【英语中国】菲律宾指责中国在争议岛礁填海造地 Philippines accuses China of stoking tensions

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2014-5-14 16:57

小艾摘要: The Philippines has accused China of reclaiming land around a contested reef in the South China Sea, sparking another escalation of the crisis in the waters.Manila said Beijing was moving materials to ...
Philippines accuses China of stoking tensions
The Philippines has accused China of reclaiming land around a contested reef in the South China Sea, sparking another escalation of the crisis in the waters.

Manila said Beijing was moving materials to Johnson South – a reef in the Spratly Islands that China occupies and calls Chigua – in breach of a regional code of conduct that bans construction in disputed areas. China won control of the reef in 1988 after a brief conflict with Vietnam that took the lives of dozens of Vietnamese.

A Philippine official said that aerial photographs show that China had started reclaiming land as early as February.

Charles Jose, the foreign ministry spokesman, told Reuters that China planned to build an airstrip. But he disputed those remarks to the FT. The other Philippine official said it was too early to determine what the land would be used for.

The Philippine foreign ministry said in a statement that Manila had made a protest to China in early April, which was rejected by Beijing. Philippine president Benigno Aquino also raised the issue at last weekend’s meeting of Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] leaders in Myanmar.

China has not publicly responded to the claims. But after photographs appeared online last week showing construction equipment at the reef, Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Communist party, said China was renovating the living quarters of the Chinese troops stationed there.

The Philippine claim marks the latest escalation of tensions in the South China Sea, the location of crucial global shipping routes. China and Vietnam have been engaged in a tense stand-off near the disputed Paracel Islands for over a week after China moved an oil rig to the area, in a move the US said was “provocative”.

The Sino-Vietnam spat has also sparked protests across Vietnam. Hanoi, which usually takes a harsh stance on protests, has allowed demonstrators to protest near the Chinese embassy. On Wednesday the Associated Press reported that 10 Chinese factories in Vietnam had been set on fire, or looted, by Vietnamese protesters.

Yue Yuen, the world’s biggest sports shoe maker which has operations in Vietnam, said it could not confirm the reports. But George Liu, executive spokesman for Yue Yuen, said the Hong Kong-listed Taiwanese company had suspended production in Vietnam as a precaution.

In April Yue Yuen witnessed the largest labour unrest in China in decades when roughly 40,000 employees went on strike.

China has long had disputes over the South China Sea with the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. But over the past five years, it has started asserting its claims more strongly, leading to a number of incidents at sea with ships owned by most of the other South China Sea claimants and also the US.

In 2012, Chinese and Philippine ships had a month-long stand-off at Scarborough Shoal. The US tried to choreograph a joint withdrawal, but the Chinese vessels remained after the Philippine boats left, giving China control of the disputed reef.

The incident acted as a catalyst for Manila’s decision to challenge China’s territorial claims at The Hague. The Philippines is asking a tribunal to invalidate the “nine-dash line”, a demarcation on Chinese maps that encloses most of the South China Sea, raising concerns about Beijing’s territorial intentions.

This year, Chinese ships have repeatedly tried to block Philippine boats from delivering supplies to a ship called the Sierra Madre lodged on top of the Second Thomas Shoal. A handful of marines man the rusty vessel which was deliberately run aground in 1999 to reinforce Manila’s territorial claims.

Last year, China lambasted the Philippines for accusing it of preparing to start construction at Scarborough Shoal. Manila was later forced to retract the inaccurate claim, in an embarrassing U-turn for Philippines President Benigno Aquino.

While China’s relations with the Philippines have been on a downward spiral for several years, the decision to move the oil rig to the Paracels came as ties with Vietnam were on a positive trajectory. It also comes just weeks after President Barack Obama visited Asia to reinforce the US “pivot” to the region.

菲律宾指责中国在南中国海一争议岛屿周围填海造地,这一指责导致该海域的危机再次恶化。

菲律宾政府表示中国政府正将建筑材料运往约翰逊南(Johnson South)礁,这么做违反了禁止在争端区域构筑建筑物的行为准则。该岛礁属于斯普拉特利群岛(Spratly Islands,中国称南沙群岛),目前由中国占领并被中国称为赤瓜礁。1988年,中国与越南发生短暂冲突后获得了该岛礁的控制权,那次冲突导致数十名越南人丧生。

一位菲律宾官员表示,航拍照片显示中国自2月份就已开始填海造地。

菲律宾外交部发言人查尔斯?何塞(Charles Jose)告诉路透社(Reuters),中国计划建设一条飞机跑道。不过他在与英国《金融时报》的对话中又对这种说法提出了质疑。另一位菲律宾官员则表示,目前要确定这片土地将作何用途还为时尚早。

菲律宾外交部在一份声明中表示,菲律宾政府在4月初曾向中国抗议,不过遭到了中国政府的回绝。上周末在缅甸召开的东盟国家(ASEAN)首脑会议上,菲律宾总统贝尼尼奥?阿基诺三世(Benigno Aquino)也曾提出这个问题。

中国对这一主张并未公开回应。不过,上周在网上出现多张展示该岛礁上建筑设备的照片后,中共喉舌《环球时报》(Global Times)曾表示中国是在装修中国驻军的住宅区。

菲律宾的声明标志着南中国海紧张局势的又一次升级。这片海域汇集着全球至关重要的海运航线。在此之前,中国和越南之间已经在有争议的帕拉塞尔群岛(Paracel Islands,中国称西沙群岛)附近对峙了一个多星期。冲突的起因是中国将一个石油钻井平台转移至该海域,这一举动曾被美国称为“挑衅性的”。

长期以来,菲律宾、越南、台湾、文莱和马来西亚都曾与中国在南中国海问题上有过冲突。然而过去五年中国的领土诉求表达得更为强硬,这在海上引发了一系列事件,事件曾涉及的舰船所属的国家涵盖在南海有主权诉求的多数国家以及美国。

尽管多年来中菲关系始终处于下行阶段,中国挪动石油钻井平台的决定却正值中越关系日渐好转之际。此外,就在中国做出这一举动前几周,美国总统巴拉克?奥巴马(Barack Obama)曾对亚洲开展过一轮访问,以巩固“重返”亚洲的战略。

译者/何黎

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