El vacío en la dirección de Asia

SINGAPUR -- Esta semana, se reunirán en Hanoi diez ministros de Asuntos Exteriores de la Asociación de Naciones del Asia Sudoriental (ASEAN). Cuando acabe su reunión inicial, recibirán a sus homólogos de toda la región, incluida la Secretaria de Estado americana, Hillary Clinton. A veces se critican las reuniones de la ASEAN por considerar que consisten en “pura palabrería”, pero esta vez hay una inmensa necesidad de diálogo y dirección estratégica.

Resulta irónico que los dos dirigentes que más insistieron en la necesidad de dirección en Asia y en todo el Pacífico abandonaran su cargo recientemente. Tanto el ex Primer Ministro japonés Yukio Hatoyama como el ex Jefe de Gobierno de Australia Kevin Rudd fueron abanderados del regionalismo desde el comienzo de su corto período en el cargo, pero, aunque ya no están en el poder, la cuestión de la dirección regional permanece. De hecho, cada día resulta más importante.

Los problemas de seguridad que afronta la región, desde la península de Corea hasta el resultado de las próximas elecciones en Myanmar (Birmania) este otoño, se han vuelto más apremiantes, tal vez tanto más en vista de las noticias de que Corea del Norte está ayudando a los generales que gobiernan en Myanmar a desarrollar capacidades nucleares. Además, se deben evaluar desde el punto de vista regional el papel y la actitud de una China en ascenso, en particular porque la ya antigua disputa por las islitas del mar de la China Meridional puede estar entrando en una nueva fase. Según declaraciones chinas recientes, esas islas representan para ese país un “interés fundamental”, términos normalmente reservados para Taiwán y el Tíbet.

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