Xi calls for new era in relations with Argentina

Indo Asian News Service

Buenos Aires, Dec 3 (IANS) China and Argentina on Sunday signed 30 economic, trade and export agreements after a meeting between their presidents -- Xi Jinping and Mauricio Macri, respectively -- with the Chinese leader calling for "opening a new era" in bilateral relations.

After the meeting at Macri's official residence at Olivos on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Xi said that China and Argentina are "relevant" states that must "foster multilateralism and free trade" given the current "intricate world panorama."

Xi, who met on Saturday in Buenos Aires with US President Donald Trump, with whom he is currently in a tense trade battle, on Sunday emphasized together with Macri that the pacts signed between China and Argentina will give a "push to cooperation" between their two nations, Efe reported.

The agreements signed between Argentina and China, summarised in several memoranda of understanding, include initiatives such as a joint five-year action plan running from 2019-2023, renewing the current one, and an agreement eliminating double taxation on profits and assets and preventing tax evasion.

Despite the fact that Trump and Xi temporarily agreed not to impose new tariffs on each other's goods on January 1 and to continue negotiations seeking a way out of their ongoing trade war, the conflict remains open and, without referring to the US, Xi said that Argentina showed the true "spirit" of the G20 meeting, which ended on Saturday in Buenos Aires.

"(China and Argentina) must make the spirit of G-20 solidarity a reality by firmly defending multilateralism and free trade to build an open world economy and foster world prosperity," the Chinese leader said.

Macri, meanwhile, said that the Asian giant and Argentina are "complementary" nations and that, with the signed agreements, they have ahead of them the task of "diversifying and empowering trade and investment," tasks that are included within a "long-term" agenda.

--IANS

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