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华尔街日报:共产党即将崩暌的五大理由

转贴者按语:最近外媒开始热议中国崩溃的问题。对此,魏京生表示:“未来中国的政治竞争,就在于争夺民心;就在于谁能表现出真正走向民主,而不是拿民主的口号忽悠人。”
   
   
   
   

   《华尔街日报》:共产党即将分崩离析的五大理由
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   美國喬治華盛頓大學國際事務學院教授、中國政策研究項目主任沈大偉(David Shambaugh),今日在《華爾街日報》撰文,表示中國國家主席習近平極力阻止自己成為中國的戈爾巴喬夫,讓中國像蘇聯一樣解體。然而,習近平執意集大權於一身,反而讓共產黨一步步邁向分崩離析。
   
   
   
   沈大偉承認,過往估計中國共產黨必將倒台的「中國通」們,都因為他們的失算影響他們的學術聲譽。然而,他現在確信中國共產黨的「終局」(endgame)已經展開。他不知道結局會是如何,但有可能相當混亂與暴力,亦不排除習近平會在政治鬥爭或軍事政變中下台。習近平現在的「反腐工作」帶有攻擊性,是這個外強中乾的政黨所不能承受的。
   
   
   
   他表示,中共政權最少有五大結構弱點。首先,中國的經濟精英們已經至少把他們的一隻腳伸到中國門外,只要中國一崩潰便能馬上離開。他引述上海胡潤研究中心的調查,有64%的中國富人已經移民或正計劃移民,並正大肆在海外產子、購買資產。另一方面,絕大部分的富人,都把他們的子女送到外國讀書。這些富人根本對中國的未來沒有信心。
   
   
   
   第二,習近平自上任以來一直加強對媒體、網絡、電影、藝術、宗教及少數民族等的箝制。中央政府更向各大院校頒下了所謂「七不講」指引,不能在校園內談論西方的普世價值,包括憲政民主、公民社會及新聞自由等。沈大偉認為一個穩定而有信心的政府,不會作出如此嚴厲的鎮壓,這些政策是政權內心深處虛怯不安的病徵。
   
   
   
   第三,他認為中共的教條式口號、「黨八股」已經完全失去號召力。他上年夏天出席了一個附屬於共產黨的中國智庫會議會議探討什麼是習近平提出的「中國夢」。然而,他形容連這些政黨學者都表現出目無表情、毫無興趣,沉悶非常。另一方面,習近平的著作在大學書店即使是免費贈送亦乏人問津,可見人民對黨理念再無幻想。
   
   
   
   第四,習近平的打貪縱使雷厲風行,卻沒有針對一黨專政、朋黨網絡、欠缺透明、法治及媒體監察這些貪腐的真正根源。因此,打貪只是政治鬥爭的工具,大部分都是針對黨內大老前、國家主席江澤民的門生及盟友。然而,習近平本人在黨內卻不見有忠實的盟友。
   
   
   
   最後,中國的經濟前景未容樂觀,而對國家企業的改革將牽涉大量利益衝突,舉步維艱,令中國難以真正轉型為有創意、能發展高科技的知識型經濟。以上這些問題,全部都需要政治改革才能解決,包括放鬆政治控制。如果習近平在這個亟需改革的情況下一意孤行,他們恐怕將需面對他們極力迴避的結局。
   
   
   
   對於有人認為習近平在靖內難後將變得開放,沈大偉對此不敢苟同。他認為習近平視政治為「零和遊戲」,認為放寬政治管制就是向敵人讓了一步,就是對黨的打擊。這一點,從中國處處暗示美國正積極推翻共產黨便可見一斑,毫無證據顯示改革就近在咫尺。
   
   
   
   The Coming Chinese Crackup
   
   
   
   The endgame of communist rule in China has begun, and Xi Jinping’s ruthless measures are only bringing the country closer to a breaking point
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   ENLARGE
   
   
   
   Chinese President Xi Jinping, front center, and other Chinese leaders attend the opening meeting on Thursday of the third session of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. PHOTO: XINHUA/ZUMA PRESS
   
   
   
   By
   
   
   
   DAVID SHAMBAUGH
   
   
   
   March 6, 2015 11:26 a.m. ET
   
   
   
   245 COMMENTS
   
   
   
   On Thursday, the National People’s Congress convened in Beijing in what has become a familiar annual ritual. Some 3,000 “elected” delegates from all over the country—ranging from colorfully clad ethnic minorities to urbane billionaires—will meet for a week to discuss the state of the nation and to engage in the pretense of political participation.
   
