Jan 29, 2022|

Argentine Ambassador Delivers Spring Festival Parcel to The Former Chinese Envoy to Buenos Aires


by Yiming Yan

The highly respected Chinese diplomat Xu Yicong welcomed otherwise his counterpart if this were some 30 years ago.  At his home in Beijing on January 19, the Argentine Ambassador to China Gustavo Sabino Vaca Narvaja came to the senior diplomat’s doorway along with Argentine red wine and red shrimp ordered by Xu on JD.com for celebrating the coming of the Chinese New Year of Tiger. Xu is 84, and he was born in the year of tiger.

Ambassador Vaca, together with ambassadors to China from other 8 countries have been designated the Chief Promoting Officers of products from their home countries. Ambassadors have the mission to deliver the Spring Festival package to the doorsteps of Chinese clients who fancy their country’s products and culture.

Ambassador Vaca wearing a face mask

The two diplomat’s unexpected encounter was a memorable moment to a special friendship as Ambassador Xu’s last mission was in Argentina in 1997 and Ambassador Vaca’s first visit to him as an ambassador was in China, The visitor presented a Lionel Messi brand soccer and traditional Maté Tea to the host and received a first-day cover, with Ambassador Xu’s portrait on it as an outstanding Chinese diplomat.

Ambassador Vaca was also handed a commemorative Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 attire by Song Xuewen, a national model worker from JD Logistics, who accompanies ambassadors on delivery. The parties exchanged pleasantries in Spanish and even sang part of a Chinese song together. When parting, the two pointed to the portrait of Che Guevara, a native argentine, at the door and exchanged a quick smile.

The two ambassador encounters

“This first-day cover has been printed for years and few people own it. I didn’t expect to use it for such an occasion.” Ambassador Xu Yicong subsequently wrote in his blog, “The ceremony was simple and succinct, but it did mean a lot.”

According to reports from CCTV, despite the pandemic, exports to China still accounted for 9.8 percent of Argentina’s foreign trade, while 20.4 percent of the country’s imports came from China in 2021. In the first nine months of last year, bilateral trade exceeded $12 billion, increasing more than 20 percent YOY.

On February 19, 2022, China and Argentina will jointly celebrate the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. The President of Argentina Alberto Fernández will also attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and witness and feel the friendship between the two countries while he is in Beijing.