DANDONG, China — Along the Chinese border with North Korea, the evidence of Beijing’s leverage in the coming talks between President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is everywhere.
中国丹东——沿着中国与朝鲜的边界,随处都能看到北京在特朗普总统和朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong-un)即将到来的会谈中发挥重大影响力的证据。
Footage of China’s president, Xi Jinping, hosting Mr. Kim this week plays in a loop on a big outdoor screen here in the city of Dandong, and residents are eager for cross-border trade to resume as sanctions on North Korea are eased. Traders say they are putting in advance orders for coal from North Korean suppliers. Some exporters are already smuggling goods across the border.
在丹东的一个大型户外屏幕上,循环播放着中国国家主席习近平本周接待金正恩的镜头,由于对朝鲜的制裁得到缓解,居民渴望恢复跨境贸易。交易商称,他们已提前向朝鲜供应商下了煤炭订单。一些出口商已经在跨境走私货物。
“If you bribe the customs officials twice as much as before,” said one businessman who sells machinery for mining, “some of the smaller equipment goes through.”
“用比过去多两倍的钱贿赂海关官员,”一个销售采矿机械的商人说,“他们就可以放行一些小型设备。”
At a new apartment complex where four 15-story towers are going up, sales have taken off and prices have doubled as buyers — including North Koreans carrying stacks of Chinese currency — snap up studios overlooking the Yalu River, a saleswoman said.
在一处新楼盘,四栋15层高的大厦正在建设之中,房屋销量迅速增加,价格翻了一番,买家竞相抢购这些能够俯瞰鸭绿江的开间公寓,其中不无带着大叠人民币的朝鲜人,一名销售说。
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The Trump administration insists it will maintain its campaign of “maximum pressure” on the North until Mr. Kim has shown “substantial dismantlement” of his nuclear arsenal. But the buoyant mood in Dandong is a reminder that China, as North Korea’s main trade partner, can decide how strictly to enforce the international sanctions against it.
特朗普政府坚持称,在金正恩表明自己已经“大幅拆除”核武库之前,将维持对朝鲜的“最大压力”行动。但丹东的欢快情绪提醒人们,作为朝鲜的主要贸易伙伴,中国可以决定执行国际制裁的严格程度。
Beijing has already positioned itself as a critical player that can shape the outcome of the talks, which Mr. Trump said will take place June 12 in Singapore. The reclusive Mr. Kim has traveled twice in the past two months to China to consult with Mr. Xi, notably in each case just before hosting a visit by Mike Pompeo, the new American secretary of state.
特朗普表示将于6月12日在新加坡举行会谈,而北京方面已经把自己定位为可塑造谈判结果的关键参与者。与世隔绝的金正恩在过去两个月中曾两次前往中国,与习近平进行磋商,引人注意的是,每次都是在接待美国新任国务卿迈克·庞皮欧(Mike Pompeo)到访之前。
The message both times was clear: Mr. Kim wants China’s support for his approach to nuclear disarmament — a gradual, action-for-action process in which the North is rewarded for each move it takes toward denuclearization.
两次的信息都很明确:金正恩希望中国支持他的核裁军方法——一个渐进、逐步的过程,朝鲜在走向无核化的每一步都能获得回报。
Mr. Trump’s national security team has urged a faster approach, with a timetable as quick as six months to a year, and economic benefits coming only at the end. In his meeting with Mr. Kim this week, though, Mr. Xi endorsed “phased and synchronous measures” that would “eventually achieve denuclearization and lasting peace on the peninsula.”
特朗普的国家安全团队已经敦促采取更快的方法,时间表短至六个月到一年,直到全部结束后,经济上的好处才会到来。然而,习近平在本周会见金正恩时,赞同“最终实现半岛无核化和持久和平”的“分阶段、同步性的措施”。
连接中国和朝鲜的丹东中朝友谊桥。
连接中国和朝鲜的丹东中朝友谊桥。 Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
Even as Mr. Trump is celebrating North Korea’s release of three American prisoners, China has many reasons to believe it will come out ahead in the coming talks.
