2017年07月29日

中国とアメリカは戦争に向かっているのか? 教授、有識者、ジャーナリストは熱くなった話題に加わる。(3)

Squeezed between the rivalry of China and the United States are China’s immediate neighbors and America’s allies. They are driven, mostly for domestic reasons, by their own forms of nationalism. Japan and South Korea have competing claims over a group of tiny islands in the Sea of Japan. Old wounds inflicted during the Japanese annexation of Korea between 1910 and 1945 are periodically reopened for political ends in South Korea, and the current Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, espouses a hard-right nationalism that downplays Japanese wartime atrocities. Abe wants to revise the postwar pacifist constitution, and his more ardent supporters think that the best way to do so is to present Japan’s past imperialism as a heroic effort to liberate Asia.

Squeezed:苦しめる
immediate:すぐ隣の
inflicted:もたらす
downplays:過小評価する
ardent:熱烈な

Abe’s nationalism is further complicated by its ambivalence toward the United States. The Japanese right has resented American interference in its domestic politics since the postwar occupation, especially when it concerns interpretations of Japan’s wartime past. At the same time, Abe is terrified that the United States might not come to Japan’s rescue against China or North Korea. One of Rachman’s most cogent insights is that having so many Asian allies dependent on U.S. military force may turn out to be a weakness rather than a strength. 

ambivalence:相反する感情
resented:憤慨する
terrified:怯えている
cogent:当を得た

President Obama, perhaps foolishly, promised Abe in 2014 that the United States would intervene on Japan’s behalf if China were to threaten a number of tiny uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which are claimed by both countries. Would the United States really risk a war over a few disputed rocks just for the sake of “credibility”? Rachman concludes his survey with a fine sentiment: “The great political challenge of the twenty-first century will be to manage the process of Easternization in the common interest of humankind.”

foolishly:愚かにも
credibility:威信

In a short book pointedly titled “Avoiding War with China” (University of Virginia), Amitai Etzioni has a more concrete idea of how China should be accommodated. Etzioni, a professor at George Washington University, is no softie. Having escaped from Nazi Germany as a child, he served as a commando in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Etzioni knows what war is like, in contrast to most armchair warriors in Washington or indeed Beijing, and he refuses to get overexcited by China’s martial prowess. China’s military, he writes, “seems to pose no credible threat to the United States in the region, let alone on a global scale. This conclusion is further supported by the observations of how and when China uses its clout.”

accommodated:調整する・配慮する・適応する
softie:騙されやすい人・感傷的な人
armchair:実体験を伴わない
prowess:卓越した能力

Etzioni admits that China has flouted international laws by claiming rights over islands far from its coastlines. It clearly wants to expand its influence from the Siberian borders all the way down to the sea-lanes running along Vietnam and the Philippines. But so far China has used almost no force to achieve its ends. Etzioni is convinced that Chinese policies are more concerned with rhetorical and symbolic assertions than with the outright projection of force. This means that, in his view, there is room for tension-easing compromise. Resources in the South China Sea could perhaps be shared. Certain concessions might be made; this or that island could be developed by China in exchange for territories elsewhere.

flouted:無視する
convinced:確信している
outright:徹底した・あからさまな
projection:見通し
concessions :譲歩

At the same time, he insists that there should be “clear red lines.” Certain “core interests” must be defended. The United States would have to intervene if Taiwan were in danger of being invaded. Free travel through sea and air around China has to be maintained. But Etzioni warns against “habitually interpreting Chinese acts of assertion as aggressive,” which, he says, “is symptomatic of a strategy that holds that China cannot be accommodated and that it must be contained by any means necessary.” This sounds eminently sensible. China’s intentions may, of course, not be quite as benign as Etzioni claims, and any territorial concession by the United States is likely to be read as a sign of weakness both by China and by America’s regional allies. 

