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中国加深同阿富汗的商业合作

2009-12-30 14:27

原文链接:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/world/asia/30mine.html


China Willing to Spend Big in Afghan on Commerce


中国加深同阿富汗的商业合作



  A delegation from the state-owned Chinese company, China Metallurgical Group Corporation, visited the site of a copper mine in Aynak, a former al-Qaeda stronghold southeast of Kabul, in 2007.


  中国国有企业-中国冶金科工集团的代表团考察在艾纳克的一座铜矿,这一喀布尔东南部的地区在2007年时还被基地组织牢牢控制。


 Behind an electrified fence, blast-resistant sandbags and 53 National Police outposts, the Afghan surge is well under way.


  一道电网后边,是一堆防爆沙包和53个警察哨所。即将实施的阿富汗增兵方案正在进行。


But the foot soldiers in a bowl-shaped valley about 20 miles southeast of Kabul are not fighting the Taliban, or even carrying guns. They are preparing to extract copper from one of the richest untapped deposits on earth. And they are Chinese, undertaking by far the largest foreign investment project in war-torn Afghanistan.


  但是在距喀布尔东南20英里的地方,一队步兵正行走在一个碗形山谷里,他们并不是要去和塔利班作战,甚至也没有携带武器。他们是来准备开采世界上最富饶的未开发铜矿的。他们是中国人,这也是饱受战火蹂躏的阿富汗至今为止签订的最大的外国投资项目。


Two years ago, the China Metallurgical Group Corporation, a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, bid $3.4 billion — $1 billion more than any of its competitors from Canada, Europe, Russia, the United States and Kazakhstan — for the rights to mine deposits near the village of Aynak. Over the next 25 years, it plans to extract about 11 million tons of copper — an amount equal to one-third of all the known copper reserves in China.


  两年前,中国国有的超大联合企业中国冶金科工集团出资3.4亿美元-出价比来自加拿大、欧洲、俄罗斯、美国和哈萨克斯坦的竞争公司高出1亿美元-赢得了在艾纳克镇旁边矿床的开发权。在未来的25年内将开采大约1100万吨铜,-这相当于中国已探明铜储量的1/3。


While the United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda here, China is securing raw material for its voracious economy. The world’s superpower is focused on security. Its fastest rising competitor concentrates on commerce.


   当美国花费数百亿美元在阿富汗同塔利班和基地组织作战的时候,中国正在确保满足它自身日益增长的经济对原料的需求。当这个世界唯一的超级大国专注于确保阿富汗安全的时候,它的越来越强大的竞争对手则集中于商业贸易。


S. Frederick Starr, the chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, an independent research organization in Washington, said that skeptics might wonder whether Washington and NATO had conducted “an unacknowledged preparatory phase for the Chinese economic penetration of Afghanistan.”


华盛顿的独立研究机构-中亚及高加索地区研究所主席S. Frederick Starr表示一部分异议人士怀疑华盛顿及北约是否在“为中国经济渗透阿富汗做帮助准备”


“We do the heavy lifting,” he said. “And they pick the fruit.”


  “我们栽树”他说“他们吃桃”


The reality is more complicated than that. The Chinese bid far more for the mining rights to the Aynak project and promised to invest hundreds of millions more in associated infrastructure projects than other bidders. It is a risky venture that has not yet proved to be economical, and it has already been dogged by allegations of bribery.


  事实更加复杂,中国出价远高于艾纳克矿区采矿权应有的价格,同时还承诺将投资数千万美元用于基础建设。这比其他投标者所能给予的要多得多。这是一项有风险的经济投资,同时已经有一些关于贿赂官员的指控。


But the Aynak investment underscores how China’s leaders, flush with money and in control of both the government and major industries, meld strategy, business and statecraft into a seamless whole. In a single move, Beijing strengthened its hold on a vital resource, engineered the single largest investment in Afghan history, promised to create thousands of new Afghan jobs and established itself as the Afghan government’s pre-eminent business partner and single largest source of tax payments.


