L'avènement de la puissance maritime chinoise

A une époque où l’on vit sous la menace des missiles et du terrorisme, on a tendance à croire que le concept de "puissance maritime" appartient au passé. Ce n'est pas le cas en Chine, pays qui attache une importance croissante au secteur maritime et naval, ceci tout aussi bien pour stimuler son développement économique et ses échanges commerciaux que pour améliorer la gestion de son espace et assurer sa sécurité énergétique et alimentaire. Pour parvenir à ces objectifs, elle est rapidement en train d'acquérir - essentiellement auprès de la Russie, mais aussi de l'UE quand l'occasion se présente - ou de construire par elle-même, une marine ayant la capacité voulue.

Cette évolution inquiète ses voisins. Le département de la Défense des États-Unis estime que la Chine cherche à s'assurer une série d'appuis stratégiques militaires et diplomatiques, un "collier de perles" qui s'étend tout au long du grand couloir maritime qui va des champs de pétrole du Moyen-Orient à la mer de Chine.

La Chine veut non seulement assurer son approvisionnement énergétique, mais plus largement, garantir sa sécurité. Ainsi, le port militaire de Gwadar que la Chine construit au sud-ouest du Pakistan est situé à un lieu stratégique pour contrôler la sortie du Golfe persique et il est équipé pour enregistrer les communications des navires - y compris les bâtiments militaires - qui traversent le détroit d'Ormuz ou qui sillonnent la mer d'Arabie.

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