Le mauvais pari de la Chine sur l’Amérique

CAMBRIDGE – Les relations sino-américaines sont à nouveau mises à mal. La Chine s’est offusquée de ce que Barack Obama accueille le Dalaï Lama à la Maison Blanche ainsi que des ventes d’armes à Taïwan. Il y avait pourtant eu quelques beaux précédents à ces deux décisions américaines mais certains responsables Chinois attendaient plus de sensibilité envers ce que la Chine considère comme étant des « intérêts fondamentaux » à l’unité nationale.

Les choses n’étaient pas supposées se passer ainsi. Il y a un an, l’administration Obama avait fait d’énormes efforts pour se rapprocher de la Chine. La Secrétaire d’Etat Hillary Clinton avait évoqué l’idée « d’être sur le même bateau » et avait affirmé que la Chine et les Etats-Unis « s’élèveront et chuteront ensemble ». Le Secrétaire au Trésor Timothy Geithner prétendait qu’il passait plus de temps avec ses homologues Chinois qu’avec ceux de n’importe quel autre pays. Certains observateurs avaient même parlé d’un « G2 » sino-américain qui contrôlerait l’économie mondiale.

L’idée d’un G2 a toujours été ridicule. L’économie de l’Europe est plus importante que celle de l’Amérique et de la Chine réunies, et l’économie Japonaise a aujourd’hui une taille sensiblement identique à celle de la Chine. Leur participation à une solution aux problèmes globaux sera essentielle. Cependant, la coopération grandissante entre les Etats-Unis et la Chine au sein du G20 l’année dernière fut un signe positif de coopération non seulement bilatérale mais aussi multilatérale.

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