Great Wall of China

La economía china, ante su Gran Muralla

WASHINGTON, DC – La reciente caída del renminbí, que provocó turbulencias en las bolsas chinas y llevó al gobierno del país asiático a suspender las transacciones dos veces la semana pasada, pone de relieve un importante desafío al que se enfrenta el país: cómo equilibrar sus obligaciones económicas internas y externas. La solución que encuentren las autoridades incidirá profundamente en la economía internacional.

La crisis financiera global de 2008, sumada a la decepcionante recuperación posterior de las economías avanzadas, imprimió más urgencia al intento chino de pasar de un modelo de crecimiento basado en las inversiones y la demanda externa a otro sostenido por el consumo interno. Pilotear semejante transición estructural sin causar una caída abrupta del crecimiento económico sería difícil para cualquier país. El desafío es incluso mayor para un país tan grande y complejo como China, especialmente en un contexto internacional de crecimiento lento como el actual.

Durante años, el gobierno chino trató de extender la participación en el mercado accionario, lo que daría a los ciudadanos chinos un interés directo en el éxito de la transición a la economía de mercado. Pero como el intento de Estados Unidos de fomentar la compra de la casa propia en los años que precedieron a la crisis de 2008, las políticas chinas fueron demasiado lejos y crearon una situación financiera insostenible que implicaba la posibilidad de grandes reducciones y distorsiones de precios.

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