【英语中国】俄罗斯能否复制北京的成功? Russia seeks to replicate Beijing’s success story

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所属分类:双语中国

2014-2-10 15:10

小艾摘要: When foreign observers were still gloating over a glitch in the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony, the Russian hosts received some badly needed support from China.“The west’s relentless dispara ...
Russia seeks to replicate Beijing’s success story
When foreign observers were still gloating over a glitch in the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony, the Russian hosts received some badly needed support from China.

“The west’s relentless disparagement of the Sochi Olympics has been all too familiar [as Sochi] suffered identical political finger-pointing as Beijing did six years ago,” thundered Beijing’s official news agency Xinhua at the weekend.

Indeed, the unfavourable close-ups on Russia echo the exposure of China’s ugly underbelly ahead of Beijing’s Olympics in 2008.

Those parallels are no coincidence. For both Beijing and Moscow, hosting the games was part of an attempt to overcome an image problem abroad and rally the population behind an authoritarian government at home.

Both the Chinese and the Russian governments have struggled to deal with the spotlight thrown on them as a result. Beijing exposed itself to ridicule when it created a protest zone for the games, only to then detain people who applied for approval to use it.

Russian authorities have arrested more than 60 people since Friday, the day of the opening ceremony, for demonstrations in four different cities – far away from the area designated for protests during the Olympics.

The authorities’ obsession with securing a perfect event produced some almost comical similarities with Beijing. When a woman in Sochi was photographed spraying the grass with green paint last week, Chinese internet users joked that she must have received instructions from Chinese officials.

When one of five snowflakes supposed to turn into the five Olympic rings failed to open and left the symbol of the games incomplete during the opening ceremony in Sochi on Friday night, Russian state television switched to pre-recorded rehearsal coverage.

“You couldn’t but feel reminded of how they had one little girl sing the Ode to the Motherland in the Beijing ceremony but another lip-sync in the stadium because she was deemed cuter,” says an Asian diplomat who has worked in both China and Russia.

But the Olympics are likely to produce very different legacies in these two large countries. Many Chinese observers feel it far-fetched to compare the Sochi games to their own. “Our government was ready, but the Russians were not,” says Chen Cheng, a Chinese businessman who has lived in Moscow since 1992. “In a way, that is indicative of the way China and Russia are run in general. I’m not saying there is no corruption and bureaucracy back home, but it is so much worse here.”

There is consensus among analysts that the micro-control China’s ruling Communist party still has over its subjects produced a much smoother operation. “With the kind of system China has, it could hold a decent Olympics regardless of the cost,” says Chen Jian, deputy director of the China Society of Economic Reform.

China’s leadership has also been more successful than Mr Putin can be in using the games to rally a sense of national pride.

In a recent Russian opinion poll, respondents said they thought the chance to steal public funds was a more important reason for officials to host the games than the consideration that this was important for a big country.

Such cynicism is absent in mainstream opinion in China when it comes to the Olympics. The Communist party has successfully used slogans and imagery from the games in its propaganda narrative of the rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation that has become the main basis of its legitimacy.

Building such a narrative would be challenging for Moscow because of the very different dynamics in its overall development. China has risen to global power status since the Olympics, while Russia is fighting against decline.

“Putin was at the height of his power in 2004-2007, when he was competing for the right to host the Olympics in Sochi. At that time, Russia was ‘rising from its knees,’ whereas now Russia has started its downward slide,” wrote Lilia Shevtsova, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, an arm of the US think-tank.

In Beijing, the Olympics helped form the collective memories of a generation. Teng Luning, a 30-year-old who served as a volunteer in 2008, says the experience made her stronger personally because she had been spoiled at home. “I appreciate more of the Olympic spirit of being strong.”

In Russia, such faith is absent. The opening ceremony, a colourful and often dreamlike spectacle, sparked an outpouring of enthusiasm among Russians, but not of the kind that would enhance support for the government.

“The ceremony showed us not the stupid neo-Soviet Russian Federation we live in, but a normal Russia of Russian nationality,” said Sputnik & Pogrom, a nationalist website. “A Russia without Putin.”

