El Desafío Chino

Hace treintaicinco años Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber argumentó en su Le Défi Americain ( el desafío estadounidense ) que Europa se encontraba en peligro de convertirse en una sucursal de las multinacionales de Estados Unidos. Una década después, era el reto comercial de Japón el que se encontraba en la cúspide. Ahora China pone a todos nerviosos. Pero las actuales reacciones al desafío económico de China podrían estar tan erradas como las pasadas respuestas a le défi Americain .

La China del 2002 se parece ante todo al Japón de los años sesenta, cuando éste se estaba preparando para volverse un competidor global, y nos recuerda a la Inglaterra de Dickens y al Estados Unidos (EEUU) de la era del "robber baron" de finales del siglo XIX, cuando EEUU se convirtió en un poder económico global. Lo que no tiene precedentes es que algo así suceda en un país comunista, o en uno que tiene una población tan masiva.

La nueva China puede ser representada por una fábrica de componentes electrónicos localizada en Shenzhen, en el delta del Zhu Jiang (río Perla). Cuando la visité, la fábrica tenía 10,000 trabajadores, cada cual con un sueldo de $80 por mes. Todos ellos eran mujeres jóvenes. Ninguna usaba lentes. "¿No tienen empleados con mala vista?", pregunté. El gerente respondió "Las despedimos cuando sus ojos ya no sirven. Pueden encontrar otro trabajo, ese no es mi problema". Sin duda, aquellas que son despedidas no regresan a las labores campesinas, sino que se vuelven empresarios urbanos de las industrias de servicios de las nuevas ciudades de China.

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