- Argentine right-wing libertarian Javier Milei sharply criticized China during his election campaign and pledged to freeze relations with one of Argentina’s most important trading partners.
- The president-elect said Argentina would no longer work with “communist” regimes.
- “It would be a serious foreign policy mistake for Argentina to sever its ties with major countries like China or Brazil,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Tuesday.
Argentine presidential candidate for the La Libertad Avanza alliance, Javier Milei, speaks to his supporters after winning the presidential election runoff at his party’s headquarters in Buenos Aires on November 19, 2023.
Luis Robayo | Afp | Getty Images
China warned Argentina on Tuesday that it would be a “serious foreign policy error” for Buenos Aires to cut ties, shortly after right-wing libertarian Javier Milei won a runoff victory in that country’s presidential election South American.
Milei, who comfortably beat Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa on Sunday, had been sharply critical of China during the election campaign and pledged to freeze relations with one of China’s most important trading partners. important in Argentina.
The president-elect said Argentina would no longer work with “communist” regimes, compared the Beijing government to a “murderer” and said the Chinese people were “not free.” Milei’s four-year term will begin on December 10.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Tuesday that bilateral relations had shown “good momentum,” adding that Beijing “is willing to work with Argentina to keep our relations on a stable course.” .
“No country can exit diplomatic relations while still being able to engage in trade and economic cooperation,” Mao said.
“It would be a serious foreign policy error for Argentina to sever its ties with large countries like China or Brazil. China is an important trading partner of Argentina. The newly elected Argentine government appreciates its relations with China, in particular trade ties between the two countries.”
Diana Mondino, an economist tipped to become foreign minister in Milei’s administration, reportedly said Monday that Argentina would stop interacting with the governments of Brazil and China, according to Russian 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 that there is great potential for cooperation.”
The new Argentine government’s views on China appear to reflect a sea change from the outgoing administration of Alberto Fernandez, with Fernandez describing China as a “true friend” during a visit to Beijing last month.
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Argentine President Alberto Fernández at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, October 18, 2023. Fernández is in Beijing for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
Fernandez also pledged to strengthen collaboration under the G20-BRICS cooperation mechanism.
The BRICS coalition currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Argentina was recently among six countries invited to join the alliance, alongside Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.