  但艾纳克投资项目体现了中国的领导力,现金流被政府和主要企业所控制,这其中参杂了混合策略,商业因素和国家利益。在同一步调下,北京加强控制重要资源,这一阿富汗历史上最大的单一投资项目将创造数千个新阿富汗工作岗位,同时这一项目还将成为阿富汗政府绝佳的商业伙伴,并且将是阿富汗政府最大的单一纳税人。


An Odd Global Pairing


一对奇异的全球组合


Afghanistan is not the only place where the United States and China find themselves so oddly juxtaposed in the post-9/11 world. China is investing more in extracting Iraqi oil than American companies are. It has reached long-term arrangements to buy gas from Iran, even as the government there comes under the threat of Western sanctions for its nuclear program. China has also become a dominant investor in Pakistan and volatile parts of Africa.


    中美两国发现他们恐怕是911之后在全世界最奇怪的组合了,阿富汗不是他们唯一共同出现的地方。中国在伊拉克的投资比美国公司还要多。同时中国也从伊朗拿到了一份天然气长期购买协议,而伊朗政府正因为它的核计划而处于西方国家的制裁威胁下。中国已经成为巴基斯坦和非洲动乱地区的主要投资者。


But it is in Afghanistan where China’s willingness to take risks for commercial and diplomatic gain are most striking.


    但是在阿富汗,中国情愿冒险来获取商业和外交利益的做法已经引起关注。


China Metallurgical Group, often called M.C.C., will build a 400-megawatt generating plant to power both the copper mine and blackout-prone Kabul. M.C.C. will dig a new coal mine to feed the plant’s generators. It will build a smelter to refine copper ore, and a railroad to carry coal to the power plant and copper back to China. If the terms of its contract are to be believed, M.C.C. will also build schools, roads, even mosques for the Afghans.


  中国冶金科工集团,简称M.C.C,将建设一个400兆瓦发电站来向铜矿和经常停电的喀布尔提供电力。MCC还将开采一个新煤矿来确保这座发电站的能源供应。它还将建设一座冶炼厂来提炼铜矿石,同时建设一条铁路,一方面向发电站运输煤矿,另一方面把这些铜运回中国。如果他们的合同条款可信的话,MCC还将为阿富汗建设学校,公路甚至清真寺。


The sweeping agreement has some experts rubbing their eyes in disbelief. “It’s almost as if the Chinese promised too much,” said one international expert who, like some others interviewed, refused to be identified for fear of alienating the Afghans or the Chinese.


  这个一揽子合同的一些条款令专家都难以置信“这主要是因为中国承诺的太多了”。一名国际专家表示,像许多其他受访者一样,他因害怕遭到阿富汗或中国人的疏远而拒绝进一步详谈。


But even if elements of the agreement fall through, the Chinese have already positioned themselves as generous, eager partners of the Afghan government and long-term players in the country’s future. All without firing a shot.


  即便这一合约作废,中国人仍然可以凭借他们的慷慨热情成为阿富汗政府的合作者,以及这个国家未来的长远伙伴。而所有这些都不用费一枪一弹。


Nurzaman Stanikzai was a mujahedeen in the 1980s, using American-supplied arms to help drive the Red Army from his homeland. Today he is a contractor for M.C.C., building the Aynak mine’s electric fence, blast wall, workers’ dormitories and a road to Kabul.


  Nurzaman Stanikzai在上世纪80年代是一名圣战者,他使用美国提供的武器把苏联军队从他的家乡赶走。现在他是MCC底下的一名承包商,负责建设艾纳克矿的周边电网和防爆墙、工人宿舍还有一条通往喀布尔的公路。


“The Chinese are much wiser. When we went to talk to the local peole, they wore civilian clothing, and they were very friendly,” he said recently during a long chat in his Kabul apartment. “The Americans — not as good. When they come there, they have their uniforms, their rifles and such, and they are not as friendly.”


  “中国人很公平友善,当我们和当地人?聊天时,他们穿着便衣,显得十分友好”。他在喀布尔他自己的公寓里和我们长谈时说道。“美国人-并不像他们刚来这的时候那么好了,他们有他们自己的装备、枪支和其他补给,并且他们不怎么友好”。


American troops do not, in a narrow sense, protect the Chinese. The United States Army stations about 2,000 troops in Logar Province, where Aynak is located. But an Army spokesman said they generally patrolled well south of the mine area and had not provided direct security for Chinese investors or mine workers.


