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Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

Mostrando postagens com marcador China. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador China. Mostrar todas as postagens

quinta-feira, 13 de junho de 2019

Hong Kong: a revolução dos guarda-chuvas - Paulo Roberto de Almeida, João Perassolo (FSP)

Qualquer que seja o resultado final da "revolução do guarda-chuva" em Hong Kong – e o autoritarismo semi-tirânico do novo imperador chinês parece ter condições de se impor, ainda que apenas recorrendo a métodos brutais, contra o espírito democrático e libertário da antiga colônia britânica, atualmente revertida ao domínio do despotismo oriental de Beijing –, o exemplo de resistência oferecida pelos seus habitantes haverá de impressionar de alguma maneira seus irmãos chineses do continente, que, a exemplo dos estudantes da Praça da Paz Celestial, em 1989, também passarão a oferecer crescente resistência aos atuais ditadores do gigante asiático. Não importa quanto tempo se exercerá essa luta, hoje desigual, entre a liberdade e a tirania, o espírito da liberdade acabará por triunfar na China como um todo, pois ele é inerente ao ser humano, qualquer que seja o tempo e o lugar. 
Minha homenagem aos bravos resistentes da "revolução do guarda-chuva" em Hong Kong: sua persistência e denodo deixarão sementes que irão frutificar também no continente. Vocês já passaram à História...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, 13 de junho de 2019


Guarda-chuva se firma como símbolo da democracia em Hong Kong

Objeto usado em manifestações em 2014 volta a aparecer em protestos contra projeto de lei de extradição


João Perassolo
Folha de S. Paulo, 12/06/2019

As imagens de milhares de jovens, a maioria estudantes, segurando guarda-chuvas enquanto se aglutinam ao redor da sede do governo da região remetem ao histórico "Movimento dos Guarda-Chuvas", manifestação pró-democracia ocorrida 2014.
À época, mais de 100 mil pessoas ocuparam o distrito financeiro de Hong Kong em um movimento que pedia eleições livres. Eles reivindicavam a escolha do chefe executivo local nas eleições de 2017 por meio de votação direta, e não por uma eleição realizada a partir de uma lista com candidatos previamente aprovados por Pequim. 
A ocupação durou 79 dias e foi majoritariamente pacífica, mas se tornou violenta perto do fim, quando manifestantes e policiais entraram em confronto. Para se protegerem de bombas de gás lacrimogêneo e jatos de spray de pimenta disparados pelas forças de segurança, os manifestantes seguravam guarda-chuvas amarelos.

"Não falamos ao fim do Movimento dos Guarda-Chuvas que estaríamos de volta?", disse a legisladora pró-democracia Claudia Mo nesta quarta (12), nas ruas de Hong Kong. "Agora estamos de volta!", completou, ao passo em que manifestantes repetiam as suas palavras.
Não se sabe se a proposta de lei de extradição será ou não aprovada pelo Parlamento local, que adiou a discussão do projeto para uma data indefinida em razão dos protestos. 
Mas o histórico não parece favorável, já que os guarda-chuvas de 2014, além de não protegerem efetivamente contra os efeitos dos gases, não foram bem-sucedidos no campo político. Pequim não atendeu à demanda pelo voto direto, cem manifestantes foram processados nos meses seguintes e nove líderes do movimento foram considerados culpados em um veredito de abril deste ano.
A eles foi imputado o crime de conspirarem para causar "incômodo à ordem pública". A sentença se baseou em uma lei de quando Hong Kong ainda era colônia britânica, há mais de 20 anos. A pena será de 16 meses de prisão.
O território localizado na costa sul da China voltou ao comando central chinês em 1997, em um acordo feito com a ex-primeira ministra britânica Margaret Thatcher que deveria garantir eleições livres e democracia para a região. 
Hoje, é um território semiautônomo da China, no regime que ficou conhecido como "um país, dois sistemas", e há a preocupação crescente de que esteja perdendo autonomia e sucumbindo pouco a pouco ao regime ditatorial do partido único chinês. 
Além dos guarda-chuvas, os manifestantes têm tentado "apagar" as bombas jogadas pela polícia de Hong Kong com água. Mas esta tática não é muito efetiva, de acordo com Fabio Rodrigues, professor do Departamento de Química da USP.

