Friday, July 10, 2009

China's Developmental Challenges, Goals and Paths: Six Decades of Observations and Prospects

China's Developmental Challenges, Goals and Paths: Six Decades of Observations and Prospects
by Chairman Lien Chan
July 10, 2009


In terms of international politics, the twentieth century and the twenty-first century are very different. The twentieth century experienced a half century-long Cold War, which ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. During the twenty-first century, mainland China became a rising power. The international political structure became a kind of "soft unipolar system." In other words, power was distributed among one superpower and several major powers. This led to an international environment different from the past, and to a China with a dramatically different view of its role than the former Soviet Union.

As China rises, it must deal with serious internal problems. Therefore it needs a peaceful and stable international environment. Only then can it maintain economic development and cope with its internal problems. As for the United States, it must deal with the global financial crisis. It also needs China's support and cooperation. Only then can it avoid worsening its economic situation. All in all, China and the United States need to cooperate with each other far more than they need to compete with each other.

Taiwan is clearly an important variable in Sino-US relations. Peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations not only contributes to peace between Beijing and Washington, it also provides Taipei with a welcome peace dividend.

This triangular pursuit of peace and stability has undergone changes over the past six decades that echo internal changes within the Chinese Communist Party. Understanding this change will help us better understand future developments in Beijing.


The traditional Chinese way of computing time uses "tian gan" and "di zhi," or "Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches." A "jia zi" is six decades. Six decades is one cycle. It is followed by another six decade cycle. Everything has its origins in chaos. The Chinese also have another way of computing time, a sociological one. This involves the concept of "shi," or "generations." Three decades is one generation. The Chinese have a saying: For three decades, [power resides] East of the River. For three decades, [power resides] West of the River. Three decades is one generation. Since 1949, the Beijing government has undergone one cycle or two generations. This one cycle or two generations has completely changed its outside appearance.

The first generation lasted from 1949 to 1978. This was basically the Mao Zedong led era. During this generation, China experienced the Three Antis, Five Antis Campaign, People's Communes, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and other political baptisms by fire. Mao Zedong said class struggle was the key. Given class struggle as their goal, this generation could best be characterized as the generation of confrontation.

The second generation lasted from 1979 to 2008. This generation was led by three leaders: Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. It was was not a generation of mad unrest like the previous generation. This was a generation characterized by rationality and pragmatism. Deng Xiaoping said: Practice is the sole criterion for determining the truth. This represents the spirit of a generation. This was the generation of detente.

Two generations later, China has begun its rise. How China deals with its internal and external problems during its rise is an issue that will challenge China's leaders and become the focus of global concern. To understand this issue, one must understand the changes that have taken place over the past six decades, and from them uncover the clues.


The changes the Chinese mainland has undergone during the six decades and two generations since the establishment of the PRC, can be characterized as fundamental, dramatic, and systemic. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of contemporary Chinese history, knows the difference between the two generations.

The changes that have taken place during these two generations are so great, how are we to make sense of them? I believe our understanding of this period will influence our predictions about how Beijing will change.

Today, I would like to share my observations about the changes Beijing has undergone during the past cycle, beginning with the challenges it faced, the goals it set, and the paths it took. Every society faces major challenges at different stages in its development. How a society determines its objectives and chooses its paths in the face of such challenges helps us understand the basis of its development.

Beijing has undergone many changes over the past six decades and two generations. Whether we are talking about the challenges it faced, the goals it set, or the paths it took, the changes it underwent were pendulum swings from extreme to the other. The challenge faced by the first generation was how to establish a new order on the ruins of World War II. Its goal was to establish a Communist society. Its path was characterized by ideological fervor and the cult of personality. The challange faced by the second generation was how to find a new direction after the Cultural Revolution had deconstructed society. Its goal was to eliminate poverty and create prosperity. Its path was characterized by rational pragmatism and collective leadership.

1. Freeing a Communist Society from Poverty

The People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. Mao Zedong's ability to mobilize the masses was rooted in the demands of Communism and the Chinese people's desire to become rich and powerful. When Mao stood at the gates of Tiananmen Square and shouted: "The Chinese people have stood up!" he echoed the feelings of the Chinese people at the time. The biggest challenge the Communist Party faced, was how to create a new order on the ruins of World War II. Confronted with such a challenge, Mao Zedong chose as his goal a Communist society. A Communist society is a utopian society, far removed from the real world. Yet Mao Zedong wanted to instantly create a Communist society. Hence the need for fundamental change. Hence the Cultural Revolution.

