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2015.06.02

アジア安全保障会議(シャングリラ対話)・中国軍は何を考えているか

 アジア安全保障会議(シャングリラ対話)が今年も5月末に開催された。毎年開かれるこの会議ではもちろんアジアの安全保障について意見交換が行われるが、実際には半分くらいが中国に関する話題である。
 中国軍の実態は諸外国に知られておらず、また、中国の軍関係者との対話の機会はほとんどない。しかし、この会議においては中国の軍関係者と他国からの出席者との間で非常に率直なやり取りが行われる。このような会議は他になく、貴重な機会である。
 全体会議と分科会があるが、全体会議では数百人が一堂に会し、VIPによる冒頭演説の後、質疑応答が行われる。その場は「中国対その他の代表」という構図になり、多くの出席者が中国の行動について疑問を呈し、中国からの参加者が反駁するのがいつものパターンである。議論はかなりラフであり、木で鼻をくくったような回答が多いが、中国からの参加者にそのような認識はないのか、平然と中国の見解を展開している。
 今年の会議では南シナ海での中国の行動に関心が集中し、カーター米国防長官は、航行の自由の確保の重要性などを強調しつつ、南沙諸島における中国の造成工事と軍事化に対する懸念を表明した。
 これに対し、中国からの出席者の一人であるSenior Colonel Zhou Bo(中国国防部)は、「カーター長官の批判は根拠がない。航行の自由は問題になっていない。中国がこの地域の平和と安定に影響を及ぼしているなどとは根拠がない。南シナ海における紛争は過去何十年も続いてきたが、これまで平和で安定していたのは中国が大いに自制していたからである」といった調子である。
 カーター長官は何と言ったか。南シナ海に関する発言部分の抜粋を末尾に掲げておく。

 今のところ、米国にとっても中国にとってもアジア安全保障会議は、それぞれの主張を遠慮なく展開できるのでそれなりにメリットを感じているのであろう。中国は各国から集中攻撃にあっているようにも見えるが、出席者たちには意に介している形跡はなく、この会議での議論が今後の中国の政策に反映すると期待するのは時期尚早であろう。しかし、このような率直な意見交換がないのと比べれば、あるほうがよいことは明らかである。

カーター国防長官の演説(5月30日 南シナ海関係部分)
To realise that future, we must tackle urgent issues like the security and stability of the South China Sea. Yesterday, I took an aerial transit of the Strait of Malacca, and when viewed from the air, it is even clearer how critical this region’s waterways are to international trade and energy resources. We have all benefited from free and open access to the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca. We all have a fundamental stake in the security of the South China Sea. And that is why we all have deep concerns about any party that attempts to undermine the status quo and generate instability there, whether by force, coercion or simply by creating irreversible facts on the ground, in the air or in the water.
Now, it is true that almost all the nations that claim parts of the South China Sea have developed outposts over the years of differing scope and degree. In the Spratly Islands, Vietnam has 48 outposts; the Philippines, eight; Malaysia, five; and Taiwan one. Yet, one country has gone much further and much faster than any other, and that is China.
China has reclaimed over 2,000 acres, more than all other claimants combined, and more than in the entire history of the region. And China did so in only the last 18 months. It is unclear how much further China will go. That is why this stretch of water has become a source of tension in the region and front-page news around the world.
The United States is deeply concerned about the pace and scope of land reclamation in the South China Sea, the prospect of further militarisation, as well as the potential for these activities to increase the risk of miscalculation or conflict among claimant states. As a Pacific nation, a trading nation and a member of the international community, the United States has every right to be involved and concerned.
But these are not just American concerns. Nations across the region and the world, and many of you here in the room today, have also voiced the same concerns and raised questions about China’s intentions in constructing these massive outposts. So let me make clear the position of the United States.
First, we want a peaceful resolution of all disputes. To that end, there should be an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants. We also oppose any further militarisation of disputed features. We all know there is no military solution to the South China Sea disputes. Right now, at this critical juncture, it is time for renewed diplomacy focused on finding a lasting solution that protects the rights and the interests of all. As it is central to the regional security architecture, ASEAN must be a part of this effort. The United States encourages ASEAN and China to conclude a Code of Conduct this year. America will support the right of claimants to pursue international legal arbitration and other peaceful means to resolve these disputes, just as we will oppose coercive tactics.
Second, the United States will continue to protect freedom of navigation and overflight, principles that have ensured security and prosperity in this region for decades. There should be no mistake: the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as US forces do all over the world. America, alongside its allies and partners in the regional architecture, will not be deterred from exercising these rights – the rights of all nations. After all, turning an underwater rock into an airfield simply does not afford the rights of sovereignty or permit restrictions on international air or maritime transit.
Finally, with its actions in the South China Sea, China is out of step with both the international rules and norms that underscore the Asia-Pacific security architecture, and the regional consensus that favours diplomacy and opposes coercion. These actions are spurring nations to respond together in new ways; in settings as varied as the East Asia Summit to the G7, countries are speaking up for the importance of stability in the South China Sea. Indonesia and the Philippines are putting aside maritime disputes and resolving their claims peacefully. In venues like ADMM-Plus and the East Asia Maritime Forum, nations are seeking new protocols and procedures to build maritime cooperation.
The United States will always stand with its allies and partners. It is important for the region to understand that America is going to remain engaged, continue to stand up for international law and universal principles, and help provide security and stability in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come.
The South China Sea is just one issue we will face as the Asia-Pacific continues to rise and prosper. There will surely be others. We cannot predict what challenges the future holds. However, we do know how we could work to ensure the peace and prosperity of the region and the opportunity to rise for all nations and all people. For that to happen, we must do so together.

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