刘晓明大使在伦敦国际战略研究所的演讲

China is a Staunch Force for Peace and Stability in the […]

China is a Staunch Force for Peace and Stability in the South China Sea

中国是维护南海和平稳定的中坚力量

 

– Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the International Institute for Strategic Studies

——刘晓明大使在伦敦国际战略研究所的演讲

International Institute for Strategic Studies, 20 May 2016

2016年5月20日,伦敦国际战略研究所

Mr. Nigel Inkster,Ladies and Gentlemen:

尊敬的奈杰尔·因克斯特主任,女士们,先生们:

Thank you very much, Nigel, for that kind introduction.

奈杰尔主任,非常感谢您热情洋溢的介绍。

It is truly a delight to be back again at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) after three years. Back then, I was invited by Dr. John Chipman to deliver a speech about China’s Diplomacy in the New Era. Today, my speech is also about China’s diplomacy, but I will focus on one issue – the South China Sea.

很高兴时隔三年之后再次应邀来到伦敦国际战略研究所。三年前,我应齐普曼所长的邀请在这里就“新时期的中国外交”发表过一次演讲。今天,我要讲的主题还是中国外交,不过这次集中谈一个问题,这就是南海问题。

Recently, the South China Sea issue has attracted much attention and media coverage. However, the articles and reporting show that the truth and facts behind the issue remain unclear to most people. Misunderstandings still exist.So I have chosen to speak about this issue at IISS, a prestigious institution that focuses on international security. I will expound on China’s position and policy, and then take questions from you. In this way, I hope our interaction today will help you gain a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the issue.

南海问题的热度最近几个月来不断升温,很多人在关注南海问题,很多媒体也在炒作南海问题,但对于南海问题的真实情况人们却往往不甚清楚,有时甚至存在误解。因此我特意选伦敦国际战略研究所这样一个研究国际政治和安全问题的知名智库,来阐述中国对南海问题的立场和政策,并回答大家的提问。希望通过今天的交流,各位对南海问题能有一个比较全面和准确的了解。

In order to be objective, impartial and rational on the issue of the South China Sea, one must get to the root of the issue and put it in perspective. So I would like to begin with the history of China and the South China Sea.

首先,我还是要从中国与南海的历史渊源说起。我们要想客观、公正、理性的看待南海问题,就要追本溯源,从源头上弄清事情的本来面貌。

The islands and reefs in the South China Sea have been Chinese territory since ancient times. I emphasise ‘ancient times’ to highlight the historical facts that put the South China Sea firmly on the map of China. To elaborate on this, let me share with you four “Firsts”.

南海诸岛自古以来就是中国领土,之所以强调“自古以来”,因为南海诸岛属于中国这一历史事实源远流长,可以用四个“最早”来概括:

China was the first to discover the islands in the South China Sea.Some of the countries attempt to claim some of the islands on grounds of “prior possession”. They try to get away with their illegal occupation by referring to Nansha Islands as “Terra Nullius”. In fact, as early as 200 BC, during China’s Han Dynasty, the Chinese had large-scale and frequent sea-faring and fishing activities in the South China Sea. There is clear evidence that the South China Sea was already used by China as an important shipping route since ancient times. It follows that, because of frequent shipping, the Chinese became the first to discover the islands in the South China Sea.Marwyn Samuels is known for his studies on the South China Sea. He wrote a book in the 1980s called ‘Contest for the South China Sea’. In this book he wrote:“Along the way, both literarily and figuratively, the South China Sea and its islands helped shape the geographical cognita of the Chinese world order.”

