(艺术设计。 Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli)
尽管这在很多人看来是不可想象的，但主要行为者的目的可能不是为了避免战争。正如我们在 美国国家利益和平和避免战争绝不是美国的目标。事实上，他们非常准确地写道，美国国防的优先事项是 "阻止侵略，同时准备在必要时在冲突中获胜，优先考虑中国在印度-太平洋的挑战，然后是俄罗斯在欧洲的挑战"（U.S. National Defense Strategy 2022 – Factsheet). This means that war is an option. Thus we must all be ready for the possibility of war between China and the U.S.. It is also with this strategic framework in mind that we must understand the war in Ukraine, the relationships with Russia and NATO’s expansion.
First, we briefly explain the dimensions of the confrontation, systemic and interstate. We look then at two interrelated approaches for the systemic dimension: the evolution of the relative power of states and the struggle for norms and international order and consequences on war. Finally, we examine examples of Chinese global strategic communication (aka “宣传“) at normative level, looking at seven short videos published on official Chinese Youtube channels dealing with various issues, from the ecology to NATO’s expansion through the U.S. essential wrongdoing.
即使中美之间还没有真正的战争， 严格意义上的严格意义上的战争，但这两个秩序之间的战争已经在乌克兰开始，同时正在向涉及中国的战争升级。例如，2022年6月的北约峰会不仅包括美国的亚洲盟友，而且产生的新的重要文件， 2022年北约战略概 highlights “the systemic challenges posed by the PRC to Euro-Atlantic security” (pp. 5 & 10). For example:
A good representation for this ongoing “battle of giants” is a kind of 3D board, where each level of the board also interacts with other levels. Using a 2D board as representation cannot yield a proper understanding of the confrontation.
The Americans perceive it as such, as expressed in their many national threats assessments (see Helene Lavoix, “美国的国家利益“). American scholars condone also this understanding of world politics, as exemplified by the Harvard publication on Thucydides’s Trap (来自格雷厄姆-埃里森的研究和著作。 注定的战争：美国和中国能否摆脱修昔底德的陷阱？ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017）。根据Allison的说法，一个新的世界大国的崛起威胁着现有的大国，因此，在过去的500年中，16个案例中有12个发生了战争。恐惧是触发陷阱的一个关键因素（同上）。
Joseph Nye criticism of Thucydides’s trap, the 金德尔伯格的陷阱 questions Allison’s number of cases and argues that bad policy choices rather than systemic inevitability were at work to trigger wars. However, Nye does not discard the existence of Thucydides’s trap. He adds a new explanatory component, following Kindleberger, the architect of the Marshall plan, according to which one cause of war when a new power rises is its inability to provide global public goods. Thus, the world in general, and the United States in particular, must also worry about the strength, capacity and willingness of China to deliver global public goods.
然而，在中国和美国的情况下，我们可能会想，金德尔伯格陷阱理论是否不需要改进。的确，随着各种力量的相互作用，中国在规范层面上日益发挥着重要的作用，理想情况下，这应该会降低金德尔伯格陷阱被触发的风险。然而，当然，从美国的角度来看，中国的规范性行动和相关交流被认为是对美国的国际霸权和国家利益的威胁。因此，美国和从中受益的行为者 美国的和平 势必会攻击这一发展。
As Thucydides’s trap is triggered, the U.S., through their actions at both interstate and systemic levels, further force China to also act at normative and international order level.
一个秩序是由规范统治的，即 "具有特定身份的行为者的适当行为标准"（Martha Finnemore, Kathryn Sikkink "国际规范动态和政治变化" 国际组织, Vol. 52, No. 4, International Organization at Fifty: Exploration and Contestation in the Study of World Politics, Autumn, 1998). As a result, international norms “make clear what behaviour is considered appropriate and when a line has been crossed” (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Priority #2: International Norms，2020年11月）。
Thus, in our case, we have an order ruled according to American standards of appropriate behaviour, alongside what we tend to currently perceive as universal principles, as enshrined, for example, in the UN charter. This American order is declining (Thucydides’s trap). The challenging and rising order is ruled according to Chinese standards of appropriate behaviour, alongside also universal principles that may or may not be enshrined in the UN charter, and may only be partially perceived as universal. Possibly also, some of the principles enshrined in the UN charter are perceived differently according to order.
