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Over the last year, Argentine exports to China increased by 50.6 percent, making that Asian country its main trading partner.
To face the recession created by Mauricio Macri's administration (2015-2019) and deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Argentina has chosen to further strengthen its economic and financial relations with China, a country with which it shares a "comprehensive strategic partnership" since 2014.
This agreement encompasses cooperation in international politics, the economy, culture, education, science, and defense. Thanks to this, Argentina launched several cooperation projects, one of which is the construction of a space station in the Neuquen province.
In this framework, Aerolineas Argentinas made 35 special flights to China to transport 887 tons of masks, gloves, masks, biosafety suits, and raw material for reagents. In addition, two ships sailed from Shanghai to Buenos Aires with 33 containers of health supplies. Argentine authorities also agreed with Sinopharm to carry out clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine.
"Chinese aid was essential to alleviate the country's situation. China's attitude contrasted with the attitude of other powers, which either could not or did not want to lead aid," recalled Sebastian Schulz, a researcher at the Center for Chinese Studies of the Institute of International Relations (IRI).
China’s BRI drives across the Eurasian landmass in two grand sweeps: the Maritime Silk Road and the overland 'belt'. It imagines a future Eurasia where all routes lead to Beijing, and combines new and older economic projects. See more visions of Eurasia: https://t.co/BApDN3hohmpic.twitter.com/kaPnyklEeV
In April, Argentina exported US$509 millions in goods and services to China, an Asian country which became thus the first trading partner of this South American nation. This happened after Chinese imports increased by 50.6 percent over the last year.
"Argentina's economic recovery could begin through trade with China due to the reestablishment of industrial activity in China and its demand for Argentine meat and soybeans," said Jorge Malena, director of the Contemporary China program at the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA).
In August, China also guaranteed Argentina's financial stability with the renewal of a SWAP worth US$18.5 trillion, a figure equivalent to 45 percent of the Argentine Central Bank's reserves.
But this was not the only news. In September, the Senate approved a bill for the entry of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This institution is the "financial pillar" of the New Silk Road, a global infrastructure and investment project promoted by China since 2013.