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中国-巴基斯坦经济走廊:机遇与风险
中国-巴基斯坦经济走廊:机遇与风险
Myanmar on the Brink of State Failure
Myanmar on the Brink of State Failure
A Chinese worker sits near trucks carrying goods during the opening of a trade project in Gwadar port, some 700 kms west of the Pakistani city of Karachi on November 13, 2016. AAMIR QURESHI / AFP
Report 297 / Asia

中国-巴基斯坦经济走廊:机遇与风险

2015年启动的中国--巴基斯坦经济走廊可为巴基斯坦带来所需的就业机会和投资。但许多项目也具有加剧沿途的社会分歧和政治紧张的风险。伊斯兰堡当局应在北京的支持下寻求公众的投入,以确保经济利益的公平分配。

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最新动向:巴基斯坦领导人表示,2015年启动的中巴经济走廊(CPEC)是该国经济不景气的“破局之变”。但走廊计划的不透明,走廊沿途剧变对当地人可能产生的影响,以及利润主要流向局外人都可能引发动荡。目前,政府对CPEC的批评声音采取了压制。

重要因素:CPEC可帮助恢复巴基斯坦的经济。但如果该项目在议会和省立法机构没有进行更彻底的讨论、以及与当地人进行磋商的情况下继续推进;则将加深联邦中心与外围之间的摩擦,引起长期被忽视的省份的混乱,扩大社会分歧并可能产生新的冲突根源。

可采取的措施:2018年7月选举之后执政的政府应鼓励关于CPEC的辩论;咨询商业领袖、民间团体和受影响的当地人;确保土地所有者获得公平的补偿;支持雇请当地劳动力;并允许异见的存在。北京当局和有关中国公司应该支持这些措施。

于2013年年中初被构想,并于2015年4月启动的中国巴基斯坦经济走廊(CPEC)是中国一带一路倡议下的一系列项目。该项目标志着历史上由安全合作定义的中巴双边中关系开启了经济联系的新时代。巴基斯坦经济显然需要通过改革才能更好地为本国人民服务,许多官员表示,中巴经济走廊将有助其改善。但就目前实施情况而言,该项目可能会加剧政治紧张局势,扩大社会分歧并在巴基斯坦造成新的冲突根源。在7月选举之后掌权的巴基斯坦政府应该采取一些举措来减轻这些风险,包括在中巴经济走廊计划方面表现出更加透明的姿态,咨询所有利益相关方,包括较小的省份、商业界和民间团体,对待该项目将巴基斯坦利益置于中国利益之下的担忧。就中国而言,在与巴基斯坦携手确定项目的过程中,中国应该与作为中巴经济走廊项目实施区域的利益相关方进行磋商。北京方面应该要求中国企业展示对这些项目实施地区居民的关注,包括雇请当地劳动力。

包括贷款、投资和捐赠在内,中巴经济走廊项目总规模可扩大至600亿美元,。该走廊穿越2,700公里的路线,始于巴基斯坦阿拉伯海港城市俾路支省的瓜达尔,沿着喀喇昆仑山脉公路穿过吉尔吉特 - 巴尔蒂斯坦的昆吉拉布山口,之后进入中国新疆地区的地级市喀什市。在巴基斯坦境内,经济和发展项目将优先考虑交通基础设施、工业发展、能源和当地具有重要战略位置的俾路支省瓜达尔港口的发展;农业现代化和农业生产是项目另一个关键组成部分。

于2013年选举后上台、并于2018年5月31日下台的巴基斯坦穆斯林联盟(谢里夫派)(PML-N)政府将中巴经济走廊描绘为中巴关系和巴基斯坦经济发展的一大跨越。有意角逐中央政府的各派政界人士也普遍赞同这一观点。然而,巴基斯坦商界的一些高级官员和有声望的人士则担忧该项目无法保护巴基斯坦当地的经济利益,对中国投资者的回报过于高企,以及会筑下难以负担的国债。

