La Russie, envahisseur névrosé

PARIS – Au moment même où les Chinois obtenaient une « médaille d'or » de la diplomatie pour la cérémonie d'ouverture réussie à Pékin, la Russie recevait un « carton rouge » pour la violence extrême et disproportionnée de son intervention militaire en Géorgie. Tandis que la Chine entend séduire et impressionner le monde par le nombre de ses médailles olympiques, la Russie veut faire de même mais en montrant sa supériorité militaire. S oft power chinois contre hard power russe : le choix des deux pays révèle des niveaux fort différents de confiance en leurs possibilités.

La Chine aura beau jouer les victimes face à l'Occident, ses leaders savent pertinemment qu’elle est de retour sur la scène internationale, à un niveau qui leur semble approprié et légitime. Comme on peut s'y attendre, chez eux, les dirigeants chinois manquent de confiance ; et cela se ressent dans leur comportement à l'égard de leurs citoyens. Mais si la Chine fait un pas de fourmi en avant, de son côté, la Russie recule d’un pas de géant.

Depuis maintenant de nombreuses années, la Géorgie et la Russie jouent avec le feu. La guerre au Caucase semblait prévue d’avance. Chaque camp attendait une fausse manoeuvre de l'autre camp pour abattre ses cartes.

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