During a meeting between foreign ministers on the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly, China backed Argentina’s bid to join the BRICS, a bloc of emerging economies that also includes Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa.
Argentina’s Santiago Cafiero met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, and highlighted “China’s firm support.” The meeting was a follow-up to President Alberto Fernández’s formal request to join the bloc earlier this month.
Chinese President Xi Jinping currently holds the pro-tempore presidency of the bloc, which represents almost 50 percent of the global population and contributed to 50 percent of global GDP growth over the last year.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergéi Lavrov said in June that Argentina and Iran were “worthy and respectable candidates” to join the group and that “what matters is that the preliminary process is underway,” adding that consensus, effectiveness, and future practical results would be the guiding principles to decide on the matter.
Mr. Cafiero thanked China for its support and said the country could add its voice to “defending the interests of the developed world and the global south, in a context of global uncertainty and polarization,” which underscores the need to “coordinate food and energy policies. ”
The two sides also agreed on the importance of deepening China’s ties with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a body that doesn’t include the US and on which China has placed special emphasis as an entry door to the continent.
China is Argentina’s second-largest trade partner, only surpassed by Brazil.
President Fernández has been trying to strike a balance in terms of foreign policy, staying on good terms with the US, China, and Russia. The relationship with China has arguably been the most stable, as Argentina’s debt and the Ukraine war have caused ups and downs in its dealings with the two other global giants.