The incorporation of Argentina to the Silk Road It is good news that the president brought from his tour of Russia and Chinawhose first visible skid occurred in Moscow when, apropos of nothing, he pronounced two phrases that sounded like the “carnal relations” that Menemism proposed to U.S in the ’90s.
Perhaps dazzled by the power radiating from the Russian president, Alberto Fernandez overreacted to please him and launched phrases that sounded like an echo of that unworthy metaphor he used Guido Di Tella to excite American geopolitical libido.
Then came the passage through Beijing and an important announcement for the Argentine economy. But also in China there was a questionable pronouncement: in the Great Hall of the People, the President praised the revolution of Mao Tse-tug and said he identified with the philosophy of Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A few meters from the place where he was speaking, the military repression of students left thousands dead and disappeared in 1989.
Days before, the president had skidded in the Kremlin by insinuating a desire to break with U.S and offer Argentina as a “gateway for Russia to Latin America”. She was now skidding in the building next to Tiananmen Square.
Thirty years after its inauguration, the Great Hall of the People witnessed the repression with tanks and soldiers against young people who demanded political as well as economic openness.
That’s not what he’s talking about. PCCh Museum that Fernandez visited shortly before delivering his dark apology. Nor does he say that the “cultural revolution” launched by Mao in 1966 was a violent witch hunt that in ten years caused tens of thousands of deaths and filled the concentration camps.
They were not the first mass deaths caused by Maoist fanaticism. The economic disaster caused by the process of industrialization and collectivization that Mao called “Great Leap Forward” left tens of millions dead by starvation between 1958 and 1961. Added to this are the deaths in the “re-education” camps, which are actually concentration camps, and the supremacism of the Han ethnic group over the rest fifty ethnic groups in China.
Those ideological bonfires were praised by the President in front of Xi Jinping. He praised the regime that supported the Khmer Rougethe pro-Chinese militia that committed genocide in Cambodia.
By the way, praising the US system could also be interpreted as praising the many disasters committed by the United States, such as the war in Vietnam. But almost all of the victims of the CCP and Mao’s dire socio-economic experiments were the Chinese themselves.
If he wanted to flatter the host, he could praise specific aspects of the system and also the astonishing growth of the economy. But what he praised he went to a regime that killed millions of Chinese, before the reforms that introduced a capitalism with poorly paid workers and no union rights.
That was the shadow of his passage through Beijing. What shines is the ad on the Silk Road. If so many European and Latin American countries, including Uruguay and Costa Rica, two stable democracies that pursue policies of state, searched integrate that global chain of economic links, joining it must be a good idea.
The US was one of the first countries to create large-scale ties with China. That is why it is irrelevant that a congressman has said that Argentina chose to “join the Chinese Communist Party”, even more so if it is about Matt Gaetz, a fervent supporter of Trump, the tycoon who came to power with the help of Putin and took functional measures to Russia.
But that does not imply that it is good to embrace the Moscow-Peking axis at the price of breaking ties with Washington. In a multipolar world, monogamy is a bad idea.
But, for now, the announcement that Fernández brought from China is positive, until reality and possible future mistakes prove otherwise.
In the ancient Chinese history, the great leaps of prosperity were related to the expansion of trade. Those processes became known as the Silk Road. The concept evokes two great moments of ancient China. It was conceived and concretized by Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty, in the pre-Christian era, and remade by Emperor Hou of the Tang dynasty, in the 7th century AD. In the first Silk Road on culture, Confucianism gravitated, while in its reissue Buddhism grew in gravitation.
That China is economically convenient does not mean that its regime is not an authoritarian state. Authoritarianism was accentuated under Xi Jinping. Joining the Silk Road is a good idea, as long as the ruling party contains its fictional nature and refrains from portraying the Chinese regime as egalitarian and democratic.
Due to ideological cholulism, he skidded in Beijing and Moscow, where his presence was enough. He didn’t have to add anything. The visit serves the Russian leader more than him. Under normal circumstances, a meeting between two heads of state favors the one who heads the country with less gravitation and not the one who presides over a country with strong global prominence. Ergo, under normal circumstances the favored one would have been Fernández. But this meeting took place amid an escalation of tension between Russia and Western powers. And in this context, the Argentine visit was more useful to the host than to the visitor.
It helps Putin to receive a Latin American president in the arm wrestling he has with NATO with his elbows leaning on Ukraine. One of his threats to Biden was to place Russian forces in Venezuela and Cuba. The message is: if NATO comes into my backyard, Russia will come into America’s backyard.
It was good for that strategy that he did not postpone the visit because of the climb. But, for overreacting, he pronounced two sentences that shook his government’s efforts to gain Washington’s support for the agreement with the IMF: he expressed his desire to break dependence on the US and the IMF, adding the offer that “ Argentina is the gateway from Russia to Latin America”.
In a multipolar global scenario, the logic of a country like Argentina is multiple relationships. In that sense, the visit to Russia, despite the timing, was a wise decision. What was wrong was the verbal incontinence that made him say controversial things.
Possibly what motivated this overreaction was not only the seduction of power radiating from the head of the Kremlin. He may also have wanted to compensate for relegating Cristina Kirchner in the negotiations with the IMF.
For enigmatic or unspeakable reasons, Kirchnerism has been describing Putin for years as if he were progressive, although it is clear that he is ultra-nationalist, homophobic, an ally of the conservative Orthodox Church and a supporter of Pan-Slavism with its racial content included.