After the chaotic madness of the Cultural Revolution, China was an economic basket case. It had endured all sorts of brutal political struggles. The future was shrouded in gray. By this time, the challenge for the Communist Party was no longer the establishment of a Communist society. It was to find a new direction for China amidst the fallen idols and discredited myths. At this time, Deng Xiaoping consolidated the political elites, toppled the Gang of Four, and set forth his Initial Stage of Socialism theory. Simply put, its primary goal was to escape poverty. Everything centered on economic reconstruction. When Deng Xiaoping visited Shenzhen in 1984, he said: Poverty is not socialism. This remark was the most succinct summation of his belief.

2. The Paths Chosen by Two Generations

The paths Beijing took during these two generations, swung from one extreme to the other, from ideological fervor to rationality and pragmatism.

The first generation was goal-oriented. It engaged in hero worship. The second generation was scientifically oriented. It stressed the experimental method. As Deng Xiaoping put it, "feeling our way across the river," "black cats or white cats," and "seeking truth from facts." As for the specifics, the means was the introduction of market mechanisms, and the goal was a prosperous society. Politically speaking, collective leadership was the result of rationality and pragmatism. Collective leadership ensured compromise. Collective leadership helped institutionalize China's leadership succession and contributed to the stability of its leadership.


One cycle or two generations have passed. A new era is opening up ahead of us. What style will this new generation exhibit? At this point, I would like to stress the relationship between the leader and the path. This is especially important in a society such as China, where change is still determined by political forces.

1. Leaders and the Choice of Paths

The process of arriving at a path can roughly be divided into three phases: catalyzation, deepening, and stabilization. A great leader, poised on the brink of a new era, is the catalyst for the emergence of a new path. In other words, when the goal changes, leaders must discover a new path, so that the path will remain consistent with the goal. They will complement each other and contribute to the achievement of the goal. They will also ensure stability along the path. In other words, the leader is the key force responsible for setting goals and choosing paths.

During the catalytic process, the leader's decisions are critical. This is how turning points in history take place. Take the Chinese Communist Party for example. During the first three decades Mao Zedong was the catalyst for an ideologically oriented society. Deng Xiaoping ensured that during the second three decades society would be oriented toward rationality and pragmatism. Today General Secretary Hu Jintao stands on the threshold of the third generation, as well as the beginning of another cycle. He has a great historical opportunity, to set a new goal, and blaze a new path.

During the past cycle of development the public on the mainland gradually lost faith in a Communist society, and lifted itself out of abject poverty. During the second generation, following three decades of development, the mainland left a world of gray and entered a world of color. New challenges already confront them. One challenge is how to address the imbalance between development and the threat of damage to the system. Another is how to use its strength to play an appropriate role in the international community. This is the historic mission of General Secretary Hu Jintao and the next generation of leaders.

2. The Challenges Faced by the New Leaders: The Collapse of the Old Order

From an international perspective, China is the world's factory, and also the world's marketplace. Amidst the current financial turmoil, it is the only nation in the world that can still aspire to an 8% annual growth rate. Her international influence is increasing. But at the same time, that influence is a cause for increasing concern. For China's leadership, a major challenge is how to actively participate in the international community while simultaneously assuming greater responsibility, becoming a force for greater international peace and prosperity.

From a domestic perspective, China faces even more serious challenges. I believe the structure developed by the second generation faces the threat of destruction. This threat is rooted primarily in imbalanced development.

Over the past three decades, the mainland has developed certain laws. Perhaps these are what are meant by "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics."

Law Number One: Stability trumps everything else. According to this law, the prospect of democracy offers many risks.

Law Number Two: Economic development is non-negotiable. Some may become wealthy before others, but everyones' lives must be improved.

Law Number Three: Establish transparent collective leadership, resolve social conflict.

By the third generation, these laws will gradually be challenged. Lien Chan believes that for the third generation balanced development will become a new law. China now has serious regional imbalances between her urban and rural areas. It has systemic imbalances over such issues as culture. These will affect the next generation of development. Among these the most crucial is institutional imbalance.

Systemic imbalance refers mainly to imbalances in the political system and the socio-economic system. Ever since the mainland underwent reform and liberalization, it has used Socialism with Chinese Characteristics to describe its structure. But in fact private ownership, the core value of capitalism, has already seeped into its bones. The political system however remains under Chinese Communist Party one-party leadership. Political participation is subject to tight restrictions. Theoretically speaking, a contradiction remains between authoritarian rule and the market place. Authoritarian rulers value control. The market place values freedom of choice. Excessive regulation inevitably creates many opportunities for corruption. Unless Beijing improves this systemic imbalance, its hope of reducing corruption will remain impossible. In other words, systemic imbalances have provided opportunities for corruption. Corruption invariably undermines a regime's political legitimacy, thereby affecting its stability.

