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Mondialisation : l’Amérique peut-elle perdre face à la Chine ?

En début de ce mois de juillet, l’ancien diplomate singapourien Kishore Mahbubani, membre émérite de l’Institut de recherche sur l’Asie à l’Université nationale de Singapour, a publié un article intitulé « L’Amérique peut-elle perdre face à la Chine ? » dans le magazine bimensuel américain « The National Interest. »

Dans son article, il estime que la Chine ne menace ni la prospérité américaine ni la sécurité américaine, pas plus que les valeurs américaines dans toute une série de domaines. La clé de la concurrence sino-américaine réside dans l’économie. Quelques parties de l’article :

La diabolisation de la Chine a pris de l’ampleur dans le corps politique américain. Il ne se passe pas un jour sans qu’un grand personnage ne mette en garde contre la menace chinoise. En avril, un projet de loi de 281 pages intitulé « Strategic Competition Act of 2021 » ou « Loi sur la compétition stratégique » a été déposé au Congrès américain. Toute cette cacophonie sur la Chine donnerait à l’observateur occasionnel l’impression que les États-Unis ne sous-estiment pas la menace chinoise…

La règle la plus ancienne en géopolitique, adoptée à la fois par Sun Tzu et Carl von Clausewitz, est : « Connais ton adversaire ».  L’Amérique ignore malheureusement cette règle de base. En voici un bon exemple. Avril Haines, directrice du renseignement national du gouvernement Biden, a déclaré : « La Chine est un défi à notre sécurité, à notre prospérité, à nos valeurs dans de nombreux domaines ». De nombreux Américains l’auraient applaudie pour avoir déclaré certaines vérités sans détour. En fait, chaque élément de sa déclaration est factuellement incorrect.

Premièrement, la Chine ne remet pas en cause la prospérité américaine. Les Chinois sont plus intelligents que cela. Ils voient la prospérité américaine comme un atout qui a aidé et continuera d’aider à propulser l’économie chinoise vers la prospérité… La prospérité américaine est un atout pour la Chine, pas un handicap.

Deuxièmement, la Chine n’est pas une menace pour la sécurité américaine. La Chine ne menace pas d’invasion militaire les États-Unis, ni de frappe nucléaire sur l’Amérique… La Chine ne menace pas non plus la suprématie militaire américaine dans des régions comme le Moyen-Orient…

Enfin, Haines dit que la Chine est une menace pour les « valeurs américaines à travers un éventail de problèmes ». Cette déclaration serait vraie si la Chine menaçait d’exporter son idéologie aux États-Unis ou menaçait de saper le processus électoral en Amérique. Ni l’un ni l’autre ne se produit…

La vraie concurrence est forcément économique. Si cela est vrai, il existe quelques mesures logiques simples que les États-Unis peuvent prendre pour améliorer leur compétitivité économique… La Chine poursuit une stratégie à long terme soigneusement réfléchie qui réussit à la fois à améliorer les moyens de subsistance des 1,4 milliard de Chinois et à intégrer l’économie chinoise à la plupart des pays du monde, donnant ainsi au monde un intérêt dans la prospérité de la Chine. Les États-Unis n’ont pas de stratégie globale correspondante.

Le véritable combat entre les États-Unis et la Chine ne se déroulera donc dans aucune arène extérieure. Il se déroulera au cœur des États-Unis. La principale priorité de Biden devrait être d’éradiquer les trois décennies de stagnation économique qui ont créé une « mer de désespoir » parmi les classes ouvrières blanches… Tout cela conduit au dernier paradoxe : la meilleure façon de relancer l’économie américaine est de travailler en étroite collaboration avec les autres économies fortes et dynamiques du monde, en particulier le pays avec la plus grande population de classe moyenne du monde, à savoir la Chine. Si l’élaboration de la politique américaine était faite par une classe de praticiens sobres, rationnels et réfléchis, ce serait une solution logique, voire de bon sens, aux graves divisions internes des États-Unis. 


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