虽然现在评估中巴经济走廊是否能够实现伊斯兰堡承诺的经济利益还为时尚早,但由于经济发展和资源分配不公平,中央和较小联邦单位以及省份内部长期存在紧张关系,项目可能会面临激发长期紧张关系的风险。俾路支省和信德省等欠发达省份认为,中巴经济走廊的路线、基础设施和工业项目将主要有利于旁遮普省,而该省已经是巴基斯坦经济上最富裕和政治势力强的省份。然而,即使在旁遮普省,当地居民也可能会对中央政府为中巴经济走廊的农业项目征地而强力抵抗。

在俾路支省,中巴经济走廊项目正在加剧当地人民现有的不满情绪。当地人民之前一直认为自身受到剥削并被中央忽视,加之当局对异见人士的压制,因此当地长期以来一直存在叛乱。该省不会从瓜达尔港口这一经济走廊计划中关键的项目中获得直接的经济利益,这意味着当地人对中央政府的愤怒可能会加剧。该项目并没有将一个沉睡的渔村发展成伊斯兰堡和北京所承诺的繁华商业中心,而是造就了一个高度军事化的管制区域,遣散当地居民并剥夺他们的经济命脉。在信德省的塔帕卡县地区,燃煤电厂项目不仅破坏环境,而且迫使当地居民离开家园、摧毁他们的生计。

诸多这类问题源于不透明的政策制定,以及当政者未能对区域和当地问题给予重视。 中巴经济走廊的长期规划(2017-2030)由中央制定,地方领导、企业或民间社会参与却很少。该计划直到2017年12月都尚未明朗,之后也才公布出一些粗略枝干;而当时一些核心项目早已启动。从该项目的起点瓜达尔,到终点吉尔吉特 - 巴尔蒂斯坦,中央政府对当地持异议人士的反应是采取专横的军事安全手段,典型特征包括设置军事检查站、对当地居民进行恫吓和骚扰、以及镇压对中巴经济走廊项目的有关抗议活动。

预见中的地缘政治方面的益处也可能优先于经济上回报。巴基斯坦军方认为,与中国建立更深层次的经济关系 ——哪怕这一关系更有利于北京,也可以帮助巴基斯坦制衡美国对巴不断施加的外交和经济压力,即要求巴方结束对那些针对阿富汗和印度的军事代理人的支持。但随着北京不断扩大其在巴基斯坦的经济布局,中国政府似乎也越来越担心这些代理人对中国国家和地区安全利益将构成威胁。此外,利益的不对等,再加上认为中巴经济走廊项目损害了关键利益方的经济、社会和政治利益的观点,可能会加剧巴基斯坦国内的反华情绪。在中巴经济走廊项目中,已经发生了几起针对受雇于中巴经济走廊项目的巴基斯坦人的袭击事件。

伊斯兰堡应确保中巴经济走廊的导向和目标强调巴基斯坦的经济和政治利益,采取下列措施:

  • 就中巴经济走廊的项目方向建立政治共识,包括在国家和省级议会进行相关讨论,以确保各个省份能够均能受益;同时停止对批评人士的逮捕、骚扰和其它强力手段。
  • 咨询经济学家、商会、巴基斯坦商业理事会、行业协会和其他商界利益相关方,并采取措施在中巴经济走廊经济特区和发展项目的新框架中解决他们关切的问题。
  • 雇请当地劳动力,确保中巴经济走廊项目实行劳工保护和相关措施。
  • 广泛与当地社区广泛协商重大发展项目的潜在成本和效益,并为所有需要安置的人员制定适当的补偿和安置计划;这些人员不仅包括正式的土地所有者,也包括巴基斯坦普遍的非正式土地所有者。如有必要,议会应考虑对1894土地征收法案进行相关改革。
  • 中国政府和中国的企业应该:
  • 在中巴经济走廊项目的确定和/或实施过程中,与巴基斯坦从精英到基层的各利益相关方进行全面磋商和接触,并优先为当地人创造就业机会。
  • 对中巴经济走廊项目进行全面的风险和政治分析,确保相互竞争的各方之间公平共享所得。
  • 在地方、区域和国家层面上促进与巴基斯坦利益攸关方进行有效和广泛的沟通,以体现共同利益。

