中國的島嶼製造廠


BBC NEWS

原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻譯:劍越紅塵


這是BBC記者對南海局勢的採訪



China's Island Factory

中國的島嶼製造廠



The boat pitches up and down and rolls from side to side in the heavy swell. The noise of the big diesel motor, just below the floor, is hammering at my head.

我們的船上串下跳,左右搖擺不定。甲板下的大型柴油機發出陣陣轟鳴,讓我頭痛不已。

My nose is filled with the smell of dried fish and diesel fumes, my T-shirt glued to my chest with sweat. Proper sleep is impossible.

到處都是魚幹和柴油味,我渾身是汗,睡一覺更是天方夜譚。

For more than 40 hours it has been like this. Our wooden fishing boat has tossed its way across the South China Sea. Most of the time we barely exceed walking pace. “Who would be a fisherman?” I wonder out loud.

已經過去了40個小時了,我們的木質漁船在南中國海中艱難前行,大多數時候我們的速度甚至趕不上步行,我不禁想:“誰會去做漁民啊?”

I stare out at the endless rolling waves. On the horizon the sky is dark and threatening. Then my eye is caught by something sticking up above the waves. It looks like an oil or gas-drilling platform. What on earth is it doing here?

我凝望那無盡的海浪,地平線看上去充滿了黑暗與危險,然後我的眼睛被什麼東西粘在波浪之上,他看上去像是一個石油或者燃氣鑽井平臺,到底是在這裡做什麼那?

As we get closer, to my right, I am sure I can now see something pale and sandy beside the platform. “That looks like land!” I say. It can’t be. I look at my GPS.

當我們走近時,在我的右邊,我確信我在平臺旁邊看見了一些白色的沙狀物。我說:“看起來像陸地啊!”。不可能啊,我看了看我的GPS。


圖:中國在約翰遜南礁的建築工作

There is no land marked anywhere near here, only a submerged reef of the Spratly Island chain. But my eyes are not deceiving me. A few kilometres away I can now clearly see the outline of an island.

這裡應該沒有陸地啊,應該只有南沙群島的一個暗礁。但是我的眼睛沒有欺騙我。就在幾公里之外,我可以清楚地看到一個島嶼的輪廓。

“What is this place called?” I ask our Filipino skipper.

“這是什麼地方?“我問我們的菲律賓船長。

“Gaven Reef,” he says.

“加文礁”他說。

“Get closer!” I shout over the din of the engine.

“靠近點!“我大聲喊。

He turns the boat directly towards the islet. But the dark clouds are rolling in fast. Moments later we are enveloped. Water cascades off the fishing boat’s roof. The islet disappears.

他把船直接開向那座小島。但烏雲滾滾而來。過了一會兒我們就被烏雲籠罩了。大雨猶如瀑布般砸向漁船的屋頂。隨後小島消失了。

“How long will the rain last?” I ask the skipper.

“雨會持續多久?”我問船長

“Four or five hours, maybe longer,” he says.

四到五個小時,也許會更長,”他說。

My heart sinks. All this time, all this way, only to be beaten by the weather. But I know I have seen it, an island where there wasn’t one just a few weeks ago – even the skipper has never it seen before.

我不由沮喪。這一次,我們歷經種種,卻最終被天氣所擊敗。但我知道我已經看到它了,一座島嶼,幾周前還不是的一座島嶼,甚至船長都從未見過的島嶼。

The captain turns the boat back to our old course – south, into the rain. We plough on. The waves are getting bigger. After four hours the rain begins to recede. Ahead I can see another island.

船長把船開回到我們原定航線——向南,沖進大雨中。我們艱難前行。海浪越來越大。四個小時後雨開始消退。有一座小島赫然出現在眼前。

This one I am expecting. This place is called Johnson South Reef. On my GPS it again shows no land, just a submerged reef.

這一座是我所期待的。這個地方被稱為約翰遜南礁。而GPS上還是現實沒有陸地,應該只是一個暗礁而已。

But I’ve seen aerial photographs of this place taken by the Philippine navy. They show the massive land reclamation work China has been doing here since January.

但菲律賓海軍的航拍照片顯示這個地方,自今年1月以來中國一直在這裡做大規模的土地開墾工作。

Millions of tonnes of rock and sand have been dredged up from the sea floor and pumped into the reef to form new land.

