Paul Lachine

Leer los labios de China

NEW HAVEN - Por largo tiempo, los chinos han admirado el dinamismo económico de Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, han perdido confianza en el gobierno estadounidense y su disfuncional administración económica. Sentí ese mensaje de manera muy clara en mi reciente viaje a Beijing, Shanghái, Chongqing y Hong Kong.

Puesto que ocurre tan poco tiempo después de la crisis de las "hipotecas basura", el debate sobre el techo de la deuda y el déficit presupuestario representa la gota que derrama el vaso. Los altos funcionarios chinos ven horrorizados cómo Estados Unidos permite que la política se las arregle para afectar la estabilidad financiera. Una alta autoridad observó a mediados de julio: "esto es realmente sorprendente ... entendemos los vericuetos de la política, pero la constante imprudencia de su gobierno es asombrosa."

China no es un espectador inocente en la carrera de Estados Unidos hacia el abismo. A raíz de la crisis financiera asiática de finales de los 90, China acumuló 3,2 billones de dólares en reservas en moneda extranjera con el fin de aislar su sistema de las perturbaciones externas. Invirtió las dos terceras partes -alrededor de 2 billones de dólares-  en activos denominados en dólares, principalmente bonos del Tesoro de EE.UU. y de valores de agencias (por ejemplo, Fannie Mae y Freddie Mac). Como resultado, China superó a Japón a finales de 2008 como el mayor tenedor extranjero de activos financieros estadounidenses .

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