Buenos Aires will not follow through on its membership of the Brics, the new team in power in Argentina has announced. Accession planned for January 2024 and encouraged by China. What will the victory of Argentinian anarcho-capitalist Javier Milei change for Beijing?
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With our correspondent in Beijing, Stéphane Lagarde
With the change of team in Argentina, the Chinese authorities went from the Argentine ambassador repeating a Maoist propaganda song in front of the Chinese president, to the sound of the chainsaw, Javier Milei’s favorite weapon during the presidential campaign, that found here also in the hashtags.
“ Secret agreements »
Beijing ranked the previous administration in Buenos Aires as friends of China, with the new one, it will be more complicated. The far-right president promised to examine “ secret agreements » spent with a country he described as “ assassin “. He also denounced the plan to join the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) supported by Beijing. Which did not prevent the Chinese authorities from congratulating Javier Milei on his victory. Analysts are counting on the well-understood pragmatism of the new team in power in Buenos Aires to stabilize the relationship with Beijing, and on Argentina’s financial dependence also on its second largest trading partner after Brazil.
Nine loan contracts
Argentina which joined the initiative BIS – of the Chinese “new silk roads” – after the Winter Olympics in Beijing last year, concluded nine loan contracts with China in fifteen years for more than 8 billion dollars. However, the Argentine economy, in free fall, urgently needs foreign currency. Ties with China are therefore unlikely to change, even if the president-elect has promised to dollarize Argentina, another break with his predecessor. Last April, the Minister of the Economy Sergio Massa announced the abandonment of the dollar in transactions with China, following the model of neighboring Brazil.