一是最早发现:一些国家宣称南海岛礁是“无主地”,企图以所谓“先占原则”据为已有。事实上,早在公元前2世纪的汉代,中国就已经有了大规模、频繁的远洋航海及渔业捕捞活动,南海自古就是中国重要的海上航路,当时的中国人频繁航行于南海地区,最早发现了南海诸岛。著名南海问题学者马文·塞缪尔斯在上世纪80年代的著作《南海争端》中明确提出:“是南海和南海上的岛礁帮助中国人在地理上形成了对世界秩序的认识。”

Second, China was the first to name the islands in the South China Sea.Today, Nansha of the South China Sea is called the Spratly Islands in the west. This name comes from a British sea captain called Richard Spratly who thought it was he who had “discovered” and “named” the islands in 1843. But actually the Chinese had started to name the Nansha Islands about 2,000 years before he did.In various kinds of Chinese historical records dating back to over 2000 years, the South China Sea is known as “Zhang Hai”, or “rising sea”, and the islands, reefs, shoals and sands as “Qi Tou”, or “rugged peaks”. In historical documents of later dynasties after the Han Dynasty, ancient names referring to today’s Xisha Islands, Nansha Islands and individual islands in the archipelagoes are clearly recorded.A popular sailing guide called “Geng Lu Bu” was compiled by Chinese fishermen. This was during the Ming and Qing Dynasties between the 14th and 20th century. In this book, names of dozens of islands of the South China Sea, including those in Nansha, are recorded. Many of these names have been widely adopted and used by international sailors until this day.

二是最早命名:现在西方人多用SPRATLY群岛称呼中国的南沙群岛,这缘于1843年英国船长RICHARD SPRATLY 所谓“发现”并“命名”了南沙群岛。而事实是,两千多年前,中国人就已经开始认识南海,并在各种历史文献中将这片海域称为“涨海”,把海中的岛、礁、滩、沙称为“崎头”。后来历朝历代均出现了专指西沙、南沙群岛及其具体岛屿的古地名。明清时期形成的航海指南《更路簿》,更是详细记载了包括南沙群岛在内的南海诸岛数十处地名,不少沿用至今并被各国航海家广泛承认和采用。

Third, China was the first to exercise administrative jurisdiction in the South China Sea.Ever since China’s Tang Dynasty, about 1,200 years ago, successive Chinese governments have exercised jurisdiction over the South China Sea. This included islands and the waters around them. China’s sovereignty was established through administrative establishment, naval patrol, resources development and management.In the 10th century, during China’s Song Dynasty, local chronicles explicitly recorded that the islands in the South China Sea were under the administrative jurisdiction of Qiongzhou, which is today’s Hainan province.In 1279, China’s famous astronomer Guo Shoujing was recorded traveling to the South China Sea and building observatorial facilities. The Governments of the Ming and Qing dynasties both placed the South China Sea under the supervision of naval patrols.

三是最早实施行政管辖:自1200多年前的唐代开始,中国历代政府就不断通过行政设治、水师巡视、资源开发管理等方式对南海诸岛进行有效管辖。到公元10世纪的宋代,地方志明确记载南海诸岛属琼州也就是现在的中国海南省管辖。公元1279年,元代著名天文学家郭守敬曾到南海开展测量活动并建立天文观测据点。明清两代也均将南海纳入水师巡防范围。

Fourth, China is also the first country to develop the islands in the South China Sea.For centuries, the Chinese have been engaged in fishing, planting and other activities on the islands and in the nearby waters. The remains of this continuous habitation can be seen through archaeological evidence found on many islands. The fact that only Chinese lived on the Nansha islands is recorded clearly in the book called The China Sea Pilot published by the British Navy in 1868.

四是最早开发利用:中国人民长期以来一直在南海诸岛及海域从事捕捞、种植和其他生产活动,许多岛礁上都曾留下中国渔民生产生活的遗迹。英国海军部测绘局1868年编制的《中国海指南》一书中就明确记录了南沙群岛仅有中国人生产、生活的事实。

The aforementioned four “Firsts” are based on substantial and concrete historical evidence. They testify to the fact that the islands of the South China Sea have long been Chinese territory under successive, peaceful and effective administration.Until the 1970s, it was widely recognised by the international community that islands in the South China Sea belonged to China. Let me give you two examples:

以上四个“最早”均有充分史实作为支撑,这说明中国在历史上早已将南海诸岛并入中国版图并持续和平有效行使管辖。事实上,直到20世纪70年代之前,南海诸岛属于中国是国际社会普遍认知。举两个典型的例子:

· In 1883, Germany sent military vessels to Xisha and Nansha for surveys. The Government of Guangdong Province protested to the Germans, citing Chinese sovereignty. Germany had to stop the survey and withdrew their team.

