On the eve of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Argentina, experts and officials from both sides highly praised the smooth and speedy development of bilateral relations in the past four decades.
The two countries established diplomatic ties on Feb 19, 1972. The following are highlights from statements or interviews with political leaders, diplomats, economists, advisers and experts of both sides.
“Our link with China is a link we assign enormous importance to. We have complementary capacities: China needs to work on its food security and Argentina is a very good partner for that. Argentina needs more energy and China is a very good partner for that. Argentina needs very much to improve its infrastructure and China has been very successful in building new infrastructure, and that complementarity should work very well,” Argentine President Mauricio Macri said.
Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra said: “Our ties are at a very good juncture. The prior administration (of ex-president Cristina Fernandez) signed an agreement of a strategic nature (and) we have sustained and maintained it, the commitment is there and we are moving forward. There are multiple topics on which we are working that show that mutual interest in maintaining this relationship is very high, and we will continue to do that.”
Chinese Ambassador to Argentina Yang Wanming said: “It is with great satisfaction that today I see our binational ties bolstered, transforming a traditional friendship into a comprehensive strategic partnership. China and Argentina, situated at two opposite extremes of the Earth, and despite the distance that separates them, maintain a long-standing friendship that is renewed and strengthened with the passing of time.”
Diego Guelar, Argentine Ambassador to China, said: “Our ties with China are the most important world ties Argentina has, both because of the current agenda and because of its potential to grow and deepen. We are building a long-term, mature relationship that is not tied to ideology, but to national interest. China is a central player in the international system, complementary with our country and interested in continuing to consolidate bilateral ties.”
Wang Liang, commercial attache at China’s embassy in Buenos Aires, said: “Bilateral ties have reached a very high level, considering that 45 years ago we started from a very low level. Political trust between the two countries, like pragmatic cooperation, has increased significantly. China is Argentina’s second-largest trade partner, the leading destination for Argentina’s agricultural exports and also the third-biggest foreign investor in Argentina.”
Argentina’s former Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana (2005-2010) said: “Over the past four decades, ties between Argentina and China were strengthened and deepened at various levels. Undoubtedly, the accelerated increase in trade exchange is a notable factor, but political, economic, cultural, social and academic ties between the two countries also intensified starting in 2003, when Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007) became president.”
Estanislao Zawels, director for Asia and Oceania at Argentina’s Foreign Ministry, said: “In addition to the political and economic ties between the two governments, and the cooperation in multilateral forums, our bilateral relationship is cemented in increasing mutual knowledge of each other’s civil societies. Over the past years, the binational relationship has seen harmonious and fluid development.”
Economist Gustavo Girado, head of consulting firm Asia & Argentina, said: “The bilateral relationship Argentina has with China is one of the two or three most important relationships the country has worldwide. For Argentina, China has not only become a highly important trade partner, but also a very important and special investor and political partner.”
Sergio Cesarin, coordinator of the Asia-Pacific and India Studies Center at the Tres de Febrero National University, said: “The (two) countries ... maintain very deep political dialogues on many issues, and the economic agenda has been greatly expanded, from the perspective of trade. The economic and social players taking part in the relationship have gradually increased, and the number of treaties and bilateral agreements are another indicator.”