United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
September 24, 2015
Executive Summary: An Obama Xi meeting has been on the back burner for two years. But tomorrow Mainland leader Xi Jinping will finally set off for the United States and meet once again with US President Barack Obama. Obama's term is coming to an end. If nothing unexpected happens, this will be the last meeting between Obama and Xi. It will also be the most intense summit between the Mainland and the US since the Mainland's rise to power.
Full Text Below:
An Obama Xi meeting has been on the back burner for two years. But tomorrow Mainland leader Xi Jinping will finally set off for the United States and meet once again with US President Barack Obama. Obama's term is coming to an end. If nothing unexpected happens, this will be the last meeting between Obama and Xi. It will also be the most intense summit between the Mainland and the US since the Mainland's rise to power.
Relations between major powers such as the Mainland and the US are a sort of international wrestling match. The Obama Xi summit is a diplomatic dance of love and hate. Superficially the two sides may remain polite to a fault. But each side has its own calculations. There is no love lost between the United States and the Mainland. All they have are interests and tactics, including how to counter the other without causing a complete break. Both sides will shake hands and embrace. Each side will have its hidden agenda. Both sides will compromise on sensitive issues. Over the past two years, the two governments have been wracked by anxiety and suspicion. The summit will reaffirm what the dance steps are, so that no one will upset the rhythm and undermine already weak trust.
The Tango is a fast-paced dance. It includes steps forward and backward, as well as turns. Early this month, CCP leaders invited leaders from Russia, South Korea and other countries to attend a military parade. The parade showed they were no longer the "Sick Man of Asia". The United States forced Japan to pass a "security law", to counter the Mainland's military rise in Asia. The Mainland and the US have targeted each other, and are crossing swords everywhere. These are the results of struggles between the major powers.
The Tango has another unique feature, its intensity. It is often brusque and hard. This is to shock the viewer. On the eve of the Obama Xi meeting, the CCP arrested Chinese American businessman Pan Wanfen on charges of stealing state secrets and espionage. The United States accused the Mainland of connivance with Internet hackers to steal US trade secrets. It threatened the Mainland with economic sanctions. Tit for tat between the two countries, both official and private, continues unabated.
The Tango is fierce dance. The partners move forward and backward. They turn and reverse. The moves however, are coordinated. Love and hate. Push and pull. The performance depends on the skill of the partners and their degree of coordination. The Obama Xi summit involves both competition and conflict. Some have even suggest that it is unlikely to yeild any important results. But pragmatism require the two governments to find consensus within conflict, and cooperation within competition. This is to everyone's benefit. At the very least, "jaw jaw is better than war war".
From a macro level perspective, the Obama Xi summit is taking place amidst a global economic recession. The heating up of the South China Sea conflict and domestic worries help ease Beijing Washington differences and confrontation.
First, consider the global economic recession, which differs from the situation two years ago. This time the Mainland has endured both a housing market crash and a stock market crash. Its economy may experience a hard landing. Growth is nowhere as strong as it was before. This will act as a drag on global economic recovery. The CCP devalued the RMB to save exports. This immediately impacted US economic growth. This is one of the main reasons the US Federal Reserve delayed raising interest rates. The Obama Xi summit will focus on economic issues in order to reach a negotiated settlement.
Second. The heating up of the South China Sea conflict. Through its "Asian Rebalancing" policy, the US hopes to strengthen its East Asian allies against the rise of the Mainland's military. But the United States overplayed its hand in the South China Sea. This led to military confrontation. It backfired and provoked the Mainland to accelerate the construction of runways on artificial reefs in the South China Sea. To reduce the prospect of military confrontation between the two, the United States hopes to increase military cooperation and exchanges. When Mainland and US military aircraft require emergency rescue, the two sides will have a predetermined protocol.
Finally, the Mainland and the US each has domestic concerns. Over the past two years, Xi Jinping's anti-corruption sweep resulted in many corrupt Mainland officials fleeing to the US. The two governments have no extradition treaty. The CCP hopes the United States will assist in apprehending these fugitives and repatriating them, especially those with politically sensitive backgrounds such as former United Front Department Heads. US companies on the Mainland fear the theft of trade secrets.They dare not cooperate with Mainland enterprises. The protection of intellectual property rights has become a major concern for US companies. Will the two governments sign an extradition treaty in exchange for the protection of of intellectual property rights? That is something the Obama Xi summit will address. The summit will be a dance of love and hate among major power.
