Xi Jinping
China's President Xi Jinping said his country is ready to be a "partner and friend" of the United States, at a dinner attended by American business leaders in San Francisco. AFP

China confirmed Tuesday it was ready to work with Argentina, despite president-elect Javier Milei's criticism of Beijing.

Diana Mondino, Milei's senior adviser, had told Russia's state-run media outlet RIA Novosti that Argentina would not continue to interact with the Chinese and Brazilian governments.

When asked by the media about the same, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said "that some in the world misread President-elect Milei's foreign policy."

"No countries could step out of diplomatic relations and still be able to engage in economic trade and cooperation," Mao added, as per the official website of China. "It would be a huge foreign policy mistake for Argentina to cut ties with major countries like China or Brazil."

She noted that China was Argentina's important trading partner, and added the "newly elected Argentine government values its relations with China, especially the business ties between the two countries."

"The bilateral relations between China and Argentina have shown sound momentum of growth," the spokesperson said. "China is Argentina's second-largest trading partner and the largest export market of agricultural products."

"The economic complementarity between our two countries means there is great potential for cooperation. China stands ready to work with Argentina to keep our relations on a steady course forward."

Mao's statement came a day after Milei won the election. Throughout his campaign, Milei had slammed the Chinese government, comparing it to an "assassin," while calling Chinese people "not free." In August, the president-elect also said that if he comes into power, then Argentina will not work with "communist" regimes.

However, Argentina's outgoing president, Alberto Fernandez, had visited China last month and called the Asian country a "true friend," before pledging coordination with Beijing under the frameworks of G20 and BRICS.

As of 2021, China has exported $12.6 billion worth of products to Argentina. On the other hand, the Latin American country has exported $5.9 billion to China, as per OEC.

While China exports computers, broadcasting equipment and other organo-inorganic compounds from Argentina, the Latin American country exports soybeans, frozen bovine meat and sorghum to China.

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