1883年,德国曾派军舰到西沙、南沙群岛附近进行测量,清朝广东地方政府以主权为依据提出抗议,德国被迫停止测量活动并撤走;

· In 1958, the Chinese government issued a declaration on territorial waters applicable to all Chinese territory including Xisha, Nansha and other islands in the South China Sea. Vietnam’s then prime minister, Phạm Văn Đồng, sent to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai a diplomatic note which explicitly recognizes that Xisha and Nansha belonged to China.

1958年,中国政府发表关于领海的声明,并宣布声明中的规定适用于包括西沙、南沙等南海诸岛在内的所有中国领土,时任越南政府总理范文同就此专门照会时任中国国务院总理周恩来,明确承认西沙和南沙群岛属于中国。

I could give you more examples like these if we had more time.

类似这样的例子还有很多。

History speaks for itself as to who owns those islands in the South China Sea. Then how did the disputes arise?

既然南海诸岛属于中国是无可争辩的历史事实,那么南海争端又是怎样产生的?

Since the 1970s, some countries have tried to lay claim on the natural resources in the South China Sea. It was then that some nations began to make territorial claims. Vietnam and Philippines sent troops and illegally occupied some of the islands. That is how the disputes started. Up till today, Vietnam has occupied 29 islands, Philippines eight and Malaysia five.

从上世纪70年代开始,一些南海周边国家由于觊觎南海的丰富自然资源,开始对中国南沙岛礁提出领土要求。越南、菲律宾等国先后派兵非法侵占了南沙部分岛礁,南海问题就此产生。迄今为止,越南共侵占29个岛礁,菲律宾共侵占8个岛礁,马来西亚共侵占5个岛礁。

In 1982, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was concluded after 9 years of hard negotiations. With this development of the maritime legal system in the 1980s, countries around the South China Sea gradually made further claims. These were based on UNCLOS agreements that include the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), continental shelf and other maritime rights and interests. Such overlapping claims in some cases gave rise to disputes of maritime delimitation. This has caused further complications to the issue of the South China Sea.

进入80年代以来,联合国海洋法公约经过9年的谈判于1982年签署。随着现代海洋法制度的发展,各国又逐步提出了专属经济区和大陆架等海洋权益主张,这些主张覆盖的范围有部分重叠,从而又产生了海域划界的问题,这就使得问题进一步复杂化。

It is clear that there are two disputes at the centre of the South China Sea issue:

由此可见,南海争端的根源:

· One is the territorial dispute caused by illegal occupation of Chinese territory.

一是一些国家非法侵占中国南沙群岛部分岛礁而产生的领土争议;

· The other is the dispute over maritime delimitation caused by overlapping claims of maritime jurisdiction.

二是一些国家提出的海洋管辖权主张重叠而产生的海域划界争议。

These two disputes are intertwined and have made the issue highly complex. However, one thing is clear: whichever angle one chooses to look at the issue, China has never been the troublemaker. Quite the opposite, China has been a victim.

这两方面原因相互交织,使南海问题异常复杂。但无论从哪方面原因看,中国都不是挑起事端的一方,恰恰相反,中国是南海争端的受害方。

Then, what is China’s position and policy?

那么,中国对南海问题的立场和政策是什么?

For a long time, China has exercised a high-level of self-restraint and forbearance on this issue. We have always approached the disputes in a constructive and responsible manner. If China had not maintained self-restraint, the South China Sea would not have been what it is today.I would like to summarize China’s position as five “commitments”.

面对一些国家的侵权挑衅行为,中国始终保持克制和忍让,以建设性态度负责任地处理南海争端。事实上,如果不是中方长期保持克制态度,南海地区的局势早已不是今天的样子。中方在南海问题上的态度和立场,主要体现在五个“坚持”上:

First, China maintains a strong commitment to peace and stability in the South China Sea.For years, China has been a staunch force safeguarding and maintaining regional peace and stability. Building friendship and partnership with neighbours has always been a top priority in China’s policy towards neighbouring countries.The Chinese people are a peace loving nation. Moreover, China’s development needs a peaceful environment. In the past three decades, peace and stability has enabled China to industrialise at a speed and scale that is unprecedented in human history. This advance by China can be largely attributed to the peaceful and stable environment in its neighborhood and beyond. So, China would be the last to wish to see instability in the South China Sea. It means that China would be the first to oppose conflicts in the South China Sea.

