Xi calls for new era of comprehensive strategic partnership with Argentina

World Today

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri, left, from right, and his wife Juliana Awada, back left, welcome China’s President Xi Jinping, right, and his wife Peng Liyuan at presidential residence in Olivos, a northern suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China and Argentina will work together to open a new era of comprehensive strategic partnership with a broader vision. He made the remarks at a joint press conference with Argentine President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires on Sunday.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of a joint action plan for the two governments in the next five years and cooperation documents on trade, finance, and public security.

President Xi said that his visit to Argentina is to promote development, deepen cooperation and enhance mutual trust.

China and Argentina will take the joint action plan as a guiding principle, to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture, energy, finance and manufacturing, Xi said.

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up, and China’s economy has been developing very well with a growth rate of about 6.7 percent in the first three quarters of this year,” Xi said.

China’s President Xi Jinping, left, listens to Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri during a joint press conference at presidential residence in Olivos, a northern suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

China will keep carrying on poverty alleviation work and reach the goal of lifting around 30 million rural residents out of poverty between 2018 and 2020, he said.

He noted that Argentina’s high-quality agricultural products are becoming more and more popular among Chinese people, adding that market shares of Argentine beef and wine will continue to expand in China.

The president hailed Argentina’s achievements in recent years and said that China is full of expectations for cooperation between the two sides.

Profound social transformation is underway in Latin America, and China believes Latin American countries have the ability to achieve regional peace and stability, Xi said, adding that China respects their choice to decide their own development path in accordance with their own conditions.

Xi then congratulated Argentina in successfully holding the 13th Group of 20 (G20) Summit and said the two countries will uphold multilateralism, free trade and jointly promote world prosperity and stability.

China and Argentina will also expand people-to-people exchanges and strengthen strategic coordination in international affairs, he added.

Macri said the Chinese president’s visit to Argentina is very important for bilateral relations. He also recalled his visit to Beijing in May 2017 to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Macri described the multiple cooperation agreements signed between the two countries as important engines for the Argentine economy, adding that Argentina is ready to increase agricultural exports to China.

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri, second from right, and his wife Argentina’s first lady Juliana Awada, right, welcome China’s President Xi Jinping, second from left, and his wife China’s first lady Peng Liyuan, right, at presidential residence in Olivos, a northern suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

The Argentine president, a former chairman of the Boca Juniors soccer club, said his country is working with China to facilitate the development of its soccer industry.

Argentina is also expanding cooperation with China in areas such as culture and tourism, he noted.

He congratulated China on the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening up.

Xi receives highest honor in Argentina

Xi was awarded the Order of the Liberator General San Martín by Macri.

The medal, named after renowned South American liberator Jose de San Martin, is the highest decoration in Argentina. Xi thanked Macri for the honor.

It is not uncommon for political leaders to receive honors from other countries.

The Chinese president was conferred with the Order of Zayed, the highest civil decoration of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), during his state visit to the Gulf nation on July 20. He then received Senegal’s top medal of honor in Dakar the next day.

While visiting Russia in July last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Xi the country’s highest order, the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called. The order was established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great and abolished in 1917, before being re-introduced in 1998.

During his visit to Peru in November 2016, Xi received the Grand-Cross Medal of Honor of the Peruvian Congress from Luz Salgado, the president of Peru’s Congress.

From 2013 to 2016, the Chinese president received a number of honors, such as the Key to the City to the capitals of Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina and the Czech Republic, Belgium’s Grand Cordon medal of the Order of Leopold, Venezuela’s Order of the Liberator, Cuba’s Order of Jose Marti, Pakistan’s Nishan-e-Pakistan award, and Saudi Arabia’s Order of King Abdulaziz.

Argentina is the second leg of Xi’s Europe and Latin America trip from November 27 to December 5, which had taken him to Spain and also includes state visits to Panama and Portugal.