Additional reporting by Zhao Tianqi in Beijing

当国外观察人士还在对索契冬奥会(Sochi Winter Olympics)开幕式上的小失误幸灾乐祸时,东道主俄罗斯得到了中国雪中送炭般的支持。

中国官方通讯社新华社上周末批评道:“西方对索契冬奥会的无情诋毁感觉再熟悉不过。索契遭遇的政治责难,与6年前北京的遭遇一模一样。”

西方对俄罗斯的吹毛求疵,确实与他们在2008年北京奥运会开幕前对中国阴暗面的曝光如出一辙。

这种相似并非巧合。对中国和俄罗斯而言,举办运动会都是对外解决国际形象问题、对内将民众团结在威权政府下的一种尝试。

结果是,中俄两国政府都未能应对好随之而来的聚光灯。中国政府当初遭到嘲讽,因为它为奥运会设立了抗议区,但申请使用抗议区的人随后却被拘留。

自上周五冬奥会开幕式以来,俄罗斯当局已在4座城市逮捕了60多名示威者。他们示威的地点离冬奥会指定的抗议区距离也是相当遥远。

俄罗斯当局执着于确保冬奥会尽善尽美,却产生了与当年中国政府的做法相似的滑稽性效果。上周有人在索契拍到,一名女工正在往草坪上喷绿漆,对此中国网民打趣称,她一定是得到了中国官员的真传。

在上周五晚举行的索契奥运会开幕式上,五朵雪花图案本该一同打开,转变成奥运五环图案。但其中一朵“变身”失败,让奥运五环出现了瑕疵。此时,正在直播的俄罗斯官方电视台切换到了预先录制的彩排画面。

一位在中俄两国都工作过的亚洲外交官表示:“你不由得想起,在北京奥运会的开幕式上,他们安排一个小女孩唱《歌唱祖国》,却安排另一个小女孩站在体育场中央对口型假唱,因为觉得她长得更可爱。”

但奥运会留给这两个大国的遗产可能将是截然不同的。许多中国观察人士认为,将索契奥运会与北京奥运会相比有些牵强。“我们的政府当时已做好充分准备,而俄罗斯政府没有准备好。”1992年以来一直生活在俄罗斯的中国商人陈程(音译)表示,“某种程度上,这反映了中俄两国的整体治国方式。我不是说我的祖国不存在腐败和官僚主义问题,但俄罗斯的这两个问题要严重得多。”

分析人士一致认为,中共仍能对国民实施微观控制,使得中国的治理要顺当得多。“以中国的体制,它可以不惜成本地把奥运会办得像模像样,”中国经济体制改革研究会副会长陈剑表示。

在利用奥运会唤起本国民众的民族自豪感方面,中国领导层也比普京(Vladimir Putin)做得更成功。

在俄罗斯近期的一次民调中,受访者认为,官员想要举办奥运会更主要的原因是有机会贪污公款,而不是举办奥运会对一个大国意义重大。

而在中国举办奥运会时,主流舆论中并没有见到这样的猜疑。中共成功将奥运标语和图像运用于实现中华民族伟大复兴的宣传叙事中,而实现中华民族的伟大复兴已经成为中共合法性的主要根基。

由于总体发展特点与中国截然不同,莫斯科方面很难打造出这样的宣传叙事。中国自奥运会后已逐步崛起为世界强国,而俄罗斯眼下正努力抵抗衰落之势。

“普京在2004-2007年期间攀上了权力的巅峰,索契申奥就在那段时期内。当时俄罗斯正在‘从地上爬起来’,而现在的俄罗斯已经开始走下坡路,”美国智库卡内基国际和平基金会(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)分支机构莫斯科卡内基中心(Moscow Carnegie Center)的分析员莉利亚?舍夫佐娃(Lilia Shevtsova)写道。

在北京,奥运会帮助构建了一代人的集体记忆。现年30岁的滕鲁宁说,担任2008年奥运会志愿者的经历让她变得更坚强了,而之前的她是被父母宠坏的孩子。“我对自强的奥运精神有了更深的体会。”

俄罗斯人则缺乏这样的信念。色彩绚烂、不乏梦幻场面的开幕式激发了俄罗斯人的热情,但这种热情并未转化为对俄罗斯政府的支持。

俄罗斯民族主义网站Sputnik & Pogrom表示:“开幕式向我们展现的不是现有的这个愚蠢的、新苏联式的俄罗斯联邦,而是一个体现俄罗斯民族本色的正常俄罗斯,一个没有了普京的俄罗斯。”

赵添琦补充报道

译者/何黎

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