【英语中国】张成泽的下场为何令中国不安?

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所属分类:双语中国

2013-12-18 20:39

小艾摘要: North Korea’s formerly powerful number two, the ill-fated Jang Song Thaek, was very publicly and brutally executed, along with key aides — either as part of leader Kim Jong Un’s plan to consolidate ...
North Korea’s formerly powerful number two, the ill-fated Jang Song Thaek, was very publicly and brutally executed, along with key aides — either as part of leader Kim Jong Un’s plan to consolidate his unrivalled power; as retaliation for fomenting a military coup against the boy leader; or as punishment for simply “not clapping with sufficient enthusiasm” (as mentioned in the litany of charges against him).

The state’s propaganda organs were in rare form when they denounced him: “Despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery,” pronounced the official news agency. “Every sentence of the decision served as a sledgehammer blow brought down by our angry service personnel and people on the head of Jang, an anti-party, counter-revolutionary, factional element and despicable political careerist and trickster.”

The problem with closed, totalitarian states is that we cannot truly know why things happen. Jang’s sentence was handed down perhaps because of some combination of the above – or it could have been because the “Great Successor” (as Kim Jong Un is occasionally called, to remind all of his lineage) did not like the look in his eye during a sideways glance at a military parade. This macabre exhibition both appals us and draws us to look more closely: how is this Asian hybrid of Hobbes and Orwell even possible in 21st century northeast Asia, the veritable cockpit of the global economy?

Jang was seen in China and in the South Korean security establishment as a kind of human bellwether for North Korea’s trajectory. How he went would tell us how the country goes. He had long been viewed as the most experienced, cosmopolitan member of the elite — and the one best positioned to perhaps help embark the cloistered country on a path towards gradual opening and reform. Married to the aunt of Kim Jong Un and bestowed with military honours and privilege, he was regarded by some as almost family, which did not save him from the executioner. In truth, he was the favoured son of China, the only senior official in Pyongyang in whom Beijing had any confidence or indeed hope. Now that he has been dispatched, the anxiety levels have crept up perceptively along Beijing’s corridors of power.

There are indications that China has grown steadily more concerned by the brutal goings-on in Pyongyang and the provocations staged against its neighbours. Jang’s elimination will only add to the worry. The repeated nuclear tests, the sinking of a South Korean warship, the shelling of disputed island territories, and repeated missile tests and military exercises have dialled up tensions in China’s immediate neighbourhood. They have served as the driving force behind defence modernisation and military deployments for the US and its friends – certainly not in a rising-China’s best interests. There have been many reasons posited for China’s reluctance to entertain regime change in the North. There is, of course, the desire to maintain a kind of buffer state on its periphery, and the fear of instability immediately on the border. There is also the very reasonable fear of North Korean instability triggering the intervention of outside powers, with the potential for profound geopolitical miscalculations and large armies clashing.

But there is also, in all likelihood, a kind of recognition and form of empathy in Beijing for the bizarre machinations and public trials of Pyongyang. Strip away the hereditary power transitions and unique qualities of juche (a North Korean concept of self-reliance verging of deprivation), and North Korea most resembles Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China going through the horrors of the cultural revolution. Surely it would be painful – even for the current generation of modern, technocratic Chinese leaders – to consider abandoning a fraternal progeny, even one as horribly deformed and so belonging on the ash heap of history as North Korea. No, China will not cast away its ideological cousin and comrades from the Korean war, but instead continue to counsel patience, gradual reform and restraint – and, bluntly put, hope for the best.

Jang obviously did not survive this hoping for the best, and looks remarkably like an Asian version of Arthur Koestler’s protagonist in Darkness at Noon. Jang, like the old Bolshevik Rubashov, probably had an inkling of his destiny. Before he is carefully excised from all the photographic history of North Korea, examine one of the few existing pictures of Jang with Kim Jong Un. There he is at a factory site with the young genius still with his baby fat, standing just in the background, uncomfortable, knowing his ultimate fate, but still hoping for the best.

