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China warns that cutting ties with Argentina would be a ‘serious mistake’

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning attends a news conference in Beijing, China July 26, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File photo acquire license rights

BEIJING, Nov 21 (Reuters) – China said on Tuesday it would be a “serious mistake” if Argentina severed ties, following victory in the South American country’s weekend presidential election. ‘a right-wing libertarian who said he wouldn’t do it. deal with the communists.

Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei criticized China as well as Brazil, which are among his country’s most important trading partners. A few months ago, Milei even compared the Chinese government to a “murderer” and said the Chinese people were “not free.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular news conference that the development of relations with Argentina showed good momentum and that it would be a “serious mistake” for China. Argentina to sever its ties with countries like China and Brazil.

Milei’s tough comments on China stand in stark contrast to the pledge of cooperation from outgoing President Alberto Fernandez, who visited Beijing last month and hailed China as a “true friend” of Argentina.

Fernandez also promised coordination with China in frameworks such as the G20 and BRICS.

Diana Mondino, an economist tipped to become foreign minister in the Milei administration, said Argentina would not join the BRICS group, which includes China and Russia, Russian news agency RIA Novosti said , cited by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Argentina was among six countries invited to become new members of BRICS, a bloc that also includes Brazil, India and South Africa.

Mondino told RIA Novosti that Argentina would “stop interacting” with the Chinese and Brazilian governments, when asked if Argentina would encourage exports and imports with those countries.

Mao, when asked by reporters about Mondino’s remarks, said: “The two sides have strong economic complementarity and enormous potential for cooperation.

“China is willing to continue to work with Argentina to promote the long-term stability and development of bilateral relations.”

Earlier this month, Mondino said Argentina had no problem trading with Brazil and that, as for China, Milei would seek to end opaque interstate agreements.

“What we are not going to do is secret contracts. Argentina, this government, over the last 20 years, has conducted multiple secret negotiations,” she said. “It’s not normal and it’s what we said we weren’t going to do.”

Chinese state media has so far played down Chinese comments from “fiery” Milei, but warned that Argentina would be the one to lose if it excluded China from its market.

Reporting by Ethan Wang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Edwina Gibbs and Alex Richardson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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