Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : NA Page No. : 3
URL : NA
[Global Military Report] A Vice Foreign Minister level discussion took place between Australia, Japan and India in Tokyo on February 26. According to Kyodo News reports, all three countries expressed “serious concern” at “China’s increasing militarisation” in the South China Sea and subsequently agreed to jointly strengthen maritime security cooperation. According to Kyodo News Agency, following the consultation, Akitaka Saiki, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary, conveyed that Japan, India, and Australia exchanged views on China’s stance in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Indian Ocean. He stated that “the international community needs to unite to ensure the rapid development of rules and regulations on freedom of navigation. Japan’s NHK television said that the three countries considered “China’s activities in the South China Sea to be behaviour attempting a uniateral change in status quo that was the cause of regional instability ” –something that merited “serious concern”.

The Japanese government has on numerous occasions publicly expressed its concern about China in the South China Sea. In a recently issued Defense White Paper, Australia also stated that it is “particularly concerned“ with the unprecedented pace and scale of the man-made reclamation of an island. As for India, not too long ago there was information that indicated possibility of its conducting a joint “South China Sea drill” with the U.S. though that was finally denied by India.  Why are these three countries frequently involving themselves in the South China Sea issue?

Zhao Xiaozhuo, Director, Sino US Defense Relations Research Center, China Academy of Military Sciences, addressed that question in an interview to the Global Times, explaining that these three countries consider the South China Sea region to be very important and that this trend is not something that had emerged over the last two years only. He said that that the South China Sea is an important maritime transportation channel. All of Japan’s trade with India, the Middle East and Africa has to pass through this channel. Australia believes that it is a Pacific and Indian Ocean country, with the South China Sea as the link between the two. Speaking of India, Zhao Xiaozhuo added that India has a “Look East” policy, and it increasingly considers East Asia to be an important area for its development. Moreover, China’s “string of pearls” containment theory, concocted by American scholars, has also provoked India, causing it to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia and in the South China Sea.

 

Original Text

日澳印副外长声称“严重关切”南海

【环球军事报道】日本、澳大利亚和印度26日上午在东京举行副外长级磋商。据日本共同社报道,三国当天对在南海“推进军事化的中国”的动向表示“强烈关切”,就强化海洋安全合作达成了一致。

共同社称,日本外务事务次官斋木昭隆在26日的磋商结束后表示,日、印、澳就中国在南海、东海和印度洋的动向交换了意见,表示“国际社会需要团结一致,迅速制定确保航行自由的规则”。日本NHK电视台称,三国认为中国的南海活动“是导致地区形势不稳定的单方面改变现状的行为”,需要“强烈关切”。

日本政府此前多次公开表示“关切”南海上的中国,澳大利亚刚刚发布的国防白皮书对中国填海造岛行动的空前速度和规模“格外感到担忧”,印度不久前还传出可能和美国一起“巡航南海”的消息,尽管最后此事被印方否认。为何这三个非南海国家频频要将自己扯进南海问题?

对此,中国军事科学院中美防务关系研究中心主任赵小卓26日接受《环球时报》记者采访时表示,这三个国家都认为南海很重要,而且这不是最近两年才出现的动向。他说,南海是重要的海上运输通道,对日本来说,与印度、中东地区和非洲的所有贸易都要经过这里。澳大利亚自认为是横跨太平洋和印度洋的国家,而南海是这两大洋的“结合部”。谈到印度,赵小卓表示,它现在有一个“向东看”的政策,认为东亚在印度周边发展中重要性越来越突出。与此同时,美国学者之前提出了中国在印度洋搞“珍珠链”外交政策,也刺激印度希望加强在东南亚地区和南海的存在感。

 

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