China’s foreign ministry warned on Tuesday that it would be a “serious mistake” if diplomats in Argentina’s new government were to cut ties with major BRICS nations like China or Brazil.
China is an important trading partner for Argentina, ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular news conference.
Her remarks follow the election in Argentina on Sunday of Javier Milei as its new president. The right-wing libertarian has criticised China and Brazil, saying he won’t deal with “communists,” and favours stronger US ties.
Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency also cited Diana Mondino, an economist tipped to become foreign minister under the Milei administration, as saying her country would not join the BRICS group.
Argentina was among six countries invited to become new members of the BRICS – a bloc consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – at a summit in South Africa in August.
The move was part of the group’s push to claim greater influence in a Western-dominated world order it sees as outdated.
Mondino also told RIA Novosti that Argentina would “stop interacting” with the governments of China and Brazil, when asked whether Argentina would encourage exports and imports with those countries.
“We don’t understand what the benefit (of joining BRICS) is for Argentina at the moment. If it later turns out that there is a benefit, we will analyze it,” she told the RIA news agency.
China ‘willing to promote stability’
“The two sides have strong economic complementarity and huge potential for cooperation,” said Mao, when asked by reporters to comment on Mondino’s remarks.
“China is willing to continue to work together with Argentina to promote the stability and long-term development of bilateral relations.”
She said on Monday that “the BRICS cooperation mechanism is an important platform for emerging markets and developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and uphold common interests.”
“BRICS is also an open platform and we welcome any interested country to become a member of the BRICS family.”
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard