Milei is not only a problem of the Latin Left, gathered in Pan-American lobbying groups - Foro de São Paulo and Grupo de Puebla - whose dream, as the daily newspaper El Mundo wrote, is a red Latin America. The new President's election may also thwart the plans of China and Russia, which are trying to create a bloc of countries competing with the USA-led West.
During the campaign, Milei and his colleagues made no secret that they might reject the invitation for Argentina to join BRICS, which the last outgoing leftist President Alberto Fernandez agreed to in Johannesburg. It is no secret that, together with Argentina, Iran would also join BRICS in January 2024, i.e. the regime supplying Russia with drones for the invasion of Ukraine, which Milei condemned. BRICS would thus become the anti-Western alliance led by Beijing and Moscow.
Meanwhile, in a conversation with Tucker Carlson, Milei emphasised that "there will be no business with China, with any communists". However, he added that this does not mean that Argentina cannot sell its goods to China, Russia or Brazil - the country ruled now by the far-left President Lula da Silva. Diana Mondino, another woman in Milei's entourage, who is to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs in his cabinet, after the elections also expressed her scepticism about joining BRICS - by the way – she was quoted by Russian Sputnik.
China has already responded to such signals. As the Xinhua agency reported, Argentina breaking off relations with China would be a "serious mistake", according to Chinese Foreign Ministry diplomat and spokeswoman Mao Ning. Supporters of cooperation with China take comfort in the fact that Milei's collaboration with the centre-right Macri will force a relaxation of any anti-Chinese course, as – amongst other sources – was reported by the "South China Morning Post". After all, China is Argentina's second-largest trading partner after Brazil.
An expert on Latin America from the British think tank RUSI, cited by PAP Dr Carlos Solar, noticed that the poor state of the economy would force the new President of Argentina to be more pragmatic in the field of international relations since Brazil and China are of key importance to the Argentinean economy.
Perhaps this is why the EU's trade agreement with Mercosur, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, will also be concluded. The agreement creating a gigantic free trade zone was agreed after 20 years of negotiations in 2019 but has not yet been ratified, mainly due to French resistance. As recently reported by export.org.uk, EU officials and Brazilian diplomats are in a hurry and do not exclude the possibility of finalising the agreement even before December 10, the date of Milei's assumption of his Presidential Office.
However, according to the "Buenos Aires Times", changes in foreign policy will certainly occur, as announced by Milei's upcoming plans and his first meeting with the media, which the president-elect held in a setting reminiscent of White House press conferences.
The media points out that in August, Milei clearly defined who Argentina's allies would be: the United States and Israel. –This is our international policy. We will not ally with the communists, Milei announced. Even before he is sworn in as the President, he is going on a private trip to the USA and Israel.
– Anna Gwozdowska
TVP WEEKLY. Editorial team and jornalists
– Translated by Katarzyna Chocian