一是坚持维护南海的和平稳定。中国是地区和平稳定的坚定捍卫者和维护者,始终奉行“与邻为善、以邻为伴”的周边外交政策。这既是因为中国人民血液中流淌着的爱好和平的基因,也是中国自身利益和发展的现实需要。三十年来,中国在和平稳定的环境中实现了人类历史上从未有过的高速度、大规模工业化。中国的发展得益于和平稳定的国际和周边环境,中国当然不希望南海生乱,也决不允许南海生乱。

Second, China maintains a strong commitment to solving disputes peacefully through friendly consultations and negotiations.The ultimate resolution of territorial disputes, regardless of its mechanisms or process, has to be agreed between parties directly involved. The dialogue must be based on negotiations on an equal footing if such a resolution is to be fundamental and lasting. Negotiations and consultations are the most effective way of disputes resolution. This is because they can, to the greatest extent, reflect the principle of sovereign equality and the will and wishes of the parties involved.Since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, we have signed boundary treaties with 12 of our 14 neighbours on land. These treaties involved over 20,000 kilometers of boundary. Most of the neighbors are medium-sized or small nations, but none of them has ever complained about the approach of China in the negotiations. These are examples of how China has resolved disputes through face-to-face negations with other countries directly involved in the disputes.The South China Sea disputes do not need to be an exception. Experience shows that only negotiation and consultation could help the parties concerned to constantly build mutual trust, manage problems, narrow differences and advance cooperation. Negotiation and consultation are the most realistic and effective approach to the South China Sea issue.

二是坚持当事国通过友好谈判协商和平解决争议。世界上领土问题的最终解决,无论经过哪些机制和过程,最后都要由当事方通过平等谈判达成协议,才能获得根本、长久的解决。谈判协商最能体现国家主权平等原则,最能体现当事方的意愿,是最行之有效的解决争端方式。新中国成立以来,中国与14个陆地邻国中的12个签订了边界条约,划定和勘定的边界长度达2万余公里。这些邻国中绝大多数都是中小国家,从来没有哪一国说过中国在谈判中以大欺小,以强凌弱。这些都是中国与当事国通过直接谈判协商解决问题的范例,解决南海问题同样也不例外。实践证明,有关各方只有通过谈判协商,才能不断增进互信、管控危机、缩小分歧、促进合作。处理南海问题,必须坚持谈判协商这一现实有效途径。

Third, China maintains a strong commitment to rule-based dispute management.China and ASEAN countries signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in 2002 and are now working closely on the making of the “Code of Conduct in the South China Sea”, or COC for short. Since the start of the COC consultation, there has already been much progress.China and ASEAN countries have worked actively to set up the “Senior Officials’ Hotline Platform” in response to maritime emergencies, and the “Point-to-Point Hotline Communication” on search and rescue. All sides have also agreed to establish “Preventive Measures to Manage Risks at Sea”, which will serve as the interim measure prior to the final conclusion of the COC. What happened over the years has testified to the effectiveness of rule-based dispute management.

三是坚持通过规则机制管控分歧。中国和东盟国家2002年签署《南海各方行为宣言》,2013年启动“南海行为准则”磋商。“准则”磋商启动以来,已经取得了积极进展。中国与东盟国家还积极推动建立“海上紧急事态外交热线”和“海上联合搜救热线”。各方同意积极探讨制订“海上风险管控预防性措施”,从而在“准则”最终达成前有效管控海上局势,防止不测事件发生。事实证明,地区国家间通过规则机制管控分歧的努力是有效的。