Segundo ele, o gás se espalha e ocupa todo o ambiente. Derramar água sobre o frasco que o contém ajuda a dissolvê-lo um pouco, o que diminui os efeitos marginalmente, uma vez que esses compostos gasosos são pouco solúveis em água. 

Of the countless protests and riots I've covered over the years, I've never once seen this tactic used. Tear gas grenades extinguished almost immediately with water. Hong Kong protesters seem incredibly well organised.

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A lógica da contenção de danos vale ainda para as máscaras de enfermagem que os manifestantes também utilizam. Rodrigues explica que elas não são efetivas no combate a gases tóxicos, mas ajudam a retardar o contato da substância com o aparelho respiratório.
Eficazes, mesmo, só máscaras como as usadas em guerra, que tem filtros de carvão ativado, responsável por prender as partículas tóxicas e deixar passar o ar puro. A julgar pelas fotos do protesto, são como as que a polícia de Hong Kong usa.
Diante deste cenário de equipamentos de proteção improvisados, fica claro que os guarda-chuvas têm pouco valor como escudo —mas não deixam de ser um símbolo na luta pela democracia.

domingo, 9 de junho de 2019

Trinta anos desde Tiananmen: o esquecimento como politica de Estado - livro de Louisa Lim

The People's Republic of Amnesia

Tiananmen Revisited

Finalist for the 2015 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

Longlisted for the Lionel Gelber Award for the Best Non-Fiction book in the world on Foreign AffairsAn Economist Book of the Year, 2014A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice"One of the best analyses of the impact of Tiananmen throughout China in the years since 1989." --The New York Times Book ReviewOn June 4, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing, killing untold hundreds of people. A quarter-century later, this defining event remains buried in China's modern history, successfully expunged from collective memory. In The People's Republic of Amnesia, Louisa Lim charts how the events of June 4th changed China, and how China changed the events of June 4th by rewriting its own history.Lim reveals new details about those fateful days, including how one of the country's most senior politicians lost a family member to an army bullet, as well as the inside story of the young soldiers sent to clear Tiananmen Square. She also introduces us to individuals whose lives were transformed by the events of Tiananmen Square, such as a founder of the Tiananmen Mothers, whose son was shot by martial law troops; and one of the most important government officials in the country, who post-Tiananmen became one of its most prominent dissidents. And she examines how June 4th shaped China's national identity, fostering a generation of young nationalists, who know little and care less about 1989. For the first time, Lim uncovers the details of a brutal crackdown in a second Chinese city that until now has been a near-perfect case study in the state's ability to rewrite history, excising the most painful episodes. By tracking down eyewitnesses, discovering US diplomatic cables, and combing through official Chinese records, Lim offers the first account of a story that has remained untold for a quarter of a century. The People's Republic of Amnesia is an original, powerfully gripping, and ultimately unforgettable book about a national tragedy and an unhealed wound.
  • Oxford University Press; May 2014
  • ISBN: 9780199347711
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: The People's Republic of Amnesia
  • Author: Louisa Lim
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press