3. New Goals and a New Path

Confronted with these challenges, Beijing, under the leadership of General Secretary Hu Jintao, is now establishing a new goal and a new developmental path. What is this new goal? I think the theme of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: One World, One Dream, the peaceful development of human society, sums up this new goal. China's leaders and people appear to have a new awareness of their status and role on the international stage. General Secretary Hu believes that China's development cannot be separated from the world, and the world cannot be separated from China's prosperity and stability. Therefore he proposes that people of all nations work together to promote an enduring peace, and a prosperous and harmonious world. The financial tsunami has provided Beijing with the perfect opportunity. From top to bottom, everyone on the mainland is trying to assume greater global responsibilities, as befits a great world power. The mainland has moved from confrontation to detente to entente. It is attempting to be part of the global village. It is a place quite different from what it was during the past six decades.

The goal of One World, One Dream is to resolve the imbalance in development, both internationally and domestically. The central government on the mainland attaches considerable importance to this problem. Because regional imbalance is not just an economic issue. It is a social issue, a political issue, even a cultural issue. Jiang Zemin proposed the establishment of a "prosperous society." Hu Jintao proposed the establishment of a "harmonious society." This means Beijing's national reconstruction process already has a new goal, and solving the problem of imbalance is the key to achieving that goal. This involves the allocation of resources to education, medical treatment, as well as the three agricultural issues.

In terms of path, in its attempt to make China a prosperous society for all, Beijing has set forth such concepts as "humanism," "a nation rooted in the rule of law," "coordinated development," "common prosperity," and "scientific development." Among these, "a nation rooted in the rule of law" represents Beijing's growing concern for human rights and the rule of law. Meanwhile "coordinated development," "common prosperity" represent Beijing's growing concern for the problem of imbalanced development. As for "scientific development," that carries on the spirit of rationality and pragmatism. Just what will China look like after adopting such a path? This, perhaps, is the topic that most fascinates contemporary Sinologists.

4. The International Community Viewed from the New Path

As previously mentioned, during the past six decades, China and the world experienced three decades of confrontation and conflict. During the second three decades, it experienced stalemate and detente. A new cycle has begun. China and the world have now turned to negotiation and entente. This leaves us filled with optimism and expectation for the next three decades.

Now let's look at the different paths taken by these three generations, from the perspective of foreign relations. During the Mao Zedong era, Beijing aligned itself with the Third World against U.S. imperialism. This underscored its mentality of international class struggle. But beginning in the 70's, Beijing's foreign policy thinking began to change. It became more rational and pragmatic about the international realities. It even began looking forward to building a harmonious society. We can clearly see how Beijing went from confrontation, to an acceptance of other nations and a wilingness to engage in international consultation. It went from rejection of the outside world, to isolation from the outside world, to acceptance of the outside world, to integration with the outside world. Today it even plays a responsible role in the international community, and is no longer regarded as a global security threat. What this reveals is the peaceful rise of a responsible major world power, beginning with a pragmatic orientation initiated by Deng Xiaoping and carried on by Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

Along with Beijing's peaceful development, a great economic power and political power is rapidly rising. Many people may be worried that the international community will return to the bipolar system of the past. Fortunately a new generation of leaders have indicated that Beijing will never seek hegemony, and will not become a global threat. During General Secretary Jiang Zemin's term of office, he repeatedly stressed that "China's development will not pose a threat to any country. When China becomes prosperous it will never seek hegemony." (from the Fifteenth National Congress Political Report) In the Seventeenth National Congress Political Report Mr. Hu Jintao vowed that China will unswervingly adhere to "the path of peaceful development." It would "pursue a win/win strategy of mutually beneficial development." If we boldly assume that Beijing is pursuing a multicultural international community, then this is consistent with U.S. President Barack Obama's policy of multilateralism. If so, we can expect the advent of a harmonious and mutually respectful era of consultation. This may provide the next several generations of mankind with stability and peace.

As we look back over the past several centuries, too often we have witnessed the tragic consequences of powerful nations using hard power against each other. We anticipate that as China's overall strength gradually increases, Beijing will use its soft power to shape a positive international image for itself. We expect it to provide a positive model for international cooperation. In the past, Beijing pursued utopian socialist ideals. We now look forward to Beijing reshaping the content of its ideals. We expect it to behave pragmatically and reasonably, establishing a society characterized by lasting peace, bringing lasting benefits to the Chinese people and to the global community.