Kurt Campbell is chairman and chief executive of The Asia Group and on the board of the Center for a New American Security. From 2009-13 he served as the assistant US secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs

朝鲜曾经的二号人物、结局不佳的张成泽(Jang Song-Taek)及其一些重要助手被公开而无情地处决,这或者是金正恩(Kim Jong-un)巩固其无可匹敌权力的计划的一部分,或者是对张成泽企图煽动军事政变、推翻年轻领导人的报复,或者是对其“勉强拍手应付”的惩罚(官方在对张成泽的冗长指控中提到了这一点)。

官方宣传机构以不留余地的最强烈措辞谴责张成泽:“狗不如的人间渣滓张成泽背叛党和领袖天大的信任和深恩的栽培,犯下了令人发指的大逆行为,”官方的朝鲜中央通讯社宣告。“判决书的每句是朝鲜军民给予反党反革命分子、恶毒的政治野心家、阴谋家张成泽的狠狠的铁锤。”

封闭的极权国家的问题是,我们不可能真正知道事情的来龙去脉。张成泽得到的判决,或许是因为上述原因的某种组合,也可能是因为“伟大继承人”(金正恩有时被冠以这个称号,以便向天下提醒他的血统)在检阅阅兵期间侧头一瞥时,不喜欢他的眼神。这种可怕的展示既让我们感到惊惧,也促使我们更仔细地观察:在东北亚已成为全球经济驾驶舱的21世纪,这种亚洲特色的霍布斯(Hobbes)和奥威尔(Orwell)的混合体怎么有可能存在?

张成泽生前被中国和韩国安全部门视为观察朝鲜走向的某种风向标式的人物。他的沉浮将告诉我们这个国家的走向。他长期被视为朝鲜精英阶层中经验最丰富、最具世界眼光的成员,也是置身于最有利地位的官员,或许有可能帮助这个与世隔绝的国家逐步走上开放和改革之路。张成泽与金正恩的姑姑结婚并被授予军事荣誉和特权,被某些人认为几乎就是金氏家族的人,而这并未让他免于一死。实际上,他是中国的宠儿,是北京方面唯一抱有信心(或者期待)的平壤高官。既然他已被处决,北京高层的不安情绪明显上升。

有迹象表明,平壤的野蛮举动及其对邻国的挑衅越来越让中国感到担忧。张成泽的下场只会加剧这种担忧。屡次进行核试验、击沉韩国军舰、炮轰争议岛屿以及多次进行导弹试验和军事演习,加剧了中国周边地区的紧张局势。它们成为美国及其盟友展开防务现代化和军事部署背后的驱动因素,这当然不符合一个正在崛起的中国的最佳利益。人们提出了很多理由,说明中国不愿支持朝鲜政权更迭。中国当然希望朝鲜充当某种意义上的境外缓冲,并担心本国边境地区陷入不稳定。此外,中国还合理地担忧朝鲜局势动荡引发外部势力的干预,导致深远的地缘政治误判和大规模军事冲突。

但北京方面多半也会对平壤的离奇阴谋和公开审判怀有某种认可和同情。剔除权力世袭和“主体思想”(juche,接近赤贫的朝鲜特色自力更生概念)的独特特征后,朝鲜就像是斯大林领导下的苏联或者毛泽东领导下的文化大革命时期的中国。即便对于当代中国的技术官僚式领导人来说,考虑放弃革命兄弟的后代肯定会感到痛苦,即便是像朝鲜这种极度扭曲,应当被扫进历史垃圾堆的国家。不,中国不会抛弃其意识形态表亲和朝鲜战争中的战友,而是会继续建议耐心、渐进式改革,以及克制,说白了就是往好处想。

张成泽显然未能靠这种“往好处想”的策略保住老命,他看起来就像是阿瑟?凯斯特勒(Arthur Koestler)在其著作《中午的黑暗》(Darkness at Noon)中描述的主角。与那位名叫卢巴雪夫(Rubashov)的老布尔什维克一样,张成泽或许隐隐约约知道自己的下场。在朝鲜周密地删掉张成泽的所有历史影像之前,认真研究一下张成泽与金正恩的一张合影(现在两人的合影已经没有多少了)。在这张张成泽陪同那位仍然胖乎乎的年轻天才访问一家工厂的照片上,张成泽表情不安地站在后面,似乎知道自己的最终命运,但仍然抱着侥幸心理。

本文作者是亚洲集团(The Asia Group)主席兼首席执行官、新美国安全中心(Center for a New American Security)董事会成员,曾在2009年至2013年担任美国东亚及太平洋事务助理国务卿

译者/何黎

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