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Argentina’s Foreign Minister, neoliberal economist Diana Mondino, has yet to extricate herself from racist remarks made about the Chinese during a May 2 interview with the daily Clarín in Paris, to which she had traveled following her April 28-May 1 visit to China. As recounted by the Argentine daily Dangdai, Mondino was asked about the recent Argentine government inspection of China’s deep-space center in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, which the U.S. Southern Command’s Gen. Laura Richardson and the Biden administration claim to be a secret Chinese military operation posing a major national security threat to the Western Hemisphere and especially to the U.S.

Although the center’s scientific purpose had been proven in a previous 2019 inspection, President Javier Milei slavishly agreed to order another one, in which the Science and Technology Minister and personnel from the National Space Activities Commission participated. The results disproved Washington’s crazy claims. But when Mondino replied to the Clarín reporter about the inspection’s findings, she said that “those who did the inspection didn’t identify any military personnel. They were Chinese. They all look alike.” Oops!

Mondino has spent days since that racist, ignorant remark trying to walk it back, saying the interviewer “misunderstood” her, that she really meant that the center staff were all civilians, no one wore uniforms, etc. She insisted that her trip to China was wonderful, that President Milei never insulted Chinese leaders previously, that he never meant he wouldn’t “trade with communists,” but only that there would be no state-to-state dealings. In fact, she reported that any business deals to come out of the recent trip will only be between private companies, “in which the state doesn’t have to participate.” That may be news to some of the Argentine and Chinese businessmen involved.

It’s notable that the People’s Bank of China central bank has yet to announce whether it will renew its $5 billion yuan-swap with the Argentine Central Bank before it expires in June, whose renewal was one of the goals of Mondino’s trip. If not renewed, Argentina will have to find $5 billion it doesn’t have, to pay China.