        从狭义上来说,美国军队并没有保护中国人。美军在洛加尔省驻扎了大约2000人,艾纳克就在这个省。但是一名军队发言人表示他们一般只在矿区南部巡逻,他们不为中国投资者或者矿工提供直接安全保护。


The Afghan National Police, which does protect the mine, was largely built and trained with American money. The 1,500 guards the police have posted in and around Aynak are special recruits not drawn from the main force, according to Maj. Gen. Sayed Kamal, who heads the National Police. 、


        目前这一矿区由阿富汗国家警察保护,他们大部分是用美国人的钞票完成组建和训练起来的。国家警署署长Maj. Gen. Sayed Kamal表示,负责艾纳克地区及其周边地区的1500名巡警和警察都是特别训练的新兵,他们并不是从主力部队抽调的。


But the conclusion is inescapable: American troops have helped make Afghanistan safe for Chinese investment. And there is no sense that either government objects to that reality. As diplomats and soldiers alike stress, the war in Afghanistan was never motivated by commercial prospects. Had an American company won Aynak, some Afghans noted wryly, critics inevitably would have accused the United States of waging war to seize the country’s mineral wealth. Moreover, if China succeeds in developing Aynak and generating revenue for the Kabul government, that helps achieve an American goal.


  但是结论是明显的:美国兵确保阿富汗人的安全实际上帮助了中国投资者,同时不管是否关注这一事实,政府都没有什么表态。外交官和士兵面临着同样的压力,美国发动阿富汗战争不能有商业目的。如果是一家美国公司赢得艾纳克矿,一些阿富汗人会苦笑,批评者难免要指责美国发动战争是为了霸占这个国家的矿产资源。而且,如果中国成功的开发了艾纳克,发电也会对喀布尔政府带来收益,这样就实现了美国人的目标。


“To the extent that the Chinese bring Afghanistan up to speed and start paying a billion dollars a year in royalties,” a Western government official who has followed the Aynak project said, “that would mean that Afghanistan is on a firmer ground to start paying for its own security.”


  “总的来看,中国人一年内向阿富汗人支付1亿美元的采矿使用费,有助于让阿富汗人尽快自行负责起自己的安全责任”。一名跟踪艾纳克项目的西方官员说道。


China Stays Out of War Effort


  中国避开了战事麻烦


The Chinese, meanwhile, have rebuffed requests to join the Afghan war effort, saying that national policy forbids military action abroad except as part of a peacekeeping force. Instead, China’s foreign policy is based on commerce. Its state-owned companies have been snapping up energy and mineral resources worldwide for years now, often by overwhelming competitors with lavish offers.


  中国人同时还拒绝了加入阿富汗战争联军的邀请,他们表示国家政策不允许军队在国外展开行动,除非作为维和部队的一部分。此外,中国对外政策是建立在商贸基础上的,国有企业这些年在全世界抢购能源和矿产资源,他们通常以惊人的优惠击败其他竞争对手。


In 2006, for example, another state-owned goliath known as C.M.E.C. swept bidding for one of the world’s largest known iron ore deposits, in Gabon, by offering to build a 360-mile railroad to the nearly inaccessible mine site, two hydroelectric dams to power the mine and a deepwater ocean port to export the mined ore.


        2006年,另一家国企巨头中国机械设备进出口总公司(C.M.E.C)顺利在加蓬赢得了世界已知储量最大的铁矿。他们的承诺是建设一条用于连接偏远的矿区的360英里长的铁路,两座为矿区提供能源的水电大坝,一座用于出口矿石的深水码头。


Such splurges are both national strategy — China’s goal is to control long-term access to critical commodities — and a matter of necessity if Beijing is to keep its industrial empire running. With 700 to 1,000 steel mills to feed, China is the world’s largest importer of iron ore. Similarly, China already imports 40 percent of the world’s copper.