5. Cross-Strait Relations, Viewed from the New Path

One of the key issues affecting China's future is how the next generation will handle cross-Strait relations. As we look back over the past six decades, cross-Strait relations have repeatedly been characterized by confrontation and conflict. I visited the mainland for the first time in 2005, and participated in a dialogue with General Secretary Hu Jintao. We both felt that "peace and development" would be the theme of the 21st century. The peaceful development of cross-strait relations accorded with the common interests of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. It also accorded with the interests of the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Therefore, we proposed the resumption of cross-Strait negotiations as soon as possible. We proposed five different scenarios for the promotion of cross-strait relations and economic exchanges. We sought opportunities for the peaceful and stable development of cross-Strait relations, allowing cross-Strait relations to enter a new phase.

On March 22, 2008, KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou won his bid for the presidency, bringing cross-strait relations an historic opportunity. President Ma Ying-jeou's mainland policy was based on "opening up" and "loosening restraints." Once the SEF and ARATS resumed negotiations, cross-Strait relations have been moving in a positive and healthy direction. On December 31, 2008, General Secretary Hu Jintao announced his "Hu Six Points," outlining his proposal for the future of cross-strait relations. This will continue to have an important impact on cross-Strait relations.

I myself agree in principle to the views of General Secretary Hu Jintao. Political negotiations between the two sides is unavoidable. But it cannot be denied that the two sides still have certain differences over political, military, and diplomatic issues. Realities must be confronted. Problems must be resolved. Mutual trust must be maintained. Consultations must be sincere. Based on the results of mainland reform and liberalization, Beijing ought to feel greater self-confidence and show greater empathy in its handling of cross-Strait relations. Given the premise of rationality and pragmatism, it ought to demonstrte greater respect for the reality of the Republic of China, and greater acceptance of its existence. It ought to engage in consultation and dialogue on the premise that we are equal in status. It ought to make reasonable concessions regarding Taipei's international space and cross-strait political situation. The two sides have with great difficulty agreed to shelve disputes and transcend ideological barriers. Beijing must not repeat the same mistakes. It must not attempt to force the public on Taiwan to accept its "One Country, Two Systems" framework. If Beijing can do this, then for the next three decades, the public will witness the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and the Asia-Pacific region's contribution to world stability and prosperity.

6. Core Challenges: Solving the Problem of Imbalances

At the domestic level, the problem of institutional imbalances is inescapable. Based on other countries' experience with development, economic development leads to changes in social structure. Changes in social structure lead to political liberalization and the democratization of the social infrastructure. Based on this democratization is a path the mainland must take. But it will be difficult to infer from other countries' experience what path to democratization China will take. After all, the world does not have a large number of countries as large as China to use as reference. In his report to the Seventeeth National Congress General Secretary Hu Jintao mentioned an "unswervingly determination to develop socialist democratic politics." He listed it as an important step in China's future political development, and declared that "the expansion of socialist democracy," was an important element of a prosperous society. But gaps remain in the pace of economic reform and liberalization. How China promotes is political democratization will remain the focus of worldwide attention.

Compared to the past three decades, the next three decades will be more challenging and more unpredictable. These are not merely academic issues. To the leaders in Beijing, these issues are immediate and pressing. Their problem is how to maintain economic growth, and at the same time mobilize society in a steady and orderly manner, how to address the primary problem of long term, deepening imbalances.

In terms of economic reform, Deng Xiaoping used the expression "feeling our way across the river" to describe Beijing's solution to the problem of institutional imbalances. Current leaders find themselves in the same situation. It now depends upon how Hu Jintao catalyzes a new structure. Deng Xiaoping was the chief architect of the economy. Hu Jintao ought to be the chief architect of the political system. He must draw a road map for a vast country with a large population that has never experienced democracy.

From the first wave to the third wave, the process of democratization was bottom up. There were successes and failures. Personally I hope mainland leaders can learn from the experience of democratic countries, and keep pace with changes in the socio-economic structure. The establishment of a democratic system started from the grass roots, then expanded upwards. The steady hand and experience of upper level leaders maintained stable development, and avoided chaos and disorder. This is a vast and complex project. Many universities in the United States have departments dedicated to studying China. Integrating and enriching research in this area will help everyone get a more complete picture of the elephant. This may turn out to be their greatest contribution to change in China.