數百萬噸的岩石和沙子從海底被撅起,並注入珊瑚礁形成新的土地。

Along the new coastline I can see construction crews building a sea wall. There are cement-pumping trucks, cranes, large steel pipes, and the flash of welding torches.

沿著新的海岸線,我能看到施工隊正在建造防波堤。有泵送砼罐車,起重機、大型鋼管還有電焊的閃光。

On top of a white concrete blockhouse a soldier is standing looking back at us through binoculars.

在白色混凝土碉堡上面,一個士兵通過望遠鏡正回望著我們。

I urge the skipper to get even closer, but a volley of flares erupts in the sky – it is a Chinese warning.

我催促船長靠的更近些,但天空中出現了一連串的照明彈——這是中國的一個警告。





The appearance of these new islands has happened suddenly and is a dramatic new move in a longstanding territorial struggle in the South China Sea.

這些新的島嶼突然的出現,在長期在南中國海領土鬥爭中是一個引人注目的新舉措。

At the beginning of this year, the Chinese presence in the Spratly Islands consisted of a handful of outposts, a collection of concrete blockhouses perched atop coral atolls.

今年年初,中國人出現在南沙群島的少量前哨上,並在珊瑚礁上蓋起了一些混凝土堡壘





圖:第一島鏈和第二島鏈。

Now it is building substantial new islands on five different reefs.

現在有五個不同的珊瑚礁都變成了島嶼

We are the first Western journalists to have seen some of this construction with our own eyes and to have documented it on camera.

我們是看到了一些這方面的建設的第一批西方記者,並且我們自己的眼睛和相機記錄了它。

On one of these new islands, perhaps Johnson South Reef, China seems to be preparing to build an air base with a concrete runway long enough for fighter jets to take off and land.

其中一個新島嶼,也許約翰遜南礁,中國似乎正準備在上面建立一個擁有足夠長的混泥土跑道可供噴氣式戰機起降的空軍基地。

Plans published on the website of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation are thought to show the proposed design.

中國船舶工業集團公司在網站上發佈的計劃被認為是表明了此意圖。

China’s island building is aimed at addressing a serious deficit.

中國的島嶼建設旨在解決嚴重的赤字(譯者注:指以前沒有占島)

Other countries that claim large chunks of the South China Sea - Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia - all control real islands.

其他聲稱擁有大部分南海的國家包括越南、菲律賓、臺灣、馬來西亞——他們都實際控制著島嶼。

But China came very late to this party and missed out on all the good real estate.

但中國很晚來到這個聚會,錯過了優質房產(譯者注:指島嶼)



Beijing only took control of Johnson South Reef in 1988 after a bloody battle with Vietnam that left 70 Vietnamese sailors dead. Hanoi has never forgiven Beijing.

在1988年與越南血戰之後,北京只控制了約翰遜南礁,該場戰鬥導致70名越南士兵喪生,河內從來沒有原諒北京。

Since then China has shied away from direct military confrontation

此後中國一直回避直接軍事對抗.

But now Beijing has decided it is time to move, to assert its claim and to back it up by creating new facts on the ground - a string of island bases and an unsinkable aircraft carrier, right in the middle of the South China Sea.

但是現在北京已經決定是時候行動了,維護其主張並通過建新島——一連串島嶼基地和一個永不沉沒的航空母艦,以重拾其在南中國海中的權利。

There are many competing claims to territory in the South China Sea, but only China and Taiwan claim to own it all.Beijing’s claim - not only to the Spratly Islands, but also the Scarborough Shoal and the Paracel Islands - is marked out on its own maps by the infamous “nine-dash line”, which encompasses a huge tongue-shaped expanse stretching right up to the coasts of the Philippines and Vietnam and even Borneo.

在南中國海有許多有衝突的聲明,但只有中國和臺灣宣稱自己擁有一切。北京的說法——南沙群島,還有斯卡伯勒淺灘和西沙群島——這是他們在自己的地圖上標識出的臭名昭著的“九段線”,即一個巨大的舌頭狀的廣闊的領土要求,它直接延伸到菲律賓和越南,甚至是婆羅洲的海岸邊上。

The Philippines and Vietnam also claim large areas of the South China Sea. Both say most of the Spratly Islands belong to them.For decades China has done little to enforce its vague and sweeping claim.

