It would be a huge foreign policy mistake for Argentina to cut ties with major countries like China or Brazil: FM spokesperson
Published: Nov 21, 2023 06:21 PM
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

China's foreign ministry on Tuesday said there is a misunderstanding concerning Argentine President-elect Javier Milei's foreign policy. The ministry noted that It would be a huge foreign policy mistake for Argentina to cut ties with major countries like China or Brazil.

"No country can develop economic and trade cooperation without diplomatic relations. China is an important trading partner for Argentina, and the elected Argentine government attaches great importance to relations with China, especially bilateral economic and trade cooperation," Mao Ning, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Tuesday during a press briefing.

Mao's remarks were in response to a media question on Milei's foreign policy, saying that RIA Novosti reported that during an interview on Monday, Diana Mondino, Senior Adviser of Argentina’s President-elect Milei, said cooperation with the Chinese government will be stopped when asked if she would support and encourage trade with China. 

"Based on what I have read, your description of her statement is somewhat different from the interview published on the RIA Novosti website. Mondino said in the interview that some in the world misread President-elect Milei’s foreign policy. No countries could step out of diplomatic relations and still be able to engage in economic trade and cooperation. As I stressed at Monday's press conference, China-Argentina relations have shown a sound momentum of development," said Mao.

China is Argentina's second largest trading partner and largest agricultural export market. The two economies are complementary and there is huge potential for cooperation. China is ready to work with Argentina to push for steady and long-term growth of bilateral relations, Mao said.

On Monday, Mao said that China congratulates Argentina on a smooth presidential election and congratulates Milei on his election as the President of Argentina.

"Over the past 50-odd years since China and Argentina established diplomatic relations, our two countries have treated each other with mutual respect and equality and pursued mutual benefit. Bilateral relations have shown sound momentum of growth. To further grow China-Argentina relations is a widely shared consensus among people across the social spectrum of both countries and has brought tangible benefits to both peoples," said Mao.

She noted that China values its relations with Argentina from a strategic and long-term point of view and stands ready to work with Argentina to continue nurturing friendship, contribute to each other's development and prosperity through win-win cooperation, and keep relations on a steady and sustained track of growth for the benefit of the two peoples.

In the first 10 months of 2023, bilateral trade stood at $15.15 billion, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs. In 2022, trade between China and Argentina totaled $21.36 billion, up 20.0 percent year-on-year.

On October 31, the Ministry of Economy of Argentina announced that it will again use the Chinese currency to repay part of its IMF debt. The ministry will repay about $3.4 billion in foreign debt and interest to the IMF in the near future, part of which will be paid with the equivalent value in yuan under a bilateral currency swap agreement between the central banks of the two countries.

Global Times