In The Press

"One of the best analyses of the impact of Tiananmen throughout China in the years since 1989." --The New York Times Book Review
"Lim presents a sequence of sensitive, skillfully drawn portraits of individuals whose lives were changed by 1989...These portraits show us how the party tightly constrains those who defy it, but they also depict determined resistance and even suggest an optimism among those most directly affected by the events of 1989...[This book] enhances our sense of the human costs of suppressing the past." --Wall Street Journal
"[Lim] offers a series of meticulously (and often daringly) reported portraits of participants, the events of that night and what has followed." --The Economist
"Lim tells her stories briskly and clearly. She moves nimbly between the individuals' narratives and broader reflections, interspersing both with short, poignant vignettes." --New York Review of Books
"Lim's outstanding book skilfully interweaves a wide range of interviews in China with an account of the protests in Beijing and ends with the fullest report to date of the crackdown in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province." --Financial Times
"STUNNING and important...The People's Republic of Amnesia provides a powerful antidote to historical deception and a voice to those isolated by the truth." --Los Angeles Review of Books
"Louisa Lim peers deep into the conflicted soul of today's China. Twenty-five years after the bloody suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, the government continues to deploy its technologies of forgetting -- censorship of the media, falsification of history, and the amnesiac drug of shallow nationalism -- to silence those who dare to remember and deter those who want to inquire. But the truth itself does not change; it only finds new ways to come out. Lim gives eloquent voice to the silenced witnesses, and uncovers the hidden nightmares that trouble China's surface calm." --Andrew J. Nathan, coeditor, The Tiananmen Papers
"For a country that has long so valued its history and so often turned to it as a guide for the future, the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to erase actual history and replace it with distorted narratives warped by nationalism, has created a dangerous vacuum at the center of modern-day China. With her carefully researched and beautifully reported The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited, Louisa Lim helps not only restore several important missing pieces of Chinese posterity that were part of the demonstrations in 1989, but also reminds us that a country which loses the ability to remember its own past honestly risks becoming rootless and misguided." --Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society
"In The People's Republic of Amnesia veteran China correspondent Louisa Lim skillfully weaves the voices that 'clamor against the crime of silence' to recover for our collective memory the most pivotal moment in modern China's history." --Paul French, author of Midnight in Peking
"Astonishingly Beijing has managed to obliterate the collective memory of Tiananmen Square, but a quarter-century later Louisa Lim deftly excavates long-buried memories of the 1989 massacre. With a journalist's eye to history, she tracks down key witnesses, everyone from a military photographer at the square to a top official sentenced to seven years in solitary confinement to a mother whose teenaged son was shot to death that night. This book is essential reading for understanding the impact of mass amnesia on China's quest to become the world's next economic superpower." --Jan Wong, author of Red China Blues and A Comrade Lost and Found
"A deeply moving book-thoughtful, careful, and courageous. The portraits and stories it contains capture the multi-layered reality of China, as well as reveal the sobering moral compromises the country has made to become an emerging world power, even one hailed as presenting a compelling alternative to Western democracies. Yet grim as these stories and portraits sometimes are, they also provide glimpse of hope, through the tenacity, clarity of conscience, and unflinching zeal of the dissidents, whether in China or in exile, who against all odds yearn for a better tomorrow." --Shen Tong, former student activist and author of Almost a Revolution
"Lim's intimate history of the events of 1989 deepens our understanding of what happened, and touches our hearts with its humanity. Where other writers succumb to describing history in impersonal terms, Lim brings the history to our doorsteps, reminding us that we aren't so different from those who lived and shaped history and tragedy. The People's Republic of Amnesia is a wholly original work of history that will alter how China in 1989 is understood, and felt." --Adam Minter, author of Junkyard Planet
"NPR's veteran China correspondent Lim shows how the 1989 massacre of student human rights protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square continues to shape the country today... A forceful reminder that only by dealing with its own past truthfully will China shape a decent future for coming generations." --Kirkus Reviews

About The Author

Louisa Lim is an award-winning journalist who has reported from China for a decade, most recently for National Public Radio. Previously she was the BBC's Beijing Correspondent. She lives with her husband and two children in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

domingo, 2 de junho de 2019

A China depois do massacre de Tiananmen - Gerry Shih (WP)

Três trechos selecionados desta matéria do Washington Post: 

After the blood had been washed from the streets, the Communist Party began the great reshaping of the country. It created an implicit compact with the people: You can have economic growth, but you can’t have political freedom. (...)
The Communist Party’s central office in 2013 distributed a watershed document warning that seven dangerous Western ideas, including democracy, media freedoms and the free-market system, was forbidden in classrooms. (...)
Anecdotally, some well-educated or rich Chinese say they have had enough. Data also suggest they are voting with their feet. In 2018, twice as many millionaires — about 15,000 — emigrated from China than from any other country, according to the consultancy New World Wealth.

Por enquanto é assim, mas a liberdade sempre prevalece ao final. Nenhuma ditadura, ou tirania. dura eternamente...

