La très longue marche

Chaque nation a son mythe fondateur. Pour la Chine communiste, il s'agit de la Longue Marche, une histoire qui rivalise avec celle de Moïse menant l'exode des Israélites hors d'Égypte. Elle a bercé mon enfance.

Ce mythe peut être raconté en peu de mots. Le Parti communiste naissant et ses trois Armées rouges furent chassés de leurs bases du sud au début des années 1930 par le gouvernement nationaliste de Tchang Kaï-chek. Poursuivis et tourmentés par leurs ennemis, ils gravirent de hautes montagnes, traversèrent des fleuves tumultueux et d'infranchissables prairies, Mao à leur tête, de victoire en victoire. Au bout de deux années et de 12 000 kilomètres d'endurance, de courage et d'espoir malgré le caractère impossible de l'entreprise, les Armées rouges atteignirent le nord-ouest de la Chine. Il ne restait qu'un cinquième des 200 000 soldats, épuisés, meurtris mais intraitables. Une décennie plus tard, ils ripostèrent, défirent Tchang Kaï-chek et lancèrent la nouvelle Chine de Mao.

Comment le mythe fondateur de la Chine peut-il affronter la réalité ?

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