Politique Internationale - La Revue n°100 - ÉTÉ - 2003

sommaire du n° 100
Article de Jean-Luc Domenach
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During the diplomatic crisis that preceded the war in Iraq, China adopted a novel stance which marks an important milestone in the history of the People's Republic. While discreetly disapproving of the U.S. position, Beijing made conciliatory noises toward all of the key players: Iraq and its neighbors were offered warm words that were sufficiently vague to avoid antagonizing Israel; war skeptics France, Germany and Russia received declarations of support that stopped short of a threat to exercise China's veto on the UN Security Council; and the U.S. was bombarded with a mix of principled condemnation and protestations of friendship, delicately spiced up with pressure on North Korea to come back to the negotiating table. This array of tactics enabled Beijing to maintain a credible discourse while staying on good terms with all parties. But such a balancing act cannot be sustained indefinitely. China will eventually be asked to clarify its objectives and play a more active role in shaping the world scene.

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