旧仇新恨:演变中的中日紧张关系
旧仇新恨:演变中的中日紧张关系
Table of Contents
  1. Executive Summary
Trilateral North East Asia Summit Signals a Return to Cooperation
Trilateral North East Asia Summit Signals a Return to Cooperation
Report 258 / Asia

旧仇新恨:演变中的中日紧张关系

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执行摘要

中日之间的敌意正逐渐强化,成为似乎越来越难以用外交手段化解的对抗。双方在钓鱼岛(日本称尖阁列岛)问题上的立场相去甚远,政治上可行的缩小隔阂的方法仍遥不可及,而新的摩擦业已产生。中国于2013年11月宣布在东海划定防空识别区。由于该防空识别区与日方的防空识别区有所重合并覆盖有争议的岛屿,此举加深了日本的不安,认为中国不仅有领土野心而且企图改变地区秩序。而日本首相安倍晋三在2013年12月颇具挑衅地参拜了靖国神社,挑起了两国对日本是否已对二战侵略行为完全悔过的激烈争吵——这段历史在东北亚是仍未愈合的伤口。在双方怀疑深化、东海及其空域军事化的背景下,误判的机率也随之上升。双方的领导层都需要确立一个基调,即优先以外交手段平复这片凶险水域;而11月将举行的亚太经合组织(APEC)高峰会将会提供这样一个机遇。

在日本政策圈内,越来越多人相信习近平主席领导的新一届中国政府格外强硬,而且中国正努力恢复其“中央王国”的地区霸主地位。中国则认为安倍政府是“麻烦制造者”,想要在地区内制造紧张气氛以重新武装日本。鲁莽的行为和尖锐的言辞似乎正逐渐取代外交手段。中日都日渐认定对方为主要的国防威胁之一,并相应地增强自己的军事实力及调整防御姿态。

尽管中国短期内不太可能尝试从日本手中完全取得岛屿的控制权,却认为地区内力量对比将持续朝对自身有利的方向发展,并推断以实力为后盾的策略会迫使日本逐步接受对现状渐进性的改变,因而据此行动。东京似乎也认为中国具有远期的实力优势,因而寻求加强其与美国的同盟关系,并通过以规则为基础反对单方面改变现状行为的平台来联合地区内其他国家。

可以推测的是,两国政府都不愿引起武装冲突,但双方意外碰撞的风险正日益增加。意外可能发生在以下三个区域:钓鱼岛/尖阁列岛附近水域,西太平洋公海,以及东海空域;并可能涉及海警船只,渔船,海军舰队和军用飞机。尽管自2013年末季度开始,钓鱼岛海域的巡航行为已逐渐规律化,而船只的冒险行为也有所减少,另外两个区域内军舰与军机之间的遭遇却更加频繁和危险。

为了提升自己的深海实力,中国人民解放军加强了在离岸海域的演习强度,这导致与日本自卫队的接触增多。二者对于行动权和限制的理解截然不同。日本坚持在国际水域搜集情报的权利。而中国则不惜采取危险性行为以驱离接近自己舰队的外国船只及军用飞机。因此,双方的遭遇险象环生。自从中国宣布划定一个与日方有所重合的防空识别区,中日战机接近的次数猛增,双方均指责对方行为具挑衅性。

相较之下,东京在寻求危机管理及缓和机制方面更为积极主动,但也担心如若处理不当会被视作在领土诉求上的让步,或对中国防空识别区的认可。北京则声称当前的政治环境不适宜就此进行磋商。所以,即便对意外碰撞的风险意识在双方的政策圈内都在上升,而且两国都签署了多边《海上意外相遇规则》(CUES),但是非官方讨论及这一无法律约束性的规则目前都还未能减少危险的遭遇。

2014年11月在北京举行的亚太经合组织峰会也许可以为习近平主席和安倍晋三首相提供一个会晤的机会,他们可以借此为有关建立及实施管理紧张关系的协商奠定基调。双方都需要致力于以格外的小心谨慎来处理目前脆弱的关系,并在低燃点问题——包括钓鱼岛/尖阁列岛争端及历史问题——上保持克制。双边关系亟需一段足够长的冷静期,从而给谨慎的外交策略创造空间。

Executive Summary

Enmity between China and Japan is hardening into a confrontation that appears increasingly difficult to untangle by diplomacy. Positions on the dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku island group are wide apart, and politically viable options to bridge the gap remain elusive. New frictions have arisen. China’s announcement in November 2013 of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), overlapping that of Japan’s and covering the disputed islands, deepened Tokyo’s anxiety that Beijing desires both territory and to alter the regional order. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s provocative visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in December 2013 triggered a bitter argument as to whether Japan has fully atoned for its Second World War aggression, a still vivid sore in the region. Amid heightened suspicion and militarisation of the East China Sea and its air space, the risks of miscalculation grow. Leadership in both countries needs to set a tone that prioritises diplomacy to calm the troubled waters: November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit might provide such an opportunity.

A perception is gaining ground in Tokyo that the still new administration of President Xi Jinping is particularly assertive and that China seeks to revive its hegemonic “Middle Kingdom” status in the region. China perceives the Abe government as the “troublemaker” that stokes tensions in order to rearm Japan. Insensitive actions and strident rhetoric increasingly appear to be replacing diplomacy. Both sides progressively consider the other as a primary national security threat and are boosting their military capabilities and adjusting their defence postures accordingly.

Although not likely to attempt to wrest control of the islands fully from Japan any time soon, Beijing acts upon the belief that the balance of power is shifting in its favour and that a strength-driven approach can pressure Japan into accepting incremental changes over time. Tokyo, appearing to agree that China has long-term power advantages, seeks to tighten its U.S. alliance and unite regional countries around rules-based opposition to unilateral changes.

Presumably, neither desires an armed conflict, but they face heightened risk of an unplanned clash. The danger spans three theatres – the waters near the disputed islands; the high seas of the Western Pacific; and the airspace over the East China Sea – and involves law enforcement vessels, fishing boats, naval fleets and military aircraft. While it appears that patrol patterns around the islands have stabilised and risky behaviour there has eased since late 2013, military encounters in the other two theatres have become more frequent and dangerous.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has stepped up exercises in offshore waters in its quest for blue water capability, coming as a consequence into increasing contact with the Japan Self-Defence Forces (SDF). The sides have starkly different interpretations of their operational rights and limitations. Japan insists on rights to surveillance in international waters. China has demonstrated a willingness to take risks to keep foreign vessels and aircraft away from its fleets. Repeated close calls have resulted. Since China announced an ADIZ that overlaps with Japan’s, there has been a spike in the number of encounters by military aircraft, with both sides accusing the other of provocative behaviour.

Tokyo has been more active in pursuing crisis management and seeking out mitigation mechanisms but is concerned not to do so in a way that compromises its sovereignty claims or legitimises China’s ADIZ. Beijing says that the current political environment is not conducive to engagement on this front. Even though awareness of the risk of unplanned clashes has been growing in both capitals, and both have accepted a multilateral Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), neither unofficial discussion nor the non-binding code has yet to reduce close calls.

The November 2014 APEC summit in Beijing may offer an opportunity for President Xi and Prime Minister Abe to meet and set the tone for negotiations on establishing and implementing means to manage the tension. Both sides would need to commit to handle the fragile relationship with extreme care and show restraint around the flashpoints, including the islands dispute and historical issues. Bilateral relations urgently require a sufficiently long period of calm to pursue discreet diplomatic initiatives.

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