John Overmyer

Que de duplicité !

NEW DELHI – Maintenant que la Chine a annoncé que son premier porte-avions se prépare à prendre la mer dès la fin du mois, la question des ambitions navales de ce pays est revenue au premier plan. Et la révélation du ministre de la Défense pakistanais – qui a indiqué que son pays avait récemment demandé à la Chine de construire une base navale à Gwadar, un port stratégiquement situé sur la mer d’Arabie – suscite le même genre d’interrogation.

Ces deux annonces soulignent l’inclination de la Chine pour l’esquive stratégique.

Après avoir acheté le Varyag, un porte-avions de 67.500 tonnes de l’époque soviétique (aux trois-quarts achevé au moment de l’effondrement de l’URSS), la Chine a maintes fois nié qu’elle avait l’intention de le réarmer pour des opérations navales. Zhang Guangqin, le directeur adjoint de la Commission d’État chinoise pour la science, la technologie et l’industrie de la Défense nationale, a par exemple affirmé en 2005 que le Varyag ne serait pas transformé pour un usage militaire. Mais à l’époque, le porte-avions était déjà en cours de construction à Dalian, le principal chantier naval chinois.

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