Para calmar el mar de la China meridional

CAMBERRA – En el mar de la China meridional, durante mucho tiempo considerado, junto con el estrecho de Taiwán y la península de Corea, uno de los tres mayores puntos de tensión del Asia oriental, vuelve a haber oleaje. El anuncio por parte de China de un despliegue de tropas en las islas Paracelso se produce después de un mes en el que países con reivindicaciones territoriales contrapuestas intensificaran su retórica, la presencia naval de China en zonas en disputa pasase a estar más visible y los chinos dividieran a la Asociación de Naciones del Asia Sudoriental (ASEAN), cuyos ministros de Asuntos Exteriores no lograron acordar un comunicado por primera vez en cuarenta y cinco años.

Todo ello ha puesto los nervios de punta, como lo hicieron similares poses militares y pulsos diplomáticos desde 2009 hasta mediados de 2011. No es de extrañar: el mar de la China meridional, que se extiende desde Singapur hasta Taiwán, es la vía marítima que ocupa el segundo lugar del mundo por la importancia de su tránsito, en vista de que la tercera parte del transporte marítimo pasa por ella.

Más Estados vecinos reivindican más zonas del mar de la China meridional –y suelen hacerlo con un nacionalismo más estridente– que en cualquier otra extensión de agua y ahora se lo considera un importante campo de pruebas para la rivalidad chino-americana, en la que China extiende sus nuevas alas y los Estados Unidos intentan cortárselas lo suficiente para mantener su primacía regional y mundial.

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