Argentina's future Foreign Minister Diana Mondino confirmed this week that her country would not be joining the BRICS alliance on Jan. 1 as scheduled despite a personal letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping to President-elect Javier Milei.
The Libertarian administration in the making sees no advantage in a partnership with Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, plus the other countries admitted into the group as of next year (Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates) representing 40% of the world population, 24% of the global GDP, and the destination of 30% of Argentina's exports.
We will not go backward because it was never approved. We never joined the BRICS, declared Mondino about the invitation of the bloc for Argentina to join as of January 1, 2024. I understand that we were invited to join the Brics but we have not formally accepted. To join you have to make a capital contribution, and Argentina is not in a position to do so, she added.
BRICS — an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — is increasingly seen as a geopolitical group led by Beijing to expand its influence globally. Christopher Ecclestone, a London-based strategist and specialist on Argentina, told VOA that from Beijing’s perspective, the invitation to join BRICS amounted to the equivalent of “you’re now one of us.”
Milei is known to have compared the Chinese regime to “killers” or assassins who go after those who wish to live freely and pledged to distance himself from such regimes, although he seems to have somehow changed his mind. “I thank President Xi Jinping for the congratulations and good wishes he sent me through his letter. I send you my most sincere wishes for the well-being of the people of China,” Milei wrote on X on November 22, above a full-page letter translated into Spanish addressed to him from Xi, from Beijing, dated November 21.
“It would be a grave mistake if Argentina were to cut off ties with great powers such as China or Brazil. China is Argentina’s important trade partner,” Mao Ning, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, stated at a news briefing held in Beijing on November 21.
Milei has called himself first and foremost “an ally of the United States, Israel, and the West” as signs of Buenos Aires approaching the White House surfaced following his trip to New York and Washington earlier this week.