爱思英语编者按:9月3日举行了抗日战争纪念庆典,其中阅兵仪式最为人瞩目。那么,阅兵背后的目的是什么?阅兵的意义是什么?

Victory Day celebrations 胜利日庆典

Parade’s end 阅兵结束

The real purpose of a rare military display was to show who is in charge
这场罕见的军事展出背后真正的目的是要让人们看看谁在掌权

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1 AFTER weeks of market mayhem, it must have made a nice change for Xi Jinping, China’s president, to be reviewing ranks of smartly-dressed people who move in perfect synchronicity and do exactly what he tells them. Vast military parades may have gone out of fashion elsewhere, but Asian countries still like to strut their stuff. After displays of hardware and prowess in India, Pakistan, Russia and Taiwan this year, China held the most vainglorious march-past yet under clear blue skies (especially seeded for the purpose) in Tiananmen Square on September 3rd.
在股市受挫的几周后,中国国家主席习近平在检阅穿着得体、步伐整齐、令行禁止的部队时,心情应该恢复得不错了。虽然大型军演可能在某些地方已经过时了,但亚洲国家依然喜欢摆弄他们的那些玩意儿。在印度、巴基斯坦、俄罗斯和台湾展示了他们的精良设备和英勇部队之后,9月3日的中国在专门为此准备的美丽蓝天下、天安门广场上举行了一场最为虚荣的行列式阅兵。

2 The event marked Victory Day, which was invented as a holiday only in 2014 to mark the end of the People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, as the years leading up to and during the second world war are known in China. It was China’s first large-scale military parade since 2009, the first to celebrate anything other than the Communist Party’s rule and the first involving foreign troops. But Mr Xi (pictured above) did not have to hold it. Such parades had always been reserved for the decennial anniversaries of the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1st 1949. This one came out of sequence, four years early. Why?
这场盛典是为了庆祝战争胜利日举行的,是纪念中国人民抗击日本侵略战争胜利,即纪念第二次世界大战中国战场上所发生战争的胜利,但这个节日在2014年才首次出现。这是中国自2009年以来举行的第一次大阅兵,也是第一次不是庆祝共产党上台但却有外国军队参加的阅兵。但这样的阅兵式应该是预留给1949年10月1日成立的中国人民共和国的七十周年庆典上的,所以习近平(上图)没有必要举行这样的阅兵。这次的庆典却不同寻常地提早了四年,这是为什么呢?

3 government described the display as an international celebration, befitting the 70th anniversary of an Allied victory. But an online article in the People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, earlier this year made clear what this meant. The parade’s purpose, it said, was to “deter Japan” and “show off China’s military might”. This was promptly toned down to “conveying to the world that China is devoted to safeguarding international order after world war two, rather than challenging it”. China argues that the main threat to the international status quo is the desire of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, to rewrite his country’s pacifist constitution. So the polite version is not, in fact, all that different from the blunt one.
中国政府称这次的军演是国际社会庆祝盟军胜利70周年的庆典。但今年早些时候,在官方媒体《人民日报》网站上有一篇文章却很明显地说出了其中的含义。该文章称,这次军演的目的就是为了“震慑日本”和“展示中国的军事实力”。但是他们很快就改用温和口吻,说这只是“给全世界传递中国致力于维护二战后国际安全秩序,而不是试图改变的信息”。中国称对现在国际现状最大的威胁正是日本首相安倍晋三希望修改和平宪法的做法。然而这个温和的说法实际上和原本的没有多大区别。

4 Thirty heads of state or government joined Mr Xi on the reviewing stand, including Vladimir Putin (hardly a notable guardian of the international order, but never mind). Their countries form a map of those parts of the world where China’s clout is strong: Central Asia (leaders of four of its five “stans” turned up), parts of South-East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos); Africa (South Africa, Egypt, Sudan); as well as, increasingly, eastern Europe. The only surprising visitor was South Korea’s Park Geun-hye, fresh from a tense stand-off with the North. She resisted American pressure to turn down the invitation, presumably in the hope of persuading China to exert some moderating influence on its capricious North Korean client.
包括弗拉德米尔·普京(他好像不算是国际秩序的守护者吧?不过这不是重点)在内,有三十多位国家元首或政府首脑参加了习近平主席的阅兵仪式。这些国家包括中亚(四个“斯坦”的国家领导人都有出席)、部分东南亚国家(越南、缅甸、老挝)、非洲国家(南非、埃及、苏丹)还有一些越来越靠拢中国的东欧国家,它们在现今的世界地缘中都深受中国影响。而这其中唯一让人觉得惊奇的是刚刚与朝鲜陷入激烈对峙的韩国总统朴槿惠。她不顾美国要求其拒绝的压力前往参加,应该希望能让中国对捉摸不定的邻国朝鲜发挥影响、稳定局势。

