Les racines de rivalité sino-japonaise

BOSTON - Les protestations antijaponaises qui continuent à troubler la Chine ne sont qu'un nouvel indice de la montée d'un nationalisme chinois puissant. Après avoir lentement fomenté parmi les intellectuels chinois pendant un siècle, le sentiment national s'est emparé de la conscience du peuple chinois et l'a redéfinie au cours des deux dernières décennies de l'essor économique de la Chine. Cette conscience de masse nationale a lancé le colosse chinois dans la compétition mondiale pour atteindre son statut international, qui correspond aux capacités étendues du pays et à la conception que les Chinois se font de la place légitime de leur pays dans le monde.

Rapidement, visiblement et inévitablement, la Chine a pris son essor. En effet, notre époque restera probablement dans les mémoires comme le moment où un nouvel ordre mondial est né, avec la Chine à sa tête.

La conscience nationale concurrentielle (la conscience selon laquelle la dignité individuelle d'une certaine personne est indissociablement liée au prestige d'un certain « peuple ») a fait son chemin parmi les plus grands et les plus brillants esprits de la Chine entre 1895 et 1905. En 1895, la Chine a été vaincue par le Japon, un agresseur minuscule que les Chinois surnommaient avec dédain « wa » (le nain).

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