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傅高义:邓小平的历史地位

傅高义:邓小平的历史地位

邓小平

该书最后一部分,第693至714页。附佩里·安德森书评
邓小平 傅高义

   【译按:本文为哈佛大学汉学家傅高义所着《邓小平与中国转型》(Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China,The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,2011)一书的最后一部分,第693至714页。该部分原题为"Deng's Place in History",包含全书第24章"China Transformed"。原文注释略去。译文仅供参考,所有可能的差错均由译者负责。转载时务请注明原著者和译者,请尊重译者的劳动。】 译者黎青衫   

    当邓小平于1992年让位时,他已完成难住中国诸多领袖一百五十年的一项使命:他和他的同僚找到了一条让中国人民富裕起来并巩固这个国家的道路。而在实现这一目标的过程中,邓小平主导了中国自身--包括中国与外部世界关系的性质、中国的治理体制以及中国社会--的根本转型。邓小平退休后,中国的变化持续而飞快,但在邓小平领导下形成的基本的结构性变革已经持续二十年,并且,经稍许调适后,那些变革或将延伸至久远的未来。事实上,在邓小平领导下发生的那些结构性变革位居中华帝国自两千多年以前的汉代形成以来最根本性的变革之列。 
    高度发达的中国传统、中国社会的规模和多元性、当时世界性机构的性质、全球体系向中国分享其技术和管理技巧的开放态度、中国共产党的性质以及为数众多富于创新精神、辛苦劳作的人民的贡献,塑造了邓小平时代发生的转型。但这一转型发生在一个过渡时代,在这个时代,最高领袖被他人赋予相当多的自由来引领政治进程并做出最终抉择。这一转型也由邓小平个人作为领袖所扮演的角色塑造而成。无可否认,引发这一骤然变革的理念来自很多人,并且没有人充分估计到好些事情将如何结局。邓小平没有开启改革和开放;改革和开放始于邓小平掌权前的华国锋治下。对于将在其执政下发生的变革,邓小平也不是拥有宏大设想的设计师;事实上,在那个时代没有适逢其时的清晰、整体设计。 
    更确切些讲,在那样一个转型时代,邓小平是作为最高领导掌控全局。他帮助整体性地提出改革的想法,并以其同僚队伍和民众能接受的进度和方式,将那些想法呈现给他们。在人民经历剧变之时,他从最高层施以坚定不变的援手,这给人民带来了信心。他在挑选并引领共同缔造和推动改革的退伍的过程中起到了作用。他是问题解决者,想方设法为那些会牵扯到中国和中国之外各方人等的问题寻找解决方案。他帮助培育了一个强大的治理结构,甚至当中国人民努力适应基层新的快速演变的局面时,这个结构仍能保持对局面的控制。在区别轻重缓急并设计实现最重要目标的战略时,他承担了引领这一过程的领导角色。通过向公众描述他们所面对的整体局面,以及为应对这一局面所需要的实实在在的措施,他得以用简单直接的方式向他们解释政策。当争议迭起,在做出最终决断并掌控决策进程,以将可能分裂这个国家的裂痕最小化的过程中,他扮演了重要角色。对那些不至于令人在后来只是失望,建立在足够现实主义基础之上的目标,他支持予以激励,并有所期待。他支持给予专业人士--科学家、经济学家、经理以及知识分子--足够多的自由,这样他们可以开展工作,但当他惧怕脆弱的社秩序可能被毁掉时,他也对他们的自由施以限制。在改进与其他重要国家的关系并与这些国家的领导人建立可靠的联系方面,他扮演了核心角色。邓小平的所有作为都由这样的深刻信念指引:利用世界上最现代化的科学和技术实践以及最有效的管理技巧将为中国带来最伟大的进步;将这些实践和技巧嫁接到中国体制的过程中所发生的纷扰都是可控的,并且对中国人民整体而言是值得的。 
    邓小平在开启这一历程时面对巨大的难题--在中国国内外,对那些在邓小平退休后才成年的人来讲,认识到这一点是困难的:中国对全新思维方式一窍不通;文革期间遭到打击的人与打击他们的人之间存在严重分裂;自豪的军方领导人对裁军和削减预算心存抗拒;民众仇恨帝国主义者和外国资本家;在城市和农村,保守的社会主义结构根深蒂固;城市居民不情愿接纳超过两亿的来自农村的流动人口;一些人依旧生活在贫困当中,而其他人已变富裕,这两种人之间有不和。 
    但当邓小平肩负起从整体上掌管中国的转型这一重任时,他也拥有巨大的优势。他是在由毛泽东统一的国家接管了一个有效运转的全国性政党和政府。他拥有一批身经百战的高级官员,这些人与他持有共同的看法:深层次变革是需要的。他掌权时,整个世界形成了开放的贸易体系,其他国家乐意与中国分享资本、技术和管理技巧,并欢迎中国进入国际体系当中。 
    邓小平还拥有使他有能力引领中国转型的令人印象深刻的好些个人素质。权威、自身经历的广度和深度、战略感、信心、人脉、以一定的成功来掌管中国转型所需要的政治判断力--当时的中国是否有其他人具备以上品质,是令人疑惑的。那么,邓小平襄助引领的转型的性质是什么呢? 
     