Fourth, China maintains a strong commitment to the freedom of navigation and over-flight.China is the biggest littoral state in the South China Sea. The vast majority of China’s energy supply and trade pass through the South China Sea. This means China cares more than any other nation about freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea.Recently ‘freedom of navigation’ has become a hot subject. Some people talk about “protecting the freedom of navigation”.This creates a dangerous misunderstanding as it implies that the safety and security of ships passing through the region were under immediate threat. The reality is that more than 100,000 vessels pass through the South China Sea every year. None of them has ever run into any problem with freedom of navigation.If there was real threat to maritime traffic in the South China Sea then this would immediately result in a jump in shipping insurance rates. This has not happened. The Reuters news agency reported in January that there are no signs of commercial shipping being affected in the South China Sea. The report went on to say that the South China Sea area was not listed as a high risk area by the industry’s influential Lloyd’s Joint War Committee. This means insurers do not charge additional premiums for vessels operating in the region.Business people, particularly insurers, are the most responsive to risks. Yet they haven’t sensed any threat to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. This makes me wonder what kind of “freedom of navigation” some people are feeling so eager to protect.

四是坚持维护南海航行和飞越自由。中国作为南海最大的沿岸国,每年有大量的能源和海上货物贸易运输经过南海,没有哪个国家比中国更关心南海地区的航行和飞越自由。近一段时间,航行自由成了热门话题,一些人大谈所谓保护航行自由,仿佛在该地区的航行安全遇到什么问题。但事实是,每年有十万多艘船只经过南海地区,从未听说有哪艘船只抱怨过航行自由受到过任何影响。如果南海存在威胁海上航行的风险,通常会导致航运保费瞬间上涨。但是这样的情况并没有发生。据今年初英国路透社报道,没有迹象显示南海地区商业航运受到了任何影响。报道还称,英国知名保险机构“劳合社联合战争险委员会”(Lloyd's Joint War Committee)并未将南海列入高风险地区,保险公司也不会向通过该地区的船只多收保费。常识告诉我们,商人特别是保险商们对风险的嗅觉是最灵敏的,连他们都没有察觉出南海航行自由受到了威胁,我不知道一些人所声称要“保护”的是什么样的航行自由?

The fact is, “freedom of navigation” has recently been used as an excuse by the United States to flex its military muscles in the South China Sea. The United States sends military jets and warships on close-in reconnaissance in the nearby waters and air space of China’s islands and reefs. Such dangerous actions have increased tension and posed a threat to China’s sovereignty and security.For example, just ten days ago, the USS William P. Lawrence, a guided missile destroyer, illegally sailed into the waters near China’s Nansha islands. The ship manoevered without Chinese government’s permission in sovereign waters of China.Actions such as this, I am afraid, can not be regarded as protection of “freedom of navigation”. They are a manifestation of superior military power and the assertion of maritime dominance. These actions have posed the biggest threat to the real freedom of navigation and the peace and stability in the South China Sea.To those who claim that they care about freedom of navigation and over-flight, I hope they will act in strict accordance with the international law and respect the sovereignty and security of coastal state.

近来,个别国家打着“行使航行和飞越自由”的旗号,不断在南海炫耀武力,派遣军用舰机抵近中国南沙群岛有关岛礁邻近海空域进行挑衅,制造紧张局势,威胁中国主权和安全。就在10天前,美国“劳伦斯”号驱逐舰未经中国政府许可,非法进入中国南沙群岛有关岛礁邻近海域。这些行为所要维护的恐怕不是航行自由,而是凭借力量优势行使海上霸权的“横行自由”,这才是南海地区和平稳定以及真正航行自由的最大威胁。我要奉劝这些国家,如果他们真的关心航行和飞越自由,就应遵守国际法,尊重沿岸国主权、安全和相关权益。

The actions of the United States should be judged at all times by its approach to international law. If the United States had a serious commitment to maritime law then it would have signed the UNCLOS. China has signed UNCLOS along with most other member nations.Respect for international law and peaceful dialogue on disputes is crucial for the stability and peace in the South China Sea.Military provocation and intimidation in the name of “freedom of navigation” is highly dangerous. Such actions directly undermine regional peace and stability.

