中国空母―今は「張り子の虎」でも

2011/08/18
--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 17
EDITORIAL: China's new flattop is a 'paper tiger'
中国空母―今は「張り子の虎」でも

China's first aircraft carrier departed from the country's northeastern port of Dalian for sea trials on Aug. 10. The launch was cheered not only at the dockside but around China.
 中国初の空母が出航した。地元の大連だけでなく、中国各地で多くの人々が喝采した。

The Chinese have not forgotten invasions of their country in the 19th and 20th centuries by the great powers and appear to see this aircraft carrier as a symbol of their national strength.
 列強の侵略を受けた記憶がまだ生々しい中国だからこそ、強国の象徴として空母が国民から歓迎されるのだろう。

However, the new vessel is an unsettling development for China's neighbors.
 しかし、近隣国は心穏やかにはいられない。

Some countries, including Vietnam, which have territorial disputes with China over islands in the South China Sea, are understandably alarmed.
南シナ海の島々をめぐり、中国と領有権を争うベトナムなどからすれば、脅威と映るのは当然だ。

In fact, the ship in question is an old tub that had its keel laid in the 1980s in the Soviet Union. It was dumped after the Soviet system collapsed.
 とはいえ、この空母は旧ソ連が1980年代に建造を始めたものの、崩壊とともに投げ出された旧世代の艦である。

The Chinese have reportedly refitted it completely, but it has no aircraft on board yet.
 全面的に改修されたようではあるが、艦載機はまだ配備されていない。

The purpose of the sea trial is just to check the vessel's engine and radar performance and other functions.
エンジンやレーダーなどの性能を確認するのが当面の航行目的だ。

Mao Tse-tung once described the U.S. nuclear bomb as a "paper tiger."
 毛沢東はかつて、米国の原子爆弾を「張り子の虎」と呼んだ。

As things stand now, we can probably borrow the former Chinese leader's words with reference to the Chinese aircraft carrier.
これに倣えば、試験航行したばかりの空母も、今の段階では「張り子の虎」に過ぎないといえるかもしれない。

It doesn't even have a name yet.
名前もまだつけられていない。

The real question is how China intends to develop its naval capability in the future.
 問題は、中国が今後、空母をはじめとする海軍力をどのように展開していくかだ。

China, buoyed by its rapid economic rise, has begun to assert its national interests around the globe and has already done a phenomenal job of beefing up its navy to secure sea lanes and resources.
 中国は経済発展とともに、世界中に「国益」を広げてきた。シーレーンや資源の確保のため、これまでも海軍力を目覚ましく増強させてきた。

Although no official announcement has been made, China is understood to be building its first completely domestically produced aircraft carrier in Shanghai.
 公表されていないが、上海では初の国産空母を建造中だ。

The project will rely on data from the Soviet-built flattop's sea trial.
試験航行している空母のデータは国産空母に活用されるという。

The country is also in the process of developing anti-ship ballistic missiles that could target U.S. aircraft carriers.
米軍空母も目標とできる対艦弾道ミサイルも開発中だ。

Southeast Asian nations that are concerned about China's new assertiveness are stepping up their joint military exercises with the United States and increasing defense spending.
 中国への警戒感から、東南アジア各国は米軍との共同軍事演習に力を入れるとともに、国防予算を増やしている。

They are hurrying to acquire submarines and battleships offering more advanced capabilities.
潜水艦や艦船の導入を急ぎ、装備の更新に余念がない。

India, which already has aircraft carriers, is now building a new flattop and is in the process of upgrading its submarine fleet.
すでに空母を持つインドは新空母を建造中で、潜水艦の整備も進めている。

In the meantime, the economic ties between these nations and China are growing stronger.
 その一方で、各国とも中国との経済的な結びつきは強まるばかりだ。

Asian economies including China's are developing rapidly, but income gaps are widening.
 中国をはじめアジアの経済は大きく発展しているが、国内の経済格差は拡大している。

We find it unfortunate that these countries are pouring their financial resources into military expansion when that money should be spent on social security and infrastructure development.
社会保障の充実やインフラ整備に注ぐべき財源を軍備拡張に多く費やすのはいかがなものか。

We believe each country should focus on fostering mutual trust through patient diplomacy.
 各国とも地道な外交努力を通じて信頼醸成をめざす道を優先させるべきだ。

We would like to re-emphasize the gravity of China's responsibilities as a major power.
その際、圧倒的な力を持つ中国の責任の大きさを改めて指摘しておきたい。

That said, Japan is at odds with China in the East China Sea.
 日本も東シナ海で中国と対立している。

The situation in the South China Sea is not something we can dismiss as none of our business.
南シナ海の情勢もひとごとではない。

Japan's defense policy is based on its alliance with the United States, and, in the context of that alliance, it is collaborating with other Asian countries to deal with China.
 日米同盟を軸にアジア諸国と協調しながら中国に向き合う。

While maintaining this basic stance, Japan also needs to make a greater effort than ever to improve direct relations with China.
その基本線を押さえたうえで、中国との直接的な関係を深める努力もこれまで以上に必要だ。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-19 07:42 | 英字新聞

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