China’s International Relations – Tension with Argentina

Published on Author martinirigoyenj17

Relationships between China and Argentina are branded by the latter’s desperate dependency on the Asian nation. In his investigative journalism television program, Periodismo Para Todos, Jorge Lanata discusses the commercial relations between both countries, questioning some of the polemic agreements made and suggesting disparity, with the balances tipped away from Argentina.

Fernandez and Xi, in Beijing (The Guardian)
Fernandez and Xi, in Beijing (The Guardian)

Today, such relationships have developed to the point in which China wants to “bail out” of Argentina. Considering the recent drop in the price of soy bean (the most important of Argentina’s exports), China’s generosity is the only thing keeping the already weakened financial system of the South American country from collapsing . Today, China accounts for “73% of the market among major importers”(The Guardian). Given that “in 2010, China banned imports of Argentine soybean oil” (Bloomberg Business), Argentina should be very careful not to lose its most important importer once again.

Having this in mind, one might be utterly shocked with the behavior of Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president. Earlier this week, Fernandez went on a trip to Beijing during which she expected to sign commercial agreements. As she met the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, Fernández “posted a message on twitter that mimicked a stereotypical Chinese accent, asking about “lice” instead of “rice”and “petloleum” rather than petroleum”(Bloomberg Business).  After the meeting, Xi stated that he was “even more confident of the outlook for China-Argentine relations.”

As an Argentine, I can only feel deeply concerned and worried after hearing about such a calamity. The ignorance and incompetence demonstrated by that tweet sadly reflect the quality of government that has been in power for over a decade.

Further more, the president’s trip to Beijing is itself controversial:”The controversy comes as Fernández struggles to distance herself from the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in his bathroom on 18 January, hours before he was to elaborate on allegations that Fernández helped shield Iranians connected to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre that killed 85.” (The Guardian) This article from The New York Times is a great summary of this scandalous event and its current repercussion. The case in question is a fine example of the many mafia-like procedures by the government headed by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Sources: 1. NYTimes, 2. The Guardian, 3. Bloomberg, and 4. the BBC.

2 Responses to China’s International Relations – Tension with Argentina

  1. FYY-

    1) For those interested in knowing more about Argentina-China commercial relations (and have some basic ability to understand Spanish), I really recommend you to take a look at the episode of Periodismo Para Todos linked in the first paragraph, right next to the name “Jorge Lanata”.
    The presenter is a legend among the Argentine middle and upper-middle classes, as he supposes the biggest public opposition to the government in power. Jorge Lanata is a very sarcastic guy with a particular sense of humour. Fun to watch and really interesting – the Argentine Jon Stewart.

    2) The 4th article, linked in “already weakened financial system”(second paragraph) was published by BBC and touches a topic I find relevant for the international economy – Argentina’s default.

    3) Alberto Nisman’s case (the death prosecutor) is just so wrong and alarming… you’d be surprised if you read the NY Times article.

  2. I participated in the restructuring of debt of Jamaica in 1979-80. I’m not sure the Chinese are ready to face the consequences of accumulating sovereign debt in a case such as this, as they will inevitably need to take a large “haircut” and will get very little out of the deal.