El atractivo de Asia

El Presidente Bush está en Asia para asistir al Consejo Económico de Asia y del Pacífico en China, pero debe prestar atención a otra cumbre asiática a la que no lo han invitado. En diciembre, Malasia albergará una reunión del Asia oriental de la que se ha excluido deliberadamente a los Estados Unidos. Según muchos observadores cercanos, el atractivo de los Estados Unidos está en declive en esa región, en la que el atractivo –o “poder blando”- de otros ha aumentado.

Los países asiáticos tienen unos impresionantes recursos potenciales para el poder blando. Las artes, la moda y la cocina de las antiguas culturas de Asia han ejercido una fuerte influencia en otras partes del mundo durante siglos, pero Asia pasó por un período de relativa decadencia cuando se quedó rezagada respecto de la revolución industrial de Occidente, cosa que socavó su influencia.

En el decenio de 1950, Asia evocaba imágenes de pobreza y hambre. En el decenio de 1960 hubo un breve encaprichamiento político con las chaquetas Nehru y la revolución maoísta, pero fue breve. Como cantó John Lennon en 1968, “si vas por ahí con retratos del Presidente Mao, en modo alguno lograrás nada con nadie”.

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