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作者: 来源: 日期:2016-12-02 8:46:14

Why Singapore’s Taiwan ties anger China





China’s decision last week to impound nine Singaporean military vehicles as they were in transit from training exercises in Taiwan has highlighted growing tensions with Singapore and Beijing’s desire to further isolate the Taiwanese government of Tsai Ing-wen.

上周中国扣押了在台湾参加训练后运回国途中的九辆新加坡军车,凸显了中国与新加坡之间日益紧张的关系,以及北京方面进一步孤立台湾蔡英文(Tsai Ing-wen)政府的愿望。广州翻译公司。


China has lodged a formal protest to Singapore over its military ties with self-governing Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway region.



The armed personnel carriers remain under close guard in Hong Kong, where they were seized, while Singaporean diplomats try to negotiate their release and work out how the incident will affect relations with an increasingly assertive China.



Why do Singaporean armed forces train in Taiwan?



Singapore, a small and densely populated island, has always been forced to look overseas to conduct large-scale military training and exercises. The space constraints at home mean Singapore tank crews are restricted to a maximum firing distance of 800 metres, for example.



The city-state conducts a number of overseas exercises — striking a deal this year to expand training in Australia to 14,000 troops a year, up from 6,000. But its deal with Taiwan was one of the first such agreements, established in the 1970s when a recently independent Singapore was finding its feet in military terms and China languished in relative isolation under Mao Zedong.



What’s the history of Singapore’s relationship with Taiwan?



In addition to being majority ethnically Chinese island nations, the Hokkien dialect is widely spoken in both Singapore and Taiwan.



Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding prime minister, had a close relationship with former Taiwanese leader Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo, who was president of the territory from 1978 to 1988.

新加坡建国总理李光耀(Lee Kuan Yew)与台湾前领导人蒋介石(Chiang Kai-shek)及其子蒋经国(Chiang Ching-kuo)均关系密切,蒋经国在1978年至1988年间担任台湾地区总统。广州翻译公司。


A frequent visitor to Taiwan, Lee advised Taipei on how to deal with China, and continued his close relationship even after Singapore established diplomatic ties with Beijing in 1990.



Military ties were formalised in the mid-1970s, when Singapore started its training programme in Taiwan — dubbed Project Starlight — and imported a number of senior Taiwanese officers to lead its nascent armed forces because it was short of expertise.

上世纪70年代中期,新加坡与台湾正式确立了军事关系,新加坡在台湾启动了代号为“星光计划”(Project Starlight)的训练计划,并引入许多台湾高级军官来领导其新生的武装部队,因为新加坡在这方面欠缺专业知识。


Even as its economic and political ties with Beijing deepened following the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990, Singapore tried to maintain its friendship with Taiwan. In 2013 it became one of just a handful of nations to have signed a trade agreement with Taipei.



Singapore has also tried to facilitate better relations between Beijing and Taipei. Last year it hosted the first meeting between the presidents of China and Taiwan since the end of the civil war in 1949.



Why are China-Singapore relations becoming more tense?



Relations between China and Singapore have grown frostier in the face of Beijing’s territorial assertiveness in the South China Sea. Singapore’s prime minister has expressed support for a ruling by an international tribunal in The Hague, which China rejects. The city-state has strengthened defence ties with the Washington, hosting US P8 Poseidon maritime spy planes, much to Beijing’s annoyance.

面对中国在南中国海(South China Sea)领土主权问题上的强硬立场,新加坡和中国之间的关系变得较为冷淡。新加坡总理对海牙一家国际仲裁庭的南海裁决表示了支持,中国则拒绝接受该裁决。新加坡加强了与华盛顿方面的防务关系——让美国在新加坡部署P8“海神”海上间谍飞机——也惹得北京方面非常恼火。


William Choong, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore, said: “Lee Kuan Yew always wanted steel in the spine; abandoning principles would threaten the survival of a small island state. It will also have practical implications for Singapore, if and when China exercises maritime control over the South China Sea.”

新加坡国际战略研究所(International Institute for Strategic Studies)的高级研究员钟伟伦(William Choong)表示:“李光耀总是想表现出铮铮铁骨;放弃原则将会威胁到这个小岛国的生存。这样做对新加坡也具有现实意义,一旦中国从海上控制了南中国海的话。”


The Global Times, a nationalist tabloid owned by China’s main Communist party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, said on Tuesday that Chinese people were so angry that they wanted to see the military vehicles “melted down in a steel furnace”.



How is the Singaporean government handling the latest incident?



Singapore’s priority is to avoid embarrassing Beijing. Foreign affairs minister Vivian Balakrishnan in his first public comments sounded emollient. “This is a long and wide-ranging relationship and we will not allow any single issue to hijack it,” he said on Tuesday.

新加坡当务之急是避免让北京方面难堪。新加坡外长维文•巴拉科瑞斯南(Vivian Balakrishnan)首次就此事发表的公开评论听起来有安抚意味。“对于两国建立已久、范围广泛的双边关系,我们绝不允许任何单一事件挟持它,”他在周二表示。


Singapore’s low-key response is in keeping with its policy of maintaining warm but discreet relations with Taiwan; visits to Taiwan by Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong, the current prime minister, were routinely described as “private and unofficial”.

新加坡的低调回应符合该国与台湾保持温和但谨慎的关系的政策;李光耀和现任总理李显龙(Lee Hsien Loong)对台湾的访问通常被描述为“私人和非官方的”。


Bilahari Kausikan, an outspoken Singaporean diplomat, has taken a more muscular line on his Facebook page, however, underlining Singapore’s determination to take an independent approach to foreign policy. “We cannot just be their mouthpiece, which is fundamentally what they want,” he said, referring to Beijing.

然而,直言不讳的新加坡外交官比拉哈里•考西坎(Bilahari Kausikan)在他的Facebook主页上表达了更为强硬的立场,突显了新加坡在对外政策方面采取独立姿态的决心。“我们不能仅仅当他们的传声筒,这基本上就是他们想要的,”他说。这里的他们指的是北京方面。广州翻译公司。


What does the incident mean for Taiwan?



China has stepped up efforts to isolate Taiwan since the election of Tsai Ing-wen and her independence-leaning Democratic Progressive party in January.

自从1月蔡英文和她所属的具有独立倾向的民进党(Democratic Progressive party)在选举中获胜以来,中国大陆加大了孤立台湾的努力。


The Taiwanese foreign ministry recently started publishing a list of Beijing’s attempts to prevent it from participating at international forums such as the OECD and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.



Alexander Huang, a professor of international relations at Taiwan’s Tamkang University and a former government official who managed relations with Beijing, said the seizure of the Singaporean vehicles has serious implications for Taiwan.

台湾淡江大学(Tamkang University)国际关系学教授黄介正(Alexander Huang)说,大陆扣留新加坡装甲车事件对台湾具有严峻含意。黄以前担任过处理两岸关系事务的政府官员。广州翻译公司。


It’s not only a signal to Singapore or Taiwan but to the wider neighbourhood that China is now exercising more straightforward measures to strangle Taiwan’s external relationships,” he said.



What does the incident imply about China’s relations with Asia?



Beijing has shown increasing impatience towards countries that defy its core defence and foreign policy positions, especially when it comes to the South China Sea and Taiwan.



Those that fall into line, like the Philippines and Malaysia, are offered the prospect of reduced tensions and significant financial support.



Nations that refuse to do so will have to deal with a Beijing willing to use an ever greater number of tools — from economic boycotts to customs seizures in Hong Kong — to enforce its will.



Additional reporting by Gloria Cheung

Gloria Cheung补充报道