2014-07-08 19:08 我要评论(1)

关键词:美中 亚洲 局势 中国


China’s rise and Asian tensions send U.S. relations into downward spiral

BY SIMON DENYER July 7 at 9:39 AM

BEIJING — Hundreds of rocky islands, islets, sandbanks, reefs and cays lay scattered across Asia’s eastern oceans, unimportant-looking to the naked eye but significant enough to spark what may be the most worrying deterioration in U.S.-China relations in decades.

China’s military rise, and its increasingly assertive claims to sovereignty of these largely uninhabited lumps of rock, coral and sand, have set it on a possible collision course with its neighbors, who also claim various of the archipelagos, and with the United States, which has important alliances with three of the rival claimants and would be obliged to defend them in case of an attack. As Chinese and Vietnamese ships ram each other in the contested waters, and Chinese and Japanese fighter jets play games of chicken in Asia’s disputed skies, the risk of military escalation is growing. Even more significantly, the stand-off is generating bad blood between Washington and Beijing and could torpedo cooperation on important global issues, including the Middle East, climate change and nuclear proliferation.

北京- 数以百计的岩石岛屿,小岛,沙洲,礁和珊瑚礁散落在亚洲东部的海洋上,肉眼看起来虽然感觉不重要但却足以引发可能是在美中数十年来关系中最令人担忧的恶化。



Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew visit Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday for the sixth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue. And while Washington has been focused more on Iraq and Syria, Ukraine and Russia, some say the U.S.-China relationship is facing its stiffest test since President Nixon traveled to Mao Zedong’s China in 1972.

“U.S.-China relations are worse than they have been since the normalization of relations, and East Asia today is less stable than at any time since the end of the Cold War,” said Robert Ross, a political science professor at Boston College and associate of Harvard’s John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. The Obama administration’s foreign policy rebalance, or “pivot,” to Asia has been widely interpreted in China as an attempt to contain its rise.




U.S. efforts to bolster ties with regional states such as Vietnam and to reassure nervous Asian allies such as Japan and the Philippines that it stands ready to defend them militarily have created a new narrative in Beijing — that the United States has encouraged China’s neighbors to push their territorial claims more aggressively.

“It is clear that the disputes are between two sides, but the United States is taking sides, and it is not impartial,” Adm. Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, said in an interview.

In Washington, a rival narrative is taking hold: that China is intent on pushing its territorial claims through the threat of military force and that it ultimately wants to push the United States out of Asia.




There have been more intense crises in U.S.-China relations in the past, including the fall-out from the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy protesters, but none, perhaps, as fundamental and structural as this.

Last November, China spooked its neighbors by announcing an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea, including over islands administered by Japan.

In March, the Chinese coast guard tried to block Philippines vessels from resupplying soldiers stationed on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal. Two months later, it deployed a $1 billion deep-sea oil drilling rig into disputed waters off the Vietnamese coast; it has also been building artificial islands in the South China Sea that U.S. officials say are meant to enhance its stance on sovereignty.




China says it has historical claims to a huge swath of the South China Sea, but its recent assertiveness has puzzled experts, appearing to undermine last year’s efforts to promote a more cooperative, development-focused relationship with its neighbors.

Some argue that President Xi Jinping may see external threats as useful in ushering in tough reforms, including of the military; others say that China is simply baring its fangs as it seeks to build a new Asian order where it, not the United States, is the major player in the region.

Most agree, though, that China is asserting itself partly because it now possesses a modern deep-water navy and professional coast guard.




Whatever the reason, China’s rise has left the United States caught between its commitments to allies and its desire to maintain a constructive relationship with China. In recent months, it has seemed to emphasize the former, sending B-52 bombers to fly through China’s air defense zone and threatening to reevaluate its military posture in Asia if China extends the air defense zone to the South China Sea. In April, President Obama visited U.S. allies Japan, South Korea and the Philippines in a trip that pointedly excluded China. While in Japan, he became the first president to explicitly say that the U.S. defense treaty covered islands administered by China. In the Philippines, he signed a new 10-year defense agreement.