defended:擁護する
symptomatic:兆候がある
habitually :習慣的に
aggressive:攻撃的な
contained:含む
by any means:いかなる手段によっても
necessary:必然的な
eminently :極めて
sensible:賢明である
benign:おだやかな

Nonetheless, the United States, which is still the most powerful nation in the Pacific, should resist the temptation of belligerent posturing when it isn’t strictly necessary.

posturing:姿勢

If Etzioni seeks to tone down the threat of China’s rise to power, Howard French, a former Times correspondent in China and Japan, attempts to normalize it, in his “Everything Under the Heavens” (Knopf). The book, which I blurbed, is the only one under review that gives us a look at China from the inside as well as from the outside. French knows the country well, and has talked to many more people than the sort you encounter at academic conferences or Davos panels. Like Graham Allison, French explains Chinese politics through its history. But he avoids the kind of cultural generalizations that Lee Kuan Yew was fond of showering on grateful Western interlocutors. He has no truck with the idea, for example, that the Confucian tradition is essentially about obeying authority.

normalize:標準化する
blurbed:誇大に宣伝する
interlocutors:対話者

Instead, he stresses a political history that helps illuminate territorial conflicts between China and its neighbors. China, traditionally, is neither a nation-state nor a colonial empire, even though it currently includes areas of imperial conquest. The classic view of the world from China’s imperial capital cities took the country to be the center of civilization. The emperors ruled “all under heaven,” or tianxia. Peripheral areas, inhabited by less civilized people, would not have to be dominated by force, provided they paid sufficient tribute to the dragon throne. As long as the superiority of the Middle Kingdom was acknowledged, the blessings of Chinese civilization could be shared, and harmony would reign.

illuminate:解き明かす

It is no wonder, then, that the comparatively recent depredations suffered by China at the hands of barbarians—particularly of the “dwarf pirates” to the east (i.e., the Japanese)—were so keenly felt. In 1895, a superior Japanese Army humiliated the Chinese empire. A little more than forty years later, Japan caused the deaths of more than fourteen million Chinese. French, Allison, Kissinger, and Lee Kuan Yew all agree on one thing: China’s dream is to restore something of the old order that was lost almost two centuries ago. The Communist Party is effectively stirring up feelings that have been simmering at least since the eighteen-forties.

depredations:略奪行為
stirring:巻き起こす
simmering:くすぶり続けている

If Chinese emotions can be easily understood, so can those of the people living in the vicinity. The fact that the Japanese behaved appallingly in the nineteen-thirties doesn’t mean they should be left at the mercy of a regime that murders its own citizens for political reasons. But French agrees with Etzioni that China’s aspirations must be accommodated up to a point. This will mean “stopping China somewhere short of the maximal pursuit of its strategic goals.” French sees the United States as a regional facilitator, helping to strengthen cooperation among its allies. The most salient goal, he rightly observes, is “thickening the web among China’s wary neighbors, who have a shared interest in keeping China from using force to upend the existing order.”

vicinity:周辺
behaved:ふるまう
appallingly:恐ろしい
mercy:なすがままになって
aspirations:熱望
salient :目立った
wary:警戒して
upend:ひっくりかえす

中国がこうして南シナ海の領有とかアジアに勢力を拡大しようとしているのは1世紀前からの日本の中国に対する屈辱がある。その怨念を取り除こうとしている。そして、かっての中華帝国を取り戻そうとしている。中国の今の軍事力はまだおそるるに足りない。今までは彼らは軍事力で、南シナ海を領有してきてはいない。

こうした中国の現状に対する理解はそうかもしれない。韓国と違い中国はこうした大きな発想で対応しているのかもしれない。謝罪とか賠償ではなく、中国は偉大な中華帝国を再現することによってその屈辱を補おうとしているのかもしれない。流石に大人の国だ。

日曜日。母が胃瘻の手術が終わったので、退院するので、今日は見舞いに行こうと思っている。毎日、この年になって、超多忙の日々を送っているが、無理をしてでも行かないと行く機会がない。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
代表取締役社長

アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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