Argentine presidential candidate of the La Libertad Avanza alliance, Javier Milei, speaks with his supporters after winning the second round of the presidential election at his party’s headquarters in Buenos Aires on November 19, 2023.
Luis Robayo | afp | fake images
China warned Argentina on Tuesday that it would be a “big foreign policy mistake” for Buenos Aires to cut ties, shortly after right-wing libertarian Javier Milei secured victory in the South American nation’s presidential runoff.
Milei, who handily defeated Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa on Sunday, had been highly critical of China during the election campaign and promised to freeze relations with one of Argentina’s most important trading partners.
The president-elect said Argentina would no longer work with “communist” regimes, compared the government in Beijing to a “murderer” and said the people of China were “not free.” Milei’s four-year term will begin on December 10.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said on Tuesday that bilateral relations had shown “solid momentum” and added that Beijing “is willing to work with Argentina to keep our relations on a stable course.”
“No country could abandon diplomatic relations and still be able to engage in economic trade and cooperation,” Mao said.
“It would be a huge foreign policy mistake for Argentina to cut ties with important countries like China or Brazil. China is Argentina’s important trading partner. The newly elected Argentine government values its relations with China, especially the trade links between the two countries.”
‘Great potential for cooperation’
Diana Mondino, an economist poised to become foreign minister in Milei’s administration, was quoted on Monday as saying Argentina would stop interacting with the governments of Brazil and China, according to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
Mondino was asked if Argentina would continue to encourage imports and exports with its main trading partners.
Asked about Mondino’s comments, China’s Mao said: “The economic complementarity between our two countries means there is great potential for cooperation.”
Argentina’s incoming government’s views on China appear to reflect a sea change from the outgoing administration of Alberto Fernández, who described China as a “true friend” during a visit to Beijing last month.
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 18, 2023. Fernandez is in Beijing to attend the third Belt Forum and the Route for International Cooperation.
Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | fake images
Fernández also committed to strengthening collaboration within the framework of the G20 and BRICS cooperation mechanism.
The BRICS coalition is currently made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Argentina was recently among six countries invited to join the alliance, along with Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.