Thursday, May 19th, 2016
Information for the Press no. 143 / 16
Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and her counterpart for the People's Republic of China, Wang Yi, met today in Beijing and discussed the bilateral projects agreed by the two nations, deciding to move forward with new agreements and reaffirming their strategic partnership in order to expand the bilateral relations between the two countries.
At a joint press conference held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malcorra stated that her official visit to China "reaffirms a State-level commitment between Argentina and China with respect to their long-term comprehensive strategic partnership." The Foreign Minister further stated that: "We are closing our transition chapter by adjusting details in a manner that is mutually satisfactory, while creating future opportunities in Argentina's projections, with a view to creating real jobs and eradicating poverty."
With respect to the reviewed agreements, Malcorra explained: "This is the final stage in the concretion of, for example, the hydropower plants project for the Province of Santa Cruz, the nuclear plants project (details to be discussed in the months to come), and new projects aimed at making China a part of this ambitious infrastructure plan launched by Argentina for the next 4 years and involving an amount of USD 100 billion, encompassing ports, railways, energy and mining." In connection with the dams in the Province of Santa Cruz, Malcorra added: "We needed to take this time to analyze the project because it had not been opened for bids as a final project, so there was no certainty with respect to its cost. This has already been solved."
Malcorra also referred to the space base in the Province of Neuquén: "Minister Wang Yi has reaffirmed prior statements: these projects are for exclusively civil purposes. This was a concern for some sectors in Argentina, which is why we believe that now there are no objections in this regard either."
"In short, there has been a government change, there are existing agreements, and the new Government has done everything to ensure that these agreements are in line with its priorities. We are now almost in a position to confirm that this is so," summarized Malcorra.
President Macri and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, met for the first time in April at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. This was the first step in a new chapter of the bilateral relationship. They will meet again at the G20 leaders summit, which will be held in September in the Chinese eastern city of Hangzhou. "We have an important common agenda, which is not only bilateral but also regional and multilateral. The G20 summit is a special opportunity and President Macri will participate. We welcome this strategic approach on the G20 agenda, which is less based on present circumstances and more focused on the long term, and we hope that G20 members will support our aspiration to assume the presidency of the bloc in 2018," concluded Foreign Minister Malcorra.
For his part, the Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China, Wang Yi, stated that "we had a broad exchange of opinions with Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra in order to continue strengthening our strategic partnership and reach broad consensus. China appreciates that the Argentine Government continues to adhere firmly to the one-China policy. China will continue to support, as it has always done, Argentina's efforts and position in the Question of the Malvinas Islands."
Both Foreign Ministers agreed to strengthen the construction of cultural centres to facilitate cultural exchange. In addition, they will adopt measures to simplify visa requirements to facilitate the exchange of people between the two countries and to further promote tourism, student exchange programs and temporary jobs.
The Chinese Foreign Minister highlighted that "we hope that Argentina will benefit from the commemoration of the bicentenary of its independence and that this will help to build a unified country with new horizons."
Information for the Press no. 143 / 16