China y Japón: una disputa territorial que hay que calmar

BEIJING – A juzgar por las recientes muestras de tensión entre China y Japón por unas islas del Mar de China Oriental cuya soberanía está en disputa, es de prever que, por algún tiempo, las relaciones entre la segunda economía del mundo y la tercera no serán fluidas, a pesar de que el flujo bilateral de comercio e inversiones no deja de aumentar. El reciente apuro de ambos países por reclamar la soberanía sobre las islas (llamadas Senkaku en japonés y Diaoyu en chino) refleja una sensación de inseguridad y la percepción de que la otra parte tiene una actitud agresiva. Todo ello implica que es difícil que el problema se resuelva en un futuro inmediato.

En el lado japonés, es cada vez mayor la preocupación por las crecientes muestras de poder económico y militar de China, y hay algunos nacionalistas que querrían “resolver” el asunto de manera favorable a Japón lo antes posible. En este contexto se explica el reciente pedido del gobernador de la prefectura de Tokio, Shintaro Ishihara, de que el gobierno de Japón “compre” las islas a sus propietarios “privados” japoneses.

Del lado chino, las disputas marítimas con Japón (y con Brunéi, Malasia, Vietnam y Filipinas en el Mar de China Meridional) han reavivado un debate nacional sobre si la política exterior de China es suficientemente firme en la protección de los intereses del país. El “giro” de los Estados Unidos hacia Asia, que muchos chinos ven como un intento de volver a afianzarse en el continente apoyando a otros estados asiáticos para “contener” el ascenso de China, puso a los nacionalistas chinos a la defensiva. En respuesta, reclaman una acción militar contundente en el Mar de China Meridional y que se organicen desembarcos simbólicos en las islas Diaoyu/Senkaku, como los que llevaron a cabo activistas de Hong Kong el 15 de agosto.

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