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中国和东盟:换个剧本重来?

吉隆坡—海牙常设仲裁法院(PCA)就中国南海领土主张所作出的裁决,是国际法的一个分水岭,也是中国近年来在东南亚的强势战略主张的一次挫折。中国宣称不承认仲裁院的裁决,但并不等于中国可以泰然自若。

现在的问题是,中国要如何回应。中国会减缓在东南亚的强势战略吗?或者继续把南中国海问题当作中美竞争的其中一个题目:即假使中国判定美国没有政治意愿卷入冲突与风险,就大可通过武力执行其在南中国海的声索。

但中国如果在南中国海延续强势策略,可能只会适得其反。首先,东盟成员国被迫在中国和美国之间做出抉择。东盟国都希望避开在中美之间做出零和的抉择。东盟成员国——特别是菲律宾、新加坡、泰国和印度尼西亚——大多与美国有着深切的军事关系,但也非常重视与中国的经济关系。事实上,东盟国希望被当做独立的政治单位,而不是中美竞争的棋子。中国为东盟国保留越大的模糊策略空间,越符合中国在东南亚的长远利益。

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