菲律賓和越南也宣稱擁有南中國海的大部分地方。兩方都說大部分的南沙群島是屬他們的。幾十年來中國未能執行其模糊而又掃蕩式的說法。

Now that is changing.In 2012 the Communist Party reclassified the South China Sea as a “core national interest”, placing it alongside such sensitive issues as Taiwan and Tibet.

現在這種情況正在改變。2012年中國GCD重新將南中國海與臺灣和XZ等敏感問題一起列為“核心國家利益”。

It means China is prepared to fight to defend it.

這意味著中國正準備去捍衛它。



This is confirmed by Prof Yan Xuetong of Beijing’s Tsinghua University - a pro-government academic well known for presenting the Communist Party’s view to the outside world.

北京的清華大學的閻學通教授證實了這點,他是一個親政府的學者,因其向外界傳達GCD的觀點而聞名。

China will fight, he says, if it feels its sovereignty in the South China Sea is under threat.He blames Philippine President Benigno Aquino for “provoking Beijing”, by trying to bring America into the dispute.

如果感覺自己在南中國海主權受到威脅,中國將為此戰鬥,他說。他指責菲律賓總統阿基諾三世”激怒了北京”,因其試圖將美國帶入爭端。

“For him it is a personal problem,” Yan says.“He rejects any bilateral negotiations. He says they are weak and we are strong. He will only negotiate together, with the Philippines and US as allies. He wants someone to stand at his side.

“對他來說,這是一個個人問題,”閻說。”他拒絕任何雙邊談判。他說他們是弱,我們是強。菲律賓只有和美國盟友在一起時才會談判。他希望有人站在他身邊。

Manila knows it has no hope of standing up to Beijing in a straight fight. The Philippine air force has no fighter jets. The navy has just two elderly frigates. So the Philippines has taken its case to the United Nations.

馬尼拉知道它不可能在和北京直接衝突中獲勝。菲律賓空軍沒有噴氣式戰鬥機。其海軍只有兩艘老護衛艦。因此,菲律賓把此事告到了聯合國。

It wants a ruling based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which typically gives coastal states an exclusive economic zone up to 200 nautical miles from their coastline.

希望根據《聯合國海洋法公約》(UNCLOS)來判決,《聯合國海洋法公約》通常會把離海岸線200海裡以內華為該國的專屬經濟區。

An UNCLOS ruling would probably be good for the Philippines and bad for China. But Beijing has already made it clear it will not be bound by any ruling. And now it is building new islands.

《聯合國海洋法公約》的裁決可能會對菲律賓利好而對中國不利。但中國政府已經明確表示,它不會受任何裁決。現在其正在建設新的島嶼。

This is all making the Philippines very unhappy.

這讓菲律賓很不高興。


Foreign Ministry spokesman Charles Jose says China’s claim is “expansive” and its island building “outrageous”. He says China is deliberately and unilaterally changing the status quo in the South China Sea as fast as it can before the UNCLOS ruling is handed down.
菲律賓外交部發言人查爾斯•穆說,中國的說法是“可惡的”,其島嶼建設是“離譜的”。他說中國是故意的在根據《聯合國海洋法公約》裁決之前,單方面改變南中國海現狀。

It is an oft-repeated statement that the coral atolls of the South China Sea sit atop potentially huge reserves of oil and gas. The struggle to control the Spratlys would certainly make more sense if it were true.
很多聲明指出,南中國海的珊瑚礁周圍蘊藏著豐富的石油和天然氣儲備。如果這是真的。那麼努力控制南沙群島肯定會更有意義,

But a recent study by the US government suggests the main oil and gas reserves under the South China Sea do not lie anywhere near the Spratly Islands.
但由美國政府最近的一項研究表明主要的石油和天然氣儲量是在南海的南沙群島附近。

For China the struggle over the South China Sea is less about resources, though, than it is about sovereignty and strategic space. Nor is this just a quarrel with the Philippines and other countries bordering the sea.
對於中國在南海的鬥爭並不是為了資源,然而,而是主權和戰略空間。這不僅僅是一場和菲律賓和其他沿海國家吵架。

Instead it is about China’s real strategic rival - the United States. The US government does not acknowledge China’s claim, and the US Pacific fleet continues to sail regularly through the South China Sea. But the Chinese navy is beginning to grow more assertive.

相反,它是針對中國的真正戰略競爭對手——美國。美國政府不承認中國的說法,美國太平洋艦隊將繼續定期通過南海。但中國海軍開始變得更加自信(譯者注:assertive有過分自信的意思)。

In December 2013 China sailed its brand new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, into the South China Sea for the first time. Shadowing it, at about 30 nautical miles, came the US Navy cruiser USS Cowpens.

