BEIJING (Reuters) – China is ready to work with Argentina to keep relations on a “steady” path after a right-wing liberal leader won the presidential election who said he would not deal with Argentina, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. With the communists.
Argentine President-elect Javier Miley criticized China and Brazil, two of his country’s most important trading partners. A few months ago, Miley likened the Chinese government to a “killer” and said that the people of China were “not free.”
Miley’s tough talk on China contrasts sharply with the pledge of cooperation from outgoing President Alberto Fernandez, who visited Beijing last month and praised China as a “true friend” of Argentina.
Fernandez also pledged to coordinate with China within frameworks such as the G20 and BRICS.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said, “Bilateral relations between China and Argentina have shown sound growth momentum.”
“China is ready to work with Argentina to keep our relations on a stable path forward,” she added.
But Diana Mondino, the economist nominated to become foreign minister in Miley’s government, was quoted by state-owned Russian news agency RIA Novosti as saying Argentina would “stop interacting” with the governments of China and Brazil, when asked if Argentina would encourage this. Exports and imports with those countries.
Mondino had previously told Reuters that Argentina under Miley had no intention of joining the BRICS group, which includes China and Russia. Argentina was among six countries invited to become new members of BRICS, a bloc that also includes Brazil, India and South Africa.
When Mao was asked at a regular press conference about the comments attributed to Mondino, he said that the description of Mondino’s comments was different from the interview published by RIA Novosti.
“Mondino said in the interview that some in the world misread President-elect Milley’s foreign policy,” Mao said.
“No country can exit diplomatic relations and still be able to engage in economic trade and cooperation. It would be a grave mistake in Argentina’s foreign policy to sever its relations with major countries such as China or Brazil,” Mao said.
China’s Foreign Ministry said later on Tuesday that Mao quoted Mondino as saying it would be a mistake to sever ties with China or Brazil.
Reuters was not immediately able to find a transcript of the interview containing those comments. Mondino did not respond to Reuters’ request to clarify her statements to RIA Novosti.
Earlier this month, Mondino said Argentina had no problem trading with Brazil, and as for China, Miley would seek to end murky deals between the countries.
“What we will not do is secret contracts,” she said. “Argentina, this government, in the last 20 years, has conducted multiple secret negotiations.” “This is not normal and this is what we said we would not do.”
Chinese state media have so far downplayed Miley’s comments, but said it would be Argentina’s loss if China was shut out of its market.
Reported by Ryan Wu. Editing by Alex Richardson and Grant McCall
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