On February 6, the governments of Argentine President Alberto Fernández and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a memorandum of understanding on collaboration under the Belt and Road Initiative, a global trade infrastructure project promoted by the People’s Republic of China.
The memorandum, which promotes the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was signed during President Fernández’s official three-day visit to China. President Fernández visited China, at President Jinping’s invitation, to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games on February 4.
The strategic agreement will allow Argentina to receive investment worth more than 23 billion USD from China, through different agreements, to finance projects and work in different sectors. With its incorporation into the initiative, Argentina joined the list of 140 countries from across the world that are already a part of this international megaproject.
The two countries also reached 13 other agreements in various sectors such as green development, digital economy, space, scientific and technological innovation, education and university cooperation, culture, agriculture, earth science, public media, nuclear medicine, and the use of China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system.
Through a series of tweets, President Fernández hailed the bilateral deal. “Today we have the opportunity to promote foreign direct investment in our country, expand the participation of Argentine suppliers in infrastructure works, accelerate sanitary and phytosanitary negotiations and authorizations to stimulate exports to China. I welcome the strong Chinese support for Argentina’s efforts to preserve economic and financial stability.” he wrote.
Tuve una cordial, amistosa y fructífera reunión con Xi Jinping, presidente de China. Acordamos la incorporación de Argentina a la Franja y la Ruta de la Seda.
Es una excelente noticia. Nuestro país obtendrá más de US$ 23 mil millones de inversiones chinas para obras y proyectos. pic.twitter.com/LGyIJ6zWdG
— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) February 6, 2022
In addition to the pacts, the two leaders reaffirmed mutual support on issues involving their sovereign interests. Argentina reaffirmed its commitment to the One China principle, and China reaffirmed its support for Argentina’s demand to fully exercise sovereignty on the Malvinas Islands. They agreed to further enhance coordination and communication in international affairs to defend their interests and the interests of developing countries.
The two sides laid down a framework for sustainable development and inclusive economic cooperation, to further promote actions and projects for deepening, innovating, and diversifying their economic relations and enhancing regional connectivity. They also studied bilateral trade cooperation and agreed to continue to expand trade, enhance financial support for China’s export settlement to Argentina and actively encourage trade diversification.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Argentina and China, which is next week on February 19, Xi and Fernández announced the launch of the Year of China-Argentina Friendship and Cooperation. In this regard, they agreed to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, consolidate political trust and exchanges and cooperation at different levels.