    从亚洲文明的中心到世界性的单一国家 
     
    帝制时代的中国从未成为全球性国家或全球事务的积极参与者,而是一个亚洲的区域性国家。鸦片战争之前,指导中国与其他国家关系的是"天下秩序"(Chineseworldorder),在这一秩序之下,中国外围的更小型政治实体向中国这个"中央王国"的皇帝纳贡。其他这种政治实体由此承认中国的文明优于围绕中国的那些地方。作为交换,中国同意,中国之外的那些政治实体可以保持自治局面,与中国和平共处。 
    绝少有哪个中国皇帝对于将中国的触角扩展至亚洲大陆之外有什么兴趣。十五世纪,曾有短暂一段时间,中国的皇帝确实允许建造航海用的船只,海军将领郑和率领进行了七次远洋航行,最远到达中东和非洲东海岸。但是后来的几个皇帝不但禁止那种长途远航,甚且阻止建造航海用的船只。对他们来讲,在中国未有与其海岸之外的地方有联络的情形之下,管理中国漫长边界之内的事务已足够困难。1793年,英国使节马噶尔尼(LordMcCartney)到达中国,提议开放贸易,乾隆皇帝的著名答复是:"天朝物产丰盈,无所不有,原不借外夷货物,以通有无。" 
    晚些时候,在1839至1842年间以及1856至1860年间的鸦片战争之后,欧洲国家强迫中国向它们开放沿海一些港口,但中国当政者对于在其亚洲的陆地边界之外扩展其触角,实际上没有表现出主动性。工业革命为西方国家带来了的新的动力,而作为一个国家,中国没有像西方国家那样有效应对挑战。因为中国孱弱的回应,西方更强大的帝国主义势力支配了中国的对外关系,甚至支配了中国沿海的工业和贸易。 
    朝鲜战争时期,毛泽东以关闭中国与西方联络渠道的方式结束了帝国主义者在中国的角色。自那之后,中国开始在共产主义世界中起作用,并在1950年代和1960年代的很短时期参与了第三世界的事务。自1960年与苏联断绝往来,中国在共产主义世界中的地位急剧下滑。1978年之前,中国当政者对于国界之外的事务依旧只有有限的参与。比如说,文化大革命期间,有很长时间中国只有一位驻在埃及的驻外大使。 
    尽管在1969年中苏冲突之后,毛泽东就开始向西方开放中国,并且中华人民共和国确实在1971年接替了联合国的中国席位,但在毛泽东的一生中,中国仅仅是开放了一丁点。毛泽东去世后,华国锋乐见开放中国的努力,但是,开放中国、领导中国积极参与国际事务的任务要留给邓小平。直到邓小平时代,中国领导人才具备了克服帝国主义时代心酸记忆并发展与其他国家之间持续而正面的新的关系模式的眼界和政治力道,凭借那种眼界和力道,中国成为二战以后出现的新的世界秩序的一部分。 
    在邓小平领导下,中国真正参与到世界大家庭当中,成为国际组织、全球贸易、金融体系以及各行业公民关系体系的积极参与者。中国成为世界银行的一员,成为国际货币基金组织的一员。中国开始在世界卫生组织的活动以及每一领域所有重要国际组织的努力事项中发挥积极作用。尽管邓小平退休后中国又花了近十年时间才被接纳为世界贸易组织成员,但中国加入世界贸易组织的准备工作是在邓小平领导下开启的。 
    加入国际组织的早些时候,当时中国正在学习这些国际组织实际上如何运作,中国还只是很穷的国家,中国的努力起初聚焦于捍卫自身利益。邓小平的继任者认识到了国际体系对中国的好处,正是他们开始思考,中国作为国际体系和全球性机构的利益相关者,能以什么作为加强那些组织。在中国加入诸如世界银行和国际货币基金组织这样的机构之前,一些国家担心中国的参与会造成诸多纷扰,乃至于那些机构的运转会出一些麻烦。事实上,甚至当中国代表其自身利益的时候,中国的参与也是加强了那些组织;中国也遵守了那些组织的规章。 
    1978年,当邓小平成为杰出领袖时,中国与世界的贸易额总计不到一百亿美元;不到三十年,这一数字增加了一百倍。1978年,中国鼓励美国接收几百名中国学生;到邓小平去世后十年,大约有140万中国学生在国外学习,并且大约39万人已经回到中国。到1992年,为在全球知识交流和全球贸易体系中扮演积极角色,中国已经走了很长一段路。基础性的进步是在邓小平作为最高领导期间取得的。 
    邓小平时代,为适应其新的全球角色,中国经历了扭转内部制度的剧烈变革,中国领导人利用了1930年代使用的一个术语,称其为"接轨",意思是将不同直径的铁路连接起来。1980年代,中国人用这一术语描述中国正进行调整,以参与国际组织和各种全球性体系当中。 
    1978年之后的早些时候,在开始与国际组织联络时,中国极大地扩充了那些曾经实际上是中国与外部世界打交道的缓冲器的专门组织。在中国,外国企业位于像经济特区那样的特殊区域,并且,整个与外国企业打交道的系统竖起了人工围墙,以阻止外国人与中国整体上有亲密接触。在中国的外国人与特设在地方政府、大学和大公司的外事处一道开展工作。比方说,外事服务局负责处理为外国人工作的国内雇员的相关事务。中国为攫取更多急缺的外汇,鼓励外国人在一些特定的"友谊商店"花"外汇券"(他们用自己国家的货币换得),他们可以在友谊商店买到国外生产而普通中国人不被允许购买的商品。国营贸易公司负责大量与外国人之间的商品买卖,很大一部分买中国货的外国人是在半年一次的广交会上买中国货的。受过外语训练并熟悉外国事务的中国官员任职于专门的"中间人"机构,中方政府层面与这些机构中的外国人打交道的活动受到监督,中国外交部在监督过程中扮演了重要角色。 
    然而,到1980年代晚期,中国与外部世界的联系业已开始迅猛扩张,超出了这些专门机构力所能及的范围。外国人的旅行不再被限制在某些区域,越来越多的中国公司可以直接与外国公司打交道。始于经济特区,并在1984年扩充到十四个沿海地区的实践已在全国铺开。很多外国人来到中国,以至于专门的"外事处"不再有能力处理他们的所有事务;与外国人打交道的专门机构大多留存,但其活动通常更局限于常规性的官方数据搜集。 
    邓小平退休之前,中国的各种机构开始与国际接轨,以适应外国实际。参与国际贸易的公司不得不学习外国的法律、会计以及组织方法。大学和中学先前将其毕业生送往国外,现在它们开始开办培训课程,以帮助其学员应付进入国外机构所要求的入学考试和其他项目。中国运动员的教练开始集中精力为国际体育比赛提供最好的竞赛选手。符合国际标准的旅游设施遍地开花,用以接待国内和外国游客。国内消费者越来越多地能接触到最初生产用来出口的产品。正如二战后美国为巩固其全球强国角色而扩充其学术和研究机构,在邓小平领导下的中国,学术和研究机构也在大规模扩充,这加深了中国对世界事务的理解。 
    相较于其他大国如印度、俄罗斯和巴西,在推进自己国家的全球化方面,邓小平比这些国家的领袖做得更加大胆和彻底得多。中国的全球化过程在邓小平时代之后得到延续,但基础性的进展是在邓小平退休之前取得的。 
     
    党的领导班子制度 
     
    尽管中国共产党在1956年就开始了由革命党向执政党的过渡,但毛泽东很快就带领这一过渡走向革命。与之对照,1978年后,随着高级官员的回归,不适合任职的革命干部的去职,以及新领导的招入,邓小平将作为革命党的中共引领为一个专注于治理国家的政党。 
    美国的将政府分为行政、立法、司法三个分支的制度,系由忧心于权力过分集中的人士设计出来。由毛泽东设计,但由邓小平与其同僚做了根本性修正的制度,其创设的初衷则是要处理相反的问题--在混乱、纷扰、僵局、无所作为当中,在面积广大、情况多样的地方提供统一的领导。不同于美国人,邓小平与其同僚还相信,将最终决策建立在最高层领导整体性政治判断的基础上,相较于将那些决策建立在独立司法系统--在这样的制度下,由法律来决定可以做什么事情--评估的基础上,更符合这个国家的利益。他们相信,允许立法机构制定法律而不承担执行那些法律的责任,这样的制度与将立法和执行集合为一体的制度不能说是一样有效的。 
    美利坚合众国由保持了独立权力的独立州构成。中国几个世纪以来都拥有中央集权的政府,这个政府对地方政府施加控制。毛泽东愈加集中化了这些权力,这样,它们深入扩展到整个国家。但是,邓小平从试图渗透到到每一地的治理架构上回撤。邓小平没有为地方设定它们不得不遵从的严格规章,恰相反,他建立起这样一套制度:只要由更高层选出的领导班子能成功带来快速发展,就给予他们相当多的自由。 
    如同在毛泽东时代那样,邓小平在北京建立起来的核心治理结构以政治局和书记处为中心,这个结构经由党的领导班子网络与地方联络,该领导班子存在于每个地方、每个重要政府部门的每一级别。每个领导班子不仅负责指导其本级别党的工作,而且要负责监督在其下的政府机构(或文化或经济单位)。该领导班子被期待就广泛的综合性事务做出决策,并确保在其管辖范围内的工作整体上有益于四个现代化。 
    如同邓小平一样,邓小平的继任者相信,对国家整体目标的忠诚感能通过适当挑选、培训和监督官员来获得。鉴于低一级别的官员在如何开展工作方面有相当多的自由,挑选和培训某个领导班子成员的工作就要倍加小心。在每一级,因其具备综合知识能力、成熟的判断、能与同僚和睦相处并献身于服务党和国家,而被考察视为会有优异表现的年轻官员,将被选出予以特别培养、教谕和考验。 
    确实,相当多的时间用在了教谕每一级别的官员上。施教者的任务是建言低级别的年轻官员如何改进他们的表现和工作技巧。最有前途的年轻官员获准陪同其上司参加各种更高级别的会议,并参加在党的疗养胜地举行的非正式聚会。他们还被允许在党校上课,被视为最具潜力担当全国性领导职位的官员在北京的中央党校上课,被认为可能获提名成为省市领导的官员则在他们各自的地方党校上领导课程。邓小平登上政治舞台时,党员有3700万,不是所有党员共享那种在被选拔与高官一起参加疗养地会议并成为党校学员的官员中形成的友情。那些上了党校的官员不仅相互之间认识,与之前和以后上过党校的官员彼此相熟,而且有机会结识那些会参观党校的更高级别官员,借助党校官员的评价,他们获得与未来职位有关的推荐。尽管组织部的官员保存人事档案并能做出推荐,关于在其管辖范围之内谁应被提拔的最终决定,由每一级别的党的领导班子成员作出。 
    给予地方领导太多自由是危险的。邓小平创建的这套制度一直持续到今天,它强调结果多于强调遵守规则,并帮助培养了在判断问题方面拥有广阔视野的官员,富于企业家精神的官员,以及支持经济快速增长的官员。然而,若没有来自上级的严格监督,这些官员中的一部分人就不但能找到门路让国家富起来,而且能找到门路让他们自己以及他们的朋友富起来,同时疏远当地的其他人。 
    邓小平并未提出党的领导班子制度,但他使之稳定,让领导班子的工作专业化,并改变了考察官员的关键标准:由对政治运动的贡献转向对经济增长的贡献。这一基本架构由其继任者延续。 
     
