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Ethiopia Already Is the ‘China of Africa’
——They share fast growth, a strong national history and a sense that the future will be great.

埃塞俄比亚已经成为“中国式的非洲
——他们分享着快速的增长,强烈的民族历史,以及对未来的伟大憧憬。



Chinese employees of the Addis Ababa / Djibouti train line stand at the Feri train station in Addis Ababa on September 24, 2016. With Chinese conductors at the helm, a fleet of shiny new trains will on October 5, 2016 begin plying a new route from the Ethiopian capital to Djibouti, in a major boost to both economies. The 750 kilometre (460 mile) railway, built by two Chinese companies, will link Addis Ababa to the Red Sea port city of Djibouti in about 10 hours, a far cry from the current excruciating multi-day trip along a congested, pot-holed road. / AFP / Zacharias ABUBEKER (Photo credit should read ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images)

2016年9月24日,亚的斯亚贝巴/吉布提线的中国员工列队站在亚的斯亚贝巴的费里火车站。2016年10月5日,在中国列车长员的操控下,一批崭新的列车将开起往返于埃塞俄比亚首都和吉布提的新路线,这对两国经济都是一个重大推动。这条750公里(460英里)长的铁路由两家中国公司修建,将亚的斯亚贝巴与红海港口城市吉布提连接起来,路程用时约10小时,这与目前在拥挤的坑坑洼洼的道路上进行的长达数天的痛苦旅程天壤之别。/法新社/ Zacharias ABUBEKER(图片来源应该是Zacharias ABUBEKER/法新社/盖蒂图片社)

Will Ethiopia become “the China of Africa”? The question often comes up in an economic context: Ethiopia’s growth rate is expected to be 8.5 percent this year, topping China’s projected 6.5 percent. Over the past decade, Ethiopia has averaged about 10 percent growth. Behind those flashy numbers, however, is an undervalued common feature: Both countries feel secure about their pasts and have a definite vision for their futures. Both countries believe that they are destined to be great.

埃塞俄比亚会成为“非洲的中国”吗?这个问题经常出现在以下经济背景之下:预计埃塞俄比亚今年的增长率将达到8.5%,超过中国预计的6.5%。在过去的十年里,埃塞俄比亚的平均增长率约为10%。然而,在这些浮华的数字背后,隐藏着一个被低估的共同特征:两国都对它们的过去有安全感,对自己的未来有明确的愿景。两国都相信他们注定是伟大的。

Consider China first. The nation-state, as we know it today, has existed for several thousand years with some form of basic continuity. Most Chinese identify with the historical kingdoms and dynasties they study in school, and the tomb of Confucius in Qufu is a leading tourist attraction. Visitors go there to pay homage to a founder of the China they know.

首先考虑中国。这个民族国家,正如我们今天所知道的那样,已经存在了几千年,并具有某种基本的连续性。大多数中国人都认同他们在学校学习的历史王国和朝代,而曲阜孔子墓是一个主要的旅游景点。游客们去那里是为了向他们所认识的中国(思想)的创始人致敬。

This early history meant China was well-positioned to quickly build a modern and effective nation-state, once the introduction of post-Mao reforms boosted gross domestic product. That led to rapid gains in infrastructure and education, and paved the way for China to become one of the world’s two biggest economies. Along the way, the Chinese held to a strong vision that it deserved to be a great nation once again.

这段早期历史意味着,一旦后186时代的改革推动了国内生产总值(gdp)的增长,中国早已预先具备了迅速建立一个现代化的、有效的民族国家的有利条件。这导致了基础设施和教育的迅速发展,并为中国成为世界上最大的两个经济体之一铺平了道路。一路走来,中国人坚定地认为,中国应该再次成为一个伟大的国家。

My visit to Ethiopia keeps reminding me of this basic picture. Ethiopia also had a relatively mature nation-state quite early, with the Aksumite Kingdom dating from the first century A.D. Subsequent regimes, through medi times and beyond, exercised a fair amount of power. Most important, today’s Ethiopians see their country as a direct extension of these earlier political units. Some influential Ethiopians will claim to trace their lineage all the way to King Solomon of biblical times.

我的埃塞俄比亚之行不断提醒我这张基本的图片。埃塞俄比亚也在很古代的时候就成为了一个相对成熟的民族国家,阿克苏美特王国可以追溯到公元1世纪。后来的政权,经过中世纪乃至更久远的年代,都表现出了相当大的实力。最重要的是,今天的埃塞俄比亚人把他们的国家看作是这些早期政治单位的直接延伸。一些有影响力的埃塞俄比亚人会声称他们的血统可以追溯到圣经时代的所罗门王。

In other words, the process of organized, national-level governance has been underway for a long time. It was this relative strength of Ethiopian governance that allowed the territory to fend off colonialism, a rare achievement. It is also why, when you travel around the country, a lot of the basic cuisine doesn’t change much: Dishes are seen as national and not regional.

