Among the world’s major powers, Argentina’s 2023 is full of drama. A dramatic president takes office, initiates dramatic changes, and may face dramatic consequences. Anyway, no matter what we think of Argentina’s new President Milai, this far-right economist has led Argentina to embark on a major experiment in the history of human society.
At the beginning of taking the stage, Milai used three axes. The first step is to cut 18 government departments in half, reducing them to nine. Anyway, Argentina does not have the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Culture, etc. that other countries must have.
Secondly, the currency peso depreciated by more than half, and prices soared by 100%. Originally, 1 U.S. dollar was exchanged for less than 400 Argentine pesos. Now the official updated quotation is that 1 U.S. dollar is exchanged for 800 Argentine pesos, a depreciation of 54%. In dollar terms, Argentina’s GDP plummeted by more than half. What this has brought about is that prices in Argentina have increased by more than 100%. It’s so cruel, so thrilling.
The third axe, economic shock therapy, state-owned enterprise auctions, many things the government does not care about. If you can export, export more. As for imports, as long as you can afford it, you can buy it, and the government doesn’t care. In fact, because of the first blow, many civil servants went home, and no one came to take care of them…
Later, he started to make diplomatic moves. In an expected move, Argentina gave up joining the BRICS organization on January 1, 2024. . According to media reports, Milley wrote a letter to the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stating that it was not “the right time” for Argentina to join as a full member. At the same time, he suggested that “strengthening bilateral relations” and increase “trade and investment flows”, and he himself is ready and willing to meet with the five leaders.
Where will Milai take Argentina? Everything is uncertain.
You know, according to South Africa, which holds the rotating chair of the BRICS in 2023, dozens of countries lined up to apply to join the BRICS this year. In the end, the South African summit had a thousand choices, and six countries joined. With the active promotion of Brazil and other countries, Argentina It is the only Latin American country among them.
But now, Argentina has changed its mind. In fact, this is also easy to understand. It was Argentina’s left-wing Fernandez who originally actively applied to join the BRIC; but now it is the far-right Milais who is in power. But one big country that has undergone such a dramatic transformation, looking around the world, is Argentina.
Will the United States accept Milai’s full support for the United States? It should be noted that Milley went to the United States for the first time after he was elected, and even went to the White House specifically, but was turned away by Biden. Biden used the excuse of having something to do overseas to avoid visiting. The attitude of the West is actually very clear.
I always feel that Argentina has made the same mistakes as India on issues related to major national interests. India refused to join RCEP at the last moment, and Argentina is now looking at the BRICS countries to stay away. If you miss this world, you may miss it forever. For the BRICS mechanism, it is actually a good thing that Argentina will not join it for the time being. If a country is alienated from Germany, no matter how good the mechanism is, it will not function smoothly.
As for the relationship between China and Argentina, we still need to keep calm. I have said before that the outside world is hyping up what Milai will do to China-Arab relations. In fact, Milai is more concerned about what China will do to him. Therefore, he immediately publicly thanked the Chinese leaders for their congratulatory message. It is said that Milai also expressed the hope that China will continue the currency swap work between the two countries and expand the scale of the swap. If you don’t become a householder, you don’t know how expensive firewood and rice are. I believe that Milai, who is now the head of the family, is increasingly able to appreciate the value of a partner like China.
Finally, best wishes to Argentina. Don’t forget, Argentina used to be one of the top ten economies in the world. Once when Europeans praised someone for being rich, they would say, “You are as rich as an Argentinian.” We talk about the “middle-income trap” today, and the most prominent example is Argentina. Argentina was eager for change and finally selected the very unusual Milai.
Where will Milai take Argentina? Everything is uncertain. But we have seen that because there is no money, a large number of people in Argentina are unemployed; coupled with government layoffs, state-owned enterprise auctions, labor unions have begun large-scale strikes. You know, Milley’s journey to the presidency has only been a month. But one thing we can be sure of is that Argentina in the next few years will definitely be very exciting, even more exciting than Argentine football.