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习奥会中的香港问题

卜睿哲 美国布鲁金斯学会东亚政策研究中心主任  2015年01月14日

【摘要】 在香港问题上,习近平称中国反对其它国家以任何形式干涉中国内政;奥巴马否认美国在占中活动中扮演了任何角色。因此,这已经不再是一个问题。奥巴马承诺美国将继续在香港问题上的表态,而习近平认为这已经超出了中国可以承受的范围。从这个角度而言,这仍然是两国的分歧。


毫不令人惊讶,香港问题在奥巴马总统和习近平主席的峰会中成为了话题之一。两国政府都提到了这场仍在继续中的危机,但是双方在新闻发布会上谈论这一问题的方式是非常有趣的。

在声明中,奥巴马回应了有关反美声浪以及批评美国是占中运动黑手的批评。他确认香港问题是他和习近平主席讨论到的议题之一,并表示:“我明确地告诉习近平主席美国并没有煽动占中,并表示这一问题最终需要由香港人民和中国人民来决定。”奥巴马否认的内容确实是事实,但重要的是总统本人不仅在公开场合还是在私下场合都说了这一点。除非奥巴马非常自信这是事实,否则他不会“毫不含糊”地向习近平表明这一点。

在评论当前香港局势的时候奥巴马表示,他告诉习近平“作为美国外交政策和价值观的一部分,美国将继续支持民众的表达自由,鼓励香港进行透明和公平的自由选举以反映民众的真正意愿。”奥巴马并没有表明细节,但他表示支持香港通过竞争性的制度选举特首。

同奥巴马的表态一样有趣的是习近平的回应。习近平并没有直接就奥巴马提出的美国不是占中幕后黑手的问题提出质疑,他以更加宽泛的言论提到了这个问题。他说:“香港事务毫无疑问是中国内政,其它国家不应该以任何方式干涉。”当然,这是任何事涉中国领土的问题上,北京方面对美国干涉的标准回应。如果我们把奥巴马和习近平的声明放在一起,那么我们能感觉到两国的立场差异在缩小。

习近平称中国反对其它国家以任何形式干涉中国内政;奥巴马否认美国在占中活动中扮演了任何角色。因此,这已经不再是一个问题。奥巴马承诺美国将继续在香港问题上的表态,而习近平认为这已经超出了中国可以承受的范围。从这个角度而言,这仍然是两国的分歧。

既然两位领导人已经相继就香港问题表态,那么我们很感兴趣究竟中国的宣传机构是否会继续将奥巴马政府描述为“幕后黑手”,尤其是习近平显然没有在记者会上挑战奥巴马声明的背景之下。

就香港问题的现状,习近平表示他也告诉奥巴马总统占中是非法运动,北京方面坚定支持香港特别行政区政府依法处置维护社会稳定,保护香港民众的人身和财产安全,在香港的外国公民和商业机构将会得到保护。


 

 

Hong Kong at the Obama-Xi Summit


Richard C. Bush III


Not surprisingly, Hong Kong came up at the summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both governments have spoken out about the continuing crisis, but the way the two leaders addressed it at today’s press conference was interesting.

 

In his statement, Obama was responding to a question about the wave of anti-American rhetoric and the specific charge that the United States was the “black hand” behind the Occupy protest movement. He confirmed that Hong Kong was one issue in his talks with Xi, and then said: “I was unequivocal in saying to President Xi that the United States had no involvement in fostering the protests that took place there [Hong Kong]; that these are issues ultimately for the people of Hong Kong and the people of China to decide.” The denial has the virtue of being true, but it was very important that President Obama say it, both in private and in public. He would not have provided such an “unequivocal” assurance unless he himself was confident that it was true.

 

Commenting on the current situation in Hong Kong, Obama then said that he had told Xi that “the United States, as a matter of foreign policy but also a matter of our values, we are going to consistently speak out on the right of people to express themselves, and encourage the elections that take place in Hong Kong are transparent and fair and reflective of the opinions of people there.” While avoiding details, he thus reaffirmed U.S. support for a political process in Hong Kong that would allow a competitive election for chief executive.

 

As interesting as Obama’s statement was Xi’s response to it. He did not directly dispute Obama’s statement that Washington was behind the protests, but instead addressed the issue more generally. He said that “Hong Kong affairs are exclusively China's internal affairs, and foreign countries should not interfere in those affairs in any form or fashion.” Of course, this is a standard Chinese formulation when it comes to any American activity concerning any territory that Beijing claims. Taking the two statements together, however, we have an interesting narrowing of the disagreement.

 

   Xi said that China opposed any interference of any form in its internal affairs.

   Obama denied any role in the protests, so that is no longer an issue (or shouldn’t be).

Obama promised that the United States would continue to speak out on Hong Kong issues, which Xi would say falls outside the scope of what he regards as acceptable activity. On this point, the two sides will continue to disagree.

 

Now that this exchange of interlocking statements has occurred, it will be interesting to see whether the Chinese propaganda apparatus will continue its “black hand” attacks on the Obama Administration, even though Xi Jinping passed up an opportunity to explicitly challenge Obama’s pledge.

 

On the current situation in Hong Kong, Xi Jinping stated that he had told President Obama that: Occupy Central is an illegal movement in Hong Kong; Beijing is “firmly supportive of the efforts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to handle the situation according to law” to maintain social stability and to protect life and property; and that the rights and interests of foreign citizens and business organizations in Hong Kong would be protected. Xi did not tip his hand on how he thought the Hong Kong government should in fact “handle the situation,” but a reasonable inference is that he neither ruled out some degree of coercion nor some measure of conciliation. From the point of view of both Hong Kong people and the United States, the latter is clearly preferable.


 

 


 
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