What's behind detention of Singapore armored vehicles?

新加坡装甲车被查扣背后

Source
China Military
Editor
Zhang Tao
Time
2016-12-21

在一辆撤除帆布的装甲车上,挂着有繁体字“军X-15245”车牌,而“军X-1”车牌据说属台湾“国防部”拥有。对曝光的装甲车图片分析,是新加坡制造的AV-81“泰莱斯(Terrex)”八轮装甲车。(资料图)
This armored vehicle without the canvas has a plate number reading "Military X-15245" in traditional Chinese character, and the "Military X-1" series of plates are said to be belonged to the Taiwan "Defense Ministry". Based on analysis of the exposed armored vehicle, it is the eight-wheeled AV-81 Terrex made by Singapore. (File photo)
 

从各方公布信息判断,扣押事件并非是刻意设计的“阴谋”,航线设计上,货轮不是直接从台湾驶往新加坡,而是莫名其妙地经停厦门、香港。

According to information released by various sides, the detention wasn't a carefully designed "plot". In terms of shipping route, the cargo ship didn't go from Taiwan directly to Singapore, but somehow berthed at Xiamen and Hong Kong.
 

这些装甲车只要不“落地”就无需申报。然而,承载方不仅把军用装备落地堆场,还没有报关。 

The armored vehicles didn't have to apply for customs clearance as long as they didn't "land". But, the carrier not only landed and stocked those military equipment, but also didn't apply for clearance.

是不小心出了纰漏,抑或施苦肉计?国家间力量的组合与消长,正塑造着国际格局的变化。

Was it a careless mistake or a self-injuring trick? The combination, rise and decline of the national forces are reshaping the international landscape today.

2016年11月23日,像往常一样,香港海关对葵涌货柜码头停靠的船舶例行检查。一艘从台湾经港的货船上,海关人员突然发现3个货柜装有仿真军事用品,随后又在9个货柜中搜出9辆货真价实的装甲车。

BEIJING, Dec. 20 (ChinaMil) -- The Hong Kong customs had a routine inspection of ships berthing at the Kwai Chung container terminal as usual on November 23, 2016. On a cargo ship from Taiwan to Singapore via Hong Kong, the Customs officers detected simulated military goods in three containers and nine real armored vehicles in other nine containers.

“中方已向新方提出交涉,要求新方严格遵守香港特区有关法律,配合香港特区政府做好后续处理工作。”2016年11月28日,中国外交部新闻发言人耿爽表示。

"The Chinese side has lodged representations with the Singaporean side, asking them to act in strict accordance with relevant laws of the Hong Kong SAR and cooperate with the SAR government to properly deal with follow-up matters," said China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang at a regular press conference on November 28.

而新加坡外交部部长维文一面声称,“我们不会允许任何单一事件挟持新中关系”,却又强调与台湾的军事合作是“特别安排”。

However, while Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan claimed "we won't allow any individual event to hijack the Singapore-China relation", he also emphasized that the military cooperation with Taiwan was a "special arrangement".

对此,外交部发言人陆慷在12月7日召开的记者会上做出回应,希望新加坡遵循一个中国政策,同时遵守香港特别行政区有关法律和法规。

In response, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said at the regular press conference on December 7 that "we hope Singapore can fully abide by the One-China policy as well as relevant laws and regulations of the Hong Kong SAR."

新加坡与中国香港、台湾地区,相继被拖入这场真相、想象与谎言相交织的“罗生门”。

Singapore and China's Hong Kong and Taiwan have been dragged into this Rashomon where truth, imaginations and lies are intertwined.

“幽灵船载神秘军火”

"Ghost ship carries mysterious weapon"

截至南方周末记者发稿时,新加坡军方和外交部门已派出斡旋小组抵港,至少进行了三轮磋商,目的却只有一个:索回被扣押的军用装备。

By Southern Weekly's press time, the Singaporean military and foreign ministry had assigned a mediation team to Hong Kong and had at least three rounds of negotiations for the sole purpose of retrieving the detained military equipment.

2016年11月24日,新加坡国防部发布一份简短的文告声称,被扣押的军品主要是泰莱斯AV-81轮式装甲车,供新加坡武装部队“例常海外军训”使用。但并未透露“海外军训”究竟在哪里。

The Singaporean defense ministry issued a brief statement on November 24, claiming that the detained equipment was mainly Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for routine overseas training, but they didn't mention where the "overseas training" was carried out.