5 But no other presidents or prime ministers came from democracies which fought on the same side as China during the war: that is, America and its Western allies. The prospect of watching Chinese soldiers goose-stepping in a square around which, 26 years ago, the army had slaughtered hundreds if not thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators proved too much for Westerners to stomach. Earlier this year the Chinese had toyed with the idea of laying on an accompanying civilian bash, which Europeans and Americans could have attended. But nothing came of that.
但美国及其西方盟友,这些曾经和中国在二战中并肩作战的民主政体国家的领导人无一出席。只要想一想在这片曾经在26年前屠戮成千上百亲民主示威人士的广场上看中国士兵踏正步行进,西方人就觉得受不了。今年早些时候,中国曾经提出要举办一个相关的平民庆祝活动,这是美国人和欧洲人应该会参加的活动。但最后却了无音讯。

6 Mr Xi is unlikely to have been surprised or disappointed by the West’s absence. Standing with Mr Putin enabled him to show a defiance of the West, which the party likes to portray as bent on keeping China weak. Soon after he assumed power, Mr Xi and fellow leaders visited a museum next to Tiananmen Square to see an exhibition called “The Road to Rejuvenation”. It purports to show how the Chinese people, having been “reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society since the Opium War of 1840, rose in resistance against humiliation and misery.” On Victory Day last year, the same leaders did much the same thing, this time visiting a museum in Beijing commemorating the war. Its displays aim to show that China’s wartime resistance to Japan was its first victory after the “century of humiliation”.
习近平应该不会因西方领导人的缺席而感到震惊或者失望。但和普京站在一起让习近平展现出与西方对抗的态势,虽然共产党喜欢称这个行为是对西方压制中国的反抗。在习近平上台后,他和几位领导人一起到天安门广场附近的博物馆参观了名为“复兴之路”的展出。该展览标榜了中国人民是怎么从1840年鸦片战争后半殖民地半封建社会的悲惨处境中逐渐走向复兴的。在去年的胜利上,同样一批领导做了差不多一样的事情,不同的是这次这个位于北京的博物馆在举行战争胜利纪念展出。而这次的展览是为了在“百年屈辱”后展现出中国在抗日战争的坚韧不屈。

7 At the parade, Mr Xi spelled out the contemporary significance of such visits. Rather as America and the Soviet Union had become superpowers because of what they did in the war, the president argued, so China’s wartime role had “re-established China as a major country”.
在阅兵式上,习近平也道出了这次参观展览的意义。习主席称,和美国、苏联因战时所为成为超级大国不同,中国在战争的所作所为“重建中国作为一个世界大国的形象”。

8 A huge display of weaponry reinforced the point. Twelve thousand troops marched past, with attack helicopters roaring overhead in a formation spelling out the number 70. China gave the world a first sight of new tanks, fighters and bombers, and of several new missile systems. These included the DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile, two nuclear-capable intercontinental types (the DF-5B and DF-31A) and the so-called “carrier killer”, the DF-21D that can destroy an aircraft-carrier in one blow (see chart). All these are of concern to America.
一大批展出的军事设备更加能说明这点。1.2万士兵在地上整齐行进,而战斗直升机在头顶排成“70”字样的队形呼啸而过。这其中就包括了DF-16中距离导弹、2架载核洲际导弹(DF-5B和DF-31A)以及能够在一次轰炸中摧毁一艘航母的所谓“航母杀手”,DF-21(如图)。所有的这些都是美国的心腹大患。

