In the hinterland of Argentina, Mario Pizarro’s office looks like a shrine to China. There’s the framed photo of a Chinese peasant with Pizarro’s face superimposed beneath the conical farmer hat. There’s the blue-robed smiling Buddha statue. And there’s the model wind turbine from a Chinese company with an inscription in English and Mandarin: “Create Our Future Together.”
Pizarro, 62, is the energy secretary of Jujuy, a province high in the Andes that borders Bolivia and Chile. Overlooking a river, his office building is ordinary, shabby even, but the projects he and his colleagues oversee are anything but. And the one country that’s made them all possible is China.