2013年12月中國牌新航母遼寧號首次進入南海航行。在其大約30海裡外,美國海軍巡洋艦考彭斯號緊隨其後。

A Chinese amphibious assault ship approached and ordered it to leave the area. The commander of the Cowpens refused, saying he was sailing in “international waters”.

中國兩栖攻擊艦與其接洽,並命令其離開該地區。考彭斯的指揮官拒絕了,說他是在“公海”航行。

At that point the US Navy says the Chinese ship suddenly swung across the Cowpens’ bow, just 500m ahead, forcing the US warship to take evasive action.

美國海軍說,中國船隻突然左右擋住考彭斯號的船首,並且僅有500米遠,迫使美國軍艦採取規避行為。

In 1823, US President James Monroe outlined what was later to become known as the “Monroe Doctrine”.

在1823年,美國總統詹姆斯•門羅的概述,後來被稱為“門羅主義”。

It identified the Western hemisphere as America’s backyard, and nowhere more so than the Caribbean Sea. Old European colonial powers were told to keep out.

西半球是美國的後院,加勒比海更是如此。舊歐洲殖民列強們都被告知離遠點。

Today China is doing something very similar in the East and South China seas.

今天中國在東海和南海是在做一些非常相似的事。

Everything inside the so-called “first island chain” - which stretches north in a curving line from the coast of Borneo, past Taiwan to southern Japan - is in Beijing’s opinion, China’s backyard. Beijing’s ambition is to dominate this sea-space and, ultimately, to deny access to the only other naval power in the world that can prevent China from doing so.

所謂“第一島鏈”——向北延伸的曲線從婆羅洲海岸,穿過臺灣一直到日本南部,這是在北京的觀點,中國的後院。北京的雄心壯志是主宰這片海洋空間,最終,阻止世界上唯一可以阻止中國這樣做的海軍力量通過。

Stepping off the fishing boat after two days and nights at sea is a blessed relief.

兩天兩夜後,走下漁船就如同重獲新生一般。

I wade across a reef through crystal clear waters and on to a white sandy beach. As I look back out to sea, our little fishing boat is rocking at anchor.

我走過清澈透明的海水還有白色的沙灘。當我回頭看向大海,我們的小漁船在駐錨搖擺。

I am struck by just how remote this place is.Pagasa is a tiny speck of land halfway between Palawan, the westernmost province of the Philippines, and the coast of Vietnam.

我被這片位於菲律賓最西部省份巴拉望和越南海岸線之間的偏遠之地所震動。

The nearest Philippine port is 250 nautical miles away.

這裡離菲律賓最近的海港也有250海裡。

The island doesn’t even have a proper jetty.

這些島嶼甚至沒有一個合適的碼頭。

They started building one 10 years ago, but the ship bringing building supplies got stuck on the reef.

10年前他們開始建造一座,但運建築材料船被困在礁石上了。

It’s still sitting there today, rotting away.An eccentric Filipino businessman called Tomas Cloma first occupied Pagasa in 1956.

今天它仍然坐在那裡,也爛了。一個叫托馬斯的古怪菲律賓商人在1956年首先佔領了中業島。

He declared it part of a new nation he named “Freedomland”.But 15 years later Cloma was arrested and forced to hand over his “country” by Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

他宣稱這是他的新國家的一部分,並把它命名為“自由聖土”。但15年後托馬斯被菲律賓獨裁者馬科斯逮捕,並被迫交出他的“國家”。

He was reportedly paid just one peso by a (not very) grateful nation.

據說他只付了一個比索就得到了一個(不是很)壯麗的國家。

Marcos set about converting the tiny island in to a military stronghold. An airstrip was constructed.

馬科斯著手把小島建成一個軍事據點,並建了一個機場。

Concrete bunkers were built along the shoreline and anti-aircraft gun emplacements.Today the concrete bunkers are sliding in to the sea; the anti-aircraft guns are rusted solid.Only the airstrip remains usable.

沿著海岸線建造了一些混凝土掩體和防空炮兵陣地。今天的混凝土掩體正被大海吞噬;高射炮也生銹了。只有機場仍然是可用的。

There are still 30 Philippine marines based on Pagasa.