尽管面临着种种风险和挑战,中巴经济走廊为改善巴基斯坦陈旧破败的基础设施,振兴低迷的经济提供了良机。不过,为了实现这些承诺,伊斯兰堡和北京需要较以往更加随机应变、进行更多的协商,并让受影响最大的省份和社区在中巴经济走廊建设中拥有更大的话语权。当地人需要看到该项目带来的红利;如果绝大多数的利益都流向了外人,这将加剧社会和政治分歧,造成紧张局势,并可能引发冲突。随着巴基斯坦的民主过渡迎来另一个里程碑——连续第二个民选政府即将完成其任期,其继任者应抓住施政新机会,引导针对中巴经济走廊的公共讨论,并采取将巴基斯坦人民的福祉作为核心的相关政策。

布鲁塞尔,2018年6月29日

Army officers detain a man during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, 2 March 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
Speech / Asia

Myanmar on the Brink of State Failure

In a briefing to the UN Security Council’s 9 April 2021 'Arria-Formula' Meeting on the situation in Myanmar, Crisis Group’s Myanmar expert Richard Horsey warned that the country stands on the brink of state failure, and argued that there is every justification for the Council to impose an arms embargo on the regime.

Madam Chair, Members of the Council, Distinguished Speakers,

Thank you for this opportunity to speak today. You have heard a powerful presentation from a civil society leader and you will hear shortly from a senior representative of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). As an independent observer, I can perhaps best contribute to this discussion by situating the current crisis in the country’s broader context.

To put it simply, Myanmar stands at the brink of state failure, of state collapse. This is not hyperbole or rhetoric. It is my sober assessment of a likely path forward.

Since launching its coup on 1 February, the Myanmar military should have learned what voters also conveyed clearly at the ballot box in November: that the vast majority of the population does not want military rule and will do whatever it takes to prevent that outcome. Yet the military seems determined to impose its will, as shown by its use of ruthless violence against civilian protesters, medical first responders and the general urban population.

The problem for the regime is that, unlike in 1988 or the 1990s or the 2007 suppression of the Saffron Revolution, the violence is not producing its desired results. Despite the bloodshed, people continue to demonstrate in the streets, a large proportion of public sector employees refuse to work for the regime, a general strike of key private sector staff continues. Army violence is not effective at convincing scared bank staff or truck drivers to return to work. Violence cannot restore business confidence. A military rampage on the streets and in the homes of Yangon and Mandalay and other towns appears a desperate attempt to terrorise the population into submission; instead, it has created chaos. Various forms of violent urban resistance to the regime are also emerging.

The regime has not been able to gain effective control of the government bureaucracy, or of local administration in the country.

The upshot is that the coup has not yet succeeded and the regime has not been able to gain effective control of the government bureaucracy, or of local administration in the country. It is able to deploy violence, but not provide any semblance of law and order. This has important policy implications: close engagement with the CRPH, with those who are protesting in the streets, and with other legitimate representatives of the people, is vital. The military regime is not constitutional or otherwise legal, and countries and organisations should not pre-empt the situation by recognising its de facto authority when the coup is not a fait accompli.

But in the midst of all this horror, the transformative nature of the resistance against the military has to be acknowledged and applauded. A new generation of political action has emerged that has transcended old divisions and old prejudices, and gives great hope for a future Myanmar that embraces, and is at peace with, its diversity.

The actions of the regime are not just morally reprehensible. They are also extremely dangerous. Not only has the military been unable to consolidate its attempted coup and effectively govern the country, but also its actions may be creating a situation where the country becomes ungovernable. That should be of grave concern to the region and to the broader international community.

The precise contours of state failure are hard to predict, depending not only on what goes wrong, but also in what order. But the trajectory is alarming:

  • First, the banking system is at a virtual standstill, and has been for two months now. That means businesses can’t make and receive payments, individuals cannot access their cash, and payrolls aren’t being processed. The regime has been threatening private banks to get them to reopen branches, but many staff are unwilling to go to work, and with the military perpetrating random violence on the street, others are afraid to do so. Just last week, a local employee of a Korean bank in Yangon was fatally shot in the head by soldiers, while she was travelling home in a company vehicle. The attempted coup has resulted in a hard stop in economic activity, precipitating an economic crisis that will push millions into poverty.
     
