La Chine et le nouvel équilibre des pouvoirs

SHANGHAI – L’Union soviétique, dernière superpuissance rivale des États-Unis, s’est effondrée en 1991. Or, puissance militaire mise à part, l’URSS n’a jamais vraiment été assez puissante pour faire contrepoids à l’influence américaine. Si, à la fin des années 1980, le Japon semblait capable de concurrencer le leadership industriel des États-Unis, la décennie suivante l’a vu perdre son avantage. La Chine peut souhaiter devenir une force majeure dans un monde multipolaire, mais elle n’est pas assez forte dans son ensemble. Au vu de ces réalités, la Chine voit l’Union européenne, en plein agrandissement, comme un contrepoids crédible à la puissance incontrôlée des États-Unis.

En termes de production économique, l’Union européenne est aujourd’hui au même niveau que les États-Unis. Il lui reste à construire un système de défense fort, qui puisse répondre efficacement soit aux imprévus régionaux, soit aux besoins mondiaux. Quelle serait la force d’un tel système s’il venait à être mis en place, et comment pourrait-il rivaliser avec celui des États-Unis ?

En évaluant la force des États-Unis, la Chine suit les débats américains sur les mérites d’un monde unipolaire ou multipolaire avec un grand intérêt. Certains Américains préfèrent un système unipolaire dominé par les États-Unis. Une telle Pax Americana coûterait moins cher à entretenir pour le pays, mais le reste du monde s’inquiéterait si les États-Unis adoptaient une mauvaise politique, comme ça a été le cas en Irak.

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