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9 A hefty dose of historical revisionism was also on display, aimed at burnishing the party’s wartime achievements. Chinese historians often complain that the sacrifices of their soldiers and people during the second world war are shamefully neglected. Their complaint is justified: 14m Chinese people perished at the hands of Japanese troops or as a result of famine. But there is a problem. Although Communist forces engaged in guerrilla fighting, the brunt of the battlefield campaign was borne, as Rana Mitter of Oxford University points out, by Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (the KMT, which now rules Taiwan). China glosses over the KMT’s role.
一大波历史修正主义也出现在展览当中,意在夸大共产党在二战时的功绩。中国的历史学家总是说中国士兵和人民在二战中的牺牲总是遭到无耻地忽视。他们这么说其实是对的,因为有1400万中国人在日本军队的手下以及饥荒中丧生。但这里面还是有一定的问题。尽管共产党被迫参加游击战,但正如牛津大学的拉娜·米特所说,战争的后果主要是由蒋介石领导的国民党承受(国民党正在统治台湾)。中国政府掩盖了国民党在战争中的作用。

10 The parade was also aimed at showing off Mr Xi himself. For the president it was an opportunity, nearly three years after taking over as China’s leader and amid a fierce campaign against corruption in the party and army, to show that he is truly in charge (and not at all anxious about the country’s economy: keeping the air clean for the parade involved stifling swathes of northern China’s industry). The foreign dignitaries were his spear-carriers.
这次的阅兵也是习近平为了夸耀自己而举行的。对他来说,这是在作为中国领导人上台三年、经历党和军队中强烈的反腐斗争后,一个说明他才是掌权人的机会(同时也说明他并不担心中国的经济,毕竟为了阅兵清理蓝天要取缔中国北部许多的工业工厂)。而这些外国政要都是为他所用的。

11 Mr Xi has closer links with the 2.3m-strong armed forces than any recent president. Early in his career he was a personal secretary to the defence minister. Unlike his predecessors, he took over the party’s main instrument for controlling the armed forces, the Central Military Commission (CMC), immediately upon taking office.
习近平和230万人的强盛军队有着比所有近期领导人更直接的联系,因为他早年的工作是国防部长的私人秘书。和他的前任不同,他在上任之时就接管了共产党管制军队的利器——中央军事委员会(CMC)。

12 He has displayed muscle to his commanders in a way that earlier party leaders rarely dared to do—charging numerous generals with corruption, including the two highest-ranking officers under his predecessor: Xu Caihou (now dead) and Guo Boxiong. Mr Xi is now filling senior ranks with his own protégés. In an intriguing recent example, an order promoting to full general the head of the People’s Armed Police (PAP), a paramilitary force, bore Mr Xi’s signature first. Normally, the prime minister’s name comes first on PAP promotions.
他用一种以前共产党领导人很少敢的方式来震慑那些军官——以贪污罪指控包括两名前任主席麾下最高衔级军官徐才厚和郭伯雄在内的数位将军。现在习近平麾下的高级军官都与他有不浅的关系。有意思的是在最近发布的一则命令中,内容是有关晋升武警部队人民武装警察(PAP)的总将军,但这上面习近平的名字却赫然出现在第一个。一般来说,都是总理的名字出现在人民武警部门晋升命令的第一个。

13 How Mr Xi is viewed by senior officers is hard to judge. Many of them must be grumbling about the erosion of their privileges as a result of his anti-corruption efforts. Mr Xi will want to ensure their support with more than just morale-boosting parades—one reason why he is unlikely to scale down the double-digit increases in military spending in which he and his predecessors have indulged for many years (though, as he announced at the parade, he will continue efforts to trim the ranks—this time by 300,000). But the message he wanted to send with the show was as clear as the skies: China is resurgent and so are the armed forces, of which Mr Xi is the undisputed commander-in-chief.高级军官看待习近平的态度不好揣摩,但他们中的许多人肯定会因为反腐运动损害他们的特权有所怨言。习近平以及他的前任多年施行的削减双位数军费增长不太可能会削减(但在这次的阅兵上,他再次对他的军队进行瘦身,而这次裁军数量为30万),其中一个原因是习近平想要的是这些高级军官的支持,而不仅仅是一些鼓舞士气的阅兵式。但习近平想在这次阅兵当中传递的信息就跟阅兵时的蓝天一样清晰明了:中国和中国军队都在复兴路上,而习近平是毋庸置疑的军队总指挥。