了一条与美国不同的发展道路,期望有朝一日能超越美国。

While many Chinese looked to the West for inspiration after the country opened up in the 1980s, Mr. Wang returned from two trips to the United States back then convinced that it was not a good model for China, according to his own writings and people who knew him.

20世纪80年代,中国实行开放之后,很多中国人把目光投向西方,寻求灵感;但根据王沪宁的著作以及认识他的人的说法,王沪宁在两次访问美国之后,认定美国不是中国的榜样。

“If pluralism means a multiparty system, Western-style elections — he doesn’t believe that kind of system is suitable for China,” said Mr. Ren.

“如果多元化意味着多党制度或西式选举,那么他认为那种制度不适合中国,”任晓说。

Mr. Wang recorded the trips in a book called “America Against America.” In it, he offered a scathing description of the 1988 presidential contest between George H.W. Bush and Michael S. Dukakis. He also rejected the notion that America was a land of egalitarian opportunity where anyone could become president.

王沪宁在一本名为《美国反对美国》的书中记录了那两次访问。他在书中尖刻地描述了1988年乔治·H·W·布什(George H.W. Bush)和迈克尔·S·杜卡基斯(Michael S. Dukakis)的总统竞选。他还驳斥了一种观点,那就是,美国是一个提供平等机会的国家,人人都可能成为总统。

Born in the eastern province of Shandong, the birthplace of Confucius, Mr. Wang was a sickly teenager who, unlike many young people, was allowed to avoid heavy farm work during Mao’s destructive Cultural Revolution. He studied instead, learning French as his first foreign language.

王沪宁出生在中国东部的山东省,那里是孔子的家乡。少年时期他体弱多病,因此在毛泽东毁灭性的文化大革命期间,他得以不用像很多年轻人那样,从事繁重的农活。他学习了法语,那成为他的第一外语。

Tutored by a prominent Marxist scholar, Chen Qiren, Mr. Wang gravitated toward the study of Western political thought. At 30, he became the youngest professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, and within just a few years had risen to head the law school.

师从著名马克思主义学者陈其人的王沪宁转向西方政治思想的研究。30岁时,他成为上海复旦大学最年轻的教授,再过几年又成为法学院院长。

“He taught Plato, Aristotle, the French Revolution, a little about the American Revolution, the Federalist Papers translated into Chinese,” said Mr. Ren.

“他教过柏拉图、亚里士多德、法国大革命,还有一点美国革命,《联邦党人文集》中文本,”任晓说。

As the coach of Fudan’s debate team, he would stand during practice with a plastic stick to make a show of driving his students to strive harder, though he never struck them, according to a collection of essays about the team’s trip to a 1988 competition in Singapore.

从一系列有关复旦大学辩论队1988年前往新加坡参加比赛的文章来看,作为辩论队的教练,王沪宁会在练习期间拿着一根塑料棍子站在旁边,作势逼迫学生更加努力,但他从来没有打过他们。

His team defeated National Taiwan University, 5-0, by out-debating it on the subject: Is human nature kind or evil? (Mr. Wang’s team argued for evil.)

就人性本善还是本恶的辩题,他指导的代表队以5比0的比分打败台湾大学。(王沪宁指导的代表队的持方是人性本恶。)

Reflecting on the visit, Mr. Wang later wrote: “While Western modern civilization can bring material prosperity, it does not necessarily lead to improvement in character.”

后来回忆起这次新加坡之行,王沪宁写道:“西方现代文明可以带来物质繁荣,但不一定造成人格升华。”

As a member of delegations of young political scientists, he toured more than a dozen American campuses, including Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Iowa.

王沪宁曾随年轻政治学者代表团参观过十多所美国大学,其中包括哈佛、麻省理工学院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)和艾奥瓦大学(University of Iowa)。

“He was a very charismatic figure: young, articulate and adept at theoretical arguments,” said Miles Kahler, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who first encountered Mr. Wang in the early 1980s in Shanghai and later in California.