  诸如这些有些张扬的行动,是基于两个国家战略,一方面是保证重要资源的长期供应,如果北京想要保持这个工业帝国继续运转的话,资源长期稳定的供给是必须的。另一方面大约700到1000家钢铁厂需要原料,中国已经是世界最大的铁矿石进口国。与此相似的是,中国铜矿进口量占世界的40%。


If the Aynak venture differs from those in the past, both international and Afghan experts say, it is because it appears to be as much a strategic coup as a commercial one.


  艾纳克的合资项目和上述这些有所不同,阿富汗专家和国际专家都表示,这是因为这一项目是一次商业领域的战略转变。


Opportunity in Southwest Asia


  亚洲西南部的机遇


The United States views Southwest Asia mostly as a security threat. China sees it as an opportunity. Decades of military cooperation with Pakistan, which shares India as a rival, have flowered into an economic alliance. A Chinese-built deepwater port in Gwadar, Pakistan, on the Gulf of Oman, is expected eventually to carry Middle Eastern oil and gas over the western Himalayas into China.


  美国一直把亚洲西南部看作是安全威胁。中国则把这一地区看作一个机遇。他们同印度的对手-巴基斯坦有着数十年的军事合作,而经济合作则让这种关系更加紧密。在阿曼湾,由中国建设的位于巴基斯坦瓜达尔的一座深水港将使得中东的石油及天然气能越过喜马拉雅山输送到中国。


Afghanistan, which borders both Iran and Pakistan, drew scant attention from China until the middle of this decade.


  阿富汗,紧邻伊朗和巴基斯坦,直到最近10年才吸引了中国的注意。


Aynak’s riches had been known since Alexander the Great’s armies forged copper there 2,300 years ago. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, its geologists took core samples and mapped the Aynak deposit, but were never able to begin mining.


  自从2300年前亚历山大的军队在这里铸铜开始,艾纳克的矿藏就举世闻名。当苏联1979年入侵阿富汗时,苏联的地质学家采集了矿石样品,同时标明了艾纳克矿的储量。但最终没有开始开采。


The Soviets were succeeded by Osama bin Laden, who used Aynak as a training camp while planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. After the American-led invasion of Afghanistan, Afghan geologists rescued the Soviet surveys of Aynak and hid them until exploration could resume.


  苏联被本拉登所取代,他在艾纳克建立了训练基地并策划了针对美国的9.11恐怖袭击事件。在美国为首的入侵阿富汗战争后,阿富汗地质学家保护了苏联的对于艾纳克的地质调查,并把它们藏了起来。直到调查重新开始。


That exploration — a detailed overflight of much of the country by American surveyors in middecade — showed Afghanistan to be far richer in oil, natural gas, iron, copper and coal than anyone had imagined. Aynak, in particular, was judged a world-class copper deposit, not just huge but of unusually rich quality, and the government chose it as the first major mineral concession to be auctioned to developers.


  最终由一批美国勘测人员作出的详尽的中期报告迅速传遍各国,报告显示阿富汗人拥有丰富的,超乎所有人预测的石油、天然气、铁、铜、和煤资源,特别是拥有世界级的铜储量,不仅储量大而且矿石品位很高。政府因此选择了铜矿作为第一种提供给投资者进行竞标的矿产。


To minimize corruption, the Afghan government decided, on the advice of American advisers, to ask the World Bank and a Colorado geological consulting firm to help oversee the bidding. A report last month in The Washington Post quoted an American official as charging that the Chinese swayed the bid with $20 million or more in bribes to the mining minister, Muhammad Ibrahim Adel, who was recently dismissed from the Afghan government in part because of the allegations. Mr. Adel has denied the charge.


  为了减少腐败,在美国顾问的建议下,阿富汗政府决定,邀请世界银行和科罗拉多州地质咨询公司为这次招标提供监督。上个月刊登在华盛顿邮报上的一则报道引用了一位美国官员的话,他指控中国人用2000多万美元贿赂矿业部长Muhammad Ibrahim Adel从而赢得了这次投标。Adel因这一指控而被阿富汗政府辞退,但他否认这一指控。


Foreign experts say that the possibility of bribery in Afghanistan, one of the world’s most corrupt nations, can hardly be ruled out. But they also say that the Chinese bid was so clearly superior to others that any bribe money may have been incidental to the outcome.


