Heine Deciphers Mixed Signals on China from President-Elect Javier Milei

Amb. Jorge Heine

Ambassador Jorge Heine, Research Professor at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Interim Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, was prominently featured in a recent article on Agencia EFE, discussing newly elected President Javier Milei’s equivocating stance on the economic and diplomatic relationship between Argentina and China.

During Argentina’s campaign cycle, Milei vowed to break relationships with China and proffered an tough ideological stance that refused friendly relations with any communist country. Yet after Milei’s election, his tone softened considerably, even exchanging correspondence with Xi Jinping. In the article, Heine casts doubt on the idea that the two countries are headed for a break, reminding readers that “picking trouble with the Chinese is never a good idea.”

Heine also discussed the possibility of Milei rebuffing Argentina’s invitation to join BRICS. Based on Milei’s previous rhetoric, Heine believed that Milei may be tempted into rejecting the invitation, but that he may be constrained by the tides of domestic politics into accepting. Heine warned that the Industrial Union and the Argentine Rural Society, two groups which trade extensively with China and other BRICS member Brazil, may not allow Milei to repudiate an offer that could provide significant economic benefits.

For a more detailed exploration of Professor Jorge Heine’s insights, you can read the full article here.

Ambassador Jorge Heine is a Research Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He has served as ambassador of Chile to China (2014-2017), to India (2003-2007), and to South Africa (1994-1999), and as a Cabinet Minister in the Chilean Government. Read more about Ambassador Heine on his faculty profile.