President Mauricio Macri met with Chinese President Xi Jinping this morning in the context of the Global Nuclear Security Summit currently being held in Washington, DC. During the meeting, Macri requested China’s support in Argentina’s endeavor to host the next G20 and said he plans to be present at the summit that will take place this September in China.
Sources noted that the meeting between the two heads of state were held under tight security due to protest by “Chinese dissidents.” Despite this, it would appear that the two had a pleasant diplomatic rendez-vous, during which Jinping invited Macri to make a diplomatic visit to China in the relatively near future. The Presidents also agreed that they should “strengthen ties” and Jinping expressed a desire to “expand cooperation and enhance dialogue.”
Macri also stated that investment flow between the two nations ought to grow, inviting Chinese companies to invest “not only in energy, but in transportation and infrastructure.” He also told Chinese investors that “there are arid and flooded areas to exploit and transform into productive areas, which would help with (China’s) food demand.” The heads of state also discussed strengthening tourism ties between the two nations.
For his part, Jinping invited Argentine companies to begin exploring investment in the Chinese market, also wishing to extend cooperation in sectors such as infrastructure and agriculture. He expressed his wish for the two nations to “deepen cultural exchange: science, technology and football.”
Under former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina forged closer ties with China. As of 2015, a full 25 percent of Argentina’s financial reserves was in Chinese Yuan, and increasing. China, what with its massive population, benefits from Argentina’s agricultural business.
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While Macri doesn’t appear to be interested in setting the Sino-Argentine relationship back, he has expressed a desire to revise certain diplomatic and financial contracts. He implied that hydroelectric and nuclear power contracts signed under Kirchner ought to be redrafted, stating that “it suits us both to be transparent.” Given that the heads of state are both in Washington specifically for diplomatic meetings on nuclear power and security, it would be reasonable to expect progress to be made on this front within the coming weeks.