从港口以及相关航运组织提供的航运记录来看,运载装甲车的货船(编号APL QATAR 041)是11月21日从台湾高雄出发,中途曾在厦门海天码头停泊,原定29日抵达新加坡。

According to the shipping records provided by the terminal and relevant shipping organizations, the cargo ship carrying the armored vehicles (numbered APL QATAR 041) set off from Taiwan's Kaohsiung on November 21, berthed at Xiamen's Haitian Port on the way and was scheduled to arrive in Singapore on November 29.

货轮的航线设计问题尚未得到相关方面的解释,却衍生出大陆“觊觎新加坡先进装甲车的军事秘密”的诸多猜测。

But before the cargo ship's strange shipping route was explained, there were many conjectures about "China coveting Singapore's military secrets in the advanced armored vehicles".

“AV-81毫无疑问是新加坡自主研发的装备皇牌,性能良好,得到美国海军陆战队青睐,今年3月才取得价值1亿多美元的合约,向美方提供13辆战车作测试用途。”香港时事评论员黄世泽说道。

"The AV-81 is doubtlessly trump card equipment independently developed by Singapore and is favored by the US Marines for its good performance. Singapore secured a contract of more than USD100 million in March this year to sell 13 such vehicles to the US for testing," said Martin Oei, a Hong Kong pundit.

黄世泽在新加坡《联合早报》撰文推断,“以中国军方对美国尖端军事技术的高度兴趣,AV-81的技术细节,肯定是解放军高层想要知道的。”

Martin Oei wrote an article on Singapore's Lian He Zao Bao, saying that "given the Chinese military's strong interests in America's cutting-edge military technologies, high-level officials in the PLA definitely want to know the technical details of AV-81."

现代战争中,战场通讯与电子干扰生死攸关。据称,被扣押的泰莱斯装甲车上装备有跳频无线电通讯系统,牵涉到新美、新台、台美等各方正在搭建的“战场实时通讯系统”。

Battlefield communication and electronic interference are critical in modern warfare. It is said that the detained Terrex vehicles are equipped with frequency-hopping radio communication system, which is related with the "battlefield real-time communication system" currently built between Singapore and US, Singapore and Taiwan, and Taiwan and US.

对此,北京的一名军事专家并不认可,“美军只不过是买了几辆泰莱斯装甲车当‘陪练’而已,所谓中国想借机偷师‘新加坡先进装甲车’,更是夜郎自大,我们的装甲车、通讯系统毫不逊色。”

But a military expert from Beijing didn't agree to this. "The US military just bought several Terrex vehicles for partner training. To say that China wants the technical details of 'Singapore's advanced armored vehicles' shows how arrogant they are. Chinese armored vehicles and communication systems are in no way inferior."

“几乎所有的揭秘和猜测,都假定这是香港海关奉中国政府之命所刻意进行的查扣。这种理解犯了一个常识性错误,即完全不了解‘一国两制’下中央政府与香港政府的关系。”新加坡国立大学法学院副教授、亚洲法律研究中心副主任王江雨分析认为。

"Almost all conjectures assume that the detention was conducted by Hong Kong Customs under the order of the Chinese government, but people who hold this view made a fundamental mistake and know nothing about the relation between the central government and Hong Kong government under the 'one country, two systems' framework," said Wang Jiangyu, associate professor at the Faculty of Law of National University of Singapore, and deputy director of its Asian Law Institute.

多年来,为防止“香港特区成为大规模毁灭武器的扩散渠道”,特区政府建立起一整套严格的战略物品进出口管制法律体系。

To prevent "Hong Kong from becoming the means of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction", the Hong Kong SAR government has established a rigorous legal system over the years to restrict the import and export of strategic materials.

王江雨认为,无论在法理上还是现实中,北京不仅不大可能直接指挥港府的职能部门,即便在执行战略物品进出口管制时,香港海关也是依法独立执行。

According to Wang Jiangyu, it's impossible for Beijing to directly command functional departments within the Hong Kong governments either legally or realistically, and Hong Kong Customs is independent when enforcing the export and import restriction on strategic materials according to law.

从各方公布信息判断,扣押事件更可能是疏忽散漫所致:航线设计上,该货轮不是直接从台湾驶往新加坡,而是莫名其妙地经停厦门、香港。

Based on information released by various parties, the detention was more likely caused by carelessness. In terms of shipping route, the cargo ship didn't go from Taiwan directly to Singapore, but somehow berthed at Xiamen and Hong Kong.

