A 'New Era' Rises in the East
東方新世紀

更新日期:2001年11月02日


A 'New Era' Rises in the East
東方新世紀(旭日東昇)

SUPERPOWER: By drawing on its unique creative resources, China has a chance to
be the next century's dominant international player.
超級強權: 靠著汲取其獨一無二的創新資源,中國將有機會成為下世紀的國際強權.

By Jonathan Spence
Newsweek, January 1, 2000
作者 Jonathan Spence
美國新聞週刊, 2000.1.1

A century ago, China had its first bout of science-fiction fever. There seem
to have been three main reasons for this. One was literary, the translation
into Chinese of various Western utopian works, and of adventure stories such
as Jules Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days" and "Twenty Thousand
Leagues Under the Sea." One was technological, a growing fascination with new
developments in science and transportation, from chemistry and electricity to
the balloon and the automobile. And one was political, based on the mounting
certainty that the reigning dynasty, the Ching, was about to disintegrate under
the combined weight of its own incompetence and the overwhelming firepower of
the foreign aggressors.
The driving question behind that sci-fi writing was a simple-sounding one: what
was China to do next? The country had never before asked that question with
such stark simplicity, nor had the stakes ever seemed so high. Between them,
as David Wang of Columbia University has recently shown in an absorbing study,
these Chinese writers around the turn of the last century came up with a wide
range of possibilities, all set at different points in the future, from fifty
to a hundred years ahead. In one of these novels, China weathers decades of
internal warfare and imperialist aggression to emerge in the 1960s as an
independent and powerful republic, guided by a vibrant constitution. In another
,an incomparably wise Chinese ruler has created a new civilization blending
traditional Chinese virtues with the highest achievements of Europe and the
United States. So potent is this culture, peaceful its life and wealthy its
economy that dissidents from the bordering "barbarous lands" flee there for
sanctuary. In a third, China's women are the guides, creating a new society of
sexual independence and technological sophistication, and asserting their power
through a secret anarchist organization a million strong, with local chapters
spread across the entire country.
一世紀前,中國有了第一波的科幻小說熱。其肇因有三:
一是文學,許多西方烏托邦式的作品被翻譯成中文,以及像Jules Verne的環遊世界八十
 天及海底兩萬里等冒險故事。
二是科技,對科學及交通的發展狂熱快速興起,從化學、電子到熱氣球、汽車。
三是政治,基於穩定政權,清朝在無能及無力對抗外國砲火侵略的雙重壓力下即將崩潰。
這些科幻小說背後追逐的明白問題是: 中國將何去何從?
這個國家從未如此急迫而赤裸直接的問過這個問題!
哥倫比亞大學的David Wang的一份研究報告中指出,在這些世紀轉換間的小說作者中展現
了預示了50至100年後多樣而不同觀點的可能發展。
其中的一本小說指出,在1960年代,中國在數十年的內戰及抵抗帝國主義的戰爭後,出現
了一個由有力憲法領導的獨立而強大的共和國。
另一個是,一個智慧無可比擬的領袖創造了一個混合傳統中國美德(文化)及歐美學術成
就的新文明。其文化令人折服,生活和平,經濟富裕,來自"野蠻之地(邦)"的異教徒紛紛
逃離避難!
第三個是,中國女性當家,創造了一個性自主及科技素養的新社會,並經由一個擁有百萬
個強大且遍佈全國的分支機構的密祕無政府主義組織來維護她們的權益!