    现代的选贤任能制 
     
    到邓小平退休时,党的年轻官员必须凭借先通过更好的中学和大学入学考试来证明自己的能力。邓小平对选贤任能制的专注在中国有深远的根基,中国是世界上第一个依据考试成绩挑选官员的国家。公元605年,隋代中国就已开始运用笔试作为决定哪些有抱负的候选人够资格成为政府官员的主要标准。但是,在邓小平出生后的一年,中国的科举制度结束,自那以后直到邓小平登上政治舞台,中国一直未曾将稳定与领导人为挑选官员重建全国性选贤任能制基础的政治决心结合起来。毛泽东在世时,不可能以学业成绩作为挑选官员的主要标准。那些对共产主义事业做出贡献并成为高层官员的人中,有些在1930和1940年代的动荡革命和战争岁月中不曾有任何机会接受大学教育。而且,毛泽东将政治上的忠诚("红")视为比专才更重要的品质,他喜欢工人和农民胜过"阶级成分不好"(地主和资产阶级家庭)的候选人,这些人通常受过良好教育。由于这个原因,考试不是挑选和提拔官员的主要标准。确实,1949年后的好些官员是来自共产党军队和游击队的老兵,他们几乎不识字。如果进行考试,他们及其子女将没法考得过那些受过正规教育、"成分不好的阶级"的子女。毛泽东去世后,邓小平大胆摒弃将"根正苗红"作为挑选官员的标准的做法;相反,他严格依赖由入学考试衡定的资格。在邓小平于1977年提出的新指导方针的指引下,曾经被贴上"阶级成分不好"标签的那些人的儿孙一辈人通过考试,获准进入最好的大学,并成为官员。 
    实际上,在从小学经大学一直到官场的每一级别,邓小平建立起一种竞争激烈的选贤任能的考试制度。他的目标不是要制造社会公平,而是要筛选出最能干的人,并给他们提供可能的最优受教育机会。入读小学、初中(相当于美国的七到九年级)、高中(十到十二年级)和大学都需要进行入学考试,入读最有竞争力的学校的学生将配备最好的教师和设备。 
    邓小平在1977年提出的大学招生统一考试制度不只专门用来挑选未来的官员,也用来为各行业的大机构挑选最能干的年轻人。但在每一受教育阶段,所有被选为官员的人,最初都在考试中证明了他们自己。甚至在成为官员的那些人当中,毕业于最好大学的最能干学生会在中央政府中任职,而那些上了不那么有竞争力的大学的学生将在较低级别的政府部门开始其工作。1980年代晚期及之后,随着大学毕业生数量迅速增加,对于从大学毕业生中挑选政府公务员,额外的考试变得重要。然而,一旦被选为官员,一个人在体制中的上升就主要不是通过参加更多考试,而以其工作表现为基础。这一制度在邓小平的继任者治下得到延续。 
    在1980年代中期,一些雄心勃勃、精力旺盛的年轻人通过"下海"做生意寻求成功。这样的职业选择尽管有吸引力,"官员"职位仍保有高含金量,这不仅因为官位提供了权力和经济上的安全,而且因为中国人对于那种被考察认为能力强、具备献身公共服务品格的人有深深的尊敬。这样,邓小平就留给其继任者一套用于挑选官员的选贤任能制度,该制度的原理与帝制时代依据考试选拔官员的原理是一致的。但是,他留给其继任者的制度在内容和架构上与帝制时代全然不同。而且,邓小平的制度将选贤任能的原则扩展到不仅认定有前途的官员,还在社会生活的很多领域挑选和培养有才干的人。 
     
    开放的、城市化的全国性社会 
     
    从中国历史的黎明直到1990年代,中国主要是个农业社会,各地方在文化和语言方面差异巨大。1949年之前,中国贫乏的交通系统意味着大多数商品的生产和消费处在可步行到达地方集市的距离之内,很多人一生的大多数时候生活在那个范围之内。毛泽东对人口流动的严密控制降低了1949年之前发生的那种适度的人口迁移数。在他1976年去世时,中国八成以上人口生活在农村,乡村生活由地方的村庄、家庭和合作社支配,乡村与外部世界几乎没有联系。在毛泽东时代,甚至城市里的大单位--如政府机构、工厂、学校、大学以及军事基地--也都坐落在相对自给自足的院落内,其中一些院落装有大门,乃至于任何访客在进入之前必须向门卫通报。这些封闭的社区向其员工以及其家庭提供基本的生活需要:住房、饮食、儿童看护和教育、医疗保障以及福利。在单位之外,居民要获得任何一项这样的服务都是困难的;像农村居民一样,这些居民中的大多数人缺乏找到别的工作的机会,几乎没有选择而只能听从其各自单位的领导。这种农村或者城市单位内部有限的流动性、对权威的依赖,以及与外部世界的有限交流导致了停滞。毛泽东大肆宣扬一种革命的意识形态,但是由他强化的对人口流动的控制,愈加巩固了一个封闭的、"封建的"社会。 
    到邓小平退休时,由经济增长所创造的新的经济机会以及他所许可的人口流动,在推动中国成为一个城市社会而不是乡村社会方面已经卓有成效。在邓小平时代,大约有两亿人迁移到城镇,这一人口流动一直持续快速进行。据估计,到2015年,仅仅在邓小平退休后二十年,大约七亿人口--超过中国总人口的一半--将生活在城市。到邓小平退休时,超过九成的家庭拥有电视机,电视机将城市文化迅速传递到农村。年轻人从沿海地区返回乡下的家中时,还带回了他们在城里知道的最新的时尚、器皿、电器产品和食品。简而言之,甚至农村地区在文化上都已经城市化了。 
    1978年改革开始后,因惧怕农村流动人口的洪流可能倾覆城市服务业和食品供应,中国的城市领导人依然维持了户籍制度,这一制度长期限制农村人口获取城市提供的诸如住房、就业、子女教育方面的服务。在1980年代早期,粮食和食用油配给量仅仅是维持生计的水平,城市没有足够多的食物供应给那些来自农村的人口,他们早就进入城市,且正偷偷摸摸地与朋友和亲戚一起生活在那里。然而,1983年后,随着食品供应增加,即便没有城市户籍,政府也开始允许人民迁往城市生活。也是到那时,沿海地带的出口加工业有能力吸收数量巨大的农村青年人,为找到更好的生活,他们迁居到那些地区。受饥荒和战争影响,在整个中国历史中有过几百万人迁居的例子,但从不曾有过1978年之后数十年间发生的那种规模的人口迁移。 
    甚至在毛泽东时代,尽管缺乏流动性,从整体上讲中国人已经开始共享深层次的共通的全国性文化。到1960年代晚期,一些城市家庭已经拥有收音机,而在城市和农村,家中没有收音机的人家能听到大喇叭播放的全国新闻和音乐。越来越多的人口可以看到电影,电影带来了可共享的全国性文化,并且全国人口从政治运动中学到了同样的口号和标语。小学校的数量增加很快,这样,到毛泽东去世时,大约八成的年轻成年人能被认为是识字的。 
    1980年代,邓小平治下教育系统的持续壮大让大多数年轻人不仅能完成小学学业,而且能完成初中学业。1980年代晚期,电视的迅速普及以及播放标准普通话新闻的全国性频道的引介,极大扩展了民众共通的信息基础。到邓小平退休时,标准普通话不仅在学校和公共机构,而且在国营企业、商场和教育系统广泛使用,令数量可观的大多数中国人能运用标准发音互相交流。邓小平时代交通系统的扩展也令工业品能发送到更广大的地理范围,因此其生产规模也能扩展,以满足国内外市场的需要。1980年代之前,中国只有极少著名品牌,但到邓小平退休时,拥有全国性和国际品牌知名度的商品开始行销全国。 
    随着城市中那种封闭院落的开放以及来自不同地区人口的融合,地方间的差异在衰退,取而代之的是被越来越多共享的全国性文化。1978年之前,人们视享用地方菜肴为理所当然。二十世纪晚期的西方世界,一些曾经代表名族特色的菜肴--如比萨饼、油炸圆饼、硬面包圈和寿司--成了国际流行的菜肴;与这种情况相像,1980年代和1990年代,中国也有一些地方菜肴流行全国。南方人学会了吃由小麦制成的馒头,而馒头一直是北方饮食中的标准食物;北方人学会了吃长久以来是南方饮食中主食的大米。与这种情况类似,此前主要由当地民众观赏的一些最优秀的地方戏剧,现在被呈现在全国观众面前。邓小平退休后,中国人口更大的流动性,以及蜂窝电话、计算机和互联网的普及,都帮助扩展了这种全国性文化。如同其他地方的人,中国人保留了对自己所在的村、镇、县、方言群体或者省份的忠诚。少数民族群体的成员总是认同自己群体的其他人。但是,在邓小平时代,真正全国性文化的成长和对外来文化更大程度的认知,极大强化了中国人对作为整体的自己民族的认同。 
    当邓小平退休时,已在沿海地区工作数年的一批数量可观的年轻人回到他们的家乡,他们从沿海不但带回新的产品,而且带回新的观念和行为方式,那些新的观念和行为方式使他们有能力建立自己的企业,并为内陆设定新标准。这一过程进一步加速了城市中全国性文化的迅速扩展。即便内陆居民只有少得多的钱可花,但他们常常通过生产不那么昂贵的仿制品,还是在沿海居民之后不久也拥有了那些产品。那么,相较于小型消费品,像汽车那种更加昂贵的东西在内陆普及得更加慢,也就并不令人惊奇了--可到邓小平时代结束时,即便是那样的东西也正开始流入内陆中国。但是,当邓小平在1992年退休时,达到全球性适中舒适标准的农村住房建设才仅仅开始,农村地区的小学教育质量依旧远远落后于条件更好的城市。 
    农村社会向城市社会的转型以及更强大的全国性文化的成长,并不源自邓小平或其同僚的任何计划。邓小平确实试图打破军方内部对地方的忠诚,这样军队士兵将服务于来自其他地方的指挥官。他确实推动了普通话教育,这样来自一个地方的人可与来自中国其他地方的男女互相交流。但城市化社会以及全国性文化的成长较少源自精心计划,而更多源自城市中的新机会以及城市生活对众多农村青年的诱惑。然而,一旦这些变化开始发生,负责计划事务的官员就适应了正在变化的现实。他们开始重新组织地方管理,允许城市扩展其管理触角,将周边农业县包括在内,并允许县和镇在变成城市时重组。 
    吊诡的是,相较于强加严格社会藩篱的所谓毛泽东革命,邓小平时代起步的开放的流动性对社会结构却有着多得多的革命性影响。中国从主要是个农村社会向主要是个城市社会的过渡,以及全国性共通文化的流布,是自公元前221年中国统一以来中国社会发生的最根本性的改变之一。
     
