Argentina places its hopes on China for economic and infrastructure development

Seetao 2022-10-27 16:37
  • Argentina has been cooperating with Chinese companies in creating various infrastructure fields for a long time
  • Whether in Argentina or other Latin American countries, China will not yield to the pressure of the United States. Argentina made a decision to choose Chinese technology and competitive services
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President Fernandez of Argentina and Chairman Bi Yanchun of China Railway International Group discussed the issue of strengthening cooperation in the field of railway construction. China Railway is one of the largest construction companies in the world, with rich experience in railway and highway infrastructure. The President of Argentina met with Bi Yanchun in Casa Rosada, the presidential palace.

The President of Argentina often meets with Chinese business giants. For example, in June, he met with Li Zhen, Chairman of Guoxuan High Tech and his delegation. Guoxuan Gaoke is one of the world's leading manufacturers of electric vehicle batteries. It is said that after this meeting, the Chinese company signed an agreement with the national energy mining company of Argentine state-owned enterprise Huhuyi province to build two factories for the production of lithium carbonate for batteries in Huhuyi province in the northwest of Argentina. It is estimated that the Chinese investment will exceed 12 million US dollars.

Argentine Presidents Fernandez and Bi Yanchun evaluated the modernization and electrification project of the Belgrano Norte railway section between Villa Rosa and Retiro, as well as the construction of expressways connecting Chaco and Corintes provinces and Santa Fe and Entrelios provinces across the Parana River.

Under the leadership of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, Argentina has upgraded most of its infrastructure, and China Railway International Group has invested the most in these projects. The largest project is the Belgrano freight train, which connects northern Argentina with the port of Buenos Aires. However, the project has not been completed, and the problem lies in the investment. At present, to be more precise, the project has resumed since February after Argentina joined the the Belt and Road project. The cooperation with China is long-term, but there are financing and insurance problems. In addition, in Argentina, the implementation of some measures was delayed due to political changes. Elections will be held in Argentina in 2023. Everything shows that in order to improve the economic situation, the government will do everything possible to link the project with the hydropower dam project in Santa Cruz Province.

In 2013, Argentina Electric Engineering Group, Gezhouba Group and Hidrocuyo signed a contract for the construction of hydropower stations, including the construction of Nestor Kirchner and Jorge Sepernik dams. China Development Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China are all participants in the project. In May 2022, the Argentine government adopted a document to eliminate the obstacles to the loan of the project. The Bank of China has committed US $1.35 billion. This landmark China Arab cooperation project is scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2023. The total cost is 4.71 billion US dollars.

In February 2022, the leaders of Argentina and Argentina signed the agreement on Argentina's participation in the the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing. At present, 21 Latin American and Caribbean countries have signed a memorandum of cooperation under the Initiative with China. Fan Hesheng, director of the Latin American Institute of Anhui University, said in an interview that the development of China Arab relations is generally on the rise, which has created favorable conditions for investment cooperation.

Fan Hesheng said that as an economic cooperation initiative, the the Belt and Road Initiative is a public product provided by China to the international community. It aims to promote international cooperation based on mutual respect, win-win cooperation and market and commercial principles. At present, the the Belt and Road has been extended to Latin America. In addition, China Arab relations have developed steadily and are on the rise. It should be said that Argentina's choice of Chinese enterprises for cooperation is a result of the long-term sound development of bilateral relations and the extension of the the Belt and Road initiative to Latin America. In addition, infrastructure construction has always been the strength of Chinese enterprises. Emerging economies and countries with weak infrastructure capacity choose to cooperate with China, which is related to China's technology and competitiveness. China Arab, China Pakistan, China Chile and China Mexico are all very important parts of the whole China Latin America cooperation. In particular, China Arab cooperation can play an important role in the development of China Latin America relations, and the promotion of China Arab infrastructure, agriculture and other cooperation projects can also play a role in promoting the development of bilateral relations.

Nestor Restibo said that as part of the the Belt and Road Initiative, China has many investment projects in Argentina, some of which are advancing, while others are shelved, but they are part of China's strategy. According to this strategy, the investment in the region is mainly concentrated in infrastructure, minerals and agriculture. The United States cannot stop it in Argentina, except to intimidate China. The meeting between the President of Argentina and the head of China Railway Corporation shows that China has not reconsidered its plans and has not backed away from the US attack. China is not intimidated. Among all the interventions in Arab Chinese cooperation, the most typical example is the arrogant performance of Laura Richardson, the commander of the US Southern Command, when he visited Afghanistan. She came to Argentina to talk about lithium. It is strange that a four-star general talks about lithium in Argentina. China will not yield to intimidation, not only in Argentina, but also in any other country in the region. China will not shrink from anything. The Twentieth Congress confirmed that China would not yield to the pressure of the United States. This kind of pressure looks pitiful, because while the United States criticizes China, it does not provide alternatives to Latin America, because the investment promised by the United States has not been fulfilled.

Nestor Restibo also introduced in detail the cooperation between Argentina and China in lithium mining and production. According to the data from the Ministry of Economy in May 2022, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium, Hanqi Group, Qinghan Holding Group, Sange Mining Group and other leading enterprises control or own six lithium projects in Huhui Province, Salta Province and Katamaka Province. The region is one of the main interests of Sergio Massa, the new Minister of Economy, because there are large lithium deposits in the three northern provinces. Canada, the United States and several Chinese companies are interested in them. They are at different stages of development. Some of them are already exporting products, but now we are discussing whether to industrialize lithium production.

Ganfeng Lithium, a Chinese battery module giant, intends to consolidate its position in the Argentine market by acquiring 100% of the shares of Lithea Inc. with up to $962 million. Lithea Inc., a subsidiary of LSC Lithium BV, holds the assets of Pozuelos and Pastos Grandes salt fields in the west of Salta, Argentina.

Headquartered in Sichuan, China Tianqi Lithium also confidently entered the Argentine market. This is a global new energy material company with lithium as its core business. It operates in Chile and Australia. In 2022, it signed an agreement with Argentina to invest in the exploration, development, production, commercialization and industrialization of lithium in Argentina. The investment amount under this agreement is not disclosed.Editor/Xing Wentao