仍有30名菲律賓海軍陸戰隊隊員駐守在中業島

When I go to meet their commander, at 10am, I am told he is asleep. By late afternoon the major has woken up, although he’s still a little grumpy.

當我在10點去會見他們的指揮官的時候,我被告訴他睡著了。下午晚些時候這位長官醒來了,儘管他的脾氣仍然有一點暴躁。

“No-one informed me that you would be visiting Pagasa,” he says. “I had no communication about this!”

“沒有人告訴我,你會訪問中業島,”他說。“他們沒有通知我!”

I assure the major we did inform navy headquarters about our trip. He looks nonplussed.

我確信有關我們的行程,我們已經通知了海軍總部。但他看起來不以為然。

But soon his annoyance is forgotten and I am invited to a meal of fried fish, vegetables, rice and, luxury of luxuries, cold Coca-Cola.

但很快他就忘記了煩惱,我被邀請和其一起吃了頓飯,有炸魚,蔬菜,米飯,還有豪華的奢侈品——冰鎮可口可樂。

I ask the major what weapons his men have. “It’s classified information,” he says. I look around. It can’t be more than a few automatic rifles.

我問司令他們的主要武器是什麼。“這是機密信息”他說。我環顧四周。幾乎沒幾把自動步槍。

The marines won’t be stopping the People’s Liberation Army, if it ever decides to clear them out.

如果PLA決定消滅他們,菲律賓海軍陸戰隊不可能有能力阻止PLA。

Pagasa’s most important asset lies at the far end of the island - a ramshackle village with about 30 families.

中業島最重要的資產位於島的盡頭,即一個搖搖欲墜的大約有30個家庭的村莊。

Manila claims more than 200 people live here, but I found only about 100. The civilians started coming in the late 1970s and gradually they have built a little colony here – though not out of patriotic zeal.

馬尼拉宣稱有超過200人住在這裡,但我發現只有100人。平民在1970年代後期,開始逐漸在這裡建造了一個小殖民地——儘管不是因為愛國熱情。

“We get a free house, and free food. The government gives me a job, and there is a school for our children,” says Melody, who lives here with her husband and three children.

“我們得到了一個免費的房子和免費的食物。政府給了我一份工作,有一個可供我們孩子讀書的學校。”梅洛迪說,她和她的丈夫還有三個孩子住在這裡。

“Back on the mainland everything is so expensive compared to here.” In a country where nearly a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line I can see her point.
“和本土相比,這裡所有的東西都如此的昂貴。”在這個國家,近四分之一的人口生活在貧困線以下,我可以明白她的意思。


Our host on Pagasa is Mary Joy. She came here two years ago to start a fishing business. It failed. So she took a job as the island’s administrator.

在中業島,我們的領導者是瑪麗 喬伊。她兩年前來到這裡開始捕魚。但失敗了。所以她當起了島嶼管理員。

Mary Joy has big plans. The community hall needs to be finished. A proper harbour must be built. She even talks of a resort hotel on the pristine north beach. If only there were more money.

瑪麗 喬伊有一個很大的計劃。社區大廳需要完成,必須建立一個合適的港口。她甚至談到了如果有更多的錢,她要在北部原始海灘上建個度假酒店。

“The Chinese have so much money,” she says. “We have so little. But it is really important for us to stay here. If we don’t I think the Chinese will come in here.”

“中國有這麼多錢”她說。“我們卻只有這麼一點。但對我們來說待在這裡是非常重要的。如果我們不呆在這裡,中國人就會來這了。”



圖:中業島上的廢棄坦克

The South China Sea is dotted with these strange little military outposts and civilian colonies. It’s often hard to decipher which is which and who controls what.

南中國海被一些奇怪的小軍事前哨和平民的殖民地點綴著。經常很難識別哪個是哪個,到底是誰在控制。



圖:中業島上的小孩

Pagasa used to be called Thitu Island. In Chinese it is Zhong Ye Dao, and in Vietnamese Dao Thi Tu.
Johnson South Reef is also known variously as Chi Gua, Yongshu, Gac Ma and Mabini reef.

中業島過去被稱為Thitu島,中國人管它叫中業島,在越南人管它叫Dao Thi Tu。約翰遜南礁也被叫做 赤瓜 永暑或者叫Gac Ma Mabini



圖:中業島學校

And so it goes for the dozens of other islets, reefs and sand bars.

