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2014年6月 1日 (日)

(社説)南シナ海対立 憂慮される中国の行動

May 30, 2014
EDITORIAL: China should stop its aggressive behavior in South China Sea
(社説)南シナ海対立 憂慮される中国の行動

Nearly a month has passed since a Chinese state-owned enterprise started drilling for oil in waters close to the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
 中国の国有企業が南シナ海の西沙(パラセル)諸島近くで、石油の掘削を始めてから間もなく1カ月になる。

China National Offshore Oil Corp. is showing no signs of ceasing the operation of the oil rig, and China has dispatched a large fleet of government vessels to the area to intimidate Vietnam.
 中国側は作業をやめる気配を見せず、公船を多数投じてベトナムを威嚇している。

It is natural that China’s strong-arm actions are stirring criticism from the international community. China should give some serious thought to how it should behave as a responsible major power.
 力ずくのやり方に国際的に非難が高まるのは当然だろう。中国は責任ある大国にふさわしい振る舞いを考えるべきだ。

On May 3, China informed Vietnam of its plan to start oil drilling in the disputed waters off Vietnam. Since then, Chinese and Vietnamese ships have been in a dangerous face-off in the area around the oil rig, with tensions further heightened by some collisions.
 中国側が掘削開始をベトナムに通告したのは5月3日だった。その後、両国の船舶の衝突やにらみ合いが続いている。

The rig had finished the first phase of its drilling operation and had been moved to another nearby location. It is reported that the operation will continue until mid-August. China, which effectively controls the Paracel Islands, claims there is no problem with the oil drilling in waters close to these islands.
But this argument is clearly unacceptable to Vietnam, which regards the area as part of its exclusive economic zone.
 掘削は場所を移して第2段階の作業に入り、8月中旬まで続けるという。西沙を実効支配する中国としては「近海」だから問題はないと主張するが、「自国の排他的経済水域内」とするベトナムは納得できまい。

News reports about the confrontation between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have described how the situation is fraught with tension. Which side is taking a more aggressive attitude?
The two countries have given widely different accounts of what has been happening. The Chinese patrol boats not only outnumber their Vietnamese counterparts but are also far larger and better equipped. There have also been reports about the deployment of Chinese warships to the area.
 現場からは緊迫した様子が報じられている。強硬なのはどちらか、主張は食い違うが、巡視船は中国のほうがはるかに大きく、装備が整い、数も多い。中国軍の艦船の動きも伝えられる。

There is no doubt that China is much more responsible for the escalation of tension.
事態を悪化させている責任の所在は、中国側のほうが重いのは明らかだ。

Both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed concerns about the deteriorating situation and made remarks critical of China’s behavior.
 安倍首相や菅官房長官は相次いで憂慮を示した。

A Chinese Foreign Ministry official countered, saying their remarks were not based on facts. “They want to fish in the troubled waters and achieve their ulterior motives,” the official said.
これに対し中国外務省の報道官は「事実を顧みず、火事場泥棒を狙い、下心のあるもの」と反論した。

Although many bitter diplomatic disputes exist between Japan and China, such language was too violent for a person who officially represents the Chinese government to the rest of the world. It is only natural that the government of Japan, China’s neighbor, should urge Beijing to avoid heightening tension in Asia.
 日中間に多くの外交問題があるにしても、中国政府を対外的に代表する発言としては乱暴にすぎる。アジアの緊張を高めないよう、隣国の日本政府が意思表示するのはもっともだ。

Even more worrisome are remarks recently made by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin about the country’s interests in the South China Sea. According to news reports, Liu said, “Being the lifeline for China, the South China Sea is far more important to China than to other countries.”
 さらに気になるのは、劉振民外務次官による発言だ。報道によれば、「南シナ海は中国の海上生命線で、中国にとっての重要性は他国をはるかに上回る」と述べている。

All countries have equal rights to safe and free navigation in the South China Sea. China’s claim that it has priority rights over other countries will never be convincing.
 南シナ海の安全と航行の自由は、どの国にも等しく大切だ。自国だけに優先権があるかのような主張は説得力をもたない。

China has been inconsistent in its territorial disputes in the South China Sea. It has adopted a hard-line stance on some occasions and made attempts at rapprochement at other times.
 中国はこれまで、南シナ海問題では強く出たり、周囲との融和を探ってみたり、態度が揺れてきた。

It seems a group of hard-liners and a group of moderates exist within the current administration of President Xi Jinping. And the former appears to be gaining greater political clout.
いまの習近平(シーチンピン)政権内にも対外強硬派と協調派があり、前者の発言力が徐々に増しているようにみえる。

In a meeting to discuss its foreign policy toward neighboring countries last autumn, the Chinese government pledged to seek a good-neighbor and friendship diplomacy based on cooperation for mutual benefits. Beijing had earlier agreed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to work out a code of conduct for activities within the South China Sea.
 中国政府は昨秋、周辺国との外交を話し合う会議で「善隣友好、互恵協力」を打ち出した。それ以前には、東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)との間で南シナ海の行動規範づくりにも合意している。

China should return to the commitment to peaceful coexistence it demonstrated in these moves. That would serve China’s own national interests.
 そうした平和共存をめざす基本姿勢に立ち返るべきだ。それがひいては、中国の国益にもかなう。

China cannot earn the respect of any other country by trying to push through its own claims in an oppressive attitude.
威圧で主張を押し通そうとする姿は、どの国からも尊敬されない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 30

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