壹、 前言

從國際政治結構來看, 二十世紀與二十一世紀有一項很重要的對比。 二十世紀曾經有長達近半世紀的冷戰, 而冷戰結構隨著蘇聯的解體而解構。到了二十一世紀, 中國成了另一個崛起的大國, 而國際結構卻是一種柔性單極體系, 也就是說一個超強、 數個強國的權力分配型態。 這個變化,一方面造成國際環境與以往不同, 另一方面則是因為中國對自身角色的界定與當時的蘇聯大不相同。

中國在崛起的過程中, 內部也有很嚴峻的挑戰, 因此它需要一個和平安定的國際環境, 才能維持經濟發展並處理內部問題。 至於美國,面對金融風暴的威脅, 也需要中國的支持與合作, 以免經濟情勢更為惡化。 總而言之, 中美之間從競合策略的角度來看, 合作的需要遠遠大於競爭。

台灣顯然是影響中美關係的一個重要變數。 對台灣而言, 一個和平而穩定的台海關係, 不僅有助於中美之間的和平, 也會帶給台灣和平紅利。

目前這種追求和平穩定的三角關係, 是六十年來所僅見, 這樣的變化, 恰好與中共內部的變化相呼應。 理解這一段變化, 有助於我們更進一步了解中共未來的發展。

貳、 兩個世代

中國人傳統計算時間的方式, 是用天干地支, 一個甲子剛好是六十年。 六十年一個輪迴, 接下來又是另一個六十年的開始, 一切又從混沌出發。中國人計算時間, 還有另外一種具有社會學意義的方式, 也就是「世」的觀念, 「一世」剛好是三十年。 中國人有一句俗話說: 三十年河東,三十年河西。 三十年,就是一個世代, 而中共自一九四九年至今, 剛好經過了一個甲子兩個世代。 這一甲子兩世代, 呈現幾乎完全不同的面貌。

第一個世代是從一九四九年到一九七八年。 這一個世代基本上是毛澤東主政的世代, 在這個世代, 大陸經歷了三反、五反、 人民公社、大躍進、以及文化大革命等等一連串政治鬥爭的洗禮。 毛澤東說以階級鬥爭為綱, 以鬥爭為目, 最能反映這一個世代的特色,也可以說是對抗(confrontation)的世代。

第二個世代是從一九七九年到二00八年。 這一個世代經歷了鄧小平、江澤民、 以及胡錦濤三位領導人。 沒有前一個世代的瘋狂動盪,也就沒有這一個世代的理性務實。 鄧小平說: 實踐是檢驗真理的唯一標準, 代表了這一個世代的精神, 也就是緩和(detente)的世代。

在歷經兩個世代之後, 中國已呈現崛起之姿, 但中國要如何面對以及處理崛起過程中所產生的內部與外部問題, 不僅是中國領導人的挑戰, 也是全球關注的焦點。 要了解這些問題, 不能不了解這六十年來的變化, 並從中找到一些線索。

參、 挑戰、目標、與路徑

中共建國六十年來兩個世代的變化, 可以說是根本性(fundamental), 戲劇性( dramatic), 以及系統性(systematic)的變化。 只要對中國現代史稍有研究者, 都能明白這兩個世代的差異。

這兩個世代的變化, 看起來如此之大, 我們應當如何理解這一段的變化? 我個人認為, 如何理解這個階段, 也會影響我們對中共未來的變化的預測。

今天,我想從挑戰、 目標與路徑的觀點來和各位分享我對中共這一甲子變化的觀察。 每一個社會在其不同發展階段中, 都會面臨主要的挑戰, 面對挑戰, 一個社會如何決定其目標, 選擇其路徑, 可做為我們了解其發展的依據。

中共過去六十年兩個世代的變化, 不論是挑戰、 目標或路徑, 其變化之大, 猶如鐘擺由一端擺到另一端。 就第一個世代而言,其挑戰是如何在戰後廢墟上建立新秩序, 其目標是建立共產主義的社會, 其路徑則是充滿意識型態的個人崇拜; 就第二個世代而言,其挑戰是如何在文化大革命的社會解構後找到新方向, 其目標是要脫離貧窮, 走向富強, 其路徑則是充滿理性務實主義的集體領導。

一、 從共產社會到脫離貧窮

一九四九年, 中華人民共和國成立。 當初毛澤東的動員能力來自於共產主義的訴求以及中國人想要追求富強的心理。 當毛澤東站在天安門城門上高喊:「中國人站起來了!」它所反映的, 基本上就是中國人當時的心理。 對當時的共產黨來說, 最大的挑戰就是如何在戰後殘敗的土地上建立新秩序。面臨這樣一個挑戰, 毛澤東選擇了共產社會做為他的目標。 共產社會是一個理想性的社會, 與現實社會有很大的距離, 而毛澤東想要立即進入共產社會,於是必須進行根本性的變革─文化大革命於焉誕生。

