【英语中国】IMF报告显示中国在亚洲影响力超过日本 How China Is Eclipsing Japan in Asia – An IMF Snapshot

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2014-5-13 11:18

小艾摘要: China's latest tangle with Vietnam plays into Japan's bid to ramp up influence in Asia, as Tokyo offers leadership to counter Beijing's saber-rattling. A new International Monetary Fund report offers ...
How China Is Eclipsing Japan in Asia - An IMF Snapshot
China's latest tangle with Vietnam plays into Japan's bid to ramp up influence in Asia, as Tokyo offers leadership to counter Beijing's saber-rattling.

A new International Monetary Fund report offers a sobering reminder of the limits of Japanese clout, highlighting the growing reliance of regional economies on China, and the declining economic importance of Japan, as shown in the accompanying graphs.

In the latest Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and Pacific, the IMF compared how much 11 export-dependent Asian economies depended on Japan and China, first in 1995 and then in 2012. In the mid-90s, all 11 relied more on Japan than China as an export market. Less than two decades later, 10 of those countries were more dependent on China, most by wide margins. The one exception: Indonesia, which still sold somewhat more to Japan.

The numbers reflect both Japan's dramatic decline in importance over nearly 20 years of stagnation, and China's rapid rise.

The IMF doesn't look at raw exports, but a country's 'value added embodied' in exports. That's the portion of an exported product made in a country, stripping out the value of components imported from elsewhere included in that product.

By that measure, Malaysia sent nearly one-quarter of its exports to Japan in 1995 -- and just 6% in 2012. At the same time, its reliance on China doubled, to 10%. Back then, Australia was about six times more dependent on Japan. Now, it's nearly twice as dependent on China.

The data was part of a broader study looking at how economies in the region are becoming more integrated . 'China is at the core of this, both as an assembly hub, and, increasingly, as a source of final demand,' said Romaine Duval, an IMF economist specializing in Asia, in an interview. 'By contrast, Japan's role, which was very crucial in the 1990s, is declining very rapidly.'

The data are a reminder of the constraints on U.S.-Japan efforts to contain China's influence, and to build an Asian economic bloc that may exclude China, notably through the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact currently under negotiation.

Japanese officials say that regional influence goes beyond the size of a country's economy. They argue that Japan -- in partnership with the U.S. -- offers a model of free-market democracy that other countries in the region aspire to emulate. China offers money, but no model, they assert. And China's territorial ambitions give Japan shared cause with smaller neighbors.

And beyond the top-line data, the economic story is a bit more complex. A significant share of trade with China is in parts that ultimately end up getting sold to companies or consumers in industrialized countries. That makes the U.S., Europe and Japan more central than the data might suggest.

Mr. Duval notes that Asia's two largest economies perform different functions in the regional production process. Japan still plays a bigger 'upstream' role than China in regional trade -- that is, providing sophisticated components -- while China's role is more 'downstream,' that is, handling final assembly.

'Japan's role is still big as a supplier in the region,' said Mr. Duval. 'But that's more like a footnote.'

在东京试图带领其他亚太地区国家抵御北京的军事威胁之际,中国近来与越南的争端似乎有利于日本加强在亚洲地区的影响力。

但国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund, 简称IMF)新发布的一份报告明确地提醒日本其影响力的限度。附图展现出了地区经济体对中国的依赖度不断加大以及日本经济重要性的日益下降。

在新发布的《亚太地区经济展望》(Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and Pacific)报告中,IMF比较了亚洲11个以出口为导向的经济体在1995年和2012年对中国和日本的依赖度。在20世纪90年代中期,所有11个国家在出口市场方面都更依赖日本。而不到20年后,其中10个国家对中国的依赖度就超过了日本,且超出的幅度较大。唯一的一个例外是印尼,该国对日本的出口依然大于对中国的出口。

上述数据不仅反映了近20年的经济停滞导致日本的重要性显著下滑,也体现了中国在这段时期内的迅速崛起。

IMF比较的不是一国对中国或日本的毛出口额,而是出口附加值,即一国生产的出口产品的价值减去这些产品中所包含的进口自其它国家和地区的零部件的价值。

以这一标准衡量,在1995年,对日本的出口占到了马来西亚总出口的近四分之一,但到2012年,该比例仅为6%,而2012年马来西亚对中国的出口占其总出口的比例则较1995年提高了一倍至10%。1995年时,澳大利亚出口对日本的依赖度比对中国的依赖度高出五倍,而在2012年,对中国的依赖度比对日本的依赖度高出近一倍。

上述数据是一项较为广泛的调查的一部份,该调查研究的是这一地区内的经济体如何变得更加整合。IMF专门研究亚洲的经济学家杜瓦尔(Romaine Duval)称,中国是其中的核心,既是组装中心,也愈发成为最终需求来源;与之相比,曾在上世纪90年代扮演关键角色的日本则在极其迅速地衰落。

这个数据再次提醒人们,美国与日本试图牵制中国影响力的努力受到限制。美日两国试图打造一个排除中国在外的亚洲经济区,其中明显的措施包括目前正处于谈判期的泛太平洋战略经济伙伴关系协议(简称TPP)。

日本的官员们称,地区影响力比一个国家的经济规模更重要。他们认为,与美国达成合作关系的日本可以提供一个自由市场民主化模式,该地区其他国家则会渴望照着这一模式发展。日本官员认为,中国提供的是资金,而不是模式。此外,中国在领土问题上的雄心也令日本和较小邻国之间存在共鸣。

不过在数据之外,实际经济情况则较为复杂。与中国进行贸易的其中大部分商品最终会销售给工业国家的企业和消费者,这就使得美国、欧洲和日本的地位比数据表现出来的更加重要。

杜瓦尔指出,在地区生产流程中,亚洲的两个最大经济体起到的功能各不相同。与中国的地区贸易相比,日本在“上游”仍旧扮演着更加重要的角色,即该国提供的是复杂的产品部件;与此同时,中国扮演的更多是“下游”的角色,即进行最终组装。

杜瓦尔称,作为该地区的供应国,日本所扮演的角色仍旧重要,但这个角色更像是一个脚注。

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