As Trump and Xi Head to Buenos Aires, Argentines Lean Toward China

As President Trump and the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, head to Argentina for the high-stakes G-20 summit November 30, their hosts in Buenos Aires are trying mightily to show no favoritism between the country’s two most powerful allies. But among the Argentine people, Mr. Xi will enjoy a far warmer welcome, according to a new poll by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and leading polling firm Poliarquía.

The national survey, conducted in November, found that 72 percent of Argentines hold a positive view of China, compared to only 60 percent for the United States. That might complicate the White House’s increasingly aggressive effort to distance its Latin America allies from China, which has won over the region through billions of dollars in infrastructure loans. 

Regarding the G-20, the poll showed little excitement for the summit, though serving as host is considered a source of pride and prestige for a government. Only 47 percent of Argentines see potential benefits from the gathering, which Mr. Macri hopes will attract foreign investment and demonstrate global support for the country’s International Monetary Fund bailout.

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ArgentinaPulse is a joint undertaking of Poliarquía Consultores and the Argentina Project at the Wilson Center. The aim of ArgentinaPulse is to produce, scientifically and systematically, analysis and public opinion data on Argentines’ perceptions of the world order, international relations, and global issues. Poliarquía Consultores provides ArgentinaPulse with the technical capacity to produce high-quality social research, while the Wilson Center contributes its expertise studying international affairs.