There has been an equal and opposite reaction from Beijing. When U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel implicitly accused China in May of “intimidation, coercion or the threat of force” in asserting its territorial claims and warned that the United States “will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged,” Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong called Hagel’s comments “excessive” and “suffused with hegemony, incitement, threats and intimidation,” China Central Television reported.

Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, argues that the blunt exchanges between the two countries could be beneficial. “It is an indication of health, I believe, that we are able to be so direct with China, without fearing that we are tanking the relationship or the prospects for cooperation,” he said in an interview. “We do not pull our punches, but at the same time we are working hand-in-hand in China wherever we can.”



“这是健康的标志,我相信,我们能够这么直接与中国相对,而不用担心我们的关系或合作的前景会发生动摇,”他在接受采访时说。 “我们不拉我们的拳,但与此同时,我们可以在任何地方与中国一起手牵手的合作。”

The United States should have been more assertive in forging closer economic links with Asia through a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and with China through a bilateral investment treaty, some critics say. “We need a lot more weight on the economic side, because that’s what keeps your relationship from tipping into a Cold War relationship,” said Christopher Johnson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Fueling China’s adventurism is also a feeling among some Chinese officials that the United States is inconsistent and lacks resolve. They point to the administration’s unwillingness to punish Syria for using chemical weapons and its failure to prevent the Russian invasion of Crimea as showing it to be a “paper tiger,” said Johnson, the CIA’s former top China analyst, who is in regular contact with Chinese officials. “They believe Obama is fundamentally weak and disinterested,” he said. But, Johnson added, Beijing would be wrong to underestimate the U.S. commitment to defend Asia. “America is a sleeping giant,” he said, “and if you prod us too hard, we are going to mobilize.”


“我们需要在经济方面有更多的考量,因为这可以保持不落入冷战对抗的关系”战略与国际问题研究中心的克里斯托弗•约翰逊说。 中国的冒险主义在发酵也是一些中国官员的感觉,美国是不一致的,而且缺乏决心。他们指出,政府不愿意惩罚叙利亚使用化学武器并且及未能阻止俄罗斯入侵克里米亚证明它是一只“纸老虎”,与中国官员经常接触的中情局的前高级中国分析师的约翰逊逊。 “他们认为奥巴马是根本上软弱而无利害关系的”他说。 但是,约翰逊补充说,北京低估了美国捍卫亚太的决心将是错误的。 “美国是一个沉睡的巨人”,他说,“如果你一直的督促我们,我们将会发动起来。”

Either way, foreign policy experts agree on this: that the relationship deserves much more attention than it is getting. Kerry is widely seen as more interested in the Middle East, while National Security Adviser Susan Rice has yet to visit Beijing, leaving China policy without a sufficiently senior voice in Washington. Meanwhile, Obama’s refusal to come to China for a return version of last year’s Sunnylands summit with Xi has also “personally irritated” his Chinese counterpart, said Johnson — although he is scheduled to visit Beijing for an Asia Pacific summit in November. With that visit, at least, and with this week’s Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the administration has a chance to focus minds on one of its most serious foreign policy challenges, experts say. “Summits,” said Ross of Boston College, “have the value of making presidents pay attention.” Gu Jinglu contributed to this report.

无论哪种方式,外交政策专家同意这一点:我们之间的关系是非常值得更多的关注比它越来越。克里被广泛视为更感兴趣的是中东地区,而国家安全顾问苏珊•赖斯还没有访问北京,留给中国的政策没有在华盛顿一个足够高的声音。同时,奥巴马拒绝来中国去年的Sunnylands峰会的回报版本曦还“亲自激怒”他的中国同行说,约翰逊 - 尽管他将访问北京参加亚太峰会十一月。 有了那次访问,至少,和本周的战略与经济对话,奥巴马政府有机会专注于心灵的最严重的外交政策挑战之一,专家说。 “峰会”之称的波士顿学院的罗斯,“有可能使总统重视的价值。” 顾璟璐促成了这一报告。

Simon Denyer is The Post’s bureau chief in China. He served previously as bureau chief in India and as a Reuters bureau chief in Washington, India and Pakistan.



文章来源:龙腾网 | 责任编辑:沙枣花

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关键词:美中 亚洲 局势 中国

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