   
   
   Some see this impressive gathering as a sign of the strength of the Chinese political system—but it masks serious weaknesses. Chinese politics has always had a theatrical veneer, with staged events like the congress intended to project the power and stability of the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP. Officials and citizens alike know that they are supposed to conform to these rituals, participating cheerfully and parroting back official slogans. This behavior is known in Chinese as biaotai, “declaring where one stands,” but it is little more than an act of symbolic compliance.
   
   
   
   
   RELATED READING
   
   
   
   · China’s New Boss
   
   
   
   · Will China Crush the Hong Kong Protests?
   
   
   
   Despite appearances, China’s political system is badly broken, and nobody knows it better than the Communist Party itself. China’s strongman leader,Xi Jinping , is hoping that a crackdown on dissent and corruption will shore up the party’s rule. He is determined to avoid becoming the Mikhail Gorbachev of China, presiding over the party’s collapse. But instead of being the antithesis of Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Xi may well wind up having the same effect. His despotism is severely stressing China’s system and society—and bringing it closer to a breaking point.
   
   
   
   Predicting the demise of authoritarian regimes is a risky business. Few Western experts forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union before it occurred in 1991; the CIA missed it entirely. The downfall of Eastern Europe’s communist states two years earlier was similarly scorned as the wishful thinking of anticommunists—until it happened. The post-Soviet “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan from 2003 to 2005, as well as the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, all burst forth unanticipated.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   ENLARGE
   
   
   
   The Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the site of pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989. PHOTO: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/GETTY IMAGES
   
   
   
   China-watchers have been on high alert for telltale signs of regime decay and decline ever since the regime’s near-death experience in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Since then, several seasoned Sinologists have risked their professional reputations by asserting that the collapse of CCP rule was inevitable. Others were more cautious—myself included. But times change in China, and so must our analyses.
   
   
   
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   The endgame of Chinese communist rule has now begun, I believe, and it has progressed further than many think. We don’t know what the pathway from now until the end will look like, of course. It will probably be highly unstable and unsettled. But until the system begins to unravel in some obvious way, those inside of it will play along—thus contributing to the facade of stability.
   
   
   
   Communist rule in China is unlikely to end quietly. A single event is unlikely to trigger a peaceful implosion of the regime. Its demise is likely to be protracted, messy and violent. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Mr. Xi will be deposed in a power struggle or coup d’état. With his aggressive anticorruption campaign—a focus of this week’s National People’s Congress—he is overplaying a weak hand and deeply aggravating key party, state, military and commercial constituencies.
   
   
   
   The Chinese have a proverb, waiying, neiruan—hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Mr. Xi is a genuinely tough ruler. He exudes conviction and personal confidence. But this hard personality belies a party and political system that is extremely fragile on the inside.
   
   
   
   Consider five telling indications of the regime’s vulnerability and the party’s systemic weaknesses.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   ENLARGE
   
   
   
   A military band conductor during the opening session of the National People’s Congress on Thursday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
   
   
   
   First, China’s economic elites have one foot out the door, and they are ready to flee en masse if the system really begins to crumble. In 2014, Shanghai’s Hurun Research Institute, which studies China’s wealthy, found that 64% of the “high net worth individuals” whom it polled—393 millionaires and billionaires—were either emigrating or planning to do so. Rich Chinese are sending their children to study abroad in record numbers (in itself, an indictment of the quality of the Chinese higher-education system).
   
   
   
   Just this week, the Journal reported, federal agents searched several Southern California locations that U.S. authorities allege are linked to “multimillion-dollar birth-tourism businesses that enabled thousands of Chinese women to travel here and return home with infants born as U.S. citizens.” Wealthy Chinese are also buying property abroad at record levels and prices, and they are parking their financial assets overseas, often in well-shielded tax havens and shell companies.
   
   
   
   Meanwhile, Beijing is trying to extradite back to China a large number of alleged financial fugitives living abroad. When a country’s elites—many of them party members—flee in such large numbers, it is a telling sign of lack of confidence in the regime and the country’s future.

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