    "蛮荒东方" 
     
    1980年代启动开放时,中国在食品和药品、产品和工厂安全、工作环境、最低工资或者是建筑章程方面实际上缺乏适当的规范。1980年代早期,假若某位有创业雄心的人士找到空的可口可乐瓶,将颜色相似的液体灌装其中后,以之当做可口可乐或某种相似饮料售卖,没有法律反对这种行为。在十九世纪的美国和欧洲,为保护公众而限制企业在追逐利润过程中所作所为的法律和规章的创设进展缓慢。邓小平治下中国的情形,令人想起十九世纪欧洲和美国的掠夺性资本主义,当时的欧洲和美国没有反垄断法和保护工人的法律。中国的市场在1980年代呈爆炸式增长,那时无法立即建立起适应中国情形的整套综合性规章和法律,也不可能马上训练官员去贯彻和实行那样的规章和法律。在拥有地方法律和法庭之前,邓小平时代中国的情形也与十九世纪的美国类似。在缺乏发育良好的法院系统的情形下,负责地方市场的中国官员,就像在灰尘满天的偏僻小镇里肩挎长枪的美国执法官那样自行解释法律。 
    在地方官员和生意人看来,"蛮荒东方"(译按:原文为WildEast,大约借用自WildWest,即"蛮荒西部",一般指十九世纪美国密西西比河以西的地带)的一项优势在于,相较于在更复杂法律体系下要求"正当程序"的国家里的领导,少数主管领导能远为迅捷地做出决定。到邓小平退休时,在西方受过训练的中国年轻法律学者已在差不多每一个重要经济部门引入规章和法律,但地方官员对这些规章和法律的执行却落在后面,因为一些人认为那些规章太繁琐复杂,并且与他们的个人利益相龃龉。在诸如国际贸易这样的领域,中国人与外国生意伙伴联络密切,中国合伙人迅速适应了运用国际规章和法律。当经济上的交往从个人间彼此熟悉并相互理解的小群体,扩展到与地方性、全国性乃至于国际合伙人建立联络的更大范围的群体时,就需要一些规章和法律,这样契约就会出现并激发所有各方之间的信任。 
    文革后的中国,很多人担心蒙受允许资本主义实践的指控,在这种情形下,对邓小平而言,创造更加灵活、有动力的经济就是件困难事。邓小平明白,如果官员在执行规章方面过于严厉,中国要想实现经济腾飞就是困难的。如同以往,邓小平对产生结果的兴趣大于遵循精确步骤。他相信,一定的腐败不可避免。如他所言:"窗户打开了,苍蝇也会进来。"他要的是敢于大胆行动的官员,并乐意付出让苍蝇也飞进来的代价。邓小平的一些子女遭指控说,他们出于个人目而利用了他们的人脉,但没有证据暗示,邓小平曾经为其个人或其家庭寻求财富。 
    邓小平也知道,要让地方官员积极支持改革和创业活动,就必须给他们一些机会以改善他们自己的生活条件。在苏联和东欧,改革总是经常性地被无法看到改革如何满足他们个人利益的官僚搞得偃旗息鼓,甚至被倾覆。邓小平想让官员献身于改革事业和公共利益,所以,如果地方官员为地方带来了经济上的成就,他就他允许他们先富起来。邓小平看重在地方公众眼中保持党的地方官员权威的重要性。在邓小平来看,唤起公众注意那些在以不同方式为现代化做出实实在在贡献的官员的错误是在冒险:这将令他们更难于开展工作。但是邓小平并不努力保护让民众失望的官员,他乐意惩处任何因肆意无视公共利益而遭地方民众批评的官员。在中国,为警告其他可能被诱惑参与类似犯罪活动的人,死刑比在很多国家运用得都频繁。 
    在"蛮荒东方",获取个人好处的机会几乎是无止境的。控制土地使用权的官员在分配土地使用许可时经常收到礼物。当政府拥有的企业被"私有化",该单位的员工有时会以低于市场价很多的价格获得股份。国有公司的领导一旦完成工作目标,就被允许在市场上售卖其产品,他们经常为那种买卖行为奉献相当多的精力。在完成核心任务后,可用的单位车辆被允许为获取利润来运送和出售商品,以改善该单位成员的生活水平。如一句流行谚语所说,毛泽东时代,人们是在"向前看",而自邓小平时代以来,人们都在"向钱看"。 
    邓小平留给其继任者的体制,未在私人和公共领域之间主张明确的分离。在能从其管理的企业那里接受多少好处一事上,地方官员之间存在普遍的意见分歧:新年礼物?为亲戚和朋友介绍工作?内装现金的红包--如果这可以接受,那么装多少现金?子女进入更好的学校或去国外留学的机会?公车私用?因为没有司法独立,公众通常不情愿冒险挑战为其个人利益服务的地方掌权者。对于为给建设项目让路而搬离其房产的那些人,中国仅有微弱的保护;商业机构可与政府官员一道迅速接管房产,给之前正靠那块土地谋生,或以其他方式使用那块土地的那些人的补偿至多是适中的。在中国领导人看来,地方政府与建筑商之间的勾连没有什么不合适,并且或会令企业有机会助推生产,从而能为地方居民更快地提供就业机会。 
    官员及其家人炫耀通过特权或者关系攫取的公共物品,如昂贵的宴会、轿车、奢华服装、高档住房,抱怨腐败的人发现这令人心烦意乱。看到他们认为不那么有能力的人因特殊关系而获提拔,或是收获了更多特权,那些曾经刻苦攻读以通过考试,并兢兢业业履行工作职责的候选人变得愤怒莫名。 
    城市建设和公共空间的营造,在中国比在其他大多数国家进展迅速。例如,在广州和兰州这样的城市,为给建设公园让出土地,政府数年时间内就能移走沿河数十英里的旧建筑。地铁建设高峰年间,像广州和北京这样的大城市,连续几年内,平均每年建设一条全新的地铁线路。仅仅是在五年内,在诸如南昌大学和华东师范大学这样的大学里,新的校园如雨后春笋般涌现,这些校园拥有供上万学生使用的设施,包括行政楼、教学楼、体育馆、宿舍、教职员工公寓楼、运动设施,以及公园一般的校园空间。考虑到这些成就富于戏剧性,这或许也就并不令人惊奇了:在邓小平及其继任者看来,曾正式占有这片土地的个体的法律权利不应妨碍最大多数人民的福祉。 
    中国一直在保护外国专利和外国版权方面表现孱弱,这种情况并非中国独有。日本、韩国、台湾和寻求利用海外新技术的其他国家也都存在类似问题。有些中国公司一直小心翼翼,尊重西方的专利和版权,它们付费并以不侵犯专利的方式使用外国技术。但很多中国公司就不曾那么用心。一些曾被外国公司雇佣的中国人办起了他们自己的公司,有时非法利用在那些外国公司供职时学到的技术。甚至执行法律比大陆严格得多的香港,也发现要阻止盗版歌曲和电影很困难。复制的CD、DVD和光盘以专利产品价格的几分之一售卖,这样就给那些参与那种非法活动的人提供了巨大的利润空间。在因违反版权法而遭外国公司和外国政府批评和施加压力之后,中国政府间或关闭了一些企业,并摧毁了制造复制品的机器。但不久之后,其他中国企业家又被发现在别的地方毫不顾忌地生产相似的复制品。 
    中国工人的工作条件,包括工作时间、工作地点的环境条件、安全标准,常常并不比十九世纪工业革命早期西方可怖的工作条件好。一些企业家利用有关工作条件的有效规章付诸阙如这一点,仅为其工人提供空间狭窄的宿舍居住,在提供安全的工作环境或质量标准方面无所作为。尽管工作辛苦,收入微博,对数千万中国农村青年来讲,沿海地区工厂里的生活还是远好于他们熟悉的乡村里那种折磨人的贫穷。于是,他们一直乐于长时间工作,甚至因惧怕被解雇而遏制住抱怨。 
    以西方和日本的资本建立起来并由外国人管理的工厂,在利用廉价劳动力的同时,总的来说提供了比地方企业好的工作条件。在一些外国工厂,工作空间采光良好,空气流通;在更加温暖的气候条件下,夏季车间中的温度远低于户外的酷热。在那样的工厂,与一个工作日内工作时长、工作条件和工人安全有关的标准已逐步引入,工厂在克服最严重的员工遭虐待方面取得了进步。也是在这些工厂,来自贫穷地区的一些年轻人学会了现代生活的基本内容,包括规范的工作时间、讲究清洁和卫生,以及纪律。 
    数量巨大的外国公司在中国建起工厂。到2000年,在美国之外,美国商会(U.SChamber of Commerce)的最大分支机构在上海;那里的日本商会是日本之外最大的日本商会,其规模超过美国商会的两倍。此外,上海的美国人、日本人、欧洲人的数量相较于那里台湾商人的数量黯然失色。为什么海外如此多的生意人一直成群结队,前往一个规章制度尚未充分建立起来、专利仅受有限法律保护的国家?他们是被这个地方完完全全的活力所吸引:不用考虑复杂法律过程的负担而决策能作出和执行的速度;巨大规模市场的快速成长。尽管一些外国企业家抱怨他们被他们的中国合伙人和中国地方政府部门利用了,其他企业家则发现,一些法律上的保护,与可靠、能解决问题的地方官员的关系,以及诉诸更高层当局的可能性,这三者不同寻常的结合已创造出足够有前途的机会,他们乐于利用这样的机会,而不论牵涉什么样的风险。 
     
