Faire de la place à la Chine

LONDRES – Lorsque le Royaume-Uni a annoncé au début du mois qu'il avait accepté de devenir un membre fondateur de l’Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) sous la houlette de la Chine, la plupart des journaux ont mis l'accent non pas sur la nouvelle elle-même, mais bien sur la friction que cette décision avait causé entre le Royaume-Uni et les États-Unis.

La Maison-Blanche a publié une déclaration exhortant le gouvernement britannique à « utiliser sa voix pour pousser à l'adoption de normes élevées ». En outre, un haut responsable de l'administration américaine a été cité accusant le Royaume-Uni « de se soumettre constamment à la Chine, ce qui ne est pas le meilleur moyen de s’engager auprès d’une puissance montante ». En fait, c’est l’approche américaine qui est la mauvaise.

Au Royaume-Uni, la querelle diplomatique a été l'occasion pour la presse britannique de relayer les critiques de ceux qui pensent que le gouvernement devrait adopter une position plus ferme par rapport à la Chine. Par exemple, ils estiment que le gouvernement aurait dû s’exprimer plus vivement en soutien des manifestations en faveur de la démocratie qui se sont déroulées l'an dernier à Hong Kong. De même, il n’aurait pas dû prendre ses distances par rapport au Dalaï-Lama (comme il semble l’avoir fait) à l’occasion de la visite en Chine du premier ministre David Cameron en 2013.

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