“Argentina will Participate in the Next BRICS Summit, at the Invitation of China” — by Martin Pique for Télam

Ambassador Vaca Narvaja informed Télam of the invitation issued by the Chinese president / Photo: Argentine Embassy in China.

“President Xi Jinping sent a special invitation to the country to join the meeting of foreign ministers and group presidents on May 20 and June 24. “Until now, the only Latin American country formally invited to participate is Argentina,” Vaca Narvaja told Télam.

Argentina will participate next May 20 and June 24 in the summit of foreign ministers and presidents of the BRICS, the nucleation of the five emerging economies that began to meet in 2009 and that this year will meet by videoconference with China as host, after President Xi Jinping will extend a special invitation to the country, revealed this Saturday the ambassador in Beijing, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, in an interview with Télam.

Xi’s invitation, the diplomat stressed, “is extremely important”, especially because of Argentina’s interest in joining the forum that has brought together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa since the beginning of the century.(from whose initials the acronym BRICS derives), a position that President Alberto Fernández officially conveyed during his visit to Beijing in early February. 

The will to join the group of five countries received a gesture of support in the first days of April, after Jair Bolsonaro’s Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes, declared to the O’Estado agency that he will promote Argentina as a candidate for join the New Development Bank (NDB), the financial institution created by the BRICS in 2014, based in Shanghai. 

With a relevance impossible to ignore in foreign trade -it is the 2nd trading partner, with an annual exchange of US$ 19,837 million in 2021 according to official data-, China is also a political interlocutor that in the bilateral relationship does not stop sending signals. 

Alberto Fernndez and Xi Jingpin during the visit made by the Argentine president to China in February Photo Archive
Alberto Fernández and Xi Jingpin, during the visit made by the Argentine president to China in February / Photo: File. 

The latest development, with an impact on Argentine agriculture, is the recent approval by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the drought-tolerant HB4 soybean, developed in the country. 

This is the first time that a biotechnological crop created in Argentina is approved by the Chinese State for its commercialization in that country, an unprecedented fact that was added to other important news for the link with Beijing, such as the adhesion to the the Strip and the Road, which became official with the publication in the Official Gazette of the Memorandum of Understanding, on April 11. 

This is the framework in which Argentina, on the 50th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations with the Asian giant and while Fernández holds the pro-tempore presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), was invited to the summits of the BRICS: there will be three sessions (a preliminary one, of political parties, social organizations and think-tanks, to be held on May 19); another for foreign ministers, scheduled for May 20, and finally for heads of state, on June 24. 

Regarding this saga of meetings, which will be virtual due to the measures of the Chinese government in the face of the Omicron variant, the ambassador in Beijing assured this agency that will help Argentina get closer to the goal of its “formal entry” into the BRICS, a goal that the former Brazilian foreign minister of Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, Celso Amorim, considered “very important” and for which, last February, demanded the support of Brazil. 

“This year China is going to chair the BRICS and a summit is called, now, on May 20, of foreign ministers; also a summit of presidents for June 24. They will be virtual summits due to the restrictions that China has, with the members of the BRICS. So far, the only Latin American country formally invited to participate is Argentina,” Vaca Narvaja told this agency. 

The Chinese president will host the next meeting of the Brics to which Argentina was invited Photo Archive
The Chinese president will host the next meeting of the Brics, to which Argentina was invited / Photo: File.

-Télam: -What can happen this year with the BRICS and Argentina?

-Sabino Vaca Narvaja: It is a very interesting space. I have followed the announcements made by Brazil about promoting Argentina to enter the BRICS development bank. As well as the declarations of the Brazilian political system, with respect to bringing Argentina closer to this space. It has also been public that in the bilateral meeting that our President had with President Xi Jinping, he raised the possibility of China supporting Argentina’s formal entry into the BRICS. It got a very positive response. Well, this year China is going to chair the BRICS and these summits are called, which will be virtual due to the restrictions that China has. So far the only Latin American country formally invited is Argentina. The truth is important. And Argentina has accepted President Xi Jinping’s invitation. 

-T: Russia integrates the BRICS. And China is a net importer of energy. How does the war against Ukraine and NATO affect the emerging bloc? And how does it affect China’s projects, such as the Strip Initiative?

-SVN: Affects. Because Ukraine is in the heart of the energy transport zone. Anything that makes that region of Eurasia hot is going to have an impact on the infrastructure. If the region is unstable, China will be affected, and the truth is that this is reflected in China’s positions in multilateral forums. Because he has always called for a peaceful solution and has proposed himself as a mediator. He adopted a position of neutrality in the face of the conflict. It worships the defense of the principles of peaceful coexistence and non-interference in internal affairs. Furthermore, it has not yet recognized the 2014 annexation of Crimea, even though it is a strategic partner of Russia. Traditionally, China has declared itself in favor of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and respecting the principles of the United Nations Charter. Sovereignty and respect for multilateral institutions is a fundamental principle of Chinese foreign policy. In the official position, he has also stated that NATO is responsible for NATO’s advance in the region. Regarding the principle of territorial integrity, it is also the principle that Argentina uses in the United Nations.  

-T: After the presidential trip in February and with this invitation to participate in the BRICS summits, how would you summarize the current status of the relationship with China?

-SVN: The link between Argentina and China has three consolidated and institutional working mechanisms. The first is the strategic dialogue for economic coordination and cooperation: it lists the priority investment projects (from China in Argentina), within the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Association. It is like a kind of five-year plan and the priority projects are listed there: like the 4th nuclear power plant, which is a project of eight years of development that, apart from the repayment system, has an eight-year grace period. You just started paying for it with power generation. Also gas pipelines; of course the dam (of the Santa Cruz River, by the Jorge Cepernic-Néstor Kirchner dams). There are also the railway projects. The Cerro Arauco wind farm (La Rioja), the Caucharí photovoltaic park (Jujuy), the largest in all of Latin America. The rehabilitation of the (Railway) San Martín, of Belgrano Cargas. Those are the projects. 

The second mechanism has to do with everything that contributes to increasing Argentina’s exportable supply: the tariff issue, the opening of new products. There we are giving a very strong chapter to what is electronic commerce, which here in China has a truly spectacular dynamic. 

And the third mechanism is the political dialogue, which takes place between foreign ministers, between Santiago Cafiero and Wang Yi. It deals with the most multilateral issues. Like China’s support for United Nations positions on the Malvinas issue and Argentina’s “one China” principle. At this point, the work guideline, which already came with Néstor and Cristina, is later deepened with Alberto in 2022, in terms that in this 2022 the adhesion to the Strip and the Route is signed. 

-T: Finally, what relevance does it have that Brazil is going to apply to Argentina to join the BRICS Bank?

-SVN: The BRICS New Development Bank was extremely important during the pandemic in granting US$15 billion to strengthen the BRICS economies. It is a bank designed with the purpose of financing infrastructure and sustainable development in emerging markets and developing countries, such as Argentina. “

Credit: Martin Pique. Publication; Télam. Published: May 7th 2022. Source Link: https://www-telam-com-ar.translate.goog/notas/202205/591834-argentina-reunion-brics-invitacion-china-vaca-narvaja.html?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

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