按照香港海关规定,倘若这些装甲车仅装载于船上,只要不“落地”就无需申报。然而,承载方不仅把军用装备落地堆场,还没有报关。

According to regulations of Hong Kong Customs, the armored vehicles didn't have to apply for Customs clearance as long as they stayed onboard and didn't "land", but the carrier not only landed and stocked the military equipment, but also didn't apply for clearance.

“武装部队以商业运输运载一般军备已数十年,也常在香港停靠,但从未出现状况。”新加坡国防部长黄永宏接受媒体采访时辩解说。

"The SAF has transported general military equipment through commercial shipment for tens of years and they often berthed at Hong Kong. There has never been any problem," Singaporean Defense Minister NG Eng Hen said in self-defense in an interview.

涉事船运公司“台湾达飞通运公司”隶属船运公司CMA CGM,至少两次转卖于法商之间,财务吃紧,管理混乱。仅运载装甲车的货船就没有归入“台湾达飞通运公司”名单,以至于最初有媒体误报“幽灵船载神秘军火”。

CMA CGM Taiwan, the concerned shipping company, belongs to CMA CGM. It has been sold to French companies at least twice and is in a financial strain and chaotic management. The cargo ship carrying the armored vehicles wasn't in its shipping list, which was why some media used the title "ghost ship carrying mysterious weapon" at first.

如今,九辆装甲车及相关装备已转移至内河码头仓库,被打开的集装箱再次密封,香港海关还安排保安24小时驻守。“星光计划”也再一次被置于镁光灯下。

Now the nine armored vehicles and associated equipment have been transferred to a warehouse at an inland port, the opened containers were sealed again, and Hong Kong Customs provided 24-hour security. Because of the detention, the "Starlight program" came under the spotlight again.


2016年11月24日,香港,香港葵涌货柜码头发现9辆装甲车,海关正展开调查(资料图/图)
Staff members of the Hong Kong Customs inspect the nine armored vehicles detected at Kwai Chung container terminal on November 24, 2016. (File photo)
 

一出无奈的“苦肉计”?

A desperate trick of "self-injury"?

“新加坡与台湾之间的军事合作早在蒋介石时期就已存在,公开但是低调,上世纪90年代新加坡与中国大陆建交时与北京达成了谅解。”新加坡国际问题专家李明江说。

"The military cooperation between Singapore and Taiwan has been in existence since the age of Chiang Kai-shek. It's open but on a very low profile. When Singapore established diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China in the 1990s, it reached an understanding with Beijing," said Li Mingjiang, a Singaporean expert on international issues.

早在1965年,新加坡领导人李光耀就向蒋经国提出请求,希望台湾帮助新加坡训练军队。1973年,双方推出“联星计划”,由台湾现役军官协助新加坡建立海空军,这也创下奇特纪录——新加坡海空军司令皆由台湾人出任。

The then Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew made a request to Chiang Ching-kuo asking for Taiwan's help in training Singaporean troops, and the two sides launched the "Starlight Program" in 1973, whereby Taiwan military officers in service assisted Singapore in building the navy, air force and army, which led to the strange phenomenon that Singapore's navy, air force and army commanders were all from Taiwan.

1976年,新加坡正式派出一支由步兵、炮兵和装甲兵组成的“星光部队”,定期轮流到台湾训练。上世纪80年代中期,“星光计划”达到顶峰,每年1.5万人赴台受训。

In 1976, Singapore formally assigned a "Starlight troop" comprising infantry, artillery and troopers to be trained in Taiwan regularly. The "Starlight Program" reached a peak in the mid-1980s when 15,000 Singapore soldiers were trained in Taiwan every year.

新加坡一度被称为“东南亚的以色列”。建国之初,它不仅地处马来人为主的伊斯兰大国(马来西亚和印度尼西亚)包围之中,新马分家让两国关系更加紧张。

Singapore was once called the "Israel in Southeast Asia" because when it was first founded, not only was it surrounded by Malaysia and Indonesia where Malayans made up the main population, but the Singapore-Malaysia separation also put their relation in tension.

“尽管不会被敌人击垮,但是如果碰到黄蜂,给它蜇到,并不是好受的,最好的办法就是不去理它。”“我们应该像一只毒虾,有鲜艳的颜色来警告旁人,我们身上是有毒的。”

"Although we won't be beaten by enemies, it doesn't feel good to be stung by a wasp, and the best way is to leave it alone." "We should be like a poisonous shrimp, using our bright colors to warn others that we have strong poison in our body."