看美国的行为,要看其对待国际法的态度。如果美国严肃致力于国际海洋法,那么早就应该签署包括中国在内的广大国际社会均已签署的联合国海洋法公约。尊重国际法,和平谈判解决争端,对于维护南海和平稳定至关重要。借航行自由之名,行军事挑衅和威胁之实,是极其危险的行为,它直接扰乱地区的和平稳定。

Turning to my next commitment point.Fifth, China maintains strong commitment to win-win cooperation.China values friendly and cooperative relationship with its neighbours. We have taken the initiative to call on all parties involved to “shelf differences and engage in joint development” in the South China Sea. This provides a useful approach to the resolution of the issue. And it is an approach that takes into consideration the interest of all parties concerned. To put this into practice, China has engaged in a series of cooperation initiatives with relevant countries.In 2005, oil companies from China, Vietnam and the Philippines signed the “Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in Certain Areas in the South China Sea”. This was an effort for joint development of oil and gas resources in the South China Sea.In 2011, China announced the establishment of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund with a total of three billion RMB yuan, or more than 300 million pounds. This was set up to fund maritime cooperation projects.Two years ago, China put forward the initiative of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. This demonstrated the mutual benefits which the ASEAN countries can enjoy by becoming regional hubs of development. These measures and initiatives are evidence of China’s efforts and good faith in seeking further and deeper maritime cooperation with its neighbours.

五是坚持通过合作实现互利共赢。中国一贯致力于发展与周边各国的友好合作关系,主动提出了“搁置争议、共同开发”,这为解决南海争议提供了有益思路,也充分考虑到各方的实际利益。根据这一思路,中国与有关各方相继开展了一系列合作。例如:中、菲、越三国石油公司于2005年签署《在南海协议区三方联合海洋地震工作协议》,推动共同开发南海地区的油气资源;2011年,中国宣布设立总额30亿元人民币的中国-东盟海上合作基金,支持海上务实合作项目;近两年,中国又提出以东盟国家为枢纽建设21世纪海上丝绸之路战略构想,进一步深化海上务实合作。这些倡议和措施充分展示了中方开展合作的努力和诚意,受到周边国家的普遍欢迎。

The aforesaid five “Commitments” constitute China’s position on the South China Sea. They demonstrate China’s sincerity:· For resolving the issues.· For securing the regional peace and stability.· And for promoting the common development in China’s neighborhood.

从上述五个“坚持”可以看出,中国是在真心实意地寻找南海问题的解决办法,从而促进南海地区的和平稳定和周边国家的共同发展。

Recently, a number of hot issues have cropped up with regard to the South China Sea. In turn I will share with you my views.

刚才我向大家介绍了中国与南海的渊源以及中国对南海问题的基本政策,现在我想就当前几个南海热点问题谈一些看法。

The first one is about the “arbitration”.The reference to the Arbitral Tribunal was unilaterally initiated by the Philippines. Many media reports are creating misunderstanding by not explaining clearly this circumstance of the ‘arbitration’.A crucial point is that the Tribunal is not a permanent arbitration body nor is it a court of law.For any arbitration to work it requires the proactive participation and agreement of both sides. Another critical point is that China rejected to participate in the arbitration. From the very start of the reference from the Philippines for the arbitration China made it clear this was not an acceptable way to resolve the dispute.

第一个问题是菲律宾仲裁案。菲律宾单方面提起南海仲裁一事最近闹得沸沸扬扬。我想首先说一说接受菲律宾仲裁请求的仲裁庭。一些媒体报道对该仲裁庭的性质缺乏清晰的认识。其中最关键的一点在于,该仲裁庭只是一个非常设的仲裁机构,与真正意义上的“法庭”有着本质区别。此外,就仲裁机制而言,只有当争议双方自愿达成一致,仲裁程序才能启动。但中国自始至终都已明确表达了不参与、不接受的立场。

Some media and politicians are now ramping up this topic of arbitration. They are erroneously making these claims:· If China does not accept the ruling of the arbitration panel it will be breaking international law.· It would be seen as “violating the international law” and “undermining the rule-based international system”.This is completely wrong.China’s rejection of the arbitration and non-participation in the arbitral process is an act of exercising its legitimate rights empowered by the international law.In contrast, it is the Philippines who is challenging the legal and moral bottom line of the international community because the arbitration is totally unreasonable, unfair and illegal.