   外国专家称贿赂在阿富汗人中间太普遍了,这是世界上最腐败的国家之一,同时很难根治。但他们同时表示中国的竞标相比其他公司来说优势太大了,在这件事上,行贿的作用并不明显。


“This was not a backroom deal. This was not Adel, sitting in Beijing, cooking this up,” said one of several international experts interviewed for this article. “This was thoroughly vetted by the governments of the day.”


  “这不是一起幕后交易,不是Adel在北京自己就搞定了这件事”接受本文采访的几位国际专家之一表示。“这通过了政府的审查。”


A. Rahman Ashraf is a veteran geologist and senior adviser on mining to Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai. Mr. Ashraf intervened in 2002 to stop Aynak’s mining rights from being sold under the table to a Korean bidder.


  A. Rahman Ashraf是一名老地理学家,也是阿富汗总统卡尔扎伊的矿产高级顾问。Ashraf在2002年阻止了艾纳克采矿权私下出售给一家韩国竞标公司。


“Our wish was that this process must be very transparent,” he said of Aynak, “because this is the first time. If it is not transparent, then nobody comes to the others.”


  “我们希望这一竞标过程是透明的。”他在谈论艾纳克矿时表示。“因为这是第一次,如果过程不透明,那么就没人会继续参与其他资源的竞标”。


China won the bid, he said, for good reason: it offered a package deal, from power plants to railroads to smelters to coal mines, that no other bidder could match. And it promised to staff the entire venture with Afghan laborers and managers — many of whom must be trained from scratch in a country with little mining expertise.


  中国赢得了这次投票,他表示是基于以下原因:它提供了一个一揽子交易,从发电站到铁路再到冶金厂和煤矿。没有其他的竞标者能与之抗衡。同时它承诺整个合资企业的职员都会由阿富汗工人和管理人员担任-他们中的大多数人都缺乏专业的采矿知识,因此要在一个城市里从头开始训练。


“After five years, it’s only Afghan engineers,” he said. “Only in administration do the Chinese stay.”


  “5年后,他们就是阿富汗的工程师”他说道“仅仅听从中方派驻人员的管理而已”


Indeed, outside experts here say, the striking aspect of China’s Aynak venture is the degree to which it left competitors in the dust. Increasingly, the world’s richest remaining mineral deposits are in hostile territory — malarial jungles, combat zones, unstable nations that possess mineral riches but no realistic way to get them to market.


  的确,局外专家也表示,中国在艾纳克的合资企业最引人注目的就是中国把其他竞争者远远的甩在了沙漠里。而这个世界上剩余的富饶的矿藏大多分布在敌对地区,疟疾丛林,战争地带,以及政局不稳的国家。这些国家拥有富饶的矿石,但是没有一条可行的途径把他们运出去卖掉。


With government money and backing behind them, China’s state-run giants take risks in places that even the largest private behemoths will not tolerate, and they can add sweeteners — from railroads to mosques — that ordinary mining firms are ill equipped to provide.


       在政府资金的背后支持下,中国国企巨头在这些地区冒着大型私企无法承受的风险,他们可以附送好处-从铁路到清真寺-这是一般矿业公司无力提供的。


“The Chinese have sort of raised the bar. They’ve taken it beyond the scope of just an extractive operation,” the Western official said. “The Chinese are willing to step up and take a long-term strategic approach. If it takes 5 or 10 years, at least they have a beachhead.”


  “中国人的水平不断提高,他们现在已经不止着眼于采矿环节了。”西方官员说道。“中国人提出并不断完善一个长远规划,即使这需要花费5到10年的时间,至少他们有了块滩头阵地”。


The wild card, of course, is that no outsiders can know how much of China’s Aynak venture is in fact brilliant strategy, and how much is merely a potentially ruinous business deal by an overzealous corporation. Beijing’s corporate strategy is as opaque as it is overwhelming.


  当然,未知的事情就是没有一个局外人能知道中国在艾纳克的合资企业在总体大战略里价值几何,或者这仅仅是一家过度热心的公司所提出的一项灾难性的商业合同。国企的公司战略总是不透明的,并且要受到北京政策的影响。


China Metallurgical, a Fortune Global 500 company that has so many subsidiaries that they are mostly identified by numbers, is a signal example. The corporation reports to the top level of the Chinese government. Big foreign investments like the one at Aynak require blessing at an equally high level. M.C.C. has huge and productive investments around the world.


