Comment garantir la paix dans le Pacifique

MELBOURNE – Le Pacifique de l’Ouest est aujourd’hui confronté à une question difficile : comment satisfaire les ambitions croissantes de la Chine dans une région où les Etats-Unis exercent leur suprématie depuis la fin de la Guerre froide. Les Etats-Unis sont-ils déterminés à préserver leur prédominance dans la région Asie-Pacifique ? Ou sont-ils prêts à négocier par le biais de forums multilatéraux qui permettent à toutes les parties concernées de définir les règles du jeu ? La réponse à ces questions déterminera le maintien ou non de la paix dans le Pacifique.

Il est difficile de voir dans le stationnement de 2500 Marines américains à Darwin – une décision annoncée par le président Obama lors de sa récente visite en Asie – autre chose qu’un geste symbolique, un rappel provocant de la détermination des Etats-Unis à affirmer leur présence dans la région. Par contre, leur objectif est loin d’être évident.

Dans l’ensemble de la région Asie-Pacifique, l’émergence de la Chine est bienvenue, mais sous réserves qu’elle respecte les règles convenues au plan international. Ce principe vaut bien sûr pour tous les pays. Mais des tensions sont inévitables si la Chine n’a pas son mot à dire dans l’établissement de ces règles.

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