經過文化大革命翻天覆地的瘋狂之後, 中國成了經濟赤貧的國家, 政治上則經歷了種種殘酷的鬥爭, 整個社會呈現一片灰色的景象。 這個時候,共產黨所面臨的挑戰, 不再是建立共產社會了, 而是要在神話破滅, 偶像倒下的基礎上, 為中國找到一個新的方向。 鄧小平在那個時候,凝結了主要的精英力量, 打倒了四人幫, 並且提出了社會主義初期階段論。 所謂的社會主義初期階段論, 簡單說,就是以擺脫貧窮為首要目標,一切以經濟建設為中心。 一九八四年鄧小平巡視深圳時曾說: 貧窮不是社會主義。 這句話,是最好的註腳。

二、 兩個世代的路徑選擇

中共這兩個世代的變化, 從路徑來看, 是由意識型態的一端擺到理性務實主義另一端。

第一個世代是目標決定論, 大搞個人崇拜, 第二個世代是科學主義, 講究實驗方法, 也就是鄧小平所說的”摸著石頭過河論”、 ”黑貓白貓論”、 ”實踐檢驗真理論”, 至於其具體表現, 則是市場機制的引進、 小康社會的目標。 在政治運作上, 集體領導也是理性務實主義的結果,因為集體領導避免不了妥協, 而且集體領導也使得大陸的領導接班可以朝向制度化的方向發展,有助於領導階層的穩定。

肆、 下一個挑戰、目標與路徑?

一個甲子兩個世代過去了, 一個新的世代將在我們眼前展開。 這個新世代又會呈現什麼樣的風貌呢? 說到這裡, 我要特別強調領導者與路徑的關係, 尤其是在中國這樣一個仍由政治力在主導變遷的社會。


一個路徑的形成, 其過程大致可分為: 催化-深化-穩定三個階段; 而一個偉大的領導者, 在於一個新時代開始時, 催化一個新路徑的產生。也就是說, 當目標改變時, 領導者必須開拓一個新的路徑, 使這個路徑與目標相對應, 彼此之間相輔相成, 既有助於目標之達成,也有助於路徑之穩定。 換句話說, 領導人是目標與路徑選擇的關鍵力量。

在催化過程中, 領導人的抉擇具有關鍵性的作用。 歷史的轉捩點即在此發生。 以中共為例, 毛澤東在前三十年是意識型態社會結構的催化者,而鄧小平又決定了後三十年理性務實主義的社會變遷結構。今天的胡錦濤總書記不僅處在第三個世代的開端, 也是另一個甲子的開端, 他有絕佳的歷史機遇,創造一個新的目標, 開拓一條新的路徑誕生。

在過去一甲子發展之後, 大陸人民實際上已逐漸失去了對共產社會的信念與熱誠, 也擺脫了赤貧的生活。 然而,在第二個世代發展了三十年之後,大陸僅管已從灰色世界進入了彩色世界, 新的挑戰已然橫在眼前。 這個挑戰就是如何化解發展失衡對體系破壞的威脅,以及如何運用其力量在國際上扮演適當的角色。 這是胡總書記及其下一代領導人的歷史任務。


從國際的層次來看, 中國是世界的工廠, 也是世界的市場, 在當前金融風暴下, 甚至是全球唯一還能以保八為目標的國家。 她在國際上的影響力日增,但與此同時, 所引起的疑慮也日增。 對中國領導人來說, 在積極參與國際社會的同時, 如何承擔更多的責任, 以及成為國際和平與繁榮的穩定力量,是一項很大的挑戰。

從國內的層次來看, 中國所面臨的挑戰更形嚴峻。 連戰認為, 第二個世代所發展出來的結構正面臨破壞因子的威脅, 這些因子主要是發展失衡問題。

這三十年來, 大陸的發展呈現一些規律, 或許這就是具有他們所說的「中國特色的社會主義」。

規律一:穩定壓倒一切。 在這個規律下,民主的發展前途,險阻重重。

規律二:發展是硬道理。 要讓一部份人先富起來, 但也要整體改善人民的生活。

規律三:建立開明的集體領導, 化解社會的矛盾。

這些規律到了第三個世代, 都會漸漸受到挑戰。 連戰個人相信, 均衡發展將會是第三個世代的新規律。 大陸現在有嚴重的區域失衡、 城鄉失衡、 體制失衡、 文化失衡等問題, 將會影響到下一世代的發展, 其中以體制失衡最為關鍵。

