Las raíces de la rivalidad chino-japonesa

BOSTON – Las protestas contra Japón que siguen agitando a China son tan sólo otro indicio más del surgimiento de un potente nacionalismo chino. Después de haberse fomentado lentamente entre los intelectuales chinos durante un siglo, el sentimiento nacionalista ha capturado y redefinido la conciencia del pueblo chino durante las últimas dos décadas, en las cuales China ha gozado de un auge económico. Esta conciencia nacional masiva lanzó al coloso chino a la competencia mundial por lograr un estatus internacional que corresponda a las vastas capacidades de este país y a la concepción que tiene el pueblo chino sobre el lugar que legítimamente le correspondería a su país en el mundo.

Rápida, visible e inevitablemente, China se ha levantado. De hecho, probablemente se recordará nuestra época como el momento en el que nació un nuevo orden mundial, con China en el timón.

La conciencia competitiva nacional – que se define como saber conscientemente que la dignidad individual de una persona se encuentra inseparablemente ligada al prestigio de su “pueblo” – se introdujo en las mentes de las  mejores y más brillantes personas de China entre los años 1895 y 1905. En el año 1895, China fue derrotada por Japón, un pequeño agresor a quien los chinos llaman despectivamente wa (el enano). China ya se había acostumbrado a que potencias occidentales rapaces se peleen por sus riquezas, pero se había mantenido firme en su convicción sobre la irrelevancia de dichas potencias. Sin embargo, el ataque de Japón, una mancha en su propia casa, desbarató su auto-confianza y se percibió en China como una humillación terrible e intolerable.

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