How today’s China was shaped by the events in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago

China’s vice president, Wang Qishan, was in no mood for questions when a group of American economists went to see him in a pavilion at Communist Party headquarters in Beijing recently. 
Instead, Wang, wearing a tracksuit and slippers, delivered a philosophical, hour-long lecture to scholars from the Peterson Institute for International Economics in which he asserted the supremacy of the Chinese way over Western traditions.
After reminding his visitors that the lives of Socrates and Confucius overlapped, he talked about how Europe ended up as small, splintered states while China became a vast and powerful empire. There was no doubt his critique of the West’s perceived weaknesses also included the present-day United States.
This is the China of today: supremely confident, richer than it could have imagined three decades ago, and more convinced than ever of the rightness of its repressive model of authoritarian political control.
In many ways, this is a direct result of a seismic event that took place 30 years ago Tuesday. On June 4, 1989, unknown numbers of Chinese — hundreds or perhaps thousands — were killed by their own military in response to a huge gathering in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to call for change.
As many as 1 million people — students from Beijing’s most prestigious universities, later joined by Chinese from all walks of life — had made their way to the heart of the capital. That sparked smaller supporting demonstrations around the country. They were calling for greater transparency, less corruption and, ideally, the opportunity to elect their own government.
The Communist Party of China, which had been in power for 40 years by that stage, viewed the demonstrations as an existential challenge. Its leaders ordered the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army to clear Tiananmen Square, using whatever means necessary. The soldiers beat people, shot people, ran people over with tanks.
“The powerful figures in the country were meant to serve the people, but they turned out to be the enemy of people,” said He Weifang, a Peking University law professor and public intellectual who was involved in the 1989 movement and continues to call for greater freedoms.
After the blood had been washed from the streets, the Communist Party began the great reshaping of the country. It created an implicit compact with the people: You can have economic growth, but you can’t have political freedom.
This bifurcation is more apparent than ever as President Xi Jinping enters his seventh year at the helm of China.
“My generation had so much hope and enthusiasm,” said Liu Suli, who was a 29-year-old university lecturer when he joined the protests in 1989. “We wanted elections, freedom of speech, freedom of association, the ability to demonstrate, education for all.”
Today, however, many academics are banned from talking to foreign media. Officials from government departments and state-owned enterprises are allowed to travel abroad only if they go in pairs. Think tanks and historical journals have been closed. 
Ideological education has been re-energized in scenes reminiscent of the era of the communist leader Mao Zedong 50 years ago. Students at the top universities are finding Marxist lessons woven into their curriculum. Human rights lawyers have been detained by the scores.
TOP: In Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 2, 1989, a statue called the Goddess of Democracy stands in a sea of demonstrators demanding greater freedoms. ABOVE: A view of the square on May 18, 2019, three decades later. (Catherine Henriette (top) and Greg Baker (above)/AFP/Getty Images)
Religion is repressed, none more than Islam. The authorities have razed mosques and locked millions of Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority, in indoctrination centers in an attempt to instill loyalty to the Chinese state.
Social pressures are building because Xi’s China does not offer a release valve for dissent. “If you’re beating a child, you should allow it to cry,” said He, the intellectual, citing an old Chinese saying. “They should let us cry.”
Meanwhile, China has flourished into the world’s second-largest economy, a global power with 400 million middle-class consumers and a military budget exceeded only by the United States’. It is going toe to toe with Washington on trade and is able to project its influence worldwide by disbursing $1 trillion in loans through its “Belt and Road” infrastructure project. 
It is building high-speed trains to rival Japan’s and next-generation telecommunication products that alarm American intelligence agencies.
China’s reality is one few would have foreseen in 1989. Except maybe Deng Xiaoping, who, as chairman of the Central Military Commission, was ultimately responsible for the massacre.
A decade before the Tiananmen protests, Deng had set out a vision for a more open, free-market economy that also ushered in a wave of foreign, liberal ideas. After he crushed the 1989 protests, Deng quickly tried to forge a more positive legacy for himself and his country.
In 1992, Deng, then 88, set out on a famous journey to accelerate the development of special economic zones in Shenzhen and Guangzhou that were powering China’s transformation into a manufacturing powerhouse.
“It was a shock. Deng came out of nowhere on his Southern Tour,” said Xu Youyu, a former researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “Everyone was rushing in to get rich. Deng was determined to push through his economic reform vision no matter the cost.”
“But it was apparent: There would be no political reform, only economic reform,” Xu added.
On one level, the numbers have backed up Deng’s vision: Income per capita has soared from $311 in 1989 to $8,826, according to latest World Bank figures.
But the party could not just present its economic accomplishments as justification for its rule. It has also sought to erase its darkest moments, creating the kind of “memory hole” that George Orwell only imagined in his classic dystopian novel “1984.”