按照李光耀的国防安全设计,新加坡建国后一边推行“黄蜂战略”、“毒虾理论”,同时,还在各股国际势力中展开“均势外交”以求自保,而“星光计划”正是重要一环。

According to Lee Kuan Yew's defense security design, Singapore implemented the "wasp strategy" and "poisonous shrimp theory" after it was founded, and conducted "Balance Diplomacy" among various international forces for survival, the "Starlight program" being an important part of it.

“星光计划”对中国及两岸关系的伤害自始至终。早在1976年5月,李光耀第一次访华时,当时中国领导人就曾明确表示质疑,“新加坡与台湾发展了军事联系,这同新加坡政府支持‘一个中国’的立场矛盾。”

The "Starlight Program" has hurt China and the cross-strait relation from the very beginning. When Lee Kuan Yew first visited China in May 1976, Chinese leaders then explicitly expressed their doubt. "Singapore's development of military connections with Taiwan contradicts its stance on supporting the One-China policy."

新加坡与台湾则进一步扩展“星光计划”。除部队训练之外,双方每年定期举办“星光会议”,内容涵盖装备研发、部队训练等方方面面。2001年2月,所谓“中新协议”签订,“星光计划”全面升级,新加坡将主战坦克、霍克防空导弹等先进武器的使用人员送到台湾培训,而台湾则派出C—130运输机飞行员到新加坡受训。

But Singapore and Taiwan further expanded the "Starlight program". In addition to training, they held "starlight conference" every year covering equipment R&D, training and many other aspects, and signed the so-called "China-Singapore agreement" in February 2001 that upgraded the program comprehensively. Singapore sent soldiers using advanced weapons such as main battle tank and Hawk air defense missile to Taiwan for training, while Taiwan sent C-130 transport plane pilots to be trained in Singapore.

这项合作颇为隐秘。直到2007年5月11日,一架F-5F战斗机在台湾坠毁,造成4人死亡,其中包括两名新加坡军人,才让公众了解。

This cooperation was so secret that it wasn't exposed until May 11, 2007 when an F-5F fighter jet crashed in Taiwan and four people died in it, including two Singaporean soldiers.

蒋经国时期与李登辉主政前期,“星光计划”最为热络。直到2002年4月21日,台湾民进党籍“立委”蔡同荣、林进兴等人透露,由于本地民众抗争,以及训练场地所限,一直在台湾实施受训的新加坡“星光计划”可能转赴中国大陆。

The "Starlight Program" was in its heyday in the period of Chiang Ching-kuo and the early stage of Lee Teng-hui's reign. But on April 21, 2002, several members of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party and also of the legislative body including Chai Trong-rong said that the program, which was carried out in Taiwan for many years, might be moved to the Chinese mainland due to opposition by local people and limited training space.

陈水扁政府负责对外交往的主管陈唐山更是出言不逊,咒骂新加坡是“鼻屎大的国家”、“浪趴国家”。这让怒不可遏的新加坡威胁道,不仅要赶走所有台湾驻新加坡办事处官员,还要把“星光计划”转移至海南岛。

Chen Tang-san, the person in charge of foreign relations in the Chen Shui-bian administration, even used insulting remarks against Singapore, which infuriated it so much that it threatened to drive away all Taiwan officials working in its offices in Singapore and move the "Starlight Program" to Hainan.

美国并不希望美制武器性能参数泄露。《简氏防务周刊》稍早前报道说,新加坡曾派人前往海南岛勘探,认为条件要优于台湾,这遭到美国极力阻挠,新加坡自然不敢挑战美国的权威。正是在这一背景下,另一种猜测悄然而生。

But the US didn't want to see the performance parameters of US-made weapons leaked. Jane's Defence Weekly reported earlier that Singapore assigned people to Hainan for field survey and believed it had better conditions than Taiwan, but the US strongly opposed this move, and Singapore naturally dared not defy this super power. Against such a background, another conjecture emerged.

“倘是逆向思考,也不排除这次新加坡‘有意无意’地泄露其从台湾撤回新式装甲车的行踪,以表达将逐步结束与台湾当局合作‘星光计划’的意向。”

"Let's think backward. It's possible that Singapore 'intentionally' leaked the track of the new armored vehicles it retracted from Taiwan in order to express its wish to end the 'Starlight Program' gradually."

坊间有传言称,此次装甲车在港被扣押事件“也不排除新加坡军方是使用苦肉计,故意以此方式曝光‘星光计划’,以引发国际注意和北京的反感,新加坡军队就此趁势完全退出台湾。”

There is a rumor that the detention of Singapore's armored vehicles in Hong Kong was "a self-injuring trick by the Singaporean military to expose the 'Starlight Program' on purpose, so as to draw international attention and trigger Beijing's opposition, which will give it the opportunity to exit Taiwan completely."

