¿Está en marcha la segunda guerra fría?

TOKYO – La visita del Presidente Hu Jintao a Washington se produce en un momento de tensión cada vez mayor en las relaciones chino-americanas. De hecho, absortos en el inmenso aumento de medios militares de China, una nueva constelación de asociaciones estratégicas entre sus vecinos y el revitalizado compromiso de los Estados Unidos con la seguridad asiática, muchos observadores astutos señalan que en 2010 se han visto las primeras chispas de una nueva guerra fría en Asia, pero, ¿de verdad es inevitable la “segunda guerra fría”?

Aunque contemporizar con el empuje de China en pos de la hegemonía es impensable, se deben hacer todas las gestiones realistas necesarias para evitar la militarización de la diplomacia de esa región. Al fin y al cabo, la Guerra Fría en Asia nada tuvo de fría. Primero en la guerra civil china y después en Corea, Indonesia, Malasia e Indochina –en particular, en Vietnam–, la Guerra Fría arreció no como una batalla ideológica o de propaganda entre superpotencias rivales, sino en combates tenaces y con frecuencia fratricidas que costaron millones de vidas y retrasaron el desarrollo económico y la democratización política.

A esa historia sombría se debe que el desprecio actual de China por la máxima de Deng Xiaoping de que China “disfrace su ambición y oculte sus garras” resulte tan preocupante para los dirigentes asiáticos desde Nueva Delhi hasta Seúl y desde Tokio hasta Yakarta. Desde su negativa a condenar el hundimiento –sin que hubiera habido provocación alguna por su parte– del buque de guerra surcoreano Cheonan y el ataque de artillería contra islas surcoreanas hasta sus reivindicaciones de soberanía de diversos archipiélagos japoneses, vietnamitas, malayos y filipinos y nuevas reivindicaciones inventadas de la provincia de Arunachal Pradesh de la India, China ha revelado un pavoneo neoimperial. Así, pues, a nadie debe extrañar que en las posiciones diplomáticas asiáticas esté empezando a predominar la idea de “contención”.

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