The present research document analyzes the development and evolution of political and commercial ties between Argentina and China from 2002 to 2011. During this period –after China’s formal entry into the World Trade Organization on December 11, 2001 - China displayed all its political clout and economic power among Latin American countries, particularly in Argentina, and became the second South American trading partner. And its links with some countries reached the level of strategic relationships.
Considering different arguments, various specialists, who observed the beneficial and harmful aspects of the close bilateral relationship, highlighted its opportunities and warned about its potential threats.
The beginning of the period of analysis coincides with Taiwan’s entry to the international body (1 January 2002) under the name Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei) and when the Democratic Progressive Party ruled the government until 2008 when the Kuomintang Party returns to the power. Different forms of foreign policy were applied and this affected the development of the cross-strait relations, and have side effects in the relationship with Argentina.
Meanwhile, within Argentina broke out the worst economic, social and political crisis that led to the resignation of Argentine President on December 20, 2001. The institutional crisis resulted in having five presidents within 12 days and the end of the convertibility status which fixed the currency exchange at 1 peso = 1 U.S. dollar.
The study is focused on understanding the general framework for the relationship between China and Taiwan with Argentina, their evolution, characteristics, and the political and trade relation level achieved. These links evolved in a context of asymmetric trade relation with China and trade relations with Taiwan, and in changing cross-strait relation strategies.
As a result, it is possible to infer that the causes, which limit the bilateral exchange, should not be attributed to the China factor since there were not obstacles. However, the strategic relations, the close political ties and the reciprocity to demonstrate support to two different but significant issues (Taiwan and Malvinas) have been strengthening and deepening the Argentinean State Policy among different governments.
Nevertheless, the trade complementarity and the need to diversify export markets allow to conclude that there are conditions to normalizing trade ties between Buenos Aires and Taipei; without risking the achievements in the relations with Beijing under a regulatory framework that provides a limited range of action.