如此這樣也適用於其它的小島,海礁和沙洲。

The Philippines has nine permanently occupied outposts. Vietnam has eight, Malaysia also has a handful off the coast of Borneo - and China, so far, has seven.

菲律賓有9個永久前哨。越南有八個,馬來西亞在婆羅洲海岸線附近也有少數幾個——中國,到目前為止,有七個。

Even stranger, the biggest island in the Spratlys, Taiping Island, is controlled by Taiwan. There is a large military base on it and a concrete airstrip.

甚至也有南海中的陌生人,南沙群島最大的島嶼太平島,是由臺灣控制的。上面有一個大型軍事基地,一個混凝土飛機跑道。

Like the Philippines, Vietnam is settling civilians on several of the islets it controls. Civilian colonies certainly make military confrontation more difficult and less appetising.

像菲律賓、越南都是在幾個小島安置幾個平民來進行控制的。平民殖民地使軍事對抗變得更困難,更難以下嚥。

Shooting soldiers, as China did at Johnson South in 1988, is one thing. Shooting women and children is quite another.

槍擊士兵,正如中國在1988年的約翰遜島上所幹的那樣。槍擊婦女和兒童就是另一回事了。

Whether these heavily subsidised micro-colonies really strengthen legal claims to places like Pagasa has yet to be tested. Clearly, Manila and Hanoi believe they do.
這些高額補貼是否真的讓這些極小的殖民地變得更加具有法律效應就如中業島一樣還有待考驗。顯然,馬尼拉和河內相信他們做的事可以辦到。

Sixteen hours after leaving Pagasa, just before dawn, our little fishing boat is approaching Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal.

離開中業島16個小時後,天剛濛濛亮,我們的小漁船接近Ayungin淺礁,它也被稱為第二托馬斯淺礁。

The engine is screaming as the skipper pushes it to full power. Three crewmen are standing on the wheelhouse giving directions to the captain below.
船長馬力全開,引擎嗡嗡作響。三個船員站在駕駛室上面給下面的船長提供方向。

Straight ahead a white line of waves crashes across a just-submerged reef. Somehow we must cross it without getting stuck.

直接開過一個剛剛沒頂的礁石。無論如何,我們必須穿過它而不被卡住。

A few hundred metres away the dark outline of a ship is silhouetted against the pale dawn sky.

幾百米外的黑暗輪廓中,黎明的天空劃過一道蒼白的背影。

It is the Sierra Madre, a Philippine ghost ship stranded on the reef.

Sierra Madre號,一艘菲律賓幽靈船滯留在礁石上。

To the south, I can see the lights of two Chinese coastguard cutters steaming towards us. But they are too late.
In a moment we are over the reef, and the water is now too shallow for the large Chinese ships to reach us.

在南邊,我可以看到兩艘中國海岸警衛隊船隻的燈光向我們照來。但是他們太遲了。一會兒我們穿過了暗礁,而這對於中國大船來講太淺了。



圖:中國船隻

I had seen photographs of the Sierra Madre before I set out. But the reality is still a shock.

之前我看過Sierra Madre號的照片。但當我看到真的之後還是讓我很震驚。



圖:大洞

The ship’s sides are peppered with massive holes. Waves slosh through them right into the ship’s hold.

船的側面有個巨大的漏洞,浪濺到船艙裡面了。

On the deck a group of smiling Philippine marines is hailing me to come aboard.
甲板上的一群菲律賓海軍陸戰隊隊員微笑地拉我上船。

“Hello! Welcome Mr Rupert!” they shout.

“你好!歡迎魯珀特先生!”他們喊。

This time it seems someone has radioed ahead. A terrifying homemade rope ladder is hanging over the ship’s side. Gingerly, I haul myself up.

這一次似乎前面有人用無線電。一個可怕的自製的繩梯掛在船的一邊。我小心翼翼地自己爬了上去。

From the deck, the ship’s condition looks possibly even worse. In many places there is no deck, just rusting holes covered with old doors and bits of plastic.

從甲板看船的狀態看起來可能更糟。在很多地方沒有甲板,有一些生銹的孔洞還是被一些破門和少量的塑料覆蓋的。

“Be careful,” the marines caution, “don’t walk there it’s dangerous!”

“小心,”海軍陸戰隊隊員謹慎地說“別走是很危險的!”

As I climb a stairway a piece of rotten railing comes off in my hand.

我爬樓梯時一塊腐爛的欄杆被我弄掉了。

“Sorry,” I blurt out. “I appear to have broken off a bit of your ship.”

