Margaret Scott

Tenir compte de l’histoire en Asie de l’Est

SÉOUL – Des diplomates chinois, japonais et sud-coréens se sont récemment exprimés devant l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies pour réaffirmer la position de leurs pays respectifs sur les différents territoriaux concernant des îlots situés dans les mers de l’Asie de l’Est. Leurs propos mesurés ne révélaient en rien les vives tensions entourant ces îles depuis longtemps et qui ont presque atteint leur point de rupture ces derniers mois.

Les îles Senkaku, appelées Diaoyu par les Chinois, sont au cœur de l’un de ces litiges épineux. En septembre dernier, le gouvernement japonais a annoncé avoir racheté trois de ces îles à leur propriétaire privé japonais, provoquant des manifestations à travers toute la Chine. Peu après, des centaines de bateaux de pêche chinois s’en sont approchés pour affirmer la souveraineté chinoise sur ces îles. Récemment, ces bateaux ont été rejoints par des bâtiments de la marine chinoise, qui pénètrent régulièrement dans les eaux territoriales de ces îles inhabitées, provoquant des accrochages avec les garde-côtes nippons.

Compte tenu du risque d’escalade, les deux parties doivent rapidement contenir le conflit et rétablir le statu quo. En fait, la situation est particulièrement volatile dans le contexte de la transition politique en cours en Chine.

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