China slams U.S. general’s remarks on China-Argentina space project

BUENOS AIRES: The Chinese Embassy in Argentina on Saturday expressed its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the recent remarks made by the commander of the U.S. Southern Command, slamming the remarks as “contrary to the facts, absurd, and lacking even the most basic respect for China and Argentina,” for which the Chinese side is deeply shocked and angered.

Regarding the Deep Space Station in Neuquén, Argentina, and China-Argentina economic and trade cooperation, on April 2, Laura Richardson, the commander of U.S. Southern Command, visited Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, to meet Argentine President Javier Milei and raised concerns about the deep space station, intended for radio astronomy, radar observations and spacecraft missions of China, according to the media outlet Newsendip on Wednesday.

The media outlet noted that Richardson claimed the station provides the Chinese People’s Liberation Army with “global tracking and surveillance capabilities,” which “could translate into global military capabilities.”

In response, the Chinese Embassy in Argentina stated on Saturday that, regarding the Neuquén Deep Space Station, China and Argentina have clarified the intended use of the facility on multiple occasions.

As a space technology cooperation project between China and Argentina, it does not have any special purposes other than civilian use, and its operation is open and transparent, the embassy said in the statement.

The statement stressed that space is the common home of humanity, not an arena for power struggles, noting that some in the U.S. are still stuck in the old era of Cold War thinking and zero-sum games.

The embassy pointed out the fact that the U.S. has around 800 military bases overseas and has stationed 173,000 troops in 159 countries and regions. The international community is deeply concerned about U.S. activities at military bases overseas, and people in various countries have the right to know what military activities the U.S. is openly conducting on the territory of other countries, it noted, adding that the U.S. needs to provide a clear explanation to the international community on whether these military bases are seriously undermining the sovereignty and security of other countries.

Instead of reflecting on itself, the U.S. is blatantly applying double standards, deliberately slandering, smearing and attacking China-Argentina deep space exploration, essentially politicizing, instrumentalizing and weaponizing technological issues, and maliciously depriving China and Argentina of their rights to use science and technology for their own development, the statement read.

China-Argentina economic and trade cooperation is based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation, which is in the common interests of both sides, it continued, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative is an open and inclusive international cooperation initiative. China has always adhered to the principles of voluntary participation, equality and mutual benefit, openness and transparency in carrying out relevant cooperation with relevant countries, and no partner has accepted the so-called “debt trap” theory, the embassy stated.

Since the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative 10 years ago, it has driven nearly a trillion dollars in investment, formed more than 3,000 cooperation projects, created 420,000 jobs for partner countries and lifted nearly 40 million people out of poverty in partner countries, it pointed out.

Under the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative, China and Argentina have implemented a series of practical cooperation projects in energy, electricity, infrastructure, communications and other fields, playing an important role in upgrading Argentina’s industries, social development, job creation and improving people’s livelihoods, according to the embassy.

The embassy underscored the fact that Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Argentina, are independent sovereign states, not the backyard of the U.S. The Argentine government and people have the wisdom and ability to choose cooperation partners that are in their own interests, it added.

China will continue to uphold the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, and openness and inclusiveness, it said. Based on respecting each other’s needs and interests, China will carry out practical cooperation in various fields with Argentina to better promote the development and revitalization of both countries and improve social welfare, continuously adding resilience and vitality to the global economy, the embassy added.

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