A project for space exploration and a loan of 331.5 million dollars, show that China trusts one of the most fragile economies in the region
For some months now, and what the Chinese Embassy describes as a "satellite antenna for watching the deep sky with 35 meters in diameter", in the Argentine Patagonia, has come IGNORE INTO operation. The plant began to operate with 10 technicians, whose purpose is to develop research projects on the Moon and on Mars.
Leer en español: China mantiene la fe puesta en Argentina
The plant will allow the tracking of satellites before launching an expedition to the farthest side of the Moon (invisible from Earth). If the mission is successful, "it will be a milestone in space exploration and is likely to pave the way for the extraction of helium 3, an isotope that some scientists consider a potential and revolutionary source of clean energy," says The New York Times.
Regarding the operation of the plant, the newspaper El Economista notes that "Argentina will have access to 10 percent of the project through the National Commission of Special Activities (CONAE), which means that local technicians can use 2 hours and 40 minutes newspapers of the information collected by the space station located in the Quintuco area, 300 kilometers northwest of the capital of Neuquén." Additionally, the media affirms that the plan for the coming years is "send a satellite to the Moon to make a detailed mapping of the territory and obtain specific information of the surface."
According to The New York Times, the device created by the Chinese army has a value of 50 million USD. In addition, it is part of the Chinese strategy that, for a few years, seeks the transformation of Latin America by questioning the economic and political power that the United States has in the region.
The negotiations for the plant were made in secret for some years while Argentina was looking for investments. However, there are currently debates in this country about the possible risks of tightening economic relations with China. According to Evan Ellis, professor of Latin American Studies at the US Army War College, "Beijing has transformed the dynamics of the region, from the agendas of its leaders and businessmen to the structure of its economies, the content of its policy. and even its security dynamics."
In addition to this project for space exploration, at the end of last year, China granted Argentina a 15-year loan for 331.5 million UDS in order to boost the development of renewable energy.
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Respecting the rest of Latin America.
On the other hand, in 2017, trade between China and Latin America reached the figure of 244,000 million USD, more than double the amount generated in the previous decade, according to the Center for Global Development Policies of Boston University. The New York Times states that "Perhaps more significantly, China has disbursed billions of dollars in loans to the Americas that are backed by basic products, which has allowed it to claim a large portion of regional oil for years, including almost 90 percent of Ecuador's reserves." In addition to having rescued state companies in Venezuela and Brazil.
Also, in recent years both Venezuela and Bolivia have imported millions of dollars in Chinese military equipment. Likewise, Peru and Argentina have made more discrete agreements in terms of weapons with the Asian giant.
All this is because, according to The New York Times, the United States has diverted its attention from the region when it comes to providing financial support, directing it to the Asian territory where it seeks to cut off Chinese influence. However, a few weeks after the Chinese space station began operations in Argentina, the United States announced the financing of an emergency response center in Neuquén (province where the Chinese base is located), which will only have local officials.
In addition, Rex Tillerson, former Secretary of State of the United States, warned the region that there should be a distance with China in economic terms and said that China "is using its economic policy to put the region in its orbit"; the question is At what price?
LatinAmerican Post | Sofía Carreño
Translated from 'China mantiene la fe puesta en Argentina'