“China has been surprisingly successful in erasing the memory of June 4,” said Louisa Lim, the author of The People’s Republic of Amnesia.
“They have so many different tools at their disposal, like censoring the Internet, removing any kind of material that mentions June 4 from the bookshops, and making sure that the narrative, when there has to be one, parrots the party line,” Lim said. “Wherever possible, they’ve just removed it.”
High school students, if they are told anything at all on the subject, learn only that there was an “incident” between the spring and summer of 1989. And few Chinese under age 30 recognize the “Tank Man” photo, the quintessential image of the protests in which a man carrying two shopping bags, as if he’d been out shopping for vegetables, stood in the street and stopped a column of tanks.
A young woman is caught between civilians and Chinese soldiers, who were trying to remove her from an assembly near the Great Hall of the People on June 3, 1989. (Jeff Widener/AP)
In the National Museum of China on the edge of Tiananmen Square, there is no mention of the protests or of the government’s response, only a photo of a Communist Party meeting that was held soon after. 
Today, a history textbook assigned at Peking University — whose students led the 1989 Tiananmen occupation — states that “throughout the student protests and hunger strikes, the party and government exercised great restraint” to deal with “those plotting riots.”
Several students said in interviews that they were cautioned by parents and teachers about discussing the event.
“Even if you know about it, you can’t say anything about it,” said one woman who is about to graduate from one of China’s best universities. The students and other Chinese spoke with The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to avoid official reprisal.
There has never been a public reckoning about that day. There has never been an official death toll. Most parents received no explanation about how, let alone why, their children died. Some parents never even found their children’s bodies. 
“It’s 30 years now, but we have never been told the truth: How many people died, who they were, and why?” said Zhang Xianling, whose 19-year-old son, Wang Nan, was found dead a few hundred yards from Tiananmen Square on the morning of June 4. He had bullet wounds in his head. 
Authorities have been on particularly high alert this year ahead of the 30th anniversary. 
Automated censoring software is blocking any mention of the event on China’s parallel Internet. Activists and dissident former government officials who typically live under house arrest have been sent away on enforced vacations during the sensitive period.
“Even if people remember, they have no way of actively expressing that memory,” said Lim, the author.
Though China’s leaders smothered dissent and acts of remembrance, they have presented their economic accomplishments as justification for heavy-handed rule. While China boomed in the 2000s, the West was crippled by the 2008 financial crisis. The difference was proof, party officials said, of their authoritarian efficiency and the shortcomings of the chaotic liberal democratic model.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, bottom center, attends a Communist Party Congress on Oct. 18, 2017. He has been China’s leader since 2012. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
As China gained its swagger, Xi Jinping, the son of a politically moderate Communist Party elder statesman, was rising to the top of the party apparatus.
“When Xi became leader in 2012 and president in 2013, many people hoped that he would be like his father, a very open leader,” said He, the public intellectual. “People thought Xi would be amenable to reform. But there’s an Arabic saying to describe what happened instead: ‘A man can be more like his era than like his father.’ ”
Under Xi, the sense of Chinese preeminence quickly morphed into outright hostility to Western values. The Communist Party’s central office in 2013 distributed a watershed document warning that seven dangerous Western ideas, including democracy, media freedoms and the free-market system, was forbidden in classrooms.
If Tiananmen was a milestone in the Communist Party’s retreat from a political opening, the 2013 communique was the definitive repudiation, said Gao Yu, the dissident journalist who was jailed in 2015 for obtaining and leaking the document.
“Document No. 9 almost cuts off all Western politics and economics, it completely cuts off China’s connection with world civilization,” Gao, whose seven-year prison sentence has been reduced to house arrest, said by email. 
Months after the communique was distributed, Xi personally drove his point home. In what became known as his “August 19” speech in 2013, Xi warned Communist Party cadres that their rule could end if they loosened controls on thought.
But China’s intellectuals increasingly wonder about the cost and sustainability of the ideological firewall.
Every year, more than 360,000 Chinese students attend American universities. That number includes Xi’s daughter, who graduated from Harvard in 2014. Many leading professors and administrators at China’s top universities have studied overseas.
Chinese who spend time abroad “bring back not only the specific skills, but also the whole package, a changed framework of social values,” said a senior professor at Peking University, the Harvard of China. “It’s getting difficult for the Chinese leadership to maintain ideological discipline.”
Anecdotally, some well-educated or rich Chinese say they have had enough. Data also suggest they are voting with their feet. In 2018, twice as many millionaires — about 15,000 — emigrated from China than from any other country, according to the consultancy New World Wealth.
Those who remember 1989, when China seemed a more hopeful country, doubt the repression can hold.
As Liu, former protester and now bookstore owner, puts it: “You can build a dam higher and higher but the water just rises higher, too.”
Tourists visit Tiananmen Square on May 18, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)
Read more:

