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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
U.S. Maximum Pressure Meets Iranian Maximum Pressure
U.S. Maximum Pressure Meets Iranian Maximum Pressure
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

President Hassan Rouhani visits the exhibition of nuclear technology on April 9, 2019. Office of the Iranian President.

U.S. Maximum Pressure Meets Iranian Maximum Pressure

Eighteen months after Washington quit the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, Tehran is proceeding with staggered steps away from its own compliance. The deal is unravelling against the backdrop of high regional tensions. A de-escalation along the lines developed by France provides an off-ramp.

The U.S. and Iran: Maximum Pressure, Maximum Peril

Crisis Group's hand-illustrated video draws out the story of rising tensions between Iran and the U.S. and sketches in a way to break the cycle of sanctions and reactions. CRISISGROUP

Iran announced on 5 November that it is moving ahead with incremental breaches of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to President Hassan Rouhani, as of 6 November, Tehran will start “injecting [uranium hexafluoride] gas into the centrifuges in Fordow”, a bunkered enrichment facility that under the deal is meant to be converted “into a nuclear, physics and technology centre”. 

This move is the latest in a series of staggered steps toward downgrading Tehran’s adherence to the nuclear agreement. The process began in May 2019, when the Rouhani administration set a 60-day rolling ultimatum for the agreement’s remaining parties (France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China) to deliver the deal’s expected economic dividends in the face of unilateral U.S. sanctions. It followed through on 7 July with a breach of the JCPOA’s quantitative cap of 300kg on low-enriched uranium and pushed past the quantitative limit of 3.67 per cent enrichment levels. Then, on 6 September, Iran started lifting limitations on nuclear research and development, including the activation of advanced centrifuges. These individual steps have been carefully calibrated to add urgency to diplomatic efforts without sparking an immediate non-proliferation emergency, with Tehran stressing at each stage that its measures are rescindable if the JCPOA’s core bargain – nuclear limits for economic normalisation – is fulfilled. “We are aware of their concerns vis-à-vis Fordow”, Rouhani acknowledged, “but whenever they fulfil their obligations, this step can be reversed”. 

These individual steps have been carefully calibrated to add urgency to diplomatic efforts without sparking an immediate non-proliferation emergency.

On the eve of the U.S. oil sanctions snapback in November 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked if Iran might restart its nuclear program. He responded, “we’re confident that the Iranians will not make that decision”. At the time, Tehran had opted for strategic patience in the hope that its nuclear compliance would encourage the rest of the world to continue trading with Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions. When that assumption proved wrong, and especially after the U.S. in April 2019 revoked the sanction waivers that had previously allowed eight countries to import Iranian oil, the Iranian leadership started pushing back. 

A senior Iranian official told Crisis Group that “we are in a full-fledged economic war. Even during the oil-for-food program, Iraq, which had invaded another country [Kuwait], was allowed to export its oil. The U.S. can’t strangle us and expect us to do nothing”. As the government in Tehran sees it, responding on the nuclear front serves three objectives: pushing the JCPOA participants, particularly the Europeans, to step up what have thus far been faltering efforts toward relieving the burden of U.S. sanctions; signalling to Washington that the cost of its sanctions will continue to rise unless it provides Tehran with some economic relief; and satisfying public opinion at home. As such, the Trump administration, which was concerned about the sunsets on Iran’s nuclear restrictions, has in practice moved forward the deadline for testing advanced centrifuges from 2026 and resumption of enrichment activities at Fordow from 2031 to 2019.

The other side of the coin of Iran’s nuclear brinksmanship is a volatile regional environment. A series of incidents also transpiring since early May, particularly around the Gulf, dramatically raised tensions in the months that followed: on 12 May, four oil tankers outside the Emirati port of Fujairah were damaged by limpet mines; on 14 May, Huthi drones hit two pipeline segments along the major Saudi east-west oil pipeline; a rocket landed near the U.S. embassy in Iraq on 19 May; a suicide attack in Kabul on 31 May, claimed by the Taliban but blamed by the U.S. on Iran, wounded four U.S. servicemen; on 13 June, two tankers were attacked and damaged in the Gulf of Oman; on 20 June, Iran downed a U.S. drone; on 18 July, the U.S. claimed to down an Iranian drone; on 17 August, up to ten Huthi drones caused limited damage to a gas plant at Aramco’s Shaybah facility; and on 14 September, Aramco’s Abqaiq-Khurais facilities were significantly damaged in cruise missile and drone strikes from as-yet undisclosed points of origin but in what the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the E3 contend was an Iranian operation.

