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双语:谢锋就《联合国海洋法公约》开放签署40周年国际研讨会接受媒体专访

外交部 2022-09-05 47次

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外交部副部长谢锋就《联合国海洋法公约》开放签署40周年国际研讨会接受媒体专访

Transcript of Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng’s Interview with the Press on “UNCLOS at 40: Retrospect and Prospect”

问:请简要介绍中国举办本次会议的目的以及本次国际研讨会的情况?

Q: Please brief us on the conference and the purpose of China in hosting it.

答:当前,百年变局加速演进,全球海洋治理面临诸多新问题。作为《公约》缔约国,中方在《公约》开放签署40周年之际举办国际研讨会,旨在集思广益,共同回顾《公约》缔结历史,重温《公约》宗旨原则,促进全球海洋合作治理。

Xie: At present, the world is facing once-in-a-century changes that are evolving more rapidly, and new issues keep emerging in global maritime governance. By holding this conference on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the opening for signature of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China, as a State Party, aims to pool wisdom, encourage various sides to take stock of the history of the Convention and revisit its purposes and principles, and promote global maritime cooperation and governance. 

200多名各国政府官员、国际组织代表和专家学者与会。王毅国务委员发表重要讲话,深入阐述了中方对《公约》的立场态度,倡导各方坚持命运与共,推动海洋可持续发展;坚持对话协商,维护海洋和平安宁;坚持国际合作,守护海洋生态环境;坚持国际法治,携手推进海洋治理新征程。联合国副秘书长苏亚雷斯为会议致开幕辞,鼓励以《公约》精神为指引,应对海洋生物多样性、海洋垃圾污染等新挑战。我本人也在会上就中国全面善意履行《公约》,积极贡献全球海洋合作治理有关情况做了主旨报告。与会各方将围绕《公约》40年成就和贡献、海洋法前沿问题等深入讨论,共商海洋合作治理之道。

More than 200 delegates, including government officials, representatives of international organizations, experts and scholars, have attended the conference. State Councilor Wang Yi delivered important remarks, in which he expounded on China’s position on the Convention, and called on various sides to act as a community with a shared future to promote sustainable development of the sea, champion dialogue and consultation to maintain peace and tranquility of the sea, promote international cooperation to preserve the ecological environment of the sea, and uphold the international rule of law to jointly usher in a new journey of maritime governance.

In his opening remarks, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares encouraged efforts to address new challenges including marine biodiversity and marine pollution in the spirit of the Convention. I also made a keynote report on China’s implementation of UNCLOS in full and in good faith and its active contribution to global maritime cooperation and governance. Participants will have in-depth discussions on the achievements and contribution of the Convention over the past four decades and new frontiers of the Law of the Sea, and explore the pathway to maritime cooperation and governance. 

问:《公约》过去40年发挥了怎样的作用,存在什么样的问题,如何看待《公约》的未来?

Q: What role has the Convention played in the past 40 years? Are there any problems and what is your expectation of it in the future?

答:《公约》是海洋领域的综合性法律文书,兼顾沿海国、船旗国、内陆国等不同国家利益,为人类认识海洋、保护海洋和可持续利用海洋发挥了重要作用。《公约》创设的国际海底管理局、大陆架界限委员会、国际海洋法法庭三大机构,成为全球海洋治理重要机制,为讨论和解决海洋问题提供了有益平台。

Xie: The Convention is an extensive legal instrument on maritime affairs, which takes into account the interests of various types of countries, including coastal states, flag states and land-locked states. It has played an important role in helping mankind to understand, protect and utilize the ocean in a sustainable way. The three bodies established by the Convention, namely, the International Seabed Authority, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, have become important mechanisms for global maritime governance and provided useful platforms for discussing and resolving maritime issues.

同时,《公约》并未穷尽所有海洋法问题,历史性权利、远海群岛等事项仍继续由习惯国际法调整。40年前《公约》出台时,海平面上升、海洋酸化、无人船舶等问题尚未凸显,《公约》对类似的新问题没有具体规定。实施中,也存在对《公约》曲解、甚至滥用程序的情况,相关做法有损《公约》的严肃性和权威性。

At the same time, the Convention has not exhausted all issues related to the Law of the Sea. Matters such as historic rights and outlying archipelagos continue to be governed by customary international law. When the Convention was adopted 40 years ago, issues such as sea level rise, ocean acidification and unmanned vessels were not yet acute, so there is no specific provision in the Convention about such new issues. Also, in its implementation, there have been cases of misinterpretation and even abuse of its procedures, which have undermined the sanctity and authority of the Convention.