上述猜测并无更多实据,但新加坡军方的确难辞其咎。仅托运过程中,军方非但没有认真审核“台湾达飞通运公司”的船期表,还任凭后者“多载货多赚钱”,经停厦门和香港。

But this conjecture isn't well-evidenced, although the Singaporean military was indeed to blame. It didn't carefully check the shipping schedule of CMA CGM Taiwan, and allowed it to berth at Xiamen and Hong Kong on the way to "carry more cargoes in order to make more money".

事发后,在台的新加坡“星光部队”也未及时觉察到,只是将责任推给台湾的报关行。当报关行发现自身无能为力时,“星光部队”才逐级呈报新加坡国防部。

After the vehicles were detained, Singapore's "starlight troop" in Taiwan wasn't informed in a timely manner either, but just passed the buck to the Taiwan Customs broker, and didn't report to Singaporean defense ministry about the detention until the broker found itself unable to do anything.

为时已晚,敏感而隐秘的“星光计划”,已演变成一场外交事件。

But it was too late. The sensitive and secret "Starlight Program" evolved into a diplomatic event.

“平衡术”已不合时宜

"Trick of balance" is out of place

“中国政府一贯坚决反对与中国建交的国家与台湾地区开展任何形式的官方往来,包括军事交流与合作。我们要求新加坡政府切实恪守一个中国政策。”2016年11月28日,中国外交部发言人耿爽表示。

"The Chinese side is firmly opposed to any form of official interaction between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic relations with us, military exchanges and cooperation included. We require the Singaporean government to stick to the One-China policy," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on November 28, 2016.

“这也是警告其他国家不要与倾向‘台独’的台湾当局走得太近。”中国海军专家李杰说,新加坡对待南海争端和蔡英文上台的态度,影响了中国的国家利益。

"That was also a warning to other countries not to get too close with the Taiwan authorities that support 'Taiwan independence'." According to Chinese naval expert Li Jie, Singapore's attitude toward the South China Sea dispute and Tsai Ing-wen has affected China's national interests.

多年来,“星光计划”不仅让新加坡单方面获益,台湾也可通过新加坡向日本、欧洲国家购买一些先进武器装备,包括快炮、快艇等武器。无疑,新加坡扮演着台湾与其它国家之间“军火中介”的角色。

For many years, the "Starlight Program" has not only benefited Singapore, but also enabled Taiwan to buy advanced weapons and equipment such as quick launcher and speed boat from Japan and European countries through Singapore. There is no doubt that Singapore has been the "arms broker" between China's Taiwan and other countries.

作为开创“小国大外交”的特殊国家,新加坡一直笃行高度务实的“均势”外交战略,它最希望两岸维持现状,以便从两岸都攫取最大利益。

As a special nation that created the "big diplomacy for small country", Singapore has practiced a highly pragmatic diplomatic strategy aiming at "equilibrium". It wants the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to maintain the status quo most because that way it can seek maximal interests for itself.

“新加坡虽然以华裔为主,但却是南洋诸国中最迟承认中华人民共和国的国家。”香港时事评论员黄世泽认为,1990年新加坡与中国建交谈判两大课题之一,便是“星光计划”能否持续。中新建交以来,围绕“星光计划”的外交角力时有发生。

"People with Chinese origin take a large proportion in Singapore, but it was the last country in Southeast Asia to recognize the People's Republic of China." Hong Kong pundit Martin Oei said that one of the two major topics during the Singapore-China negotiations on forming diplomatic ties in 1990 was whether the "Starlight Program" could continue, and the two countries have had several diplomatic engagements around the program since the diplomatic ties were forged.

“我们不会允许任何单一事件挟持新中关系。”2016年11月29日,新加坡外长维文在出席《海峡时报》举办的论坛时却又强调,“这并非机密,形式也没有改变。新加坡不能遗忘曾协助我国建立武装部队的老朋友。”

"We won't allow any individual event to hijack the Singapore-China relation", Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan claimed, but he also emphasized at a forum organized by the Straits Times on November 29 that "it isn't a secret, and the form hasn't changed. Singapore cannot forget our old friend who helped us build the armed forces."

正如专家所言,国家间力量的组合与消长,正塑造着国际格局的变化。如今,新加坡依旧坚守所谓“平衡术”明显不合时宜。

As some expert correctly pointed out, the combination of national forces and the rise and decline of them are reshaping the international landscape today. In today's world, Singapore's so-called "trick of balance" is obviously out of place.

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