    对邓小平继任者的挑战 
     
    邓小平领导的中国转型的结果是,在邓小平离开舞台之后几十年里,其继任者将遭遇一系列挑战,这些挑战可能在今后几十年一直存在。这些挑战包括: 
    提供普遍的社会安全和卫生保健。邓小平时代,被包括大型国有企业在内的政府雇佣的员工,都拥有单位提供的卫生保健和福利,但那样的雇员在总人口中占极少部分。政府预算太少而无法为每个人提供退休金、卫生保健和其他福利。到1980年代末,市场扮演的角色愈加重要,收入多的人能够担负得起好的医疗的花费,并提供他们自己所需要的福利。但为数巨大的中国人依旧未享有卫生保健和福利待遇。 
    邓小平的继任者发现,那些缺乏这些福利的人越来越能发出声音。人口流动性的增加要求提供一个单位所不能提供的保护,而政府预算和受过良好训练的医疗专业人员的数量不够,无法满足日益增长的需求。随着农村人民公社的废除,没有了农业单位提供急救以及基本的公共卫生服务。随着住房的私有化,以及国有企业也肩负着更加开放的市场环境下的竞争压力,甚至大单位提供的福利也不总是充足的。那么,中国领导人所面临的挑战就是,扩充合格医疗人员的数量,升级设施,发展保护全体国民,包括生活在边远地区的贫困人口,即全国预算约束范围内的人口的卫生保健和社会安全体系。因为发展这样一个符合这些目标的体系需花数十年时间,附带的挑战就是,以一种显得公正和合理的方式分配目前可用的资源和设施。 
    重新定义和管理自由的边界。或许邓小平所面对的最麻烦事情就是设定自由的边界,该边界将满足知识分子和大众的要求,同时又能让领导人维持公共秩序。天安门悲剧之后,公众总的来讲惧怕要求更多自由,但那种恫吓不会无休止地持续。同时,出版物数量的增长、互联网及手机使用的巨大扩展,令党要控制官员视为危险想法的传播变得愈发困难重重。 
    如同邓小平一样,其继承人害怕,容忍表达歧见将释放出民众展示敌意的洪流,这将再度如1989年那样导致示威游行并扰乱公共秩序。对政府领导人的挑战就在于,找到民众认为接受起来足够合理的边界,之后找到能稳固这些被接受的边界的方法。考虑到现代通讯的日趋复杂以及规避控制的那些人的创造力,政府领导人能有办法塑造公众意见并阻止混乱发生吗? 
    遏制腐败。在其任期内,邓小平力倡惩罚轰动性案例中的腐败官员,但当地方官员为推动四个现代化并加速经济增长而暗中歪曲规则时,他也乐于佯装不知。对邓小平的继任者来讲,问题在于各级官员都找到了在正常工资之外获取收入的门路。公共部门的官员、医生和雇员常常收到带钱的红包。为新项目或者建筑工程的土地占用颁发许可的官员收到的不仅有直接的酬劳,还包括公司股份、低于市场价的房产、奢华宴请以及豪华轿车。不论是军事机构还是民用机构的官员,均会向提拔他们的上级奉送酬谢金。为获得参军机会,年轻人向征兵人员付钱。对高级官员的挑战是,那些做法现在太普遍,太多官员或者官员家人卷入其中,以至于问题处理起来极端困难。 
    保护环境。在邓小平时代,贫穷太普遍,经济增长的愿望太强烈,以至于经济增长取得了相对于保护环境的优先权--尽管对于推广重新造林和扩大公园面积,邓小平确实表示了个人兴趣。然而,自邓小平时代以来,随着工业急剧扩张,随着煤烟、缺水、河流污染、酸雨、与环境有关的健康问题以及食品污染之类环境方面的担忧日甚一日,公众也日渐意识到这些问题的存在,官员们所面对的问题就是如何改变导致严重环境损害的那些做法。在采矿和使用煤炭及其他资源导致巨大环境损害,而继续推行这些做法存在巨大经济压力的贫困地区,一些最棘手的问题已经浮现。鉴于中国目前是世界上最大的温室气体排放国,中国道路上行驶的机动车的每年增加数百万辆,重工业的增长可能会增加煤的使用,中国又将如何应对其他国家的抱怨呢? 
    保持政府的执政合法性。赢得内战、驱除外国帝国主义者并统一中国,令毛泽东获得了其执政合法性。通过在文革之后实现秩序、以实用主义的方式处置中国所面对的严重事项并实现快速经济增长,邓小平赢得了合法性。在当下的新时代,邓小平的继任者将如何建立起他们自己的合法性? 
    因未能地更成功地遏制中国普遍的腐败,并且在解决不平等问题上没有更多作为,邓小平的继任者正承受压力。未来与这些问题的斗争甚或更加艰难:考虑到全球性的经济波动,中国面临这样一种可能--在其数量可观的部分人口有机会享受更早些时候快速增长期的好处之前,中国经济减速。为应对这种可能性,中国领导人将不得不在快速经济增长之外寻求合法性,并在一些公众最关注的事项上取得进展:减少腐败、降低不平等,提供合理水平的普遍医疗保障和福利,并且找到办法展示,公众舆论在挑选官员时是被尊重的。 
     
