Barrie Maguire

La marcha corta de China

BEIJING – El gobierno de China está haciendo preparativos masivos para un gran desfile por el Día Nacional en la Plaza Tiananmen de Beijing para conmemorar tanto el 60 aniversario de la fundación de la República Popular China (RPC) como el 30 aniversario del programa de "reforma y apertura" de Deng Xiaoping. Al cruzar la plaza caminando la otra noche, me descubrí pensando en el momento en que empecé por primera vez a seguir la sorprendente odisea de China. El rostro icónico al estilo Mona Lisa del presidente Mao todavía mira fijamente desde la Puerta de la Paz Celestial, pero lo que pasaba a mi alrededor me sugirió lo mucho que habían cambiado las cosas.

Cuando comencé a estudiar a China en Harvard hace medio siglo, los líderes de China pregonaban la superioridad de su economía de comando socialista, que controlaba todos los aspectos de la vida. La hostilidad entre Estados Unidos y China, sin embargo, impidió que estudiantes como yo viajáramos allí.

Pero en 1975, cuando Mao todavía estaba vivo, cuando la Revolución Cultural todavía hacía furor, cuando la política de clases seguía predominando y cuando no había autos privados, negocios, propagandas o propiedad privada, viajé a Beijing. Se esperaba que hasta nosotros, los extranjeros de visita -todos debidamente enfundados en trajes y gorros Mao color azul- asistiéramos regularmente a "sesiones de estudio" políticas para purificar nuestras mentes burguesas con tratados proletarios escritos por la Banda de los Cuatro. Ese viaje marcó una referencia indeleble con la que pude medir desde entonces todos los cambios que sufrió China.

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