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Xi Jinping no es Mao Zedong

PEKÍN – Gran parte del mundo observa al presidente chino Xi Jinping con preocupación. No solo porque ha estado reconcentrando el poder en manos del gobierno central, sino también porque muchos creen que su radical campaña anticorrupción es la fachada de una purga política. Les preocupa que Xi esté creando un culto a la personalidad muy similar al que rodeó a Mao Zedong y alimentó la Revolución Cultural.

La verdad es mucho menos siniestra. Aunque ciertamente Xi está, en alguna medida, acumulando poder, su motivación es la necesidad de fortalecer a China (tanto a su gobierno como a su economía). Para alcanzar el éxito debe poner nuevamente en línea a una burocracia que en alguna medida se salió de control.

Durante las últimas tres décadas, se descentralizó considerablemente el poder en China y los gobiernos provinciales y municipales recibieron incrementalmente una autonomía sustancial para experimentar y probar reformas orientadas a atraer inversión extranjera e impulsar el crecimiento del PIB. Además, se les otorgó el control directo de recursos —como la tierra, las finanzas, la energía y las materias primas— y el desarrollo de la infraestructura local. Así los gobiernos nacionales representaron en promedio el 71 % del gasto público total entre 2000 y 2014, una participación muy superior a la de los países federales más grandes del mundo (la participación de los estados de EE. UU. en el gasto público, por ejemplo, es del 46 %).

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