“他是一个非常有魅力的人:年轻,表达清晰,擅长理论争辩,”美国对外关系委员会(Council on Foreign Relations)高级研究员迈尔斯·卡勒(Miles Kahler)说。他第一次见王沪宁是80年代初在上海,后来又在加州见过。

“He was definitely a skeptic of the wisdom of China moving toward a Western-style democracy,” Mr. Kahler added. “Wang Huning did not pretend to share such idolization of the United States.”

“他肯定怀疑中国向西式民主发展是否明智,”卡勒接着说。“王沪宁没有假装认同对美国的崇拜。”

When the pro-democracy movement erupted on Tiananmen Square and spread to cities across the country in the spring of 1989, Mr. Wang kept his distance from the demonstrations in Shanghai.

1989年春,当亲民主运动在天安门广场爆发并蔓延到中国各大城市时,王沪宁同上海的示威活动保持了距离。

In a letter written two months after the bloody crackdown that followed, he informed Mr. Kahler that one of his students had been “too active” in “recent affairs” to go to the United States but refrained from saying much more.

在随后的血腥镇压结束两个月后的一封信中,他告诉卡勒,他的一个学生在“最近的事情”中“太过活跃”,去不了美国了,但他没有说太多。

Soon afterward, Mr. Wang was recruited into politics by Jiang Zemin, the Shanghai party chief who became president of China after the crackdown. Mr. Jiang brought Mr. Wang to Beijing, where he stood out as a rare academic within a party leadership dominated by engineers and apparatchiks.

不久后,王沪宁被上海市委书记江泽民招致麾下,从此步入政坛。镇压活动结束后,江泽民成为中国的国家主席,他被江调到北京。在工程师和官僚为主的党内领导层中,王沪宁作为少有的学者显得很惹眼。

Mr. Wang’s first post was as head of the politics group inside the Central Policy Research Office, the party’s in-house think tank, which he was later promoted to lead.

王沪宁的第一个职位是党内智库机构中央政策研究室政治组组长。后来,他被提拔为中央政策研究室主任。

When Mr. Jiang retired in 2002, Mr. Wang was promoted again, into the party’s influential Central Secretariat, the bureaucracy that serves the Politburo, even as he continued to run the research office.

2002年江泽民退休后,王沪宁再次被提拔进入党内掌握重权的的中央书记处。这是一个为政治局服务的官僚机构。在此期间,他继续担任中央政策研究室主任。

After a decade serving Mr. Jiang’s successor, Mr. Wang transferred his allegiance to Mr. Xi, becoming a loyal adviser to the ambitious new president and a key member of his entourage on overseas trips.

在为江泽民的继任者服务十年后,王沪宁转而效忠于习近平,成为这位雄心勃勃的新领导人的忠实顾问,也是其进行外事访问时的重要随行人员。

He was there in 2013 when Mr. Xi visited Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, to launch an effort to project Chinese power called the Belt and Road Initiative. Sitting in the audience, he approved photos of Mr. Xi for transmission by the state news agency, Xinhua.

2013年,当习近平访问哈萨克斯坦首都阿斯塔纳,启动意在投射中国实力的“一带一路”计划时,王沪宁也在现场。官方通讯社新华社发布的习近平照片,需要经过坐在观众席中的他的认可。

Mr. Wang has returned several times to the United States with Mr. Xi and his predecessors. When he does, he has avoided his American peers, in keeping with the strict rules for senior party officials.

王沪宁随习近平和他的前任又去过美国几次。每次他都按照党内高级官员的严格规定,避免接触美国同行。

At a State Department lunch for Mr. Xi in 2015, Mr. Wang crossed paths with Kenneth G. Lieberthal, who had worked for President Bill Clinton on China issues at the National Security Council.

2015年,在美国国务院为习近平举行的一场午宴会上,王沪宁与曾在比尔·克林顿政府国家安全委员会(National Security Council)中负责中国事务的李侃如(Kenneth G. Lieberthal)不期而遇。

“When I asked whether I could see him during my next trip to Beijing, he indicated he now works ‘inside’ and thus would not be available,” Mr. Lieberthal said.

“我问下次去北京的时候是否能和他见面,他暗示自己现在在‘内部’工作,因此无法见我,”李侃如说。

欢迎在Twitter上关注本文作者Jane Perlez @JanePerlez

Juecheng Zhao对本文有研究贡献。

翻译:纽约时报中文网

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