Of all these tales, perhaps the most apocalyptic is "New Era." Published in
1908, just before the fall of the Ching dynasty, the novel portrays a series
of colossal battles between the Mongoloid and Caucasian races beginning in
Eastern Europe in 1999. Overseas Chinese around the world rise up in support of
their motherland, creating breakaway Chinese republics in the Western United
States and Australia, and seizing the Panama Canal. In the fighting, both sides
call on the fullest range of new military technologies, from submarines and
bulletproof vests to radioactive dust, electronic deflector shields and poison
gas. The combined Chinese armies win the final victory and sign a treaty with
the Western powers: China will henceforth control Singapore and Ceylon, Bombay
and the Suez Canal, and have bases in the Adriatic Sea. Furthermore, though the
Western powers can keep their own calendars, all Chinese will henceforth
acknowledge and live by Chinese time, the traditional calendar dating their own
history to the reign of the Yellow Emperor in high antiquity. Thus the treaty
is dated both "2000 AD" and "Year 4707 of the Yellow Emperor."
這些故事中,最有啟示錄味道的是在1908年清朝滅亡前出版的"新世紀",這本小說描寫了
一連串1999年在西歐暴發的蒙古人與高加索人(白人)的大戰,華僑群起支持他們的祖國,
並在美國西部及澳洲創立了屬於中國人的共和國,並控制了巴拿馬運河。
在這些戰爭中,雙方都使用了他們最新的軍事科技,從潛艇、防彈背心到幅射塵、電子偏
向防護罩及毒氣。中國聯軍最後贏了,並跟西方勢力簽了條約: 中國從此控制新加坡、
錫蘭、孟買跟蘇伊士運河,並在亞得里亞海擁有基地,而且雖然西方勢力能保留他們的曆
法,但所有的中國人從此認同並活在中國時代,其傳統的曆法標記著他們從上古時代黃帝
以來的歷史,而這條約簽定於西元2000年即黃帝4707年

These fantasies were constructed at a despairing time of national weakness.
China lost Taiwan to Japan in 1895, Beijing was occupied in the year 1900 by an
international expeditionary force after the catastrophe of the Boxer Uprising,
and many of China's major cities had foreign settlements exempt from Chinese
law. Though China now is infinitely stronger than it was a century ago, some of
those once fantastical elements have an oddly current ring of reality. Those
secret woman anarchists with their cells scattered across the land have a
contemporary echo in the crowds of women and men from the Falun Gong, gathering
boldly in Beijing and elsewhere. A deadly misplaced bomb on the Chinese Embassy
in Belgrade draws Eastern Europe suddenly into the very heart of Sino-Western
relations, prompting riots and cries for retaliation in China. China competes
aggressively in all international markets for the latest nuclear, rocket and
undersea technologies, and are steadily acquiring the potential to reach around
the globe. Even that hope for a harmonious and well-ordered republic, though
still not realized, is kept alive by many who were not cowed by the repressions
of 1989.
這些幻想建構於國家衰落的絕望時代。
中國在1895年割讓台灣給日本,北京在1900年在義和團之亂後,被八國聯軍佔領,
且許多中國主要城市被畫定為外國租界免稅區。
雖然中國現在相對於一世紀前已強大多了,但這些過去的幻想元素跟現實卻有著離奇的相似之處。
小說中那些散佈全國的密祕的婦女無政府組織,正好和目前在北京等地公開集會的法輪功男女群眾相呼應。
在"西歐"貝爾格勒中國大使館"誤"炸事件一下子使中西關係緊張起來,群眾群起示威要求報復。
中國大力在核武、火箭和海底科技方面的國際市場上與西方國家一爭長短,中國勢力遍佈
全球的可能性與日俱增。有許多人並不因為一九八九年的天安門事件而噤若寒蟬,對他們
而言,儘管和諧且秩序井然的共和國尚未建立,但他們依然寄以厚望。

How might the 21st century manifest itself as a Chinese one? Obviously it will
not be through the exact same means that led to the gradual emergence of the
United States as the dominant world force of our own time; nor could it possibly
be by the means employed by the British, whose own empire played a similarly
dominant role across the 19th century. Nor is it feasible for it to be like that
startlingly sudden and ferocious Mongol expansion, checked only by blood and
chance in the Balkans in the 13th century. A Chinese century will come, surely,
only if the idea and reality of what we call China are merged together in a new
kind of synthesis. Such a synthesis would require the creative blending of three
components: the territory itself--which, like all empires, is a flexible concept
,one that has expanded, contracted and splintered over time; an ability to
understand and assimilate the unique richness of China's own cultural and ethnic
heritage; and a recognition that those Chinese who have left their core homeland
have broadened the idea of being Chinese and given it a truly global dimension.
二十一世紀到底可不可能成為中國人的世紀?顯而易見的是,絕對不會和美國逐步成為當
代超強的方式完全相同,也不可能與大英帝國在十九世紀稱霸世界的方式相同,當然也不
可能像蒙古在十三世紀一樣突然擴張,僅受挫於巴爾幹半島。中國人的世紀當然會到來,
只是時間是在吾人稱之為中國的理想和事實以一種嶄新的綜合方式出現的時候。這種綜合
需要有「領土」、「能力」和「認知」三大要素進行創意的融合。「領土」本身,和所有
的帝國一樣,是因時制宜的概念,合久必分,分久必合,伸縮無不自如。「能力」則是指
瞭解與同化中國文化與倫理傳統獨特豐富內涵的能力。「認知」則是指認識離開祖國的中
國人已擴大身為中國人的概念,讓這種概念具有真正的全球空間。


