Para entender por qué no puede China hacer su ajuste

CLAREMONT (CALIFORNIA) – La actual desaceleración económica de China no carece de causas: la agitación financiera de Europa, una recuperación espasmódica en los Estados Unidos y la debilidad del crecimiento de la inversión interna, por citar los factores a los que se suele hacer mayor referencia. Como las exportaciones y la inversión representan el 30 por ciento y el 40 por ciento, respectivamente, del crecimiento del PIB de China, su economía es particularmente vulnerable a una demanda exterior debilitada y a la acumulación de créditos morosos causados por un gasto excesivo y despilfarrador en activos fijos.

Pero la vulnerabilidad de China ante esos factores, por graves que sean es sintomática de problemas institucionales más profundos. Mientras no se aborden esas limitaciones subyacentes, hablar de un nuevo modelo de crecimiento para China basado en el consumo y reflejado en el recién aprobado 12º Plan Quinquenal del Gobierno, sólo puede ser pura palabrería.

Al fin y al cabo, hace mucho que los más importantes socios comerciales de China, instituciones financieras internacionales como el Banco Mundial y el Fondo Monetario Internacional y los propios funcionarios chinos reconocieron las vulnerabilidades estructurales causadas por una inversión excesiva y un consumo escaso de los hogares. Y, durante casi un decenio, se ha instado a China a emprender reformas para corregir esas tendencias económicas, que han socavado el bienestar de los chinos de a pie y han creado problemas el sistema comercial mundial.

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