《公约》是开放包容、与时俱进的法律框架。《公约》清晰载明,其“未予规定的事项,应继续以一般国际法的规则和原则为准据”。《公约》出台后陆续制定关于国际海底和鱼类种群的两份执行协定,目前各方正在谈判关于海洋生物多样性的国际协定。只要各方坚守《公约》精神,不断丰富包括《公约》在内的国际海洋法,《公约》一定会在未来全球海洋治理中继续发挥重要作用。

The Convention is an open, inclusive and ever-evolving legal framework. It affirms that “matters not regulated by this Convention continue to be governed by the rules and principles of general international law.” Since the adoption of the Convention, two agreements, one on the international seabed and the other on fish stocks, have been concluded, and negotiations on an international agreement on maritime biodiversity are now well underway. As long as various sides abide by the spirit of the Convention and continue to enrich international maritime laws including UNCLOS, the Convention will surely continue to play an important role in future global maritime governance.

问:中国作为《公约》缔约国,如何看待《公约》对解决南海争端的作用?

Q: As a State Party, how does China view the role of the Convention in settling disputes in the South China Sea?

答:在海洋争端问题上,中国一贯主张由直接有关当事国在尊重历史事实和国际法基础上进行谈判协商,这符合《公约》的规定,也是大多数国家的成功经验,是和平解决海洋争端的最有效途径。

Xie: It is China’s consistent position that maritime disputes should be settled by the states directly concerned through negotiation and consultation on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law. This is in line with the Convention, and is also the successful experience of the majority of countries. It is the most effective way to peacefully settle maritime disputes.

关于《公约》对解决南海争端的作用,我想强调两点:第一,相关争端不仅涉及海洋划界,还包括领土问题。解决领土问题,主要依据《联合国宪章》等国际法;解决海洋争端,除《公约》外,还需考虑相关条约和习惯国际法。二是《公约》争端解决机制尊重争端当事国的自愿选择。2006年,中国依据《公约》郑重声明,明确海洋划界等不适用《公约》强制程序。同时,中国与有关邻国一直存在通过谈判磋商解决争端的重要共识。

Regarding the role of the Convention in resolving disputes in the South China Sea, I would like to emphasize two points: First, relevant disputes involve not only maritime delimitation but also territorial issues. Territorial issues should be settled mainly based on international law such as the UN Charter, and in settling maritime disputes, relevant treaties and customary international law apart from the Convention should also be considered. Second, the dispute settlement mechanism of the Convention respects the voluntary choice of the parties to the dispute. In 2006, in accordance with the Convention, China solemnly declared that it excludes maritime delimitation among others from the compulsory procedures of UNCLOS. Meanwhile, there is a long-standing important consensus between China and relevant neighbouring countries that disputes should be settled through negotiation and consultation. 

2000年中国与越南谈判签订北部湾划界协定。在有关争端完全解决前,中方致力于按照《公约》精神,同相关国家就涉海问题作出临时安排,目前已同菲律宾、越南等建立双边海洋事务磋商机制,积极推动与周边国家开展海上共同开发。中国坚持与邻为善、以邻为伴,将继续与相关国家一道,按照中国和东盟国家共同提出的双轨思路,推动海上对话交流和务实合作,妥善管控分歧,推动南海和地区繁荣发展。同时,我们将继续以《南海各方行为宣言》为指引,加快制定有效、富有实质内容、符合包括《公约》在内的国际法的“南海行为准则”,为管控分歧、推进合作提供更加强有力的制度保障。

In 2000, China and Vietnam signed an agreement on maritime delimitation in the Beibu Gulf through negotiations. China is committed to making temporary arrangements with relevant countries on sea-related issues in the spirit of UNCLOS before relevant disputes are completely resolved. At present, China has established bilateral consultation mechanisms on maritime affairs with countries including the Philippines and Vietnam, and is actively promoting maritime joint development with neighboring countries. China seeks to build friendships and partnerships with its neighbors. We will continue to work with relevant countries and follow the dual-track approach jointly proposed by China and ASEAN countries, to boost maritime dialogue, exchanges and practical cooperation, properly manage differences, and promote prosperity and development in the South China Sea and the region. At the same time, we will continue to follow the guidance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and strive to reach at a faster pace an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) that is consistent with international law including UNCLOS, so as to provide stronger institutional safeguards for managing differences and advancing cooperation.

问:中国为《公约》出台和实施做了哪些工作,未来将如何进一步推动发挥《公约》作用?

Q: What efforts has China made for the adoption of the Convention and its implementation? How will China further promote the role of the Convention in the future?