China's human resources are vast, but its natural resources are limited.
To conjure up a future Chinese superpower, we have to imagine scientific
advances that will eliminate some of China's glaring weaknesses:
nanotechnologies that will transform Chinese ways of warfare, hydroponics that
will make the deserts of Xinjiang a shining mass of crops, cloning and genetic
engineering that will alter all previous livestock-raising practices, modes of
communication swifter and cheaper than any we now dream of. The Chinese
science-fiction writers of today may still be nationalists, but they are
speaking for and from a multitude of Chinas--from the mainland, from Taiwan,
from Hong Kong, from Southeast Asian communities and from the United States and
Canada. One of them writes of a China redeemed and restored by democratic
currents coming from Taiwan; one of a huge urban block of China that breaks away
from the mainland and drifts aimlessly round the world in search of anchor; one
of a blighted and politically fragmented China, laid waste by civil war, that
sends a billion emigrants out beyond its borders to destabilize the other
countries of the world; one, with dark humor, writes of a United States corroded
and undone by the crassly insidious commercial energies of Taiwan, condemned to
an endless yearning for Chinese food and a passion for playing the market.
Any one of these scenarios could possibly be on the right track. In a world
where the newly installed governor general of Canada is a Chinese woman
immigrant, Adrienne Poy, and the Hong Kong shipping tycoon Li Ka-shing scoops
the cream off the $127 billion Vodafone AirTouch-Mannesmann takeover war (even
as Sen. Trent Lott warns of Li's dominating position in the Panama Canal), the
past has already blended with the future. What more can the voice of reason
attempt to add? Only that the coming century is going to be one of unknown
opportunities, demanding hitherto unknown flexibility, and that in such a
climate the ebullient and pragmatic Chinese, with their own restless energies to
the fore, and the gigantic consumer market and labor force of their country at
their back, are going to be among the boldest pursuers of whatever opportunities
present themselves. In this broad context--with a multiplicity of Chinas playing
an intersecting set of global games--the exact details of specific trade
agreements or of specific governmental practices in any one region or segment
fade in their significance.


The last time there was a Chinese century was the 11th. During the 11th century,
China was both the largest and the most successfully run country on earth: its
commanding position sprang from a combination of technological innovation,
industrial enterprise, well-managed agriculture, widely available education and
traditions of administrative experimentation combined with religious and
philosophical tolerance. Its decline was largely due to its military weakness
in the face of a formidable array of enemies on its borders, enemies whom the
government chose to attempt to bribe away rather than to confront directly.
The policy of weakness and accommodation was fatal. If China proves it can
defend its borders effectively, limit the disruptive intrusion of foreign
forces while utilizing their positive sides, and re-establish that formidable
combination of positive attributes it knew 900 years ago, there is just a
chance that it will give its name to a century for the second time.
最近的一次中國世紀是在11世紀。當時中國是地球上最大最富強的國家:
她居高臨下統治著結合科技創新、工業企業、治理良好的農業,普及的教育及
結合宗教及哲學包容力的政府經營傳統。
她的衰亡主要是由於其軍事力量在面對邊界數量龐大的敵人時顯得虛弱,她只好選擇賄賂
而不直接對抗。然而其虛弱及和解的政策是致命傷!
如果中國能證明她能有效的防禦邊界,在邊界即防止能造成分裂的入侵者,並重建其900
年前即知曉的驚人正面特質結合體,那麼將有機會再次揚名世紀。

Except perhaps for the Roman Empire at the height of its glory, that is not a
feat any single state has been capable of before.

Spence is professor of modern Chinese history at Yale. His latest book is a
biography of Mao Zedong.
本文作者Spence是耶魯大學的中國現代歷史教授。他的最新著作為一本毛澤東傳記。

c 2000 Newsweek, Inc.