    作为超级大国的中国:邓小平的遗产 
     
    中国经济非同寻常的快速增长--开启于邓小平治下,并由其离职时的最终一搏即南巡进一步加速--提出了这样的问题:当其经济规模可与美国平起平坐时,中国将如何作为?假若邓小平还活着,他会做些什么? 
    就领土方面的争议而言,邓小平信奉这样的做法:搁置那些争议,让更聪明的人在将来和平解决。邓小平那里的正事是不要在边界问题上头脑发热,重要的是保持与其他国家整体上的良好关系。 
    邓小平相信,与其邻国保持和睦关系并集中精力和平发展符合中国的利益。他加强了与欧洲的关系,这一关系开始于1974年邓小平对法国的短期访问,及随后一年进行的国事访问。他不仅在1978年改善了与日本的关系,并作为中国领导人历史上第一次访问日本,而且他还支持两国间的文化发展,因而这两国的关系在整体上而言将会是牢固而正面的。他正常化了与美国的关系并为加强美中关系而成功访问美国。他开启了与韩国的贸易并为紧随其南巡后两国关系的正常化铺平了道路。他的一项卓越成就是,在三十年紧张关系之后,中国在1989年与苏联恢复正常关系。总而言之,他改善了中国与每一个重要国家的关系。 
    1974年,作为第一位在联合国大会上发表演讲的中国领导人,邓小平表示,中国绝不会成为专制国家,假若中国压迫和剥削其他民族,全世界,特别是发展中国家,应揭露中国的"社会帝国主义"面目,并与中国人民一道推翻中国政府。1991年8月,获知苏联领导人根纳季·亚纳耶夫(Gennady Yanayev)发动了针对戈尔巴乔夫的政变,王震向中共中央拍电报,提议对亚纳耶夫政变表达支持。邓小平回复说:"韬光养晦,决不当头,有所作为。"在邓小平看来,中国不应卷入其他国家的内部事务。 
    邓小平身后的岁月,随着中国的力量日渐增进,有关一旦中国强大,它是应继续维持其韬光养晦的战略还是应采取更加强硬的姿态,中国的一些安全专家争议不休,他们的美国同行也是如此。2010年到2011年间,争论进行了几个月,期间一些中国领导人情愿表现得进攻性十足,在那之后,这场争议以支持中国继续保持与其他国家间的和睦关系而告解决。无法预言未来几代中国领导人将如何回应这个问题,但毫无疑问,如果邓小平还活着,他会说的。他会说,中国绝不应称霸,介入另一个国家的内部事务;与之相反,中国应保持与其他国家的和睦关系并集中精力于国内的和平发展。

--附佩里·安德森书评

Sino-Americana

Perry Anderson

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel
Harvard, 876 pp, £29.95, September 2011, ISBN 978 0 674 05544 5

On China by Henry Kissinger
Allen Lane, 586 pp, £30.00, May 2011, ISBN 978 1 84614 346 5

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern Chinaby Jay Taylor
Harvard, 736 pp, £14.95, April 2011, ISBN 978 0 674 06049 4

Books about China, popular and scholarly, continue to pour off the presses. In this ever expanding literature, there is a subdivision that could be entitled 'Under Western Eyes'. The larger part of it consists of works that appear to be about China, or some figure or topic from China, but whose real frame of reference, determining the optic, is the United States. Typically written by functionaries of the state, co-opted or career, they have as their underlying question: 'China - what's in it for us?' Rather than Sinology proper, they are Sino-Americana. Ezra Vogel's biography of Deng Xiaoping is an instructive example. Detached for duties on the National Intelligence Council under Clinton (he assures the reader that the CIA has vetted his book for improper disclosures), Vogel is a fixture at Harvard, where the house magazine hails Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China as the 'capstone to a brilliant academic career'.
Running to some 850 pages, the book is, formally speaking, a mismatch at two levels. Explaining that his motive in writing it was to 'help Americans understand key developments in Asia', Vogel clearly aimed to win a wide public audience. But its sheer bulk of detail on matters far removed from the interest of ordinary readers ensures that, whatever the number of copies sold, it will be little read. Another, more serious, misfit is between the author and his subject. By definition, if we exclude puffs or barbs about contemporaries, a biography is an exercise of historical imagination. Vogel, however, was trained as a sociologist, and in mental equipment has always remained one, with little admixture. The result is a study thick in girth and thin in texture. That would be limitation enough in itself. But it is compounded by a temperamental propensity more specific to Vogel. By nature, he is - putting it politely - a booster. The book which made his name, Japan as Number One, announced in 1979 that 'Japan has dealt more successfully with more of the basic problems of post-industrial society than any other country.' The Japanese themselves, he told them, had been too modest about their achievements. It was time they realised that in the overall effectiveness of their institutions, they were 'indisputably number one' - and time too that Americans woke up to the fact, and put their own house in order. Post-bubble, the book is no doubt remaindered in Japan. But at the time, Vogel's flattery electrified sales. Moving on to Korea, he explained with equal enthusiasm in The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea that Park was one of only four 'outstanding national leaders in the 20th century' who had successfully modernised their country. In this select pantheon, alongside Park was the next object of Vogel's admiration, Deng Xiaoping.
Vogel ends his new account of the Paramount Leader by asking: 'Did any other leader in the 20th century do more to improve the lives of so many? Did any other 20th-century leader have such a large and lasting influence on world history?' Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China is an exercise in unabashed adulation, sprinkled with a few pro forma qualifications for domestic effect. 'The closest I ever came to Deng was a few feet away at a reception ...' captures the general tone. Fortunately, Deng's family and friends were able to make good the missing encounter, with many a gracious interview illuminating the patriarch's life. Supplemented by much official - properly respectful - documentation from the Party, and a host of conversations with bureaucrats on both sides of the Pacific, the outcome is a special kind of apologia, where the standard of merit is less Deng's record as a politician in China than his contribution to peace of mind in America.
Thus Vogel devotes just 30 pages, out of nearly 900, to the first 65 years of Deng's life. The foreshortening is historically grotesque, but perfectly logical from his standpoint. Of what relevance to policy-makers and pundits in Washington is Deng's long career as a revolutionary, steeled in clandestinity, insurrection and civil war, and the founding and leading of the PRC under Mao? It is only when he is detached from this history, and can be safely treated as a victim of the Cultural Revolution whose triumphant comeback enabled a turn to the market - and the United States - that Vogel's story gets underway. To a general lack of any of the gifts of characterisation called for by a biography is added a lack of interest in the context that formed his subject.


