Un lointain reflet de l’Europe ?

Il est tentant pour les Européens de projeter leur propre histoire en Asie et d’analyser l’actualité comme une simple répétition, voire une imitation, de ce qui s’est passé sur leur continent. Les Asiatiques eux-mêmes encouragent ce penchant, puisque l’ANSEA (Association des nations du Sud-Est asiatique) vise ouvertement à ressembler de plus en plus à l’Union européenne.

Dans leurs efforts pour déchiffrer l’avenir diplomatique de l’Asie, les Européens ont pour ainsi dire l’embarras du choix. L’Asie d’aujourd’hui reproduit-elle les rapports de force de l’Europe à la fin du XIXe siècle, avec la Chine dans le rôle de l’Allemagne ? Le sud de l’Asie est-il, par le biais de l’influence croissante de l’ANSEA, en passe de devenir l’équivalent de l’UE en Extrême-Orient ?

Ces comparaisons ne sont pas neutres. L’analogie entre la Chine d’aujourd’hui et l’Allemagne du XIXe n’est pas dénuée de Schadenfreude , ce malin plaisir procuré par les difficultés d’autrui. De ce point de vue, l’Asie est certes performante sur le plan économique, mais il ne fait aucun doute que la montée des nationalismes, les ambitions de la Chine et le désir du reste du continent d’y mettre un frein, finiront par entraver la croissance et rendre à l’Occident sa suprématie.

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