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China-Argentina to further push ahead interconnectivity

Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 26 Novembre 2018

Under the framework of the China-CELAC Forum, Argentina has taken full advantage of the package of financing arrangements and the China-Argentina capacity cooperation special fund, to provide preferential financing policies to boost interconnection.

By Lu Daxin

Latin America is a natural extension of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. As an important country in Latin America, Argentina can play a unique role in co-construction of the Belt and Road between China and Latin America.

Currently, China and Argentina are working vigorously to achieve policy, infrastructure, trade, financial, and people-to-people connectivity.

Their efforts will inject stabilizing forces into international relations that are currently full of uncertainties, and promote common development of the world through the links running eastward and westward, across land and over sea.

Policy communications between the countries have strengthened high-level exchanges. In the past two years, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Argentine President Mauricio Macri have met each other on many occasions, including the G20 Hangzhou summit, BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, charting the course for the development of bilateral ties.

The Belt and Road Initiative has become the most welcomed international public product, and it echoes the Argentine government’s policy of integrating with the world in a smart way, strongly supporting the long-term development of the two countries.

Interconnected infrastructure has stimulated digital cooperation between the two countries. Besides carrying out major cooperation projects on hydro power, nuclear power and railway construction, the two nations could deeply explore cooperation potential in transportation, new energies, modern agriculture, communication technology, and e-commerce, which could facilitate infrastructure construction.

The new round of technological reform and industrial revolution in such areas as artificial intelligence, big data, quantum information and biotechnology is growing to the extent of creating new industries, new models, and new forms, bringing precious opportunities for the two countries to achieve leapfrog development.

For instance, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC)’s metro project in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires has provided inter-city bullet trains for a railway renovation project in the city.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has taken vigorous efforts to popularize Argentine beef, seafood, wine, grapes and other products via its online platforms, connecting Argentine suppliers with Chinese consumers through mobile apps.

Digital interconnection has broken geographical restrictions and closely brings the two countries at the two ends of the earth together.

Smooth trade has helped upgrade consumption. The first China International Import Expo has greatly pushed forward international trade cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road, and facilitated trade relations between China and countries including Argentina.

In 2013, Argentina’s biotechnology company Biogenesis Bago launched a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine factory in northwest China’s Xi’an.
Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) has kicked off the solar-power plant project in Jujuy province, Argentina. In addition, Chinese automaker BYD plans to establish electric bus factories in many provinces across Argentina.

A delightful momentum has been created in China-Argentina two-way investment that highlights are continuously emerging and the emphasis is placed on scientific innovation and environmental protection.

Capital interconnectivity has facilitated pragmatic cooperation. In 2017, China's central bank renewed a currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of Argentina, swapping 70 billion yuan for 175 billion Argentine pesos. The move has provided more convenience for trade settlement.

Under the framework of the China-CELAC Forum, Argentina has taken full advantage of the package of financing arrangements and the China-Argentina capacity cooperation special fund, to provide preferential financing policies to boost interconnection.

People-to-people connectivity has strengthened emotional bonds between the two countries. The hearts of the two peoples are drawn closer alongside the increasingly frequent exchanges on culture, education, tourism and sports.

World-renowned Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges depicted the profoundness of the Chinese culture in his classic The Garden of Forking Paths, planting a deep longing for the Chinese culture in the Argentine readers.

Now, activities to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Buenos Aires are feasts for ears and eyes and also widely applauded. Additionally, Argentina has issued a multiple-entry visa for Chinese making business trips, allowing them to visit Argentina repeatedly in 10 years. It has also rolled out electronic visas for Chinese tourists, among other visa facilitation measures.

The growing level of connectivity between China and Argentina has brought greater benefits to their respective countries and peoples, and accumulated consensus for jointly promoting trade facilitation and investment liberalization.

Lu Daxin is an observer of international relations.

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