一些媒体和政客伺机炒作,称中国必须接受仲裁,否则就是“不遵守国际法”,就是“破坏基于规则的国际体系”,这种说法是完全错误的。中国拒绝接受和参与仲裁,是在行使国际法赋予的合法权利。与此相反,菲律宾方面的做法则是在挑战国际社会的法律和道德底线,既不合情,也不合理,更不合法。

My second point about the arbitration is that it is unreasonable.It is not reasonable because the Philippines went against its commitment to China and other ASEAN countries. Let me briefly summarise the logic of this point. China and the Philippines reached a number of bilateral agreements long ago on resolving disputes through bilateral negotiations. In the Declaration of Conduct reached between China and Philippines and other ASEAN countries, it is clearly stipulated that “the parties concerned undertake to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means.”In 2011, the Philippines issued a joint statement with China to reaffirm its commitment to negotiations and consultations. However, a year later, it suddenly went back on its clear written commitment. Without notifying China, or even asking for consent from China, the Philippines initiated the arbitration against China unilaterally. “Pacta sunt servanda” is a basic rule in international relations. This is the bottom line of morality that every country must strictly observe. To put it simply, the Philippines has reneged on its words and deeds.

说它不合情,是因为菲律宾破坏了它对中国和其他东盟国家作出的庄严承诺。中菲两国早在一系列双边文件中就通过双边谈判解决争端达成协议。包括菲律宾在内的东盟各国和中国所共同签订的《南海各方行为宣言》中也明确规定,要通过当事国和平谈判解决争议。菲律宾在2011年还与中国发表共同声明,承诺坚持通过谈判协商解决问题,一年后就突然变卦,在事先未告知中方,更未征得中方同意的情况下单方面提起仲裁。国际关系中有一条成文的规则:“约定必须遵守”,这是每个国家自立于国际社会所必须严守的道德底线。中国有一个成语:“出尔反尔”,用来形容菲律宾的所作所为再合适不过。

Another point is that the arbitration is unfair.It is unfair because the islands in the arbitration case are the sovereignty property of China since ancient times. What the Philippines is doing is robbing its neighbour and asking the court to rule in its favour over the ownership of the booty. No one in the world should find this reasonable.Here in Britain, there is always an emphasis on a “rule-based international system”. But if rules can be abused, as they are in the Philippine arbitration, what should we expect from such rules and order?

说它不合理,是因为菲律宾拿到仲裁庭上要求裁决的岛礁都是我前面所说中国自古以来的固有领土。这就好比邻居抢走了你家的东西,然后就堂而皇之地要求法院把东西判给他。敢问世间哪有这样的道理?英国个别政客总是在强调“基于规则的国际秩序”,请问如果每个国家都如此行事,何谈规则?何谈国际秩序?

The arbitration is illegal for three apparent reasons:First, UNCLOS stipulates that States Parties have the right to settle a dispute by any peaceful means of their own choice. The aforementioned arbitration was unilaterally forced ahead by the Philippines, who did not seek consent from China. This violates China’s legitimate right under the international law.Second, UNCLOS also states:“If the States Parties have agreed to seek settlement of the dispute by a peaceful means of their own choice, the (arbitration) procedures apply only where no settlement has been reached by recourse to such means and the agreement between the parties does not exclude any further procedure.”China has always been open to bilateral means and clearly bilateral means between China and the Philippines has not been exhausted. 

说它不合法,原因更明显。一则,《联合国海洋法公约》明文规定:缔约国享有自主选择争端解决方式的权利。菲律宾未经中国同意单方面强行仲裁,侵犯了中国的这一合法权利。二则,《公约》规定:缔约国如果已协议自行选择和平方法解决争端,则只有在这种方法未得到解决以及争端各方之间的协议并不排除其他程序的情况下,才适用第三方争端解决程序。而中方对双边谈判的态度在任何时候都是开放的,中菲之间还远未穷尽双边手段。三则,《公约》还规定,如果缔约国之间对本公约的解释或适用发生争端,应迅速就以谈判或其他和平方法解决争端一事交换意见。而菲律宾从未就此与中国进行过任何协商。中菲两国同为《公约》缔约国,但菲律宾单方面提起仲裁的做法明显违背了上述《公约》规定,是明目张胆的违法行为。

 
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