Le nationalisme chinois à l’épreuve de l’économie de marché

Les explications abondent au sujet des virulentes manifestations anti-japonaises qui ont eu lieu en Chine le mois dernier. Du point de vue chinois, la faute en incombe évidemment au gouvernement japonais qui ne présente pas ses excuses formelles pour les crimes commis par le Japon lors de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Mais les médias chinois ont également joué un rôle contestable en publiant des articles de parti pris qui ont contribué à mettre le feu aux poudres.

Depuis quelques années, les médias chinois exacerbent le sentiment nationaliste des Chinois. La fréquence et la place des articles qui s’en prennent avec véhémence aux USA, au Japon et à Taiwan vont croissant. Beaucoup d’observateurs y voient l’œuvre du gouvernement, mais à ne considérer que cet élément, on risque d’occulter le rôle de la pression du marché qui pousse les médias chinois dans cette direction.

Avant 1978, date à laquelle la Chine a commencé à ouvrir son économie, tous les journaux et les magazines dépendaient directement du Parti. Tous les patrons de presse étaient nommés et tenus en laisse par le gouvernement. Les journalistes et les directeurs de publication étaient des fonctionnaires. Tout était alors payé par le Parti Communiste et par l’Etat et personne ne se préoccupait de rentabilité. Le principal souci n’était pas d’attirer des lecteurs ou des auditeurs, mais d’éviter de commettre des erreurs politiques.

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