The perception and interpretation of international norms are also part of the normative battles taking place at the systemic level of analysis. For example, the norm of territoriality for sovereign states is a fundamental and universal principle for the modern state system. We understand it as universal. However, before that norm spread throughout states and space, from the 17th century until the end of the 19th century – start of the 20th century, we could find other types of norms and organisations. The “galactic polities”(2) 在东南亚佛教系统中，构成了一个不同类型的秩序的案例（见注释 (2) 下面还有Thongchai, Winichakul, Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation, Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1994). Hence the so-called universality of norms is actually contingent to space and time and thus not universal at all. The Caliphate promoted by the Islamic State is another case of order totally different from the current system (see, for example, Hélène Lavoix, 伊斯兰国的心理行动--世界之战, The Red Team Analysis Society, 19 January 2015).
When the U.S. act to uphold the norms of their order according to their own standard of behaviour and protest against or combat China’s standard of behaviour, they truly perceive Chinese norms as threatening and often “wrong”, according to their own norms, which they genuinely believe to be universal. For example, as we spelled out, 2022年北约战略概 stresses what NATO perceives as attacks on its rules-based international order. During the June 22 NATO Summit, according to a South Korean official, “South Korea’s president warned… of the threat to universal values at a time of new conflict and competition, a reference to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and China’s engagement with Russia” (Hyonhee Shin, 路透社，2022年6月30日）。
Of course, China, does not perceive itself as “wrong” or “malevolent”. Thus, it will want to counter any strategic communication of the U.S. and its allies that would spread the perception of a China that is dangerous and negative for the world. China is therefore enticed into first increasingly having an international strategy that promotes global public goods as it defines it – and not as the U.S. sees it – and into a related global communication that will explain why the Chinese vision of the norms and the very norms China’s upholds are right, good and universal. In the same time, the Chinese will portray the wrong doing of the U.S..
In terms of strategic communication the two messages – promoting one’s norms and fighting against the other’s norms – may be grouped together or presented separately, as we shall see with the examples below.
As expected, China “is increasingly targeting a wider audience than just its diasporas, as demonstrated by the growing number of Chinese propaganda outlets published in a number of foreign languages (环球时报, 中国日报, CGTN, Xinhua, etc.)” (Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer and Paul Charon, “俄罗斯是飓风，中国是气候变化。信息战的不同方式", 岩石上的战争, 21 January 2020). In so doing, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is only catching up with what the U.S. and other world nations have been doing since World War II through the use of international broadcasting services as supporting capabilities for their information operations (see Helene Lavoix, 信息战与乌克兰战争, The Red Team Analysis Society，2022年5月24日）。
Interestingly, the very way the American and allied doctrine labels “adversary strategic communication” as “propaganda”, as we saw (信息战), is already a preemptive strike against all Chinese international broadcasting services’ production and thus against emerging Chinese norms. It is an effort to make sure these normes do not spread and settle. For example, Jeangène Vilmer and Charon belittle Chinese media as “propaganda outlets” in their analytical paper (see above), when these media are merely international broadcasting services, and thus supporting China’s strategic communication. Many Western analysts and officials, similarly would immediately cast any Chinese media production as “propaganda”.
At first glance, we can note a flourish of series that could reveal an effort at finding something that works in addressing a global audience. The second observation is that China seems to have difficulties to truly captivate Youtube’s audience and get traffic as expressed in number of views. However, considering the number of Chinese TV channels available in many countries, the relatively small number of views on Youtube should be taken with a pinch of salt. Further research would be needed to measure the real impact of China’s normative actions and of its related global communication in the world.
