¿El espejo distante de Europa?

Para los europeos es tentador proyectar su propia historia a Asia y ver los acontecimientos que suceden ahí como una simple repetición, si no es que una imitación, de lo que ocurrió en Europa. De hecho, los propios asiáticos fomentan esa tentación con los intentos abiertos de la Asociación de Estados del Sureste Asiático por parecerse cada vez más a la Unión Europea.

Al tratar de descifrar el futuro diplomático de Asia, los europeos se enfrentan, por así decirlo, a “la vergüenza de la riqueza”. ¿Acaso se está repitiendo actualmente en Asia el juego del equilibrio de poder de la Europa de finales del siglo XIX, con China en el papel de Alemania? ¿O está el sureste asiático, por medio del crecimiento de la ASEAN, preparado para convertirse algún día en el equivalente de la Unión Europea en el lejano Oriente?

Estas comparaciones no son neutrales y, en la analogía entre la China actual y la Alemania del siglo XIX se podría percibir un elemento de ese placer morboso por los problemas de los demás que los alemanes llaman “Schadenfreude”. Según este punto de vista, actualmente Asia puede estar bien económicamente, pero hay que esperar: el nacionalismo emergente, el apetito de poder de China y el deseo del resto de las naciones asiáticas de frenar sus ambiciones necesariamente dificultarán el crecimiento económico y restablecerán la supremacía global de Occidente.

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