  • Second, supply chains are breaking down. Most imports and exports have come to a halt as customs staff and port workers have gone on strike and containers are backed up at the docks. Domestic haulage has mostly stopped, with truck drivers unwilling to take the risk of driving around the country. Imports of essential agricultural inputs have slowed. Markets are becoming dysfunctional, and many people are without income or access to cash, leaving them unable to buy what food is available. A hunger crisis looms.
     
  • Third, the health system has collapsed. Many public hospitals are shuttered as medical staff refuse to work for the regime. Other hospitals in key city locations have been taken over by soldiers as forward operating bases, with patients evicted. Medical first responders have been targeted by troops when they attempt to render assistance to injured civilians. There is hardly any COVID-19 testing and treatment, and the vaccination program is far behind schedule. Regular childhood vaccinations are in jeopardy. Critical imported pharmaceuticals are in short supply. Public health experts are worried, for example, about Myanmar’s large caseload of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis patients. A health crisis is coming.
     
  • Fourth, armed conflict is rising. Myanmar is home to some twenty ethnic armed groups fighting for greater autonomy, as well as several hundred militias of various sizes that are loosely aligned with the Myanmar military. Some ethnic armed groups who have observed ceasefires for years are being drawn into renewed conflict with the army, as they try to protect their civilian populations from violence, give sanctuary to protest leaders and resist army aggression. Others are expanding their areas of control or pressing territorial claims against rival groups – taking advantage of a security vacuum while the military tries to assert its control over the main cities.
     
  • And lastly, it needs to be acknowledged that much of Myanmar’s natural wealth is in the hands of unregulated actors. Over recent years, the civilian government has had little success in asserting its control over them. If the centre implodes as a result of the army’s misguided and heavy-handed response to the protests, criminal economic forces could be unleashed that would be impossible to contain.

Collectively, these crises will trigger large population displacements, as people go on the move because they have lost their livelihoods, or are facing hunger, or are escaping violence in the cities or armed conflict in ethnic areas. It is already happening. Several hundred thousand migrant workers have fled Yangon in recent weeks due to joblessness and insecurity. Thousands of villagers in Kayin State have been displaced, some across the border to Thailand, following air raids on territory controlled by the Karen National Union armed group.

Over the decades, Myanmar has faced many different challenges, including ongoing armed conflicts, banking and economic crises, refugee crises, anti-military protest movements and the brutal expulsion of the Rohingya in 2016-2017. These have come at great cost – to human rights, livelihoods and the economy. But throughout, successive governments have remained in power and the Myanmar state has continued to maintain basic order and provide public services, at least in the centre of the country. In short, Myanmar has somehow managed to muddle through.

The glue that has long held the fractured country together is coming unstuck.

It is no longer clear that it will be able to do so. The glue that has long held the fractured country together is coming unstuck. The world faces the prospect of chaotic state failure in a country with myriad armed groups, a large and well-equipped military that is unlikely to capitulate, and a huge illicit economy backed by transnational criminal organisations that will exploit the situation as they have done for years. All this will have immediate consequences for the region, and will have an impact on international peace and security.

Madam Chair, if I may, I will end with two concrete suggestions for the Council:

  • First, the regime currently appears determined to try to consolidate its grip on the country, whatever the costs. It has shown no inclination toward dialogue or compromise. But this must be continuously tested. Unequivocal Council backing for the UN special envoy remains important, as does the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional actors who have access to the regime. The Council’s unity to date has been welcome, and important. These channels can be used to express clear opposition to the coup, condemn subsequent state violence and warn the military that the trajectory they are on risks catastrophic state collapse. These channels can also help outside actors to identify and pursue any future openings for diplomacy and mediation.
     
  • Second, some Council members have voiced opposition to coercive measures. But it is hard to see a viable alternative path that can have any impact. In particular, there is every justification for the Council to impose an arms embargo on Myanmar. In the absence of a UN embargo, like-minded countries could agree to a coordinated list of prohibited items – not only arms, but also technologies for surveillance and repression – and share information on their efforts to block transfers on a voluntary basis. This would create a framework for other states to coordinate restrictions on Myanmar. Like-minded countries should also continue to coordinate the imposition of targeted economic sanctions. None of these are likely to have as much impact as either the regime’s own policy failures or the deliberate actions of the civil disobedience movement. But they have an important signalling effect – to the regime, as well as to those resisting its violent attempts to usurp state power.

Thank you.