The result is a portrayal not much less lifeless than a dossier in the Party's personnel department, assorted with anecdotes of irreproachable family life. Indeed, when it comes to other dramatis personae, those with whom Deng worked or disputed from the late 1970s onwards, Vogel proceeds exactly in such filing clerk fashion, tacking bureaucratic CVs (typically quite selective) onto the narrative in a clumsy appendix. The contrast with William Taubman's biography of Khrushchev - to take an obvious parallel - is painful.[1] Taubman started out much more explicitly than Vogel with the intention of studying his subject from the angle of his relations with the US, but became so imaginatively gripped by the figure of Khrushchev that he widened his vision and ended by producing a remarkably vivid and penetrating portrait, far removed from this wooden effigy.
Once Mao has died, Vogel can concentrate on the success story that it is his purpose to tell. Even here, however, there is a flagrant disproportion in his coverage. Nearly as many pages are dedicated to the three years 1977-79, when Deng was manoeuvring towards supreme power, as to the ten from 1979 to 1989, when the economic reforms with which he is usually credited were introduced. The conventional judgment is that these were his principal achievement as a ruler, and one might have expected them to loom equally large in Vogel's laudatio. But they occupy only three out of 24 chapters. If they add little to economic histories of the period, they do make clear - a merit of the account - that Deng himself, who was aware of his limited economic competence, was rarely the initiator of the domestic changes over which he presided. What possessed him was rather an enthusiasm for science, and a belief that to acquire its fruits China had to emerge from the isolation of Mao's last years. This, of course, is where Vogel's own attention and admiration lie. Not agrarian reform, by any measure the most beneficial single change for the people of China in the 1980s, but the Open Door becomes Deng's greatest achievement - its very name a welcome embrace of the slogan with which the US secretary of state John Hay bid for a slice of the Chinese market after the American conquest of the Philippines. Or, as Vogel puts it in today's boilerplate: 'Under Deng's leadership, China truly joined the world community, becoming an active part of international organisations and of the global system of trade, finance and relations among citizens of all walks of life.' Indeed, he reports with satisfaction, 'Deng advanced China's globalisation far more boldly and thoroughly than did leaders of other large countries like India, Russia and Brazil.' Understandably, pride of place in this progress is given to Deng's trip to the US, which occupies the longest chapter in the annals of 1977-79.
Anything in Deng's career that might seriously mar the general encomium is sponged away. Of the Anti-Rightist campaign of 1957-58 of which he was the executor, dispatching half a million suspects to ostracism, exile or death, we learn that he was 'disturbed that some intellectuals had arrogantly and unfairly criticised officials who were trying to cope with their complex and difficult assignments'. Suppression of the first halting demands for political democracy in 1978? 'As in imperial days, order was maintained by a general decree and by publicising severe punishment of a prominent case to deter others.' Incarceration of its young spokesman for 15 years? Arrests were 'infinitesimal' compared with days gone by, and 'no deaths were recorded.' Tibet? Despite enlightened efforts to 'reduce the risk of separatism', Lhasa has had to witness a 'tragic cycle' of 'riots' and 'crackdowns'; still, 'Tibetans and Han Chinese both recognise ... an improvement in the standard of living' and Tibetans are slowly 'absorbing many aspects of Chinese culture and becoming integrated into the outside economy'. Nothing shows Vogel's sense of decorum, and priorities, better than his decision to omit so much as a mention of the Stalinist show trial of Lin Biao's hapless subordinates, brigaded on trumped up charges with the Gang of Four, with whom they had nothing in common, a decade after the death of their commander, and on Deng's orders condemned to long terms in jail in the full glare of publicity - a top political episode of 1980-81. Instead, we are regaled with five pages on Deng's 'historic' - universally forgotten - speech to the UN in early 1974, while Mao was still alive, and such important episodes as the purchase for him in New York of a 'doll that could cry, suck and pee', which proved 'a great hit' when he got home, further laden with 200 croissants from Paris.
The great student rising and occupation of Tiananmen Square of 1989, with massive popular support in Beijing, naturally poses the stiffest challenge to Vogel's exercises in edulcoration. He rises to it in inimitable style. What the students, actuated by resentment that they were 'receiving fewer economic rewards for their ability and hard work than were uneducated entrepreneurs', really wanted was improvements in their living conditions. But learning from earlier failures, they 'used slogans that resonated with the citizenry - democracy, freedom' and the like - to win wider public support. A 'hothouse generation' with little experience of life, their callow orators 'had no basis for negotiating with political leaders on behalf of other students'. Wiser foreign reporters soon tumbled to the fact that most of those in the square 'knew little about democracy and freedom and had little idea about how to achieve such goals'. No surprise that Deng felt he had to put down these ungrateful beneficiaries of 'the reform and opening that he had helped to create and from the political stability that underpinned the economic growth'.
The result was a 'tragedy of enormous proportions' that stirred the West, but Chinese reactions varied greatly. After citing some that were critical, Vogel gives the last and longest word to those 'officials who admire Deng's handling of the Tiananmen demonstrations', ending: 'They acknowledge the seriousness of the tragedy of 1989, but they believe that even greater tragedies would have befallen China had Deng failed to bring an end to the two months of chaos in June 1989.' Of course, he adds unctuously, 'all of us who care about human welfare are repulsed by the brutal crackdown,' but who knows if they are not right? 'We must admit that we do not know. What we do know is that in the two decades after Tiananmen, China enjoyed relative stability and rapid - even spectacular - economic growth.' How little Vogel cares to know about the upheaval of 1989 can be seen from his extraordinary claim that there were days during it when no newspapers appeared. The imperative is to ensure that Deng's image remains intact.
To understand why this is so important, it is helpful to turn to Henry Kissinger's meditation On China, presented as 'an effort ... to explain the conceptual way the Chinese think about problems of peace and war and international order', from one whose career as a statesman and scholar has been devoted to the first of these: 'All my life I have reflected on the building of peace, largely from an American perspective.' Comparing the Chinese approach to inter-state relations with go, the Western to chess, Kissinger offers a potted history of what he takes to be conflicts between the two from the late 18th to the late 19th century, before jumping to Mao in the Cold War, and the story, often retold, of the 'quasi-alliance' between the PRC and the US that he negotiated in Beijing in the early 1970s. In the years since his exit from the State Department, he explains, he has been to China more than fifty times, hobnobbing with its leaders, but his conversations with these epigones dwindle to banalities after the heights of his dialogues with Mao. The Chairman had treated him as a 'fellow philosopher'. Deng could not live up to the same standard, still less his successor.
Notwithstanding this drop in level, Kissinger gives Deng full credit for what he terms 'a turning point of the Cold War' and the 'high point of Sino-American strategic co-operation'. What was this? China's war on Vietnam in 1979. Here Vogel and Kissinger converge, applauding Deng's resolute action to thwart Vietnamese plans to encircle China in alliance with the USSR, invade Thailand, and establish Hanoi's domination over South-East Asia. Conscious that not even all Deng's colleagues approved the assault, which was far from a military success, Vogel separates by eight chapters and 150 pages Deng's tour of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore to ensure diplomatic cover for the attack he was planning, from the war itself. The first, presented - along with Deng's far more important tour of the United States two months later - as a triumph of far-sighted statesmanship, receives lavish coverage; the second, less than half the space. In part, this distribution is designed to protect America's image in the affair: Deng launched the war just five days after getting back from Washington with the US placetin his pocket. But it is also to gloss over Deng's misadventure on the battlefield as expeditiously as possible. The last word, as usual, goes to an apologist, through whom Vogel can convey his standpoint without being directly identified with it. Lee Kuan Yew, an ardent supporter of the war, has told the world: 'I believe it changed the history of East Asia.'
Vogel's account of China's war on Vietnam is that of a former servant of a Democratic administration. Showering Carter's point men in the tractations over Deng's visit with effusive epithets, he is careful to shield the president himself from any too explicit responsibility for giving the war the go-ahead. Kissinger, a Republican and once head of the National Security establishment where Vogel was an underling, can afford to be more forthright. Deng's masterstroke required US 'moral support'. 'We could not collude formally with the Chinese in sponsoring what was tantamount to overt military aggression,' Brzezinski explained. Kissinger's comment is crisp: 'Informal collusion was another matter.'
How is this zenith of Sino-American collaboration, as Kissinger repeatedly calls it, to be judged? Militarily, it was a fiasco. Deng threw 11 Chinese armies or 450,000 troops, the size of the force that routed the US on the Yalu in 1950, against Vietnam, a country with a population a twentieth that of China. As the chief military historian of the campaign, Edward O'Dowd, has noted, 'in the Korean War a similar-sized PLA force had moved further in 24 hours against a larger defending force than it moved in two weeks against fewer Vietnamese.' So disastrous was the Chinese performance that all Deng's wartime pep talks were expunged from his collected works, the commander of the air force excised any reference to the campaign from his memoirs, and it became effectively a taboo topic thereafter. Politically, as an attempt to force Vietnam out of Cambodia and restore Pol Pot to power, it was a complete failure. Deng, who regretted not having persisted with his onslaught on Vietnam, despite the thrashing his troops had endured, tried to save face by funnelling arms to Pol Pot through successive Thai military dictators.
Joining him in helping the remnants of the world's most genocidal regime continue to maul border regions of Cambodia adjoining Thailand, and to keep its seat in the UN, was the United States. Vogel, who mentions Pol Pot only to explain that despite his negative 'reputation', Deng saw him as the only man to resist the Vietnamese, banishes this delicate subject from his pages altogether. Kissinger has little trouble with it. No 'sop to conscience' could 'change the reality that Washington provided material and diplomatic support to the "Cambodian resistance" in a manner that the administration must have known would benefit the Khmer Rouge'. Rightly so, for 'American ideals had encountered the imperatives of geopolitical reality. It was not cynicism, even less hypocrisy, that forged this attitude: the Carter administration had to choose between strategic necessities and moral conviction. They decided that for their moral convictions to be implemented ultimately they needed first to prevail in the geopolitical struggle.'
The struggle in question was against the USSR. In these years, Deng continually berated his American interlocutors for insufficient hostility to Moscow, warning them that Vietnam wasn't just 'another Cuba': it was planning to conquer Thailand, and open the gates of South-East Asia to the Red Army. The stridency of his fulminations against the Soviet menace rang like an Oriental version of the paranoia of the John Birch Society. Whether he actually believed what he was saying is less clear than its intended effect. He wanted to convince Washington that there could be no stauncher ally in the Cold War than the PRC under his command. Mao had seen his entente with Nixon as another Stalin-Hitler Pact - in the formulation of one of his generals - with Kissinger featuring as Ribbentrop: a tactical deal with one enemy to ward off dangers from another. Deng, however, sought more than this. His aim was strategic acceptance within the American imperial system, to gain access to the technology and capital needed for his drive to modernise the Chinese economy. This was the true, unspoken rationale for his assault on Vietnam. The US was still smarting from its defeat in Indochina. What better way of gaining its trust than offering it vengeance by proxy? The war misfired, but it bought something more valuable to Deng than the 60,000 lives it cost - China's entry ticket to the world capitalist order, in which it would go on to flourish.


