转帖2013年5月31日《联合早报》社论及英文翻译

曼莫汉星访日意在沛公

2013年05月31日

社论

上任后首次出国便访问新德里的中国总理李克强前脚刚走,东道主印度总理曼莫汉星后脚就到了东京,与正同中国为钓鱼岛/尖阁诸岛主权争议而在外交上短兵相接的日本,探讨强化包括军事合作在内的双边关系。日本副首相兼财政部长麻生太郎5月初刚访问新德里,并公开提议与印度连同美国、澳大利亚构筑军事合作。亚洲的地缘战略博弈,显然越来越不易摆脱以“中国崛起”为主题的合纵连横。

虽然政府首脑出访,行程一般很早便已经确定,但由于上述三方外交穿梭的背景,曼莫汉星此次访日,在时间点上难免还是给予各界想象的空间。《印度时报》就指出,曼莫汉星访日距离印中两国士兵在边界发生“帐篷对峙”事件仅六周,距离李克强访问印度仅一周。在任何细节都可能隐含重要象征意义的大国外交,访日的时机无疑将被北京解读为刻意的政治信息。

如果这还不够,观曼莫汉星在访日期间的公开发言,以及日本首相安倍晋三的呼应,最让人印象深刻的共同点在于,中国成为了印日双方难以明说的“舞剑”对象。曼莫汉星形容印日两国是“自然和密不可分的伙伴”,并且拥有“对民主和国际和平的共同承诺”。《印度教徒報》分析,美国及日本均认为,印度在本地区的经济及地缘政治里,能扮演抵消中国不断增长的影响力的重要角色。曼莫汉星的谈话,因而必须在这个脉络中去解读。

安倍则更呼之欲出地说:“印度在西边,日本在东边,两个最根深蒂固的民主政体的汇合,已经是21世纪国际公益的重要组成部分。我相信关键在于日本和印度应确保亚洲继续保持和平与繁荣。”基于这种战略认知,日本在同印度的军事合作上表现得异常积极。除了把双方的海军联合演习常态化并增加次数,日本也决定出售自制的先进US-2军民两用水上飞机给印度。日本媒体报道,这是日本在1967年立法禁止输出武器后,首次出口被归类为民事飞机的军事成品。

印度选择在此时强化与日本的关系,当然也离不开经济上的考虑。为了满足发展所需的能源,曼莫汉星和安倍同意重启谈判,引进日本的核能发电技术——谈判在2011年福岛核泄漏之后一度中止。此外,双方也同意开展可行性研究,让日本为印度建造高速铁路系统。为了击败法国的竞争,日本将向印度提供约12亿6000万新元的高铁贷款。

就如李克强自称访问印度是“跨越喜马拉雅山的握手”,印日领导人所谓民主政体之间天然伙伴关系的说辞,更多也是在装饰战略博弈的计算。中国对印度死对头巴基斯坦长期的经济和军事支持,以及在缅甸维持政治影响力且借此伸展势力至印度洋,都让新德里寝食难安。无独有偶,安倍刚在5月24日成为时隔36年后第一个访问缅甸的日本首相。他除了免去缅甸所有债务,更宣布提供新的巨额经济援助。

印度和日本的外交举动,对北京当然是莫大的刺激。中共机关报《人民日报》海外版5月24日就撰文称,日本提出“民主安全菱形”,“价值观外交”,“战略性外交”,暴露日本外交思维格调不高,外交心胸狭窄,文章更直斥“日本一些政客在涉华问题上扮演的角色堪称‘跳梁小丑’”。

这一波亚洲各国的折冲樽俎,以及美国宣布“重返亚洲”的再平衡战略一样,背后的动机都是在因应中国崛起所带来的地缘政治板块移动。在欧洲社会经济持续泥足深陷之际,亚洲的世界引擎角色日益吃重。这一划时代的深刻巨变,既充满风险也蕴含机遇,唯有尽早形成新的战略平衡,才能维护21世纪稳定的国际秩序。

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The real intention behind Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan (ZB)

Just days after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left India – the first foreign country he visited since taking office, the Prime Minister of the host country, Mr Manmohan Singh, hurried off to Tokyo. He was there to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations – including military cooperation – with Japan, a country currently in a diplomatic spat with China over the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands. In fact, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso was just in New Delhi in early May, where he openly proposed military cooperation with India, the US and Australia. It looks like geopolitics in Asia is increasingly locked in a web of alliances, and all with “China’s rise” as the focal point.

Against this backdrop, the timing of Mr Singh’s visit to Japan leaves much room for speculation. The Times of India pointed out that the visit happened only six weeks after the border incident between Indian and Chinese troops, and one week after Mr Li’s visit to India. So, the timing of Mr Singh’s visit to Japan would be interpreted by Beijing as a political signal.

If that were not enough, one could see a common thread in what Mr Singh said in Japan and the echo by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to what he said – both countries have made China the “object” of their exchanges, although it was not spelled out. Mr Singh described India and Japan as “natural and indispensable” partners, with a shared commitment to democracy and international peace. India’s The Hindu ran an analysis that the US and Japan both feel that India can play an important role in negating China’s growing influence in regional economics and geopolitics. Mr Singh’s words have to be taken in this context.

Mr Abe was even more explicit: “India is in the west and Japan is in the east, the coming together of the two most entrenched democracies has become an important part of the common good in the world for the 21st century. I am of a belief that the key to this is that Japan and India should ensure that Asia continues to maintain peace and prosperity.” And given this awareness, Japan seems exceptionally active in its military cooperation with India. Besides more regular joint naval exercises, Japan has also decided to sell India its US-2 amphibian aircraft – which, according to Japanese media, is the first time Japan will export a military product classified for civilian use since its self-imposed ban on arms exports in 1967.

Of course, there are also economic considerations in India’s decision to strengthen ties with Japan now. To meet energy demands, Mr Singh and Mr Abe have agreed to resume talks on India bringing in Japan’s nuclear energy technology; the talks were suspended after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Both sides have also agreed to conduct a feasibility study on Japan building a high-speed railway for India. And to stave off competition from France, Japan is even willing to offer India a loan of about S$1.26 billion for this.

Just as Mr Li described his trip to India as a “handshake across the Himalayas”, the line taken by the Indian and Japanese leaders about a natural partnership between democracies is really more a camouflage for their strategic calculations. India is uneasy over China’s long-term economic and military support for India’s arch rival Pakistan, as well as its political presence in Myanmar and expansion of its influence to the Indian Ocean. Coincidentally, Mr Abe became the first Japanese PM to visit Myanmar in 36 years, where he wrote off Myanmar’s debts and announced substantial amounts of new financial aid to the country.

Of course, such diplomatic moves by India and Japan would be provoking to China. A recent commentary in the foreign edition of the People’s Daily said Japan’s proposed “Democratic Security Diamond”, “Values Diplomacy” and “Strategic Diplomacy” have exposed its shallow and parochial diplomacy, and it even likened some Japanese politicians to “petty burglars” when it comes to China-related issues.

Like the US’ pivot back to Asia, the latest round of diplomatic manoeuvring in Asia is to cope with the geopolitical shifts following China’s emergence. As Europe is mired in economic woes, Asia’s role as the engine of the world is becoming even more important. Such paradigm shifts are full of risks as well as opportunities, and only when a new strategic balance takes shape can a stable world order be maintained for the 21st century.

Issued by Translation Department, Media and Research Division (MCI).

About yapphenghui 叶鹏飞

Husband of one, father of two 文字匠,腰肌劳损 狷者有守,不失其身
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