Scandal-plagued Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is in Beijing meeting with Xi Jinping, and the two have hammered out a host of major deals for Chinese investment in Argentina. The Washington Post reports:
On a state visit to China, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the two countries signed 15 agreements covering travel visas, information technology, media, energy, space technology and financing. The financial amounts of the deals were not disclosed.Kirchner said two nuclear plants would be built in Argentina with transfer of technology from China, calling the move a “gateway for the deepening of this strategic relationship.”China also is helping Argentina build infrastructure such as dams and railways. Beijing recently helped Buenos Aires stabilize its peso with a currency swap as Argentina struggles to shore up its foreign reserves.
Few would see Argentina as an attractive investment at the moment—after the debt drama that saw it warring with creditors in a New York court last year, and now with its President involved in a murder-espionage scandal that gets stranger all the time. The latest revelation: Prosecutor Alberto Nisman had drafted an arrest warrant for Kirchner before his death.But investing in problem states, especially in Latin America, is a key part of Beijing’s foreign strategy for securing resources, allies, and clients. Beijing is putting a ton of money into Venezuela and is investing in a canal in Nicaragua intended to rival the Panama Canal. None of those countries are ideal partners, but Beijing is taking a long-term, calculated risk.