答:中国始终是《公约》及其机制的积极参与者、建设者和贡献者。

Xie: China has always actively participated in, developed and contributed to the Convention and its institutions.

当前,百年变局与世纪疫情交织影响,海洋环保和可持续发展问题愈加凸显。中国愿与各方一道,继续坚守《公约》的宗旨原则,弘扬《公约》体现的真正的多边主义精神,从兼顾不同国家利益、维护全人类共同利益的角度出发,切实提升发展中国家海洋科研和治理能力,善意、全面、完整、准确地解释和适用《公约》,反对强权即公理,反对选择性适用《公约》,维护和促进公平正义的国际海洋秩序,完善全球海洋治理。

At present, the world is facing the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the issues of marine environmental protection and sustainable development are becoming more prominent. China stands ready to work with various sides to continue championing the purposes and principles of UNCLOS, and carry forward the spirit of true multilateralism embodied in the Convention. It is important to take into account the interests of different countries and uphold humanity’s common interests, and take credible steps to raise developing countries’ capability of marine scientific research and governance. It is important to fully and accurately interpret and apply UNCLOS in good faith and in its entirety, discard the mindset of “might is right”, oppose selective application of the Convention, uphold and advance an equitable and just international maritime order, and improve the global governance of the sea.  

问:美国不是《公约》成员,但却在多种场合指责中方违反《公约》,并持续加大在南海开展“航行自由行动”,挑战中国的权利主张。您对此有何看法?

Q: The United States is not a party to UNCLOS. Nevertheless, it has accused China of violating the Convention on multiple occasions, and kept ramping up the so-called “freedom of navigation operations” in the South China Sea to challenge China’s rights and claims. What’s your comment on this?

答:早在《公约》谈判期间,美方就不顾发展中国家关切,顽固反对国际海底及其资源属于人类共同继承财产,企图在《公约》之外另搞一套,对《公约》出台制造障碍。美方在谈判中反对发展中国家提出的专属经济区制度,却在《公约》出台后主张了全球最大的专属经济区海域。美至今不批准《公约》,强调自身不受《公约》程序限制,却别有用心地鼓吹《公约》至上,动不动拿《公约》说事,把《公约》变成抹黑遏制打压他国的工具。美只想享受《公约》制度红利,而不愿承担《公约》义务,说一套做一套,根本没有资格拿《公约》说事。

Xie: As early as during the negotiations on the Convention, the US dismissed the concerns of developing countries, persistently opposed taking the international seabed and its resources as the common heritage of mankind, and planned to set up another system outside UNCLOS to obstruct its adoption. While opposing the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) regime proposed by developing countries during the negotiations, the US has claimed the world’s largest EEZ after the Convention was adopted. 

Till today, the US is yet to ratify the Convention, emphasizing that it is not subject to UNCLOS procedures. But at the same time, it has played up the supremacy of the Convention out of ulterior motives, arbitrarily used it as a tool to smear, contain and suppress other countries. The truth is that the US wants only the benefits of the Convention without fulfilling its obligations, and is saying one thing while doing another. It is in no position whatsoever to cite UNCLOS to accuse others.

美方当初炮制所谓“航行自由行动”的真实目的是,抵制《公约》专属经济区等制度,维护美海洋霸权,让美军舰机继续在海洋上不受限制地横行霸道。近年来美方恶人先告状,倒打一耙,动不动打着“航行自由”的幌子,挑战他国海洋主张,毫无国际法包括海洋法依据。中国在南海的立场主张具有充分历史和法理依据,南海航行自由过去、现在和将来都不存在任何问题。美方仗势军力挑战他国主张,威胁他国安全和海洋权益,违背不使用武力或以武力相威胁等一般国际法原则,是逆历史潮流而动,企图违法推行海上“丛林法则”,理所当然遭到包括中国在内的国际社会的坚决反对。

The so-called “freedom of navigation operations” of the US are actually intended to boycott UNCLOS regimes such as the EEZ, maintain US maritime hegemony, and allow its warships and military flights to continue having their way without restraint on the sea. But in recent years, the US has put the blame on others instead, and frequently challenged other countries’ maritime claims under the pretext of freedom of navigation, without any basis in international law including the Law of the Sea. China’s position and claims concerning the South China Sea have solid historical and legal grounds. There has never been and will never be any problem with the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. The US has breached general international law principles, including the prohibition on the threat or use of force, by flexing its military muscle to challenge other countries’ claims and threaten other countries’ security and maritime rights and interests. Such unlawful attempts to pursue the law of the jungle at sea run counter to the trend of the times, and have been understandably firmly rejected by China and other members of the international community.  

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