quarta-feira, 29 de maio de 2019

Trump vs China: a guerra Fria Econômica se transforma em guerra quente tecnológica

Minha opinião sobre o atual conflito econômico provocado pelo estúpido presidente americano contra a China, uma “trade war” que se converte em feroz guerra tecnológica, estimulada pelos paranoicos do Pentágono. 
O aprendiz de feiticeiro, “defensor da Civilização Ocidental” segundo um patético seguidor brasileiro, acelera assim a decadência da “civilização ocidental” liderada pelo Império americano, tudo em função da “lei das consequências involuntárias” e da ainda mais poderosa Lei de Murphy (aliás, ironicamente, inventada por um americano, assim como o Peter Principle, aquele que eleva um incompetente como Trump ao nível mais alto de sua própria incompetência).

Eu imaginava que a Guerra Fria Econômica se desenvolveria em etapas prolongadas numa série de frentes secundárias, com intermediários diversos, ou seja, uma espécie de protracted war combinada a proxy wars, como ocorreu ao longo de toda a Guerra Fria Geopolítica entre EUA e URSS.
Agora a Guerra Fria Econômica se converte repentinamente numa guerra aberta, suscitada não apenas pela estupidez econômica de Trump — o mais estúpido de todos os presidentes americanos —, mas também pela paranoia estratégica (outra estupidez) dos militares do Pentágono.
Isso vai representar um enorme atraso para o mundo, crescimento lento, perda de oportunidades para todos, mas também, contraditoriamente, um avanço inevitável em certas frentes, ainda que de forma fragmentada.
O mundo será menos global, menos “globalista” (contra o temor, portanto, dos antiglobalistas estúpidos, aliados idiotas de Trump), com menor dinâmica na integração global das economias.
Uma perda temporária, que será aproveitada pela China para deslocar ainda mais o Império americano.
Estaremos pior, em face da “autocracia chinesa”?
Não creio: a China não pretende exportar o seu modelo político autocrático, apenas os seus produtos e serviços, e lucrar muito com isso.
Algum dia, a China será uma democracia.
Idiotas como Trump apenas retardam essa evolução inevitável.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Curitiba, 29 de maio de 2019

El País, Madri – 28.5.2019
El problema no está en tu móvil Huawei, el problema se llama 5G
La quinta generación de telefonía móvil se ha convertido en el nuevo arma de destrucción masiva en la guerra declarada por Trump a China
Ramón Muñoz

El veto del Gobierno estadounidense, primero a las redes, y ahora a los móviles del fabricante asiático es una declaración de guerra que va mucho más allá de las hostilidades arancelarias. El anuncio de Google de que dejará de dar soporte a los smartphones de Huawei ha sido un golpe de efecto mundial. Millones de usuarios se levantaban el pasado lunes azorados al enterarse de que su móvil podía convertirse en un cascarón vacío porque Android, el sistema operativo con el que funcionan, ya no dispondría de actualizaciones del sistema de Google.
Siendo gravísimo el hecho de que una decisión gubernamental condene a la obsolescencia a millones de dispositivos, en realidad, es solo el primer aviso del volcán. La mayor erupción, la definitiva, está por venir bajo las siglas 5G. Esta tecnología no es solo un avance más. Gracias a la quinta generación del móvil funcionarán los coches autónomos, los robots industriales podrán procesar en tiempo real cualquier orden, lo que les convertirá en máquinas eficientes y casi humanas capaces no solo de sustituir a operarios de una fábrica sino a un cirujano en un quirófano para realizar una operación a distancia.

