Milei announces new 'foreign policy doctrine'; Argentina will have a strategic alliance with the US

Argentine President Javier Milei announced a “new foreign policy doctrine” based on a strategic alliance with the United States by sharing an event on Friday with a senior US military commander who had questioned China's interference in the South American nation.

“Our alliance with the United States, demonstrated throughout these first months of administration, is a declaration from Argentina to the world,” said the far-right president during the signing of an agreement with the commander of the Southern Command of the United States Army. United, General Laura Richardson, for the incorporation of a plane Hercules C 130 to the Argentine Air Force.

“After decades of isolationism, bombastic speeches and spurious pacts, Argentina has decided to insert itself into the concert of nations and once again resume the leading role that it should never have abandoned,” Milei remarked at the ceremony that took place in the military sector of the Buenos Aires airport.

This was Milei's second meeting with Richardson in less than 24 hours. The day before they had met in Ushuaia, capital of the province of Tierra del Fuego, in the extreme south of Argentina, where both countries are developing an integrated naval base that will provide logistical support to operations in Antarctica.

“I want to take advantage, in view of General Richardson, to announce a new foreign policy doctrine for Argentina,” Milei remarked.

The US worries about China's growing influence in South America

Richardson, visiting Argentina for the third time, warned before a US Congressional committee about China's growing influence in South America. In the case of Argentina, she placed special focus on an aerospace station installed in the Patagonian province of Neuquén that was part of a scientific cooperation agreement signed in 2014 by the then center-left president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

“With respect to the Chinese, I am surprised that Argentina allows the Chinese Armed Forces to operate in Neuquén, secretly, doing who knows what,” said the United States ambassador. Mark Stanley, in a recent interview with the local newspaper La Nación. “I understand that these are Chinese army soldiers who operate this space telescope, I don't know what they do, I think the Argentines don't know either and they should understand why the Chinese are deployed there.”

China and the Argentine governments that preceded Milei denied military or espionage purposes at the base, the only one China has abroad.

In his speech this Friday, Milei did not mention China—which, along with Brazil, are the two main commercial destinations for Argentine products—but emphasized that strategic alliances between nations “They cannot simply be based on commercial interests. They have to be anchored in a common vision of the world”.

He recalled that “Argentina and the United States are nations founded on the same ideas… this makes us share a common cultural DNA. A tradition that has at its bases the ideas of freedom, the defense of life and private property. Going astray from that path cost us a hundred years of failures.”

For his part, Richardson highlighted that the donation of the Hercules plane “is testimony to the close ties that unite the United States and Argentina”.

“What I will convey to President (Joe) Biden and Secretary (of Defense, Lloyd) Austin is the contagious positive spirit of Argentina. Together we are dedicated to promoting democracy and countering the challenges we face today to guarantee a safer and more prosperous tomorrow,” the general concluded.