El legado de Zhu Rongji

A medida que emerge el nuevo liderazgo chino, la atención mundial está puesta en el sucesor del presidente Jiang Zemin. Pero eso es un error, ya que tal vez el momento más importante en la historia reciente del boom y la transformación en China fue el nombramiento en 1988 de Zhu Rongji como premier del Consejo de Estado, cargo que alguna vez tuviera Deng Xiaoping. Dada la importancia de ese puesto en los últimos años, la elección del sucesor de Zhu puede resultar de mayor trascendencia que la salida del escenario del presidente Jiang.

Incluso antes de convertirse en premier, Zhu, en su calidad de presidente del banco central, era conocido como el arquitecto del crecimiento económico anual del 8% de China durante la década de los noventa y como el cerebro de su exitosa lucha en contra de la inflación. Zhu ha sido para China un Jack Welch, el empecinado director ejecutivo del conglomerado estadounidense General Electric (un hombre reconocido por su franqueza, su sofisticación global y su insistencia en los logros). En efecto, Zhu tenía la reputación de castigar a quienes no cumplían con sus expectativas. Como alcalde de Shanghai, en cierta ocasión castigó a los funcionarios de la oficina de turismo haciendo que limpiaran ellos mismos los sanitarios públicos de la ciudad.

Unos meses después de su nombramiento como premier, Zhu pronunció su discurso de las "tres promesas", en el que se comprometió a llevar a cabo tres acciones audaces para alcanzar una economía más activa y autosostenible. Primero, reacondicionaría las 300,000 empresas del Estado que aún realizaban una cantidad abrumadora de los negocios en China y representaban el grueso de su actividad económica. Más del 70% de esas compañías no eran rentables y estaban apuntaladas con subsidios del gobierno.

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