El inicio de la era de la invención

“El 5G marcará el comienzo de lo que llamamos la era de la invención. Es mucho más profundo que lo que vimos antes con el paso al 4G o cualquier avance anterior. Y no es una exageración. El 5G y la inteligencia artificial significarán miles de millones de elementos conectados, enormes cantidades de datos y todos ellos en la nube. Cambiará la forma de compartir archivos, las compras online o la reproducción de contenidos”, según dijo Cristiano Amon, presidente de Qualcomm en el Congreso Mundial del Móvil (MWC19) de Barcelona.
El 5G dará paso a la cuarta revolución industrial gracias a saltos de innovación, que supone una disrupción tecnológica total. Las conexiones 5G son 10 veces más rápidas (aunque en laboratorios se han alcanzado velocidades 250 veces más rápidas) que las 4G actuales. Gracias a esa inmediatez, se podrán ver contenidos en realidad virtual o en calidades inimaginables como la televisión en 8K.
En segundo lugar, multiplica por 100 el número de dispositivos conectados con el mismo número de antenas. Se resuelve así el problema de la cobertura en grandes aglomeraciones como estadios de fútbol y conciertos. Además, reduce también a una décima parte el consumo de batería de los dispositivos (alarmas, células o chips) lo que les da más autonomía para funcionar durante años.

Permitirá la conducción autónoma

No obstante, el mayor avance del 5G será la reducción de la latencia, el tiempo de respuesta que tarda un dispositivo en ejecutar una orden desde que se le manda la señal. Cuanto más baja, más rápida será la reacción del aparato que accionemos a distancia. El 5G reduce ese retardo a un milisegundo. Esa repuesta instantánea es la que permite que la conducción autónoma sea segura pero también que se dirija a distancia los sistemas de comunicación, seguridad o defensa. De ahí que Trump haya centrado toda su artillería en Huawei, porque domina la construcción de redes 5G.
Lo que subyace en el pulso tecnológico entre EE UU y China tiene que ver con la más honda preocupación estadounidense por una primacía china en la carrera militar y el 5G figura en el centro de esa inquietud. El Pentágono advierte de ello en un informe al Congreso, en el que destaca el desarrollo de firmas como Huawei y ZTE y señala que el esfuerzo de Pekín por “construir grandes grupos empresariales que logren un rápido dominio del mercado con un amplio abanico de tecnologías complementa directamente los esfuerzos de modernización del Ejército y trae consigo implicaciones militares serias”.

El control de los sistemas de comunicaciones y defensa

En un lenguaje mucho más crudo se expresaba el general retirado James L. Jones: “La tecnología 5G de Huawei es la versión siglo XXI del mitológico Caballo de Troya”, advertía en un documento de recomendaciones publicado el pasado febrero por el Atlantic Council, uno de los grandes laboratorios de ideas de Washington.
“Si China controla la infraestructura digital del siglo XXI —razonaba— explotará su posición para sus propósitos de seguridad nacional y tendrá una influencia coercitiva en EE UU y sus aliados, ya que estas redes procesarán todo tipo de datos, y China desde luego las usará para llevar a cabo espionaje”. Y agregó: “la expansión del 5G chino amenazará la interoperabilidad de la OTAN, ya que EE UU no podrá integrar su red 5G segura con ningún elemento de los sistemas chinos”.
El presidente estadounidense cree que Huawei puede instalar en las redes una capa oculta (lo que se conoce como puerta trasera) con la que el Gobierno chino controlará las comunicaciones de todo el mundo, incluyendo los EE UU. Huawei insistió una y otra vez esta semana en que esa acusación es falsa, y ofrece a cualquier autoridad el acceso a sus redes para que puedan comprobarlo por sí mismas.
Liderazgo en tecnología
En Europa, Huawei tiene una cuota de mercado del 35% que en España se dispara hasta el 60% en las redes de nueva generación. Más de 2.500 patentes relativas al 5G llevan su nombre, y tiene contratos con unos 40 operadores. Si estos, incluyendo los españoles (Telefónica, Vodafone y Orange), secundan el bloqueo a Huawei les sería imposible desplegar a tiempo una red 5G. De hecho, Europa ya va con retraso respecto a países como EE UU, Japón, China o Corea. Solo Nokia y Ericsson le hacen sombra, pero la tecnología y despliegue de la firma china es más avanzada y menos costosa.
“Nuestras tecnologías 5G van al menos dos años por delante y serán líderes mundiales durante mucho tiempo. Nuestras estaciones base de 5G se pueden instalar a mano. No hace falta torres ni grúas ni cortar carreteras para construirlas ya que tienen el tamaño de un maletín. Por eso, es precisamente el departamento de 5G el que ha sido objeto de los ataques de los EE UU”, dijo esta semana Zhengfei en declaraciones recogidas por medios chinos.
El fundador de Huawei, cuya biografía arranca como militar del Ejército Rojo, calmó a una audiencia enfervorecida, y les pidió que no recurrieran al nacionalismo ni al populismo en respuesta al bloqueo estadounidense.