“對不起,”我脫口而出“我似乎折斷你的船”

Around the Sierra Madre the sea sparkles aquamarine. Schools of reef fish flit back and forth.

Sierra Madre號周圍被海藍寶石色所圍繞。大群的珊瑚礁魚來回掠過。

The absurdity of the Sierra Madre is almost comic. Or perhaps it’s tragic.

Sierra Madr號如同戲劇般的荒謬。也許,這就是個悲劇。

Even the 11 Filipino marines stranded on board seem embarrassed by their circumstances.

即使是11個被困在船上菲律賓海軍陸戰隊員在這種情況下也顯得很狼狽。

There is little of the normal marine bravado, just a quiet acceptance of their fate.

沒有正常的海洋激情,只是在安靜的接受自己的命運。

“It is hard for my men,” the young lieutenant in command of the group tells me. “We are far from home, there is sometimes little to eat, so it puts a great strain on the men.”

“我的人很難”年輕的中尉連隊指揮官的告訴我。“我們遠離家鄉,有時是沒有吃的,因此它給人很大的壓。”

A few hundred metres away we can see the shiny new Chinese coastguard cutters roaming up and down.This is not a contest of equals.

幾百米遠我們可以看到嶄新的中國海岸警衛隊小艇在來回徘徊。這不是一個平等的競爭。

For the past year the Chinese ships have been blockading the Sierra Madre, preventing resupply ships, with food, water and building materials, from getting through.

過去一年中國船隻已經封鎖了Sierra Madre號,防止補給船隻給其提供食物、水和建築材料。

Had we approached from the south-west they would have cut us off. We only made it by arriving from the opposite direction, under cover of darkness.

我們從西南接近的話,他們會切斷我們。我們只能在夜色的掩護下,從相反的方向而來。

The Philippine navy now drops supplies to the stranded ship by parachute, once a month.But the marines say much of the time they live off fish they catch on the reef.

菲律賓海軍用降落傘下降以供應擱淺的船,一個月一次。但海軍陸戰隊的隊員說大部分時間他們是靠自己抓礁上的魚來生存。

Ayungin Reef is (according to my GPS) 120 nautical miles from the coast of the Philippines.

Ayungin礁(根據我的GPS)距離菲律賓海岸120海裡。

That puts it well within the Philippines’ claimed 200-nautical-mile “exclusive economic zone”. It is more than 800 nautical miles from the Chinese coast.

這使得它處在菲律賓所宣稱的長達200海裡的專屬經濟區內。這裡距離中國海岸有800多海裡。

And yet Beijing claims that this submerged reef is an integral part of Chinese territory.

然而,北京聲稱這暗礁是中國領土不可分割的一部分。

China is just at the start of its rise as a naval power. The speed of change is breathtaking.

中國正在崛起的海軍力量的發展速度是驚人的。

Right now China is building new naval ships and submarines faster than any other country in the world, including the United States.

現在中國正在建造的新軍艦和潛艇的速度比世界上任何其他國家都快,包括美國。

A second aircraft carrier is on the way. The US Navy is still much bigger and more powerful. But the gap is closing faster than anyone expected.

第二個航空母艦正在建造中。美國海軍仍然是更大,更強大的。但差距正在縮小,這比任何人預期的都要快。

What’s going on in the South China Sea is an expression of China’s intent. Beijing’s ambition is to dominate the sea-space within the “first island chain”.

在南中國海所發生的事正是中國意圖的表達。北京的雄心是主宰“第一島鏈”內的海洋空間。

In the longer term it wants to move further, beyond the Philippines, and southern Japan - to the “second island chain”... to Palau, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

從長遠來看,它希望進一步行動,越過菲律賓和日本南部——即“第二島鏈”……到帕勞群島,關島和北馬裡亞納群島。

This will be a seismic shift in the balance of power in the Western Pacific. For the past 70 years US power has been unassailable in this region.

這將是西太平洋力量平衡的一個巨變。在過去的70年裡,美國在這一地區實力不容置疑。

Now, for the first time, a new power is emerging with the will and the means to challenge America’s military dominance. It is unlikely to be a smooth ride.

現在,第一次,一個充滿意志和手段的新的力量正挑戰美國的軍事優勢。這帶來的不太可能是平穩。
從塵埃中開出花
2014-09-10 14:02 #1
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