US congresswoman María Elvira Salazar launched a strong criticism of Argentina’s relations with China and accused the government of keeping a “devil’s pact” by advancing the manufacture of Chinese military aircraft in the country. “There are two worlds, the free world and the world of slaves, I hope that Argentines stay in the free world,” he said.
The Republican lawmaker and chair of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee used her intervention to issue a blunt warning: “I am going to do it in Spanish so that it is very clear to my Argentine friends,” he began.
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“Its president (referring to Vice President Cristina Kirchner) and its president (Alberto Fernández) are doing a pact with the devil that could have consequences of biblical proportions. The United States is not going to sit idly by, because you cannot have an ally that manufactures and exports Chinese military aircraft and sells them to the neighbors,” he noted.
As detailed in a press release, “Fernández de Kirchner is openly considering the possibility of buying Chinese JF-17 fighter jets and manufacturing them in Argentina in purpose-built Chinese factories.” That policy, he added, “follows the trend of similar agreements that the Chinese made with Venezuela and Bolivia.”
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In fact, Argentina included in its 2022 budget an item of US$ 664 million to acquire 12 supersonic aircraft JF-17 Thunder-Block III, of Chinese origin, but the purchase did not materialize. At the end of last year, the president declared that the country “has to allocate its resources to more important things than the purchase of military aircraft today.”
In his speech, Salazar also affirmed that Argentina “has allowed the Chinese Communist Party full control of the operations of a space station, which is approximately 400 football fields in size and is located in the middle of the Patagonian desert,” in reference to the Chinese base installed in Neuquén, which is officially dedicated to space research.
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“There is no agreement to supervise the base or its surveillance activities, not even with the Argentine government.”, denounced the Florida legislator.
At the end of the speech Salazar warned: “There are two worlds, the free world and the world of slaves, I hope that Argentines stay in the free world.”
The congresswoman, born in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, was a journalist for 35 years before entering politics, mainly in North American media aimed at Latinos, such as CNN en Español, Telemundo and Univisión.
nt / ds
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