xi's moments
Home | Americas

Milei pledges reconstruction of Argentina

By SERGIO HELD and GERMAN SANCHEZ in Bogota | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-21 09:49

Javier Milei from the Liberty Advances coalition celebrates with supporters after winning the presidential election runoff at his party headquarters in Buenos Aires on Sunday. LUIS ROBAYO/AFP

China congratulates president-elect, willing to further win-win cooperation

Political newcomer Javier Milei swept to victory in Argentina's presidential election on Sunday, defeating establishment candidate Sergio Massa with a pledge of economic shock therapy.

With 55.7 percent of the vote, Milei thumped his rival, Economy Minister Massa, who scored 44 percent of the vote and rapidly conceded defeat.

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday that Beijing congratulated Buenos Aires on its smooth and successful general election and congratulated Milei on his election.

Speaking at a regular news conference in Beijing, Mao said China and Argentina have adhered to mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit since they established diplomatic relations more than half a century ago.

"The development of the China-Argentina relationship, which is showing good momentum, has become the consensus among various sectors in both countries and has also brought tangible benefits to the two peoples," Mao said.

The spokeswoman said that China has always attached great importance to the development of bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective.

"China is willing to work with Argentina to continue the friendship between the two countries, and promote win-win cooperation for each other's development and revitalization," she said.

This will further solidify and enrich the China-Argentina relationship, thus delivering more benefits to the peoples of both countries, Mao added.

Milei said in his victory speech: "Today begins the reconstruction of Argentina. Today begins the end of Argentina's decline. The model of decadence has come to an end. There is no way back."

Milei entered politics just two years ago, and his campaign has especially attracted young social media followers.

"The people have expressed their will. Millions of Argentine men and women went to vote and defined the destiny of the country for the next four years," Argentina's incumbent President Alberto Fernandez posted on X, formerly Twitter. "Today is an important and very happy day, we Argentines are expressing ourselves and choosing our future. Let's go through it calmly and peacefully."

Milei, surrounded by thousands of people at his headquarters in Buenos Aires, said that the rebuilding of Argentina would begin right away.

For many in Argentina, wholesale change may be the only answer.

'Major surgery'

Among them is Eduardo Fernandez-Mendia, a judge in the province of La Pampa and member of the Ibero-American Commission on Judicial Ethics. Using a medical analogy, he said that Argentina needs "major surgery "but with "a great dose of anesthesia, for those who have less".

"The pandemic, the drought, and the bad governments have generated unemployment and very deep levels of poverty, and to say that it is necessary to adjust is like asking a seriously ill person to go out and help put out a fire," Fernandez-Mendia said.

"The elections on the one hand should be the hope, but there is a lot of uncertainty due to the deep crisis into which Argentina has fallen."

The country has been facing major economic challenges, with poverty recorded at 40 percent and inflation hitting 150 percent a year. There is also a growing chasm between the rich and poor that has left many disenchanted and looking for change, according to observers.

Milei is set to take office on Dec 10 for a four-year term.

Mo Jingxi in Beijing contributed to this story.

The writers are freelance journalists for China Daily.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349