所謂體制失衡主要是指政治體制與社經體制的失衡。 大陸自從改革開放之後, 雖然以具有中國特色的社會主義來形容其體制, 但實際上,以私有制為核心的資本主義已經從皮膚表層滲透到骨髓裏去了。 但在政治體制上, 大陸仍然維持共產黨一黨領導, 政治參與受到相當的限制。就理論而言, 專制與市場彼此之間有矛盾。 專制也者, 重視的是控制, 市場也者重視的是選擇的自由, 而管制過多, 必然製造許多貪腐的機會。在不改善失衡的情況下, 共產黨想要消減貪腐, 根本就是緣木求魚。 換句話說, 體制失衡提供了貪腐的機會, 而貪腐必然會腐蝕一個政權的正當性,進而影響到其穩定。


面對這些挑戰, 在胡總書記領導之下的中共政權, 正在形成一個新的目標與發展路徑。新的目標是什麼? 我想2008北京奧運的主題: One World one dream所展現的精神-人類社會的和平與發展,可以概括這個新目標。 現在的中國領導人及人民,對於他們在國際舞台上的位置(status)與角色(role), 似乎有了新的認知, 胡總書記認為, 中國發展離不開世界,世界繁榮穩定也離不開中國。 所以他主張: 各國人民攜手努力, 推動建設持久和平, 共同繁榮的和諧世界。 尤其這一波的金融海嘯,更提供了他們絕佳的機會。 大陸上下, 正在努力學習如何對世界承擔更重大的責任, 做一個名實相符的大國。從對抗(confrontation)走向緩和(de'tente)再走向協商(entente), 學習作為地球村的一份子,這是與過去一甲子相當不同的地方。

不只在國際層次上, 即使在國內, One world one dream也是化解發展失衡問題的目標。 大陸中央政府相當重視這個問題,因為區域失衡問題, 不僅是經濟問題, 也是社會問題與政治問題、 甚至文化問題。 江澤民時期提出的建設「小康社會」,胡錦濤時期的建設「和諧社會」, 所代表的正是中共的國家建設已經轉向了另一個目標, 而解決發展失衡問題是這個目標的核心問題。這個問題牽涉到教育資源的配置、 醫療資源的配置、 以及三農問題的處理等等。

在路徑方面, 中共提出了「以人為本」、 「依法治國」、 「協調發展」、 「共同富裕」、 「科學發展觀」等, 追求中國成為全面的小康社會。其中「以人為本」、 「依法治國」代表了人權、 法治的觀念漸漸受到重視, 而「協調發展」、 「共同富裕」代表中共對於發展失衡問題的重視,至於「科學發展觀」, 則是延續了理性務實主義的精神。 這一條路徑, 究竟會為中國帶來什麼樣的面貌呢? 這恐怕是目前中國研究社群最熱門的一個主題。


前面已經提及, 舊的一甲子, 中國和世界經歷了第一個30年的對抗與衝突(confrontation and conflict)、第二個30年的僵持與和解(stalemate and de'tente), 新的一甲子伊始,中國和世界已經轉向協商與合作(negotiation and entente), 令人對未來新的30年充滿樂觀和期待。

我們再從對外關係來看這三個世代在路徑上的差異之處。 中共在毛澤東時代結合第三世界反對美帝, 正凸顯其國際社會階級鬥爭的心態。 然自七0年代起,中共開始改變外交思維。 由面對國際現實到理性務實, 乃至於期盼建構和諧社會。 我們清楚地看到中共如何由對立到接受各國到願意從事國際協商,如何從對外排斥的孤立心態到願意面向國際社會, 再到融入國際社會, 乃至於到今日扮演國際社會負責任的角色, 而不再被全球視為安全威脅。這當中顯現的是由鄧小平到江澤民到胡錦濤的務實取向演變軌跡, 展現的是一個負責任大國的和平崛起。

隨著中共的和平發展, 一個經貿大國和政治大國正在迅速興起。 很多人或許會憂心國際社會是否會重回過去的兩極體系。好在我們欣見中共新一代的領導人標示中國絕不追求霸權, 也不會成為全球威脅。 江澤民任總書記時, 即已一再強調:「中國的發展不會對任何國家構成威脅。 今後中國發達起來了, 也永遠不稱霸。」 (十五大政治報告)胡錦濤先生在十七大政治報告中也保證中國將始終不渝「走和平發展道路」、 「奉行互利共贏的開發戰略」。 我們如果大膽假設,北京所追求的應該是一個多元的國際社會, 此與當今美國總統歐巴馬傾向多邊主義的政策有其相合或近似之處。假若如此, 一個和諧, 相互尊重,協商的世代可望降臨, 這也許會為人類未來幾個世代帶來安定與和平。

