Argentina joins the Belt and Road as Fernández and Xi meet in Beijing
President Alberto Fernández completed the Chinese leg of his new international tour by organizing Argentina’s entry into the Belt and the Silk Road, which will represent funding of more than 23 billion US dollars for the country South American.
“I had a cordial, friendly and fruitful meeting with Xi Jinping, President of China”, after which “we agreed to integrate Argentina into the Belt and the Silk Road”, Fernández said on the social networks.
“This is great news. Our country will get more than $23 billion from Chinese investments for works and projects,” he added.
The agreement was formalized during the bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People by the signing of memorandums of understanding and agreements in various fields between the two heads of state.
Argentina thus joins the 140 countries already included in China’s international trade initiative. “With this strategic decision, the national government will sign different agreements guaranteeing the financing of investments and works for more than 23,700 million dollars, generating a new stage in the bilateral relationship that has considerably broadened and strengthened over the past 15 past few years,” Casa Rosada’s sources pointed out.
The funding is to be delivered in two stages: one worth US$14 billion which has already been approved under the Strategic Dialogue Mechanism for Economic Cooperation and Coordination and another of US$9.7 billion. Americans which will be managed by an ad hoc group. created by the two countries to manage future joint operations, in particular those related to the Silk Road, it was announced.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, for its acronym) aims to promote cooperation and connectivity between more than 140 countries through two main components: one of a terrestrial nature (the “economic belt of the silk road” ) and a transoceanic stage (the “maritime belt”). Silk Road”).
Thirteen other cooperation documents were signed between Fernández and Xi regarding green development, digital economy, space, technology and innovation, education and university cooperation, agriculture, earth sciences , public media and nuclear energy.
Fernández also asked Xi to promote Argentina’s entry into BRICS, the group of emerging economies made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. which the South American leader had already discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow.
It was also reported that regarding swaps and so-called SDRs (Special Drawing Rights sent by the IMF), Xi said he would “request his banks to make progress on these two issues” . In the joint statement signed at the meeting, China expressed its “firm” support for Argentina in its “efforts to preserve economic and financial stability” in negotiations with the IMF.
“China’s decision to encourage greater use of national currencies in trade and investment and to support Argentina’s request for a review of the IMF surcharge policy are crucial steps forward,” he said. Fernández in a post-meeting statement.
The Xi-Fernández meeting marked the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries, in memory of which the two presidents launched the “Year of Friendly Cooperation”, according to the joint statement issued after the meeting.
Chinese media also pointed out that Fernández was in Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which were boycotted by most Western powers, citing human rights abuses that would take place on Chinese territory.
Argentina and China also agreed to carry out a series of activities throughout the year to continuously enhance mutual understanding and friendship between their peoples and deepen exchanges and cooperation at the grassroots level, according to the statement. .
The document also underlines that China and Argentina reiterate their firm and continued support for each other on issues concerning their respective sovereign interests, he added.
Argentina reaffirms its adherence to the one-China principle, while China reaffirms its support for Argentina’s request for the full exercise of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands and its support for an early resumption of negotiations in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions for a peaceful settlement of the dispute, also pointed out the bilateral statement.
According to the statement, China and Argentina agree to pursue close communication and coordination in international affairs and safeguard the overall interests of the two countries and other developing countries.
Argentina supported China’s proposed Global Development Initiative, the statement said, adding that both sides stress the importance of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.
The two countries also hailed the importance of the G20 as the main forum for international economic cooperation and agreed to continue to strengthen coordination in areas of common interest such as health, finance and trade.
China also congratulated President Fernández on the appointment of Argentina to the rotating presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and offered to actively support the South American country in fulfilling its his duties, the statement said. China also appreciates Argentina’s important role in regional affairs and its efforts to promote regional integration and expand cooperation with other regions.
Welcoming the success of the Third Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum, the two sides pledge to jointly and continuously deepen China-US relations in the new era of equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and tangible benefits for the people. , the statement said.
Before leaving China, Fernández visited a Huawei factory and told Xi that if he had been an Argentine citizen, he “would be a Peronist”.
According to news reports, Xi held meetings with many world leaders attending the opening ceremony of the Winter Games that lasted about 20 minutes each, but spent more than an hour with Fernández.
Xi told the Argentine leader he had listened with interest to his speech in July last year delivered virtually at the summit of the Communist Party of China and the world’s political parties.
Fernández pointed out how Peronism in Argentina had “always tried to make a country more industrialized, with a distribution of income and with more strength from the working class”, but time and time again a military coup reversed the progress achieved, as did former President Mauricio Macri. had done with the IMF loan.
Fernández and his entourage left for Madrid for a stopover en route to Barbados, the final leg of the presidential tour.