As for Taiwan, the US has repeatedly issued assurances that the US position on Taiwan will not change. But on Taiwan, the fear is that the Obama Xi summit will wind up playing a different tune. When the Mainland US duo becomes a Mainland US Taiwan trio, will Taiwan find itself out of step and not know which way to move?
並將於明天與美國總統歐巴馬舉行領袖會談。 隨著歐巴馬任期屆臨尾聲，如無意外，這不但是最後一場「歐習會」 ，也是隨著中國的崛起，中美交鋒最激烈的一場峰會。
歐習會」，便是一場充滿愛憎的外交探戈。表面上雙方行禮如儀， 但在錯綜複雜的舞步算計中，中美兩國並不是擦出感情的火花， 而只是在各種權謀利害的爭逐中，要如何維持「爭而不破」、「 破而不裂」的局面。所以雙方既要握手擁抱，也要各自暗藏機鋒， 但仍不忘在兩國敏感議題上作出妥協。 因為中美兩國歷經過去兩年的不安與猜忌， 都想趁著這次高峰會再次確認彼此的舞步， 以免亂了節拍而破壞了本已薄弱的互信。
中共邀請俄韓等國領袖舉行大閱兵， 來證明自己已非昔日的吳下阿蒙；而美國則迫使日本通過《安保法》 ，來抗衡中國在亞洲的軍事崛起。中美兩國互別苗頭、處處爭鋒， 都源自大國爭勝的心結。
剛強的舞步來震懾他人。在歐習會前夕，中共以竊取國家機密、 參與間諜活動的罪名，逮捕了華裔美國商人潘婉芬； 而美國則指責中國大陸縱容網路駭客，竊取美國公司的商業機密， 並威脅將對中國大陸實施經濟制裁。中美兩國的針鋒相對， 從官方到民間無處不在。
仍可看到彼此的協調性；其間愛憎、推拉之張力表現， 就要看舞者的基本功力及靈犀契合之程度。由此看歐習會， 儘管中美兩國在爭勝逞強的過程中齟齬不斷， 甚至有人認為這次歐習會難有重要成就，但基於國際現實的考量， 兩國仍須從分歧之中尋找共識，從競爭當中謀求合作， 以求取最大利益；至少，會晤總比不會為佳。
中國大陸這次在股災及房地產崩盤的衝擊下，今年經濟可能硬著陸， 成長動力大不如前，將拖累世界經濟復甦的腳步。 中共採取人民幣重貶的方式來救出口，立刻衝擊到美國經濟的成長， 這也是美國聯準會決定延後升息的主因之一。在這種情況下，這次「 歐習會」勢必將主軸放在經濟議題上，共同協商解決之道。
主要是希望藉由強化東亞盟國的軍事力量， 來抗衡中國大陸的軍事崛起。但美國在南海議題上介入過深的結果， 造成雙方的軍事對峙緊繃， 反而促使中共加速在南海人工島礁上興建機場跑道。 為了降低兩國軍事對峙的不可預測性，美國希望透過這次「歐習會」 擴大兩國的軍事合作交流， 並就中美軍機在空中遭遇時的緊急反應制訂出雙方可以遵行的規範。
大陸不少貪官或經濟犯潛逃美國；由於兩國並無引渡條約， 中共自希望美方能協助將這些通緝逃犯緝拿遣返， 尤其是具有高度政治敏感度的前統戰部長令計劃之胞弟令完成。 另外，美國在中國的企業，因唯恐商業機密被竊取， 而不敢與中資企業合作；智慧財產權的保障， 已成為美國企業的一大隱憂。 中美兩國是否會以簽署智慧財產權來交換引渡經濟犯，是這次「 歐習會」關注的焦點。無論如何， 這將是一場展現新大國關係的愛憎探戈。
但對台灣來說，最怕的是「歐習會」後，當不同的音樂響起， 中美的雙人探戈轉變成美中台的三人探戈，到時候， 台灣的舞步不知道要伴隨誰的身影而動？