Iran’s deteriorating economic situation has increased tensions in the region. Reuters, Bloomberg, World Bank, Statistical Centre of Iran

Iran’s responses on the nuclear and regional fronts call into question the core premises of the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign. While the Trump administration’s approach has, without doubt, managed to inflict significant harm on Iran’s economy, Tehran has broken the binary outcome of concession or collapse by instead adopting what it touts as “maximum resistance”. As a result, judged by whether those Iranian activities that the U.S. views with concern have decreased in the face of significant financial duress, there can be little doubt that the strategy has fallen short, delivering impact without effect and rather than blunting Iran’s capabilities only sharpening its willingness to step up its provocations. 

The leadership in Tehran seems convinced that nuclear non-compliance and regional escalation have been more fruitful for them than compliance and restraint during the first year of the Trump administration’s maximum pressure policy. They can point to the uptick in efforts to mediate between Iran and the U.S., notably those led by French President Emmanuel Macron; the decision by some regional rivals, like the UAE, to de-escalate bilaterally; and the absence of direct military retaliation by the U.S. and its allies. Domestic politics, too, could increasingly play a role as Iran prepares for parliamentary elections in February 2020 and a presidential election in 2021: hardliners may welcome increasing tensions with the West as a means of further discrediting the Rouhani camp, which advocated for engagement with the West, while Rouhani’s administration could resort to more brazen escalations in a bid to secure relief from sanctions as a means of boosting its political standing prior to these crucial polls. 

But for Iran to push ahead on either the regional or nuclear fronts, or both, is likely to prove a dangerous gamble. A significant incident involving U.S. forces or U.S. allies could result in retaliation by Washington, which has twice already (after the drone downing and Abqaiq attack) come close to the brink of a military clash with Iran. Iran and Israel are also on a knife-edge, with Israel far less reluctant to take military action. The breaches of the JCPOA could also threaten the deal’s core non-proliferation objectives to such an extent that the Europeans find themselves with little choice but to trigger the deal’s dispute resolution mechanism. That process could result, within the 65-day timeframe defined in the deal, in the snapback of all the UN sanctions on Iran, which could in turn push Iran to withdraw not just from the JCPOA, but also from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). With mutual consent, however, the adjudication process could be extended indefinitely. 

But for Iran to push ahead on either the regional or nuclear fronts, or both, is likely to prove a dangerous gamble.

A ceasefire deal that would freeze tensions and allow both sides to take a step back from the brink remains the best way out of a dangerous spiral downward. This would require Iran’s leadership to accept the reality that despite President Donald Trump’s interest in a wider agreement Washington is unlikely to revert to its pre-JCPOA withdrawal sanctions posture, and the U.S. to acknowledge that Tehran is unlikely to agree to the kind of high-level summit Trump is seeking with his Iranian counterpart without an assured return. Marrow-deep mistrust is hard to overcome, even when mediators are involved. Referring to Macron’s efforts to arrange a meeting between his Iranian and U.S. counterparts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in September, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei noted, “The French president, who says a meeting will end all the problems between Tehran and America, is either naive or complicit with America”. 

A narrower version of France’s initiative, by which Iran would return to full JCPOA compliance and refrain from direct or indirect regional provocations in return for the E3 providing (and, importantly, the U.S. facilitating) a financial reprieve in the form of an increase in Iran’s oil exports offers the best available off-ramp. President Rouhani has talked about reverting to the 1 January 2017 status quo. A more realistic milestone is 1 January 2019, when Iran was able to export about a million barrels of its oil while it was still in full compliance with the JCPOA. At the same time, rumours are circulating about a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran. Such an exchange would be an important gesture and a means of opening a sorely needed communication channel.

Contributors

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez
Analyst, Iran