回顧過去幾個世紀, 我們看到太多強權以硬實力相互爭鬥所帶來的悲慘結果。 我們期盼中共在國力日漸上升之際,能以軟實力來塑造其在國際間的良好形象, 並且為國際合作帶來良好的示範。 設如中共過去曾經追求烏托邦式的社會主義理想,那麼我們期望它能重塑理想的內涵, 以務實理性來建構和平永續的社會, 為中國人乃至於全球社群帶來恆久的幸福。


就兩岸關係而言, 下一個世代如何妥善處理兩岸關係是一個關係到中國前途的關鍵問題。 回顧過去的六十年當中, 兩岸關係曾一再遭遇到對抗與衝突。 2005年本人首次到大陸訪問, 並與胡錦濤總書記展開對話, 我們共同體會到: 「和平與發展」是21世紀的潮流,兩岸關係和平發展符合兩岸同胞的共同利益, 也符合亞太地區與世界的利益。 因此,我們共同提出促進儘速恢復兩岸談判、促進兩岸經濟全面交流等五項願景 , 共同謀求兩岸關係和平穩定發展的機會, 讓兩岸關係進入一個新的里程碑。

2008年3月22日, 國民黨籍總統候選人馬英九先生勝出後, 為兩岸關係帶來了歷史性的機遇,馬英九總統主導的大陸政策以「開放」與「鬆綁」為原則, 在海基會與海協會恢復談判後, 兩岸關係已經朝正面良性的發展。而胡錦濤總書記在2008年12月31日針對未來的兩岸關係提出了「胡六點」的重要方針, 必將對後續的兩岸關係帶來重大的影響。

我本人原則同意胡總書記的意見, 兩岸政治談判必然不可避免。 但不可否認, 兩岸在政治、 軍事、外交等領域仍然存在一些分歧, 現實必須正視,問題必須解決, 互信必須堅持, 協商必須真誠。 基於大陸改革開放所展現的成果, 大陸在處理兩岸關係上應有更大的自信心與同理心。在理性務實主義的前提下, 對台灣的現實存在給予更多的尊重與接納, 並在平等的基礎上進行協商對話,為台灣的國際空間與兩岸政治定位做出合情合理的安排。 兩岸雙方好不容易都同意擱置爭議, 走出意識型態的藩籬, 大陸千萬不要重蹈覆轍,避免再以「一國兩制」的框架來逼迫台灣人民接受。 在這些前提下, 未來30年, 人們將看到兩岸關係和平發展對亞太地區和世界繁華安定的貢獻。


在國內層次上, 體制失衡也是無法逃避的問題。 從其它國家發展的經驗來看, 經濟發展帶動社會結構的變遷,而社會變遷又進而提供政治自由化與民主化的社會基礎。 依此看來, 大陸的民主化將是一條必經的道路。但我們也很難從其它國家的經驗來推論中國大陸會採取什麼樣的民主化路徑, 畢竟全世界還沒有像中國這麼大規模的國家可供參考。儘管胡錦濤總書記在中共十七大的報告中已經把 「堅定不移發展社會主義民主政治」 列為未來中國政治發展的重要步驟, 並且宣示「擴大社會主義民主」是全面建設小康社會的重要內容; 但這畢竟與經濟改革開放的速度仍有落差, 未來中國政治民主化道路將如何推動,仍將是全世界共同注意的焦點。

與過去的三十年比起來, 未來的三十年將更具挑戰性以及不可預測性。 這不只是學術問題, 對中共領導人而言, 更是切身的問題。 這個問題, 就是如何在維持經濟成長的同時, 能夠穩定有序地涵納社會動員的力量, 其中以解決長期以來日漸深化的失衡問題為首要。

在經濟改革上, 鄧小平當初以「摸著石頭過河」來形容; 在解決體制失衡問題上, 現在的領導人也是碰到相同的情形。現在,就看胡錦濤如何催化一個新的結構。 鄧小平是經濟的總設計師, 胡錦濤應該做政治的總設計師, 為一個如此幅員廣大,人口眾多而又從無民主經驗的國家, 設計一個民主化的路徑圖(road map)。

從第一波到第三波民主化, 都是由下而上發展的歷程, 其中有成功也有失敗。 我個人深深期盼, 大陸的領導人能夠吸取各國民主化的經驗,配合社會經濟結構的改變, 開始從基層建立民主的制度, 然後逐步擴大範圍, 並以上層的穩定與經驗來維繫民主化平穩發展的過程,以免造成混亂與失序的現象。 這是一項龐大而複雜的工程, 美國很多大學都有研究中國的學門, 如何整合與充實這方面的研究,大家共同嚐試拚出較完整的大象, 或許是對中國轉變最大的貢獻。

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