China maritime patrol Hou Jiansen/ZumaPress

避免南海冲突

牛津—最近,当中国海军P8-A侦察机飞越南沙群岛永暑礁附近时,遭到中国海军八次警告离开该区域。中国外交部长王毅说:“中国捍卫国家主权和领土完整的决心坚如磐石。”美国国防部长阿什顿·卡特(Ashton Carter)回答说,“这并没有什么错误:美国将进行国际法允许的飞行、航海和其他行动,我们在全世界都是这么做的。”那么,美国和中国在南海起冲突已是迫在眉睫了吗?

1995年,我在五角大楼供职,当时中国刚开始建设美济礁。美济礁是菲律宾宣布主权的岛礁,距离菲律宾海岸比中国海岸更近。美国发表声明称我们对于五个国家在构成面积庞大的南海南沙群岛群岛(425,500平方公里)的750个左右的礁石、环礁、小岛、珊瑚砂和暗礁的竞争性主张不持立场。我们指出,涉及的各方应该和平解决争端。

但美国强烈要求南海问题需受联合国海洋法公约(UNCLO)约束。南海是大量中东油轮和欧洲集装箱轮的重要航路,也是军用和商用飞机的常规航线。

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