Barack Obama and Xi Jinping at White House. Ron SachsCNP/ZUMA Wire

Le piège de l'interdépendance sino-américaine

NEW HAVEN – L'Amérique et la Chine sont de plus en plus dépendantes l'une de l'autre en matière de croissance durable. Elles sont tombées dans le piége classique de l'interdépendance, au point d'appréhender tout changement dans leurs relations. Les symptômes de cette maladie insidieuse étaient visibles lors de la récente visite du président Xi Jinping aux USA. Il n'en est pas sorti grand chose et le futur reste incertain.

L'interdépendance de l'Amérique et de la Chine date de la fin des années 1970, alors que les USA étaient aux prises avec une stagflation brutale et que l'économie de la Chine était en ruine à l'issue de la Révolution culturelle. Les deux pays qui étaient à la recherche une nouvelle voie pour redresser leur économie se sont tournés l'un vers l'autre dans un mariage de convenance. La stratégie de croissance de Deng Xiaoping reposait sur les exportations, notamment vers les USA, tandis que les produits chinois à bas prix constituaient une aubaine pour les consommateurs américains qui avaient de la difficulté à boucler leur budget.

Au cours du temps, cet équilibre s'est transformé en une relation approfondie. Voulant améliorer leur croissance, alors que leur épargne était insuffisante, les USA ont de plus en plus fait appel à l'énorme excédent d'épargne chinois. Arrimant le yuan au dollar, l'empire du Milieu a constitué des réserves colossales en bons du Trésor américain, ce qui a aidé les USA à financer un déficit budgétaire abyssal.

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