【英语中国】为“中国梦”注入实质内容

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所属分类:双语中国

2013-11-16 08:42

小艾摘要: Was the outcome of the Third Plenum “unprecedented”, as one member of the standing committee expressed beforehand? Or at least “comprehensively deepening reforms”, as characterised officially? Aft ...
Was the outcome of the Third Plenum “unprecedented”, as one member of the standing committee expressed beforehand? Or at least “comprehensively deepening reforms”, as characterised officially? After four days of silence when the only indication that something important was happening was the increased security, the final communique offers both encouragement and uncertainty.

The communique was comprehensive in the tradition of previous statements. Present were both the obligatory homage to the past leadership is there (“the magnificent banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics”, “Deng Xiaoping Theory”, “the important Three Represents thought”) and the affirmation of the dominant role of the Party. It also managed to mention all the issues without offending any constituency: “establishment of an innovative economy, governing the country according to the law and accelerate the perfection of cultural management.”

This was to be expected. The uncertainties revolved around two issues: how the plenum would deal with the role of the state and how the leadership would demonstrate its intentions to act.

On the first, the communique managed to tread a fine line. It clearly stated that the market would play a decisive role (in contrast to a “basic” role) in allocating resources, and the government would play a better role. Implicit here is that the government will move to eliminate major price distortions and curb the government’s interventions in the allocation of resources which are seen as having exacerbated inefficiencies. But the statement also reaffirms that “public ownership” is at the “core” of the economic system, signaling limits to the private sector’s role.

On the second, the decision to establish a central leading group to drive the reform agenda recognises that the reforms are now more complicated than before, embracing multiple sectors. The current compartmentalisation of responsibilities among the members of the Standing Committee and State Council has made it nearly impossible to address reforms involving multiple interests. The proposed committee could break this log-jam.

The Third Plenum did provide a “comprehensive framework for deepening reforms” but as expected no detailed action plan. The “what” was never that important since there is little disagreement on the menu of needed reforms. The continuing debate will be about how to do it, when to do it and by how much.

The few specifics are in areas where there are agencies with the orientation and capacity to carry out reforms at the national level, as in the financial and fiscal systems. For most issues, however, where more tailored approaches are warranted given the diversity of the regions, reforms will be driven locally with less predictable outcomes.

Years from now, this Plenum might be judged as “unprecedented” if it turns out that the state really does allow the market to play a more decisive role and the new team really is able reform, fundamentally, the major economic institutions.

But for markets, there are more immediate concerns about whether the leadership has a strategy for reversing the rapid debt build-up and developing a more sustainable basis for growth. They will want to see more concrete actions to break the unhealthy links between local authorities and the banks that they effectively control. With the state playing both the lender and creditor, this relationship has been a recipe for the excesses exemplified by the the surplus capacity of China’s so-called “ghost towns”.

Markets also want to see the private sector playing a bigger role in developing higher-value services: financial, media, telecommunications, education and health. The leadership is likely to shake up the protected positions of the state enterprises and allow private interests to take up an increasing share, but full privatisation remains an unlikely option.

For the average person concerned about growing inequities, corruption and pollution, there is support for the rule of law and at least one tangible action in the establishment of a restructured state security system. This could offer a more holistic and sensitive approach to addressing social tensions than in the past but it could also turn out to be a means for more heavy-handed treatment.

Although the link is not often recognised, a better-managed urbanisation process can address both social concerns and support growth. Urbanisation is not just about allowing more people to move into the cities. It is also about unifying and reforming rural and urban land markets, as noted in the communique, so that farmers can sell their use-rights to collectively owned plots at a fair price. Urbanisation is also about granting migrant workers full access to social services, which promotes equality and also stimulates consumption.

China’s future lies as much in maintaining political stability as in sustaining rapid growth. Many of the actions cited in the communique could feed into the wider changes needed to curb corruption and promote the sense of a more just society. Fiscal reforms and reduced dependence on banks will improve transparency and promote accountability. Rolling back the power of the state enterprises and streamlining government procedures will restrain opportunities for rent seeking. Promotion of a services-oriented economy will reduce dependence on energy-intensive industries and help mitigate environmental degradation. Urbanisation will strengthen the voice of the middle class and put pressure on liberalising the flow of information, as well as promote a more independent jury. In sum, this will all give substance to what President Xi has implied in his as yet undefined “China Dream”, to which he gave such prominence in this Plenum.

The author is a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment and a former World Bank Country Director for China.