Respuesta de China al desafío de Trump

China tiene muchas armas tecnológicas y comerciales en su arsenal para responder al desafío. La primera es que es el primer inversor mundial en innovación y su retirada de los países occidentales causaría daños considerables. También puede cortar el grifo de las exportaciones de los metales raros, imprescindibles para los teléfonos móviles. Pero sin duda, la más temible es que aplique los planes de contingencia que dice tener para esquivar el aislamiento estadounidense (el plan b del que habla Huawei) y desarrolle un sistema operativo que reemplace a Android, y acabe con el cuasimonopolio de Google, con una cuota de mercado del 85%.
El plan pasa por avanzar también en el desarrollo de sus propios chips de procesamiento y de memoria, rompiendo el cerco que le han impuesto los fabricantes como Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, Broadcom, Micron Technology y Western Digital, o la británica ARM. Los conglomerados industriales chinos como Huawei pasarían una larga travesía del desierto pero al final estarían en disposición de destronar a los gigantes norteamericanos como Google, Cisco, Microsoft o Qualcomm, cuyo dominio nadie discute ahora.
Está en juego algo más que la desilusión de millones de usuarios de Huawei. El 5G representará el 15% de las conexiones móviles globales en 2025, y cerca del 30% en mercados como China y Europa, y del 50% en EE UU, según la GSMA. En ese año, la cantidad de conexiones globales del Internet de las Cosas se triplicará hasta los 25.000 millones. Ahora toca decidir si quién controla esas redes inteligentes y maneja a distancia los dispositivos tendrá su despacho en Pekín o en Washington.

TRUMP, ENTRE LA GUERRA FRÍA Y EL ACUERDO COMERCIAL

El temor a que China controle las comunicaciones y los datos en el futuro es lo que convierte lo que parecía una guerra comercial en una liza trascendental en la industrial tecnológica y, en el fondo, en la génesis de una posible carrera armamentística. Es decir, que el problema no es el móvil, ni el 5G a secas, sino todo lo que Pekín pueda llegar a desarrollar con esa red más allá de los usos civiles. Por eso, Washington también se plantea vetar a la compañía china de video vigilancia Hikvision.
La tensión no nace con la Administración de Trump. Sin embargo ha sido esta, nutrida de halcones en materia comercial la que ha apretado las tuercas a Pekín de un modo que Barack Obama, pese a compartir el diagnóstico, no se atrevió.
Eso sí, se trata de una presión contradictoria, marca de la casa en el estilo negociador de Trump, que pese a la escalada de las últimos días pugna por sellar un gran acuerdo comercial con China.
Las proporciones de una guerra económica entre Estados Unidos y China son mayúsculas. El flujo comercial entre ambas potencias mueve unos 2.000 millones de dólares y el actual grado de interconexión entre producción, suministro y finanzas provoca que el pulso, en realidad, afecte a medio planeta. Para Washington, la complicidad de la Unión Europea y el resto aliados en la presión contra Pekín resulta básica, pero la respuesta es mucho más fría de lo que la Casa Blanca querría.

(Grato ao embaixador Pedro Luís Rodrigues, pelo provimento da informação)