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FT社评:推动中国更加开放

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luyuna

2018年01月13日

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A decade ago, most global companies’ strategic presentations gave pride of place to plans for China. This position is now taken by other areas — big data or artificial intelligence, perhaps. What has changed? China is now bigger, richer and more influential on the world stage. The vicissitudes of management fashion may have something to do with it. But the most powerful driver is probably years of hard experience. As China’s economy has matured, protectionism has remained one of its key organising principles.

10年前,多数全球公司的战略演讲都会把中国发展计划放在首要位置。如今这个位置或许已被其他领域(比如大数据或人工智能)占据。是什么改变了?中国现在在世界舞台上更大、更富且更具影响力。管理时尚的变迁可能有一点关系。但最强大的驱动因素很可能是多年的艰辛体验。在中国经济趋于成熟的同时,保护主义仍然一直是其关键的组织原则之一。

Global companies maintain their presence in China, depend on its manufacturing capacity, and hire its graduates. In some areas — luxury goods, cars, iPhones — they sell a lot of products there. But the “China First” approach pursued by Beijing has served to shift many industries’ priorities.

全球公司依然保持在华业务,依靠中国的制造实力,并且聘用中国的毕业生。在一些领域(比如奢侈品、汽车、iPhone),他们在中国市场销售大量产品。但北京方面采取的“中国优先”姿态,已经在很多行业起到了改变企业重点的效果。

This is the crucial context for news that opposition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has sunk the $1.2bn acquisition of US cash transfer company MoneyGram by China’s Ant Financial.

这对于下列新闻是至关重要的背景:美国外国投资委员会(CFIUS)的反对已导致中国蚂蚁金服(Ant Financial)收购美国汇款公司速汇金(MoneyGram)的12亿美元交易泡汤。

It is plain that if the positions were switched, with an American bidder and a Chinese target, China would block the deal. Other than, perhaps, information technology — where the “great firewall of China” constitutes the world’s biggest non-tariff trade barrier — few Chinese industries are more protected than finance. The country’s banks are state-owned. Foreign banks are allowed to operate in the country, but various official barriers mean they have never made much headway there, despite big investments and official pledges of increased openness. It took a 2012 ruling against China by the World Trade Organization for its market to be opened — nominally — to global payment processors such as Visa and MasterCard. Since the ruling, Chinese regulators have dragged their feet in allowing outsiders to set up shop.

很显然,如果交易方换位,换成一家美国竞购者和一家中国目标企业,中国将会阻止这笔交易。也许除了信息技术(在该领域,中国的“长城防火墙”构成了世界上最大的非关税贸易壁垒)以外,中国没有什么行业比金融业更受保护。中国的银行是国有的。外资银行被允许在境内经营,但各种官方障碍意味着他们在中国从未打开局面,尽管企业作出了大笔投资,尽管官方承诺要提高开放度。只是在世界贸易组织(WTO)在2012年作出对中国不利的裁决后,中国支付市场才——在名义上——对Visa和MasterCard等全球支付处理商开放。自上述裁决出炉以来,中国监管机构在允许外资企业开展业务方面拖拖沓沓。

Whether the MoneyGram deal would have presented a true security risk to the US (the only basis on which Cfius is allowed to rule) is debatable. But the politics are clear. Other than the particular companies that have received premium bids from Chinese suitors, there is no constituency willing to stand up for Chinese investment in the US. Business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, rather than lamenting federal heavy-handedness, have expressed their own worries about China’s trade policies.

速汇金交易会否给美国带来真正的安全风险(CFIUS依法可以作出裁决的唯一依据)是值得商榷的。但这其中的政治态势是清楚的。除了那些接到了中国追求者溢价收购要约的具体公司以外,美国社会没有一个群体愿意为中国在美投资站出来说话。美国商会等商业团体没有抱怨联邦政府霸道,而是表达了他们自己对中国贸易政策的担忧。

The anti-China mood in Washington is not restricted to the avowedly and indiscriminately protectionist administration of Donald Trump (the president appoints the officials who staff Cfius). It is bipartisan, and was already taking hold under former president Barack Obama, who blocked the Chinese takeover of the semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron.

华盛顿的反中国情绪不仅限于公然和不加区分实行保护主义的唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)政府(CFIUS的官员是由总统任命的)。这种情绪是两党共有的,而且在前总统巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)主政时期就已经形成。奥巴马政府曾经阻止中资收购德国半导体设备制造商爱思强(Aixtron)。

The busted deal follows other measures to restrict Chinese access to world markets in the US, Europe and other countries. But this one must sting. Mobile payments, Ant’s core business, is the cutting edge of Chinese consumer technology. Jack Ma, who chairs Alibaba, Ant’s parent company, is Chinese tech’s global face, and he made a special effort to court President Trump with the promise of US jobs.

这笔交易泡汤之前,美国、欧洲和其他国家还出台了限制中资进入世界市场的其他措施。但这件事肯定会刺痛。蚂蚁金服的核心业务——移动支付——代表着中国消费者科技的前沿。蚂蚁母公司阿里巴巴(Alibaba)的董事长马云(Jack Ma)是中国科技行业的全球面孔,他曾付出特别努力巴结特朗普总统,许诺在美国创造就业。

The US and the world may only be responding in kind to Chinese protectionism. It would nonetheless be a tragedy if the story ended there. Yes, it is understandable that the world demands reciprocity. But trade officials must keep their eyes firmly on the goal of a more open China — not domestic markets protected from Chinese competition. China can become a true global economic leader only if it changes its ways. Should change come, the world must be ready to welcome it.

美国乃至世界也许只是在对中国的保护主义做出针锋相对的回应。然而,如果故事就此结束,那将是一场悲剧。没错,世界要求互惠互利是可以理解的。但是贸易官员必须把目光牢牢地放在推动中国更加开放这个目标上,而不是保护国内市场,使其免受中国的竞争。中国只有改变其行为方式,才能成为真正的全球经济领导者。如果这种改变来临,世界必须准备好欢迎。
 


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