Skeptical of leaving the country for 10 days, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner postponed her Asian trip on Tuesday, calling it “too long especially when the country’s Vice President does not fulfill the role that has been assigned to him.” She went on to say that Vice President Julio Cobos cannot serve his role and be a “dissident.”
Cobos and Fernández de Kirchner have been at odds most recently over her desire to force Central Bank President Martin Redrado to step down. But the vice president urged her to “reconsider the situation” and go to China, promising that he would not sign any decrees in her absence without consent.
The January 25-28 trip would have been the first state visit to China since taking office in 2007. Her agenda was scheduled to have included meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao. Numerous cooperation agreements were to have been signed.
Bilateral relations grew tense last month after an Argentine judge had requested that Interpol issue an arrest warrant for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin over treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. With concerns mounting about Argentina’s debt, neither side would discuss whether China was prepared to provide any aid or grant loans.