China stock market board man Su Yang/ZumaPress

La audaz devaluación del yuan

BEIJING – El 11 de agosto, el Banco Popular de China (BPC) redujo en un 1,9% la paridad central de referencia del yuan; las repercusiones se hicieron sentir en todo el mundo. Muchos comentaristas extranjeros denunciaron la devaluación como un intento flagrante de fortalecer las exportaciones chinas y advirtieron sobre el inicio de una nueva guerra de divisas. Pero hay buenos motivos para creer que los motivos de China fueron muy distintos.

China sabe perfectamente que las guerras de divisas son contraproducentes. Durante la crisis financiera asiática de 1997, su situación económica era mucho peor que ahora, pero el gobierno resistió la tentación de devaluar el yuan, y el país logró salir de la crisis casi indemne.

Hoy el superávit comercial de China tendría poco que ganar con una devaluación. Al fin y al cabo, el país ya es origen del 12% de las exportaciones mundiales, de modo que seguir aumentando su cuota del total empeoraría probablemente los términos de intercambio. Y el hecho de que el comercio chino es sobre todo para procesamiento (importación de materias primas y componentes, exportación de bienes terminados) siembra aún más dudas sobre la eficacia comercial de una devaluación.

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