Argentine Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli currently on a visit to Beijing underlined defence cooperation with China and said the “Hong Kong model” was a significant precedent for “the Malvinas cause”.
“We’re signalling a new starting point for the construction of a real bilateral strategic association in defence cooperation with China”, said Puricelli during a conference at the Peoples Republic of China National University on Wednesday.
Earlier Puricelli and his counterpart Liang Guanglie had signed a new cooperation memorandum of understanding on defence issues.
Puricelli during the conference underlined the “sustained support from China for Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Malvinas Islands and for the resumption of negotiations for a peaceful solution to the dispute following on the UN resolutions”.
“The experience of China in negotiating the recovery of Hong Kong means for us a relevant precedent for the dialogue we are expecting to have on Malvinas on a near future”.
Until 1997 Hong Kong was a British colony and is now one of the special regions of China where the administration model applied is that of one country, two systems.
Puricelli’s first visit to Beijing started holding private talks with Minister Liang Guanglie and the signing of the memorandum on defence cooperation which includes combined joint military exercises; exchange of instructors and experiences is such areas as UN peace missions plus collaboration in science, research and industry related to defence, among other things.
The Argentine minister later gave a second conference on Buenos Aires foreign policy main lines at the Defence School from the National University of China, which is the equivalent of the US West Point academy. Over 330 officers from the three services attended the conference.
“Argentina and China are strategic partners with relevant joint work projects in different political and economic areas” at the same he underlined the purpose of further “advancing links in defence issues”.
“Our country looks to consolidate new defence relations with China with whom we share from the strategic defence concept of our military instruments to a cooperative vision of international security”, pointed out Puricelli.
He added coincidences regarding strategic positions between Argentina and China are virtually total.
Puricelli later visited the National Defence Science, technology and industry administration where he met with Director General Cheng Qiu Fa and agreed to name a group in charge of bilateral talks to draft a specific accord on defence science and technology.
“China is becoming an important partner of our defence industry, starting with the accords between air industries FAdeA and CATIC on helicopters”, said Puricelli.
On this particular issue Puricelli was received by CATIC president and was informed of the advances regarding the multi-purpose helicopter with platform identified as CZ-11.
Among other activities the minister visited the military ground equipment factory, NORINCO where he was given an insight to the compound and the different products on show.
Puricelli’s visit continues this week in Shanghai where he will meet Chinese corporate leaders together with the 200-member business delegation from Argentina that travelled with him.
On Thursday the Defence minister is scheduled to visit China’s main naval base and seat of the VI Fleet of the East, the most powerful and an example of the growing naval strength of China.