Trump Xi summit Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Donald accroupi et tigre de papier

BERKELEY – Les commentaires de Donald Trump sur la Chine au cours de la campagne présidentielle américaine n'ont pas exactement été la source de grands espoirs pour les relations sino-américaines après son élection. Trump a accusé la Chine de « prendre nos emplois » et de « [voler] des centaines de milliards de dollars de notre propriété intellectuelle ». Il a dénoncé à plusieurs reprises une manipulation de la monnaie chinoise. Le pire est arrivé en mai dernier, quand Trump a mis en garde ses disciples : « Nous ne pouvons pas continuer à permettre à la Chine de violer notre pays. C'est ce qu'ils font. Il s’agit du plus grand vol de l'histoire du monde. »

Compte tenu de cette rhétorique inflammatoire, on comprend que de nombreuses personnes étaient très inquiètes avant le sommet entre Trump et le président chinois Xi Jinping prévu dans la propriété de Trump Mar-a-Lago. Ce n’était pas difficile d'imaginer une poignée de main refusée ou la présentation d'une addition à payer, comme celle que Trump aurait donné à la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel (une information démentie par la Maison Blanche).

Au lieu de cela, Trump a traité Xi avec une grande déférence. Une explication est peut-être le fait qu'il était préoccupé par la frappe imminente des missiles américains sur la Syrie. Une autre, c’est qu'il est plus facile d’imposer le respect à Trump lorsque vous avez un porte-avions, 3000 avions militaires et 1,6 million de troupes au sol.

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