Argentina Joins The Pacific Orientation

While the “Pacific Orientation” does refer namely to those Pacific nations, such as Russia and China, who have been taking leadership in pushing for real, physical economic development, as well as challenging imperial strategic policy, such as the crucial role which Russia has played in keeping the Empire’s hands off of the Syria war trigger, it also implies the role which the United States, also a Pacific nation, could play as part of that Alliance were we to change our tune and abandon the bankrupt Transatlantic system and its suicidal “principles." One nation which has decided to take on that role is decidedly Atlantic, but its spirit has rejected that of the Transatlantic collapse: Argentina. President Cristina Kirchner has been willing to call a spade a spade when it comes to policies which are imperial and colonial, as well as pushing for a science-driver economic orientation. As Cristina Kirchner has noted, she repeats at every G-20 summit one of her favorite quotes of Einstein “when he said that only insane people think they can keep using the same methods but obtain different results.” Argentina has learned this lesson, having turned away from the repeatedly failed methods which typify the policies of the Transatlantic system (this is typified by the recent ceremonial removal of the portrait of Milton Friedman from the Argentine Central Bank!). This does not make the Empire crowd very happy, as they would like to see the rest of the world participate in “a global bailout of Europe’s banks” which Gordon Brown recently encouraged, calling specifically upon the world’s developing nations. Here, we review a few of the most recent developments from Argentina which make their intention clear, some of which we have covered already on the LPAC site, and we congratulate Argentina on its Pacific-mindedness, and example which we should follow! --Meghan Rouillard

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Dmitri Medvedev at the Casa Rosada, 2010 (

Argentina’s challenge to the Transatlantic imperial policy has not been limited to the bold stance it has taken regarding the provocative role played by the British in the Malvinas Islands, with Kirchner recently addressing U.N. Committee on Decolonization on this matter, being the first head of state to ever address this committee. Importantly, Argentina, as well as several other South Americans heads of state, have also pointed out the imperial nature of the push for a so-called “green” economic policy.

At the recent Rio+20 Summit, Argentine Planning Ministry Undersecretary of Planning & Environmental Policy Silvia Revora told Veintitres magazine that "we're headed toward a trade war" because of what developed nations are demanding in terms of "green economy," and that behind this very concept "are a variety of different traps." She rejected the idea of some form of "global governance" for environmental policy, as a ploy to pass on the cost of dealing with environmental damage to developing countries. "Our concept of sustainable development implies distribution of wealth, and includes the whole range of social, economic and environmental policies defined by a country. That's why we say 'no' to the imposition of a green economy, and 'yes' to sovereign development, in which we control our resources on the basis of our reality." She warned that several European and other nations want to violate the sovereignty of developing countries, and obstruct their development, through such ruses as imposition of carbon taxes, or demanding that countries certify how much carbon was used in the production of certain goods. This is absurd. We can't compete with this nonsense, and we are hurt by it, she stated.

From the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a short stopoff in Uruguay and then went on to Argentina for a three-day state visit, which was in part to celebrate the anniversary of 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Warmly received as an honored guest, Wen signed a number of important trade and economic cooperation agreements, in the areas of railroad construction, nuclear energy, transportation, agriculture and biotechnology, among others.

China Daily pointed out that China is now the biggest trade partner of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. In the past decade trade between the U.S. and Ibero-American countries doubled, but the trade between China and Latin American countries grew 17 times over. Also investment from China is growing at a rapid pace.

As the Chinese Premier underscored June 23, China wants to strengthen its strategic partnership with Argentina, established in 2004, to seek ways to jointly confront the global financial crisis, through a process of "common development." Fernandez emphasized "we are united by our common goals, achieving peace and prosperity for our people." The relationship between China and Argentina is not only economic, she said, but profoundly political. Referencing China's support for Argentina's claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas, she noted that "we have a common vision also in terms of the integrity of our territories."

Wen and Fernandez also held a videoconference with the Brazilian and Uruguayan Presidents to discuss how to consolidate China's cooperation with the Common Market of the South, Mercosur.

The many agreements signed by the two governments include one for cooperation in the area of nuclear energy, as well as for a credit line extended by China's Trade and Industry Bank for the rehabilitation of the Belgrano Cargas railroad line. A "Joint Action Plan for the Global Strengthening of Cooperation in Agriculture," includes plans for Argentina to increase agricultural exports to China, including beef, wine and corn and fruits.

Wen was upbeat about increasing cooperation in the areas of science and technology, noting that with China's growing demand for food, "biotechnology is very important for my country." He met with personnel from Argentina's National Science and Technology Research Council, CONICET, and from other scientific institutions. It was also expected that through its national oil company, China would also make substantial investments in oil and gas development in Argentina, and engage in joint projects with the recently-renationalized YPF oil firm.

Wen's visit followed President Cristina Fernandez's broad-ranging discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 meeting in Mexico, during which the two also discussed a range of economic, scientific and political projects already in the works. During their June 19 meeting at the G-20 summit in Mexico, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner mapped out several strategically important areas in which the two governments want to broaden their cooperation. This should drive the British Empire wild.

Putin also invited Fernández to use the occasion of the September 2013 G-20 meeting in Moscow--Russia is now the President of the G-20--to spend several days in Russia for a state visit to really get to know the country. Fernández invited Putin to visit Argentina as well.

According to {Russia Today}, the two heads of state discussed hydrocarbons and nuclear energy, transportation and railroad development, and agriculture and agro-industry as key areas for greater cooperation. There are reportedly negotiations already going on in Moscow and Buenos Aires by relevant officials in each of these sectors.

Officials from Russia's Gazprom announced from Moscow that they intend to contact the new leadership of Argentina's recently-renationalized YPF oil firm to discuss a specific work plan for cooperation in the exploration, exploitation, and distribution of natural gas in Argentina, with the goal also of collaborating with YPF throughout the Mercosur (Common Market of the South) region, which includes Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

Gazprom is especially interested in working with Argentina to exploit the enormous Vaca Muerta shale gas deposit in the Patagonia, in offshore exploration of Argentina's continental shelf, and also in several joint oil projects inside Russia.

Cooperation in nuclear energy is also a top agenda item. Officials from Rosatom, Russia's nuclear energy agency, are already in discussions with leaders of Argentina's NASA, the agency that oversees reactor construction, as well as with the state-run technology company INVAP, to evaluate Russian participation in the building of the two new fourth-generation reactors that Argentina wants to build.

Crucial also is the invitation that Argentine officials have extended to Russia's state railroad company to participate in the modernization of Argentina's railroads. A delegation of Russian officials from that agency is expected to visit Argentina shortly to begin negotiations both with public and private sector leaders. Projects include improving and upgrading certain specific lines with new technologies, as well as revitalizing the railroad machine shops that have been used historically to train and upgrade personnel. But large projects, such as a bi-oceanic railroad and construction of underground lines, are also on the agenda.

Putin would like Argentina to provide the technology and know-how to help develop Russian agriculture and beef industries, including breeding animals and marketing. Argentine technical and agro experts are already planning trips to Riazan and Smolensk to begin work in these areas.

Even smaller Atlantic countries, such as Ireland, are jumping on the veritable “Pacific Orientation” bandwagon: Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and Ireland’s National Space Center just recently signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation in space exploration. It’s time for U.S. to jump on board without some of our own Transatlantic-minded baggage.

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