尽管特朗普正在庆祝朝鲜释放了三名美国囚犯,中国也有很多理由相信自己会在即将到来的谈判中占据上风。
For one thing, its leverage over sanctions enforcement means its view on the main issues — the method and pace of denuclearization — will carry weight with both North Korea and the United States. Beyond that, it sees the prospect of progress toward a longstanding security goal: the withdrawal of United States troops from the Korean Peninsula.
首先,中国对执行制裁的重大影响意味着,它对无核化的方法和速度这一重要问题的看法,对朝鲜和美国来说都是不容小觑的。除此之外,在它看来,向长期安全目标迈进的前景是美国军队撤出朝鲜半岛。
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While he has emphasized the importance of moving quickly, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has also endorsed an “action for action” approach to denuclearization, putting his position closer to that of China and North Korea than of the United States. The joint declaration issued after his summit meeting with Mr. Kim last month set no deadline for denuclearization, suggesting the diplomatic momentum is already shifting toward a phased approach.
尽管韩国总统文在寅(Moon Jae-in)强调了迅速行动的重要性,但他也赞同采取“逐步”的方式实现无核化,因此他的立场更接近中国和朝鲜,而不是美国。上月他与金正恩举行首脑会议后发表的联合声明没有规定无核化的最后期限,表明外交势头已经转向分阶段的方式。
This could make it easier for the North to reject demands to discard its weapons quickly, forcing Mr. Trump to choose between accepting a more gradual process or going home empty-handed despite the expectations he has built ahead of the meeting.
这可能使朝鲜更容易拒绝迅速放弃武器的要求,迫使特朗普选择接受更为渐进的过程,抑或无法实现会议之前建立的期望,最终空手而归。
“The obvious risk that America faces in the summit is that Trump makes a big concession to Kim, without getting anything close to full denuclearization in return,” said Hugh White, a professor of international strategic studies at the Australian National University.
“美国在峰会上面临的明显风险是,特朗普对金正恩做出了重大让步,却没有获得任何接近完全无核化的回报,”澳大利亚国立大学(Australian National University)的国际战略研究教授休·怀特(Hugh White)表示。
If Mr. Trump cannot get the big breakthrough he wants in denuclearization, he may try instead to negotiate a treaty to establish diplomatic relations with the North and formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which was halted by an armistice.
如果特朗普无法实现他在无核化方面想要的重大突破,那么,他可能会尝试通过谈判达成一项条约,与朝鲜建立外交关系,正式结束1950年至1953年的朝鲜战争。目前,该战争通过一项停战协定暂停。
Mr. Trump has shown great enthusiasm for signing an official peace treaty with North Korea, a gesture that he has said would be good for everyone.
特朗普已对与朝鲜签署正式的和平条约表现出了极大的热情,他声称这种姿态对所有人都有利。
However, such an outcome might also play into China’s hands by calling into question the need for the nearly 30,000 American troops now stationed in South Korea, and the annual joint military exercises that involve even more American forces, which are intended to serve as a deterrent against the heavily armed North.
可是,这样的结果也可能会授中国以口实,因为它会引发这样的质疑,那就是,目前近三万名美军驻扎在韩国以及每年进行联合军事演习的必要性。军演会涉及更多的美军,旨在威慑全副武装的朝鲜。
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“An agreement with North Korea which reduced tension, while clearly welcome in itself, could well mark the beginning of the end for America’s longstanding preponderance in Asia,” Mr. White said. “And that would be a big win for China.”
“虽然与朝鲜达成缓和紧张局势的协议本身显然很受欢迎,但它很可能标志着美国在亚洲长期优势地位的终结,”怀特说,“这将是中国的重大胜利。”
Already China, which has long propped up the North Korean economy, has shown interest in reviving trading ties with the North.
中国长期以来一直支撑着朝鲜的经济,已经对恢复与朝鲜的贸易关系表现出了兴趣。
韩国总统文在寅和金正恩于上月在两国之间的非军事区举行了举行了突破性的首脑会谈。
韩国总统文在寅和金正恩于上月在两国之间的非军事区举行了举行了突破性的首脑会谈。 Pool photo
Chinese experts said Beijing did not plan to flout the sanctions openly at this point. However, China only reluctantly signed onto the sanctions last year, and largely at the behest of Mr. Trump, who frequently praised it for punishing the North.
