2017年06月25日

習近平は何を求めているのか。 中国の指導者は母国を世界の歴史上、最も重要で、最大の国になることを決意している。(3)

Such bureaucratic reshuffling is not usually a portentous event. But in Xi’s case it underscores Beijing’s deadly serious commitment to building a modern military that can take on and defeat all adversaries—in particular the United States. While Chinese military planners are not forecasting war, the war for which they are preparing pits China against the U.S. at sea. Xi has strengthened the naval, air, and missile forces of the People’s Liberation Army crucial to controlling the seas, while cutting 300,000 army troops and reducing the ground forces’ traditional dominance within the military. 

portentous:将来に対して重大な意味を持つ
underscores:強調する
pits:競わせる
crucial:極めて重大な

Chinese military strategists, meanwhile, are preparing for maritime conflict with a “forward defense” strategy based on controlling the seas near China within the “first island chain,” which runs from Japan, through Taiwan, to the Philippines and the South China Sea. Fielding “anti-access/area-denial” (A2/AD) military capabilities that threaten U.S. carriers and other capital ships, China has been steadily pushing the U.S. Navy out of its adjacent seas in case of conflict. An authoritative 2015 RAND study found that by the end of 2017 China will have an “advantage” or “approximate parity” in six of the nine areas of conventional capability that are critical in a showdown over Taiwan, and four of nine in a South China Sea conflict. It concludes that over the next five to 15 years, “Asia will witness a progressively receding frontier of U.S. dominance.” 

meanwhile:一方では
Fielding:守りにつく
Anti-Access/Area Denial :接近阻止・領域拒否  米国に敵対する国や勢力が用いる軍事戦略で、自国や紛争地域への米軍の接近や、そうした地域における米軍の自由な行動を阻害すること。
authoritative:権威のある
parity:同等であること
showdown:対決
progressively:次第に

As it slowly muscles the United States out of these waters, China is also absorbing the nations of Southeast Asia into its economic orbit and pulling in Japan and Australia as well. It has so far succeeded without a fight. But if fight it must, Xi intends China to win. 

absorbing:取り込む
pulling:引きつける

Will Xi succeed in growing China sufficiently to displace the U.S. as the world’s top economy and most powerful actor in the Western Pacific? Can he make China great again? It is obvious that there are many ways things could go badly wrong, and these extraordinary ambitions engender skepticism among most observers. But, when the question was put to Lee Kuan Yew, he assessed the odds of success as four chances in five. Neither Lee nor I would bet against Xi. As Lee said, China’s “reawakened sense of destiny is an overpowering force.” 

odds:可能性
reawakened:特別な感情を再びもたらす
overpowering:非常に強い

Yet many Americans are still in denial about what China’s transformation from agrarian backwater to “the biggest player in the history of the world” means for the United States. 

agrarian:農耕の
backwater:僻地

As a rapidly ascending China challenges America’s accustomed predominance, these two nations risk falling into a deadly trap first identified by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. Writing about a war that devastated the two leading city-states of classical Greece two and a half millennia ago, he explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” 

ascending:上昇する
predominance:優勢
Thucydides:ツキジデスの罠:古代ギリシャ当時は、アテネが台頭し、覇権を握るスパルタの間で長年にわたる戦争が勃発した。 転じて、急速に台頭する大国が既成の支配的な大国とライバル関係に発展する際に、それぞれの立場を巡って摩擦が起こり、当初はお互いに望まない直接的な抗争に及ぶ様子を表現する。現在では、国際社会のトップにいる国はその地位を守るために現状維持を望み、台頭する国はトップにいる国につぶされることを懸念し、既存の国際ルールを自分に都合が良いように変えようとするパワー・ゲームの中で、軍事的な争いに発展してしまう現象を指す。
instilled:徐々に植え付ける

In 2015, The Atlantic published “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?” In that essay I argued that this historical metaphor provides the best lens available for illuminating relations between China and the U.S. today. Since then, the concept has ignited considerable debate. Rather than face the evidence and reflect on the uncomfortable but necessary adjustments both sides might make, policy wonks and presidents alike have constructed a straw man around Thucydides’s claim about “inevitability” and then put a torch to it — arguing that war between Washington and Beijing is not predetermined. 

illuminating:照らし出す
wonks:仕事の虫
straw:藁人形 議論のすり替え

At their 2015 summit, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping discussed the trap at length. Obama emphasized that despite the structural stress created by China’s rise, “the two countries are capable of managing their disagreements.” At the same time, they acknowledged that, in Xi’s words, “should major countries time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.” 

at length:長時間に渡り
traps for themselves:自分自身が罠にはまる

I concur: War between the U.S. and China is not inevitable. Indeed, Thucydides would agree that neither was war between Athens and Sparta. Read in context, it is clear that he meant his claim about inevitability as hyperbole: exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis. The point of Thucydides’s trap is neither fatalism nor pessimism. Instead, it points us beyond the headlines and regime rhetoric to recognize the tectonic structural stress that Beijing and Washington must master to construct a peaceful relationship. 

concur:同意する
hyperbole:誇張
fatalism :運命論
tectonic :地殻変動の
master:身につける

Will the impending clash between these two great nations lead to war? Will Presidents Trump and Xi, or their successors, follow in the tragic footsteps of the leaders of Athens and Sparta or Britain and Germany? Or will they find a way to avoid war as effectively as Britain and the U.S. did a century ago, or the U.S. and the Soviet Union did through four decades of Cold War? Obviously, no one knows. We can be certain, however, that the dynamic Thucydides identified will intensify in the years ahead. 

impending:差し迫った
intensify 増大する

Denying Thucydides’s trap does not make it less real. Recognizing it does not mean just accepting whatever happens. We owe it to future generations to face one of history’s most brutal tendencies head on and then do everything we can to defy the odds. 

中国は南シナ海を管理するようになるだろう。5年から15年の間にアメリカの軍事力を凌駕する。アメリカはその中国に対応するだろう。しかし、ツキジデスの罠を念頭に置くべきで、中国との争いは避けなければならない。ギリシャとスパルタの二の舞いになってします。しかしながら、その緊張は年ごとにましていくだろう。

月曜日。今日はいつもの仲間の会食がある。今日は虎ノ門だ。夜はマレーシアに赴任する木元さんの送別会だ。ではまた明日。

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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

スウィングバイ株式会社
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アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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