中共十八届三中全会的成果是否像一位政治局常委在会前描述的那样,是“空前的”呢?或者,至少像官方描述的那样,是“全面深化改革”?在经历了四天静悄悄的会议之后(在此期间,人们感受到的唯一能证明有什么大事正在发生的迹象是,官方提高了安全警戒级别),最终出炉的公报既让人感到鼓舞,也包含一些不确定性。

像以往的公报一样,此次全会公报的内容也是包罗万象。公报既包含对以往领导班子(“中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜”、“邓小平理论”、“‘三个代表’重要思想”)必须要表示的致敬,又肯定了党的领导地位。公报还在不得罪任意一个群体的情况下努力提到了方方面面:“加快建设创新型国家,依法治国,加快完善文化管理体制。”

这一点是在意料之中的。不确定性主要围绕两个问题:此次全会将如何调整国家的作用,这届领导班子将如何证明其行动的意愿。

在第一个问题上,公报妥善地找到了平衡。公报明确指出,市场将在资源配置中起决定性作用(而不是“基础性”作用),并要更好地发挥政府的作用。这里暗含的意思是,政府将采取行动消除重大价格扭曲,抑制自身对资源配置的干预(这种干预令效率低下变得更加严重)。但公报同时也重申了“公有制”在经济体系中的“主体”地位,这表明非公有制经济的地位是受到限制的。

在第二个问题上,公报称中央决定成立全面深化改革领导小组,以推进改革议程。这个决定说明中共意识到现在改革要比以往更加复杂,会涉及多重领域。中共中央政治局常委会和国务院各位成员目前在职责方面条块分割严重,这使得中共几乎无法处理涉及多方利益的改革。计划将成立的领导小组可能会打破这种僵局。

此次全会确实给出了深化改革的全面框架,但正如人们预料的那样,没有给出什么具体的行动规划。由于在哪些东西需要改革这一点上几乎没有什么分歧,因此“改什么”从来都不是那么重要。持续的争论将集中在“如何改”、“何时改”以及“改到什么程度”上。

为数不多的细节是在这样一些领域:在这些领域中,存在有目标、有能力的部门来从国家层面上实施改革,比如金融和财政系统。但对大多数问题(考虑到各地区间的差异,在这些问题上理应采取更有针对性的做法)来说,改革将主要由地方驱动,结果也较难预测。

若干年之后,如果事实证明国家真的允许市场发挥更具决定性的作用,而且这届领导班子真的能够从根本上改革重要的经济制度,那么此次全会或许可以算作是“空前的”。

但对市场来说,更紧迫的问题是这届领导班子有没有什么战略来逆转债务的迅速积累、并发展出更可持续的增长基础。它们希望看到更具体的行动,去打破地方政府与其实际控制的银行之间的不健康联系。鉴于国家扮演着贷款人和债权人的双重角色,这种关系造成了各种过度行为,中国所谓的“鬼城”的产能过剩就是代表。

市场还希望看到民营部门在发展更高价值服务方面发挥更大作用,这些服务包括金融、媒体、电信、教育和医疗。这届领导班子很可能会撼动国企的受保护地位,允许民营部门占有越来越大的份额,但全面私有化仍是一个不太可能的选项。

针对担心日益严重的不平等、腐败和污染的老百姓,全会公报提及了对法治的支持、以及至少一项具体的行动,即建立一个经过重组的国家安全系统。就应对社会矛盾而言,这可能提供了一种较以往更全面、更灵敏的应对方式,但它也可能会演变为一种更为高压的处置手段。

得到更妥善管理的城镇化过程既可解决社会问题,又可促进经济增长——尽管这种联系往往没有被认识到。正如公报中指出的那样,城镇化指的不止是让更多人迁移到城市,还包括统一和改革农村及城镇土地市场,这样农民就能以公平的价格出售自己对集体所有制地块的使用权。城镇化还涉及让农民工充分享有社会服务,这将促进公平并刺激消费。

中国的未来不仅在于保持政治稳定,也在于保持快速增长。公报中提到的很多行动可能会催生更广泛的改革,这些改革对于遏制腐败、弘扬建设更公正社会的精神是必要的。财政改革以及减少对银行的依赖将增加透明度并推进问责制。收缩国企权力和精简政府办事程序,将抑制寻租的机会。推进服务导向型经济将减少对能源密集型产业的依赖,帮助缓解环境恶化。城镇化将增强中产阶级的话语权,增加放开信息流管制的压力,并促进司法的独立性。总的来说,这些都将为中国国家主席习近平提出的尚未定义的“中国梦”注入实质内容,而“中国梦”正是他在此次全会中着重提到的。

本文作者是卡内基国际和平基金会(Carnegie Endowment)高级研究员,曾任世界银行(World Bank)中国业务局局长

译者/王慧玲

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