中国专家表示,北京此时并不打算公然藐视制裁。不过,中国去年才勉强加入制裁队伍,而且很大程度上是应特朗普的要求,后者经常称赞中国惩罚朝鲜。
Under the sanctions, China has cut exports to the North of refined energy products and stopped importing seafood, coal and also North Korean laborers, all important sources of foreign exchange for the Kim regime.
根据制裁规定,中国削减了对朝鲜的精炼能源产品的出口,并停止进口朝鲜的海鲜、煤炭,以及引入朝鲜劳工,这些都是金正恩政权的重要外汇来源。
Now that North Korea is in play in a larger strategic contest of wills between Beijing and Washington, China is no longer so interested in squeezing the North.
由于朝鲜已卷入北京和华盛顿之间更大的战略性意志较量之中,那么,中国就不再对压制朝鲜感兴趣了。
“China has no incentive to punish North Korea anymore,” said Cheng Xiaohe, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing. “Its relations with South Korea have soured. A few months ago, China had a good relationship with President Trump, but now there is a trade war with the United States.”
“中国再也没有惩罚朝鲜的动机了,”北京的中国人民大学教授成晓河说。“它与韩国的关系已经恶化了。几个月前,中国与特朗普总统的关系还挺好,但现在中国有可能与美国爆发贸易战。”
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For its part, South Korea is also keen to prevent the North from slipping too far under Chinese control, even while its current support of a gradualist approach to denuclearization is in line with China’s view. In the joint communiqué released after Mr. Kim’s meeting with Mr. Moon last month, the South pledged to help the North modernize its railroads and highways.
韩国也热衷于阻止朝鲜过多地受制于中国,尽管它目前对渐进主义无核化的支持与中国的想法一致。在上个月金正恩与文在寅会晤后发表的联合公报中,韩国承诺帮助朝鲜实现铁路和高速公路的现代化。
The recent diplomatic developments have given both China and South Korea “every reason to oppose and disregard new sanctions if the U.S. tries to impose them,” said Bilahari Kausikan, the former head of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Singapore.
前新加坡外交部部长比拉哈里·考西坎(Bilahari Kausikan)表示,最近的外交事态发展让中国和韩国“完全有理由反对并无视美国如若试图施加的新制裁”。
Mr. Cheng, the professor, said that once sanctions were eased, China could even help rebuild North Korea’s roads and ports as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s signature effort to extend its influence by helping other countries finance large-scale infrastructure projects.
成晓河教授表示,一旦放松制裁,中国甚至可能会帮助重建朝鲜的公路和港口,作为它的“一带一路”计划的一部分。那是北京的标志性努力:通过给其他国家的大型基础设施项目提供资金来扩大它的影响力。
During the Dalian meeting this week between Mr. Xi and Mr. Kim, the Chinese heaped praise on Mr. Kim for declaring that North Korea would now concentrate on developing its economy, where an income of $200 a month is considered upper middle class, and a Japanese bicycle is regarded as a luxury item.
本周与金正恩在大连会晤时,习近平高度赞扬了金正恩做出的朝鲜现在将集中精力发展经济的宣告。在朝鲜,月收入200美元的人被认为属于中上阶层,日本制造的自行车被认为是奢侈品。
Increasing numbers of North Korean businessmen have begun returning to Dandong in the last few weeks, since Mr. Kim’s first visit to China at the end of March.
自3月底金正恩首次访华以来,越来越多的朝鲜商人开始返回丹东。
A saleswoman for CNC, a Chinese real estate developer, said that North Koreans were lifting the local property market. She said desirable studios with a view of the Yalu River, fitted with imported kitchen equipment, were selling for about $100,000, twice what they fetched when they went on the market two weeks ago.
中国房地产开发商CNC的一名销售人员表示,朝鲜人正在提振当地的房地产市场。她说,配有进口厨房设备、可以俯瞰鸭绿江的单间公寓售价约为10万美元,价格是两周前开盘时的两倍。