换句话说,有组织的、国家级的治理过程已经进行了很长一段时间。正是埃塞俄比亚相对强大的治理能力使该领土得以抵御殖民主义,这是一项罕见的成就。这也是为什么当你在全国旅行时,很多基本的菜品都没有太大的变化:菜品被视为是国家性的,而不是地区性的。

It is thus no surprise that once Ethiopia abandoned its 1970s communist ideology and put some basic reforms into place, its government was able to rise to the occasion. The infrastructure is remarkably good by regional standards, and the Ethiopian government is known for conducting a relatively successful industrial policy. The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines is run as a responsible business, it is becoming a major air power, and standards of service are high.

因此,自从埃塞俄比亚在上世纪70年代放弃了的TG主义意识形态,并实施了一些基本的改革措施,它的政府能够应付自如,也就不足为奇了。以区域标准来看,该国基础设施非常好,而埃塞俄比亚政府以实施相对成功的产业政策而闻名。国有的埃塞俄比亚航空公司是一家负责任的企业,它正在成为(全球)主要的航空公司,服务标准也很高。

The Ethiopians I have interacted with express a remarkable degree of enthusiasm for their country and culture. Maybe that isn’t unusual in a rapidly growing nation, but I’ve been struck by how historically rooted these sentiments have been. Ethiopians are acutely aware of their past successes, including their role in biblical history. Like many Iranians, they think of themselves as a civilization and not just a country. They very self-consciously separate themselves from the broader strands of African history and culture. And, as in China, they hold an ideological belief that their country is destined to be great again.

我接触过的埃塞俄比亚人对他们的国家和文化表现出极大的热情。也许这在一个快速发展的国家并不罕见,但我被这些由来已久的观点的根深蒂固的程度所震惊。埃塞俄比亚人敏锐地意识到他们过去的成功,包括他们在圣经历史中的角色。和许多伊朗人一样,他们认为自己是一个文明,而不仅仅是一个国家。他们非常自觉地将自己与非洲更广泛的历史和文化分开。而且,就像在中国一样,他们在意识形态上相信,他们的国家注定会再次伟大。

China and Ethiopia intersect in yet another way, with the Chinese helping to build the place up. There are new and modern apartment buildings scattered around Addis Ababa, built by the Chinese, a light rail system in Addis that would look nice in any country, impressive dams for hydroelectric power, and a high-speed rail connection to Djibouti and the coast.

然而,中国和埃塞俄比亚以另一种方式相交,中国帮助建立了这个地方。亚的斯亚贝巴到处都是由中国人修建的新式现代化公寓楼,亚的斯亚贝巴的轻轨系统和任何其他国家相比都毫不逊色,还有令人震撼的水电大坝,以及通往吉布提和沿海的高速铁路。

The pride of Ethiopians in their history and freedom from colonialism may help explain why the nation has accepted so much Chinese infrastructure involvement with little evidence of the angst that has plagued some other parts of Africa. The intuitive background assumption in Ethiopia is that foreigners may try to interfere, but the government won’t lose control. There are prominent statues in Addis Ababa celebrating how the Ethiopians drove out both the Italians and the British.

埃塞俄比亚人的历史自豪感和未被殖民的自由,或许有助于解释,为什么埃塞俄比亚接受了如此多的中国基础设施,却几乎没有证据表明,它有过困扰非洲其它地区的(对中国元素大规模涌进的)焦虑。在埃塞俄比亚,人们直觉上的背景假设是,外国人可能会试图干预,但政府不会失去控制力。亚的斯亚贝巴有许多著名的雕像,纪念埃塞俄比亚人如何赶走意大利人和英国人。

Just to be clear, Ethiopia is hardly a finished nation-state. There are festering disputes with Eritrea to the north, a place many Ethiopians strongly feel belongs to them. The southern and more tribal parts of the country are not always well integrated into the major commercial centers ruled by the highlanders, and there are clashes with the Oromia and Somali regions to the east. For those reasons, the national optimisms found in the better developed parts of the country are not found everywhere.

需要澄清的是,埃塞俄比亚并不是一个完整的民族国家。与北部的厄立特里亚存在着日益恶化的争端,许多埃塞俄比亚人强烈认为这是属于他们的地方。南部和该国更多的部落地区并不总是与高地人统治的主要商业中心很好地结合在一起,而且与东部的奥罗米亚和索马里地区也有冲突。出于这些原因,在该国较发达地区发现的民族乐观主义并非随处可见。

That said, if you are looking for a special place in Africa, Ethiopia may be your best bet. But to understand its recent success, you have to go beyond policy — it is also a matter of their history, their confidence and, above all, their ideas.

也就是说,如果你想在非洲寻找一个特别的地方,埃塞俄比亚可能是你最好的选择。但要理解它最近的成功,你必须超越政策——这也是他们的历史、他们的信心,最重要的是,他们的想法。