china shipping trade Zhang Lei/Featurechina/Ropi/ZumaPress

Así está ganándose China el Asia sudoriental

WASHINGTON, DC – Con las preparaciones en marcha para la visita del Presidente de China, Xi Jinping, el próximo mes de septiembre a Washington, D.C., los funcionarios de los dos países están quitando importancia a sus diferencias sobre las desmedidas reivindicaciones territoriales de China, respaldadas con la construcción de instalaciones militares en islas y atolones antes deshabitadas en el mar de la China Meridional. Y esa desaceleración diplomática, tras meses de recriminaciones y amenazas veladas, viene muy bien a los dirigentes del Asia sudoriental.

Naturalmente, nadie en el Asia sudoriental desconoce los designios estratégicos de China. El gasto en defensa en esa región ha aumentado en más de un 50 por ciento en el último decenio y se han consignado 60.000 millones de dólares para la adquisición nuevas armas, en particular las de carácter naval, para los cinco próximos años. El libro blanco sobre estrategia militar, que China hizo público el pasado mes de mayo y en el que anunciaba planes para ampliar el perímetro de defensa del país, intensificó las preocupaciones de sus vecinos, con lo que probablemente aumente aún más el gasto militar. Ahora los dirigentes de la región están acogiendo una oleada de funcionarios militares y fabricantes de armas de los Estados Unidos para ver lo que el “eje” asiático de los Estados Unidos puede ofrecer.

Sin embargo, además de fragatas y garantías de seguridad, los dirigentes del Asia sudoriental se han abstenido de reaccionar demasiado enérgicamente ante las ambiciones exteriores de China. Las realidades económicas en el terreno imponen prudencia.

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