La Revolución de la OMC en China

La entrada de China a la Organización Mundial de Comercio (OMC) es el evento más importante de la historia del país desde la instauración de su política económica de "puertas abiertas" hace un cuarto de siglo. La liberalización comercial beneficiará a los consumidores, los miniempresarios y los inversionistas externos. Pero para los campesinos chinos, la membresía en la OMC parece plantear una amenaza directa e inmediata a los grandes avances logrados desde las reformas agrícolas de Deng Xiaoping de finales de la década de 1970.

El miedo que sienten los campesinos de China es entendible porque está profundamente arraigado en la historia y la política de China. Desde la fundación de la República Popular en 1949, los campesinos han sido el grupo social más mal representado y manipulado del país, pagando el pato de la promosión comunista de la industria pesada. Pero la membresía en la OMC no sacrificará la agricultura, pues promete erocionar más que reforzar el legado de discriminación e impotencia de los campesinos.

Es un legado construido con decepción. Durante la guerra civil de China a finales de la década de 1940, la promesa de la reforma de la tierra atrajo a miles de millones de campesinos a apoyar a los comunistas. Después de la fundación de la República Popular, sí recibieron tierras, pero sólo para ver cómo se las quitaban cuando el nuevo régimen se embarcó en su colectivización agrícola masiva. La dureza de la campaña industrializadora subsecuente culminó en el Gran Salto Adelante de 1958-60, produciendo una hambruna que mató a 30 millones de personas, sobre todo en áreas rurales.

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