Chine : une année d'anniversaires et d'incertitudes

ALBERTA – Alors que la Chine entre dans l'année du bœuf, si les événements des 12 derniers mois méritent réflexion et il y a aussi matière à s'interroger sur l'année qui débute. 2008 avait commencé par des tempêtes de neige dévastatrices qui ont paralysé une grande partie des transports au centre et dans le sud du pays, entraînant de nombreuses perturbations et de graves dégâts matériels. Il y a eu ensuite les émeutes au Tibet qui ont pris le gouvernement par surprise, suivies par les manifestations quelque peu embarrassantes lors du passage de la flamme olympique dans plusieurs pays occidentaux et asiatiques.

Alors que les Chinois se demandaient pourquoi 2008 - une année supposée porter chance à cause du chiffre porte-bonheur 8 - avait débuté avec autant de déboires, un tremblement de terre ravageur a frappé le Sichuan, tuant 80.000 personnes et en laissant des millions sans abri. Ressortant plus uni que jamais de cette tragédie, le pays a accueilli les Jeux olympiques, un événement auquel il s'était préparé de longue date. Les Jeux ont été couronnés de succès, mais leur image s'est rapidement estompé avec le scandale du lait contaminé qui a rendu de nombreux bébés malades et en a même tué quelques-uns.

Si l'année dernière, le retour dans leur province de millions de travailleurs migrants a été perturbé par le mauvais temps, cette année ils sont rentrés sans difficulté. Beaucoup resteront dans leur campagne, car le ralentissement économique mondial qui frappe durement la Chine coûtera leur emploi à nombre d'entre eux.

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