  中国冶金,财富全球500强企业,这家子公司之多几乎只能以号码辨识的企业就是一个例证。公司受中国政府高层管理。例如艾纳克这样的大型国外投资项目都会有相应的政府担保,中国冶金因此能在世界各地展开庞大的生产性投资。


Yet hardly all those ventures are successes. An M.C.C. copper mine in Pakistan is widely said to have serious environmental problems. A Pakistan lead mine has been dogged by conflict, including a suicide bombing that killed 29; residents accuse the company’s Chinese work force of stealing local jobs. In Papua New Guinea, 14 Chinese workers at an M.C.C. nickel mine were injured in May in a pitched battle with local people who rioted over what they called intolerable working conditions.


    然而并不是所有合资项目都是成功的,一座由中国冶金在巴基斯坦投资的铜矿因为严重的环境问题而闻名。一座巴基斯坦铅矿饱受冲突困扰,在冲突中一名自杀性炸弹袭击者导致了29人丧生。当地居民也指控公司里的中国职工偷走了当地的就业机会。在巴布亚新几内亚,14名在中国冶金旗下镍矿工作的中方人员在5月份的一场打斗中受伤,起因是当地人声称工作条件难以忍受。


That bid in 2006 for the iron mine in Gabon? Four years after C.M.E.C. struck its deal, the bargain appears to be unwinding over hints of corruption and global objections to a dam that would destroy Kongou Falls, one of central Africa’s most treasured waterfalls.


  2006年在加蓬的铁矿怎么样了呢?在中国机械设备进出口总公司赢得合同四年后,双方还在为回扣在讨价还价,同时全球目光集中于一座可能破坏金刚瀑布的水坝上,金刚瀑布是非洲最珍贵的瀑布。


Was Too Much Promised?


      太多的承诺?


Not surprisingly, that record leads skeptics to suggest that in Afghanistan, M.C.C. may have overpromised and, later, will underdeliver.


  并不意外的是,在阿富汗领导层中,有些人怀疑中国冶金科工集团承诺太多以至于可能会迟延兑现,或者实现不了所有承诺。


In interviews here, some experts said that M.C.C.’s Aynak bid was so munificent that the company might be forced to renegotiate lavish payments of copper royalties to the Afghan government. Others predicted that the company would be forced to shift parts of the vast project, like the yet-to-be-built railroad, to international donors.


   此间观察所得,一些专家表示中国冶金科工集团的艾纳克竞标如此优厚,以至于阿富汗政府可能会就矿产使用权费用重新展开一场价格更高的谈判。其他人预测这家公司不得不将这项庞大的工程中的一部分,例如即将完工的铁路转交给其他国际捐助国,


Still others said the company’s initial environmental efforts already badly lagged behind the promise in its winning bid to strictly adhere to the Equator Principles and World Bank benchmarks — the gold standards for environmentally sensitive projects.


        还有专家表示这家公司的前期环保工作同它们的承诺相比,总是严重滞后。在获胜标书里它表示将严格履行赤道原则和世界银行标准(环境敏感项目的主要标准)。


China Metallurgical is not talking. Its officials not only refused to be interviewed for this article, but also sought to prohibit a journalist even from photographing the mine site from afar.


        中国冶金科工集团尚未发表意见,它们官方拒绝了本文的采访,同时想办法禁止记者从远处拍摄矿产。


But the company clearly is undeterred. The Afghan government is seeking bids for its second great mineral project, a behemoth called Hajigak that is said to contain 60 billion tons of iron ore. There are seven finalists — all companies from India and China. M.C.C. is one of them.


     虽然这家公司相当的肆无忌惮,但阿富汗政府已经在寻求出售它的第二个大型矿产项目了,一个被叫做哈吉加克的巨型矿区,据称它蕴藏了60亿吨铁矿石,最终有7家来自印度和中国的公司进入最终竞标,其中包括中国冶金科工集团。

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