Hysteria, calculation or a mixture of the two, Deng's motives at the time are one thing. Endorsement of the claims he pressed on his interlocutors - South-East Asian and American - to justify his aggression, in works supposedly of scholarship thirty years after the event, are another. Kissinger, for whom the history of the period is little more than a grab-bag for his own self-glorification as an actor in it, can be forgiven for maintaining that China's war on Vietnam was a vital blow against the Soviet Union and a stepping-stone to victory in the Cold War. That the Sino-American alliance he negotiated, and Deng escalated, had scant bearing on the dissolution of the USSR hardly matters. Whatever his other gifts, truth is not one that can reasonably be expected of him. Vogel, with more pretensions to scholarship, is a different case. His fawning account of the Paramount Leader's preparations for war - 'Deng had had enough' etc - not only repeats the fantasy of Vietnamese designs on Bangkok, imminent Soviet takeover of South-East Asia and the rest, but blacks out all mention of American aid and comfort to Pol Pot, in the common cause of resisting these phantasms. Kissinger's description of Carter's actions in assisting the perpetrators of one of the few true genocides of the last half-century - not killings on a far smaller scale, blown up as genocide to decorate 'humanitarian intervention' in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya or elsewhere - can stand for Vogel's treatment: informal collusion, in academic dress.
Deng, a far more uneven, explosive and complex figure, at once more radical and more traditional than the now standard images of him, awaits his biographer. That book will not be written as another page in US self-satisfaction. Works of Sino-Americana are not, it should be said, automatically characterised by servility or opportunism. Books of more spirit have been, and continue to be, written within its limiting framework. A case in point is a study that can be read as a pendant to Vogel's, Jay Taylor's biography of Chiang Kai-shek, The Generalissimo. In many ways, the starting points are close. Taylor too is a former official, a career diplomat in the intelligence apparatus of the State Department, with postings in Taipei, Beijing and Havana. His enterprise is likewise a eulogy. It relies on similarly brittle sources supplied by self-interested parties, redacted diaries or memoirs, conversations with family members and placemen. Its concerns are also thoroughly Americo-centric. Yet with all these failings, and more, the result is still refreshingly different.
In large part, this is because Taylor makes a real attempt to capture Chiang's tortuous personality. Seething with an inner violence that exploded in volcanic rages as a young man, once in power he succeeded in outwardly controlling it beneath a mask so rigid and cold that it isolated him even from his followers. Sexual rapacity was combined with puritan self-discipline, skills in political manoeuvre with bungling in military command, nationalist pride with retreatist instinct, threadbare education with mandarin pretension. In a narrative that is far more readable than Vogel's plodding compendium, Taylor gives us a vivid sense of many of these contradictions, even if he looks away from others. Writing to rehabilitate the Generalissimo, whose reputation is not high in the West, he is driven, not to deny outright, but to minimise the murders and mismanagements of his reign. He does so principally by giving him - repeatedly, although not invariably - the benefit of the doubt. A better sense of Chiang's vindictiveness, and of the low-grade thuggishness of his regime, in which torture and assassination were routine, can be gained from Jonathan Fenby's less inhibited account,Chiang Kai-shek: The Generalissimo and the China He Lost.[2]
A larger drawback of Taylor's approach is his single-minded focus on Chiang alone, detached from his peers. No other figure in the tangled constellation of the interwar Kuomintang acquires any relief in his story. The reasons why Chiang could rise to power require a contextual explanation, however. They do not lie in his individual abilities. For these were, on any reckoning, very limited. The extremes of his psychological make-up cohabited with his mediocrity as a ruler. He was a poor administrator, incapable of properly co-ordinating and controlling his subordinates, and so of running an efficient government. He had no original ideas, filling his mind with dog-eared snippets from the Bible. Most strikingly, he was a military incompetent, a general who never won a really major battle - decisive victories in the Northern Expedition that brought him to power going to other, superior commanders. What distinguished him from these were political cunning and ruthlessness, but not by a great margin. They were not enough on their own to take him to the top.
The historical reality was that no outstanding leaders emerged from the confused morass of the KMT in the Republican period. The contrast between Nationalists and Communists was not just ideological. It was one of sheer talent. The CCP produced not simply one leader of remarkable gifts, but an entire, formidable cohort, of which Deng was one among several. By comparison, the KMT was a kingdom of the blind. Chiang's one eye was a function of two accidental advantages. The first was his regimental training in Japan, which made him the only younger associate of Sun Yat-sen with a military background, and so at the Whampoa Academy commanding at the start of his career means of violence that his rivals in Guangzhou lacked. The second, and more important, was his regional background. Coming from the hinterland of Ningbo, with whose accent he always spoke, his political roots were in the ganglands of nearby Shanghai, with its large community of Ningbo merchants. It was this base in Shanghai and Zhejiang, and the surrounding Yangtze delta region, where he cultivated connections in both criminal and business worlds, in what was by far the richest and most industrialised zone in China, that gave him his edge over his peers. The military clique that ruled Guangxi, on the border with Indochina, were better generals and ran a more progressive and efficient government, but their province was too poor and remote for them to be able to compete successfully against Chiang.
Taylor's attention is fixed elsewhere, however. Central to The Generalissimo is the aim of reversing the verdict of Barbara Tuchman's book on the American role, personified by General Stilwell, in the Chinese theatre of the Pacific War.[3] For Taylor, it wasn't the long-suffering Chiang, but the arrant bully and incompetent meddler Stilwell who was to blame for disputes between the two, and failures in the Burma campaign. Stilwell was no great commander. Taylor documents his abundant failings and eccentricities well enough. But they scarcely exonerate Chiang from his disastrous sequence of decisions in the war against Japan, many of them - even at the height of the fateful Ichigo offensive of 1944 - motivated by his conviction that Communism was the greater danger. From the futile sacrifice of his best troops in Shanghai and Nanjing in 1937 to the gratuitous burning of Changsha in 1944, it was a story without good sense or glory. Despite strenuous scrubbings by recent historians to blanco his military record, it is no surprise that, from a position of apparent overwhelming strength after the surrender of Japan, he crumpled so quickly against the PLA in the Civil War.
There too Taylor tends to attribute to the US substantial blame for the debacle - Marshall, who had picked Stilwell, cutting a not much better figure in this part of his narrative - which he hints could have been avoided had Washington been willing to provide the massive support needed to help Chiang hold North China or, failing that, a line south of the Yangtze. These are not the sentiments of the Republican lobby that denounced the 'loss of China' in the 1950s. Taylor has an independent mind. Describing himself as a moderate liberal and foreign policy pragmatist, he is quite capable of scathing criticism of US policies in full support of Chiang - attacking the 'breathtaking' irresponsibility of Eisenhower in threatening war with the PRC during the Quemoy crisis of 1955, and composing with Dulles a secret policy document on the same island three years later, 'extraordinary for its ignorant and far-fetched analysis'. What remains constant, however, is the American visor through which Chinese developments are perceived.
In the last third of Taylor's book, devoted to Chiang's years after his flight from the mainland, when Taiwan became a US protectorate, this is obviously less of a handicap. Taylor's grasp of the reconstruction of the KMT regime on the island, of which he was a witness, is much firmer than of its time in Nanjing. It is also, though admiring, less apologetic, not minimising the White Terror that Chiang unleashed in Taiwan, nor glossing over his use of General Okamura, commander of the Japanese occupation of China and author of the 'Kill All, Burn All, Loot All' order responsible for the deaths of more than two million civilians, to help him out on the island. For Chiang, patriotism came second to personal power. But now able to rule as an extraneous force, with full-bore American assistance and without ties to local landlords, he could preside over an agrarian reform designed by US advisers, and industrialisation funded by US capital, in a society that fifty years of modernisation under colonial rule had left substantially more advanced in popular literacy and rural productivity than the mainland. Economic success stabilised but scarcely liberalised his regime, which ended as it had begun under martial law.
Taylor concludes his story with the claim that Chiang has triumphed posthumously, since the China of today embodies his vision for the country, not that of the Communists he fought. This trope is increasingly common. Fenby retails a lachrymose variant of it, quite out of character with the rest of his book, a tourist guide in the PRC - as good as a taxi-driver for any passing reporter - telling him what an unnecessary tragedy KMT defeat in the Civil War was. In such compensation fantasies, Deng becomes Chiang's executor, and Western visions of what China should be, and will become, are reassured.

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[1] Khrushchev: The Man and His Era was reviewed by Neal Ascherson in the LRBof 21 August 2003.
[2] Reviewed by John Gittings in the LRB of 18 March 2004.
[3] Stilwell and the American Experience in China (1971).

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