Les charmes de l'Asie

Le président Bush est en Asie afin de participer à la réunion du Conseil économique de la zone Asie-Pacifique (APEC) en Chine, mais il devrait plutôt s'intéresser à un autre sommet asiatique auquel il n'a pas été convié. En décembre, la Malaisie va accueillir une réunion de pays d'Asie orientale qui exclut délibérément les États-Unis. Selon de nombreux observateurs bien placés, l'attrait de l'Amérique est sur le déclin dans la région où le charme, ou “pouvoir d'attraction” (softpower) d'autres a augmenté.

Les pays asiatiques possèdent d'impressionnants potentiels de “pouvoir d'attraction.” Les arts, la mode et la cuisine des anciennes cultures asiatiques exercent depuis des siècles un impact fort sur les autres parties du monde, mais l'Asie a traversé une période de déclin relatif dû à son retard sur la révolution industrielle de l'Occident, qui a sapé son influence.

Dans les années 1950, l'Asie évoquait des images de peuples pauvres et affamés. Certains Occidentaux manifestèrent un bref engouement dans les années 1960, symbolisé par les vestes à la Nehru et la révolution maoïste, mais cela ne dura pas. Comme le chantait John Lennon en 1968, “si tu te balades avec des photos de Mao, tu n'auras aucun succès, c'est sûr.”

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