¿Gobernará China al mundo?

CAMBRIDGE – Hace treinta años, China tenía muy poco peso en la economía global y escasa influencia fuera de sus fronteras, excepto unos pocos países con los que tenía estrechas relaciones políticas y militares. Hoy el país es una notable potencia económica: es el taller de manufactura del mundo, su principal financista, un inversionista importante en todo el mundo, desde África a América Latina y, cada vez más, una fuente importante de investigación y desarrollo.

El gobierno chino posee un inmenso nivel de reservas en moneda extranjera: más de 2 billones de dólares. No hay ningún área productiva en el mundo que no haya sentido el efecto de China, ya sea como proveedor de bajo coste o, lo que es más amenazante, como un formidable competidor.

China es todavía un país pobre. Aunque los ingresos promedio han aumentado muy rápidamente en las últimas décadas, todavía son entre un séptimo y un octavo de los niveles de los Estados Unidos: menores que en Turquía y Colombia, y no mucho más altos que en El Salvador o Egipto. Si bien la China costera y sus principales metrópolis muestran una enorme riqueza, grandes áreas de China occidental siguen sumidas en la pobreza. No obstante, se proyecta que la economía de China supere en tamaño a la de EE.UU. en algún momento de las próximas dos décadas.

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