Whatever their impacts, as we explained, these videos will be useful to us as they will indicate Chinese efforts in terms of norms. We should expect to find videos highlighting the good brought about by Chinese actions with their normative underpinnings, videos stressing more simply Chinese norms and finally videos highlighting American wrongdoing, either singularly or by comparison with Chinese behaviour. Actually, we could identify other interesting videos according to China’s perception of itself and of the world (see Hélène Lavoix, “中国对美国国际政治的看法", The Red Team Analysis Society2021年9月27日），但这将是另一篇文章的内容。
With this video, “China launches first megaton-capable offshore carbon storage project”, China highlights technological capabilities and the importance of ecological concern and restoration as norm.
The example below, where Chinese President “Xi Jinping encourages green development modeled on the Kekeya project” not only features efficient Chinese actions regarding the restoration of ecological systems, but also the benefit of Chinese political system as headed by President Xi Jinping (by opposition to Western vision of China as an autocratic system) and the benevolence and positivity of China’s actions in Xinjiang (by opposition to Western attacks regarding human rights in Xinjiang).
One of the longest series (651 videos by 27 June 2022) on Global Times is “Hu Says” where Mr Hu makes brief analyses and comments on international affairs. He not only gives China’s perspective and position on various topics but also often highlights American or Western negative or questionable behaviour.
For example, regarding the June 2022 G7, “Hu says” highlights that the G7 has become subservient to American aims. As a result, from a Chinese perspective, this shows that the G7 cannot be seen as a global institution interested in global public goods.
A more violent example of these types of videos was broadcast on 22 April 2022 and is named “Unmasking the superpower”. It aims at “unmasking the true evil nature of the U.S.”
In this category, we have as example two videos of the series “Mr Hu”.
The second example highlights Chinese incomprehension when seeing Americans accepting an extremely bad management of the COVID-19 pandemic by the U.S. political authorities. In so doing, Mr Hu highlights a weakness of America in terms of organisation when compared with China alongside the fact that the U.S. does not truly puts first the lives of its citizens. The audience is meant to contrast this American policy with the Chinese one, which is truly concerned with human lives. From there follows an interrogation regarding the true value of democracy and legitimacy in America, which is an answer to American’s denunciations of the Chinese autocratic system. We are truly in a normative battle for the best type of belief-based socio-political system.
(1) 在此，我们采用了《国际关系》中所确定的三个层次的经典分析模式 Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysiss by Kenneth N. Waltz (New York, Columbia University: 1959) – Readers in a hurry may also read the review by David. J Singer, “国际冲突。三个层次的分析." 世界政治, vol. 12, no.3, 1960, pp.453-61. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/2009401.
(2) 摘自Helene Lavoix，"民族主义 "和 "种族灭绝"：民族性、权威和反对的构建--柬埔寨的案例（1861-1979）--博士论文--东方和非洲研究学院（伦敦大学），2005。通过以下途径访问和下载 大英图书馆的宗旨.: “In the Southeast Asian Buddhist political system characterised as “Galactic polities,”… various centres’ relative importance and power fluidly increased (waxed) or decreased (waned) (for this paragraph Stanley Tambiah, 世界征服者与世界放弃者：历史背景下的泰国佛教与政体研究 (剑桥：剑桥大学出版社，1976年），第121-127页）。一个衰退的中心吸引实力较弱的中心进入其轨道。主要中心对其他中心的松散控制随着距离的增加而减少，并导致联盟和支流关系的变化。无常是一种规则。
然而，海上贸易、火器和国家间的竞争等因素的发展给银河系的政体带来了缓慢的演变。Victor Lieberman，"地方一体化和欧亚的类似物。构建东南亚历史，约1350-1830年；" 现代亚洲研究 273 (1993), pp.475-572.和 Strange Parallels, Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800-1830, Vol.1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). The system progressively lost its fluidity and tended towards an increasing and irrevocable “political integration” of the lesser tributary centres by the major centres (Ibid. p.485).”