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Venezuela - China Relations

On 25 January 2019, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a second response to the Venezuelan incident in two days. This indirectly confirms China's serious concern about the growing risks it faces in the country, with its large oil reserves. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that "China has opposed the threat of military intervention in Venezuela and will continue to support the government's efforts to safeguard Venezuela's national sovereignty and stability."

Hua Chunying also pointed out that "China advocates that all countries abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, especially those of non-intervention in countries' internal affairs, respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and threat of force."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson noted that China believes that Venezuela's affairs must also be chosen and decided by the Venezuelan people themselves. "China calls on all parties to respect the choice of the Venezuelan people and support the parties in seeking a political solution through peaceful dialogue within the framework of the Venezuelan Constitution," she said.

both Iran and Venezuela are working closely with China in the oil sector. China's energy security largely depends on these countries, as Beijing is a major investor in their oil production and a major importer of their raw materials. In September 2018, Venezuelan President Maduro announced that Venezuela intends to increase their oil supply to China to 1 million barrels per day. In other words, their intention was to triple oil exports to China. He also limited the doubling of their domestic oil production to one year by 20 August 2019.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited China from 21-26 December 2005 and met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, ex-president Jiang Zemin, and other senior GOC and business officials. Chavez claimed that Venezuela has become the number one destination for Chinese investment in Latin America and estimated that in 2005 the trade relationship would reach almost USD 3 billion. Chavez announced the signing of eight bilateral agreements focused on increasing cooperation in the energy, agriculture and technology fields. He also said Chinese Vice-President Zeng Quinghong and Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC) officials would visit Venezuela January 27-29 to begin the implementation of the signed agreements. Chavez again criticized U.S. "imperialism" and praised China as a big country that does not act like an empire.

With respect to oil exports, Chavez said Venezuela would look to build an oil pipeline through Panama to facilitate oil exports to China. After 100 years of U.S. domination, said Chavez, he was going to put Venezuela's oil exports at China's disposition, especially now that China had become the world's second largest importer of crude oil. Chavez said Venezuela would continue selling oil to the U.S., "but not only to them." Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez later told reporters that Venezuela would increase production to accommodate increasing sales to China so as not to disrupt service to its "traditional partners."

Chavez asserted that national heroes Mao Tse Tung and Simon Bolivar would have been friends if they had known each other "because their thoughts, despite the distance in time and geography, sprang from the same source." If Bolivar had lived a few more decades, Chavez asserted, he would have ended up a socialist. Citing Mao's dictum about every country learning to walk on its own two feet, Chavez said Latin America had paid a high price to be free and not follow the decisions coming from the Washington consensus and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He again criticized U.S. "imperialism" and called capitalism "the path to hell," while complimenting China for being a big country without being imperialistic. Chavez described himself as "Bolivarian, Christian, and Maoist." He also reaffirmed Venezuela's "one China" policy and opposition to Taiwanese independence.

In 2013, the People's Republic of China and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela deepened mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation in all areas and enriched their strategic partnership for common development. The two sides maintained high-level exchanges and deepened political trust. In March, on behalf of the Chinese government, Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, went to the embassy of Venezuela in China to offer condolences on the passing of President Hugo Chvez due to illness. Minister Zhang Ping of the National Development and Reform Commission attended the funeral of President Chvez as special envoy of Chinese president. In April, NPC Vice Chairman Ailigeng Yimingbahai attended the inauguration ceremony of President Nicols Maduro as special envoy of Chinese president. In May, Vice President Li Yuanchao paid an official visit to Venezuela, where he met with President Maduro and President Diosdado Cabello of the National Assembly, and held talks with Vice President Jorge Arreaza.

In September 2013, President Maduro paid a state visit to China. He had talks with President Xi Jinping and met with Premier Li Keqiang and CPPCC Chairman Yu Zhengsheng. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and President Maduro attended the opening ceremony of the 12th High-level Joint Commission between the two governments.

On October 19, 2016, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao and Deputy Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia of Venezuela co-chaired the Bilateral Relations Sub-committee Meeting under the 15th Meeting of China-Venezuela High-level Mixed Committee in Beijing. Speaking positively of the development of China-Venezuela comprehensive strategic partnership, both sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral relations, cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries and international and regional issues of common concern. Both sides agreed that the two countries enjoy fruitful outcomes from cooperation in various fields, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. In the principle of equality, mutual benefit as well as common development, both sides should continue to launch relevant cooperation, so as to push forward the continuous development of China-Venezuela relations and benefit the two peoples.

On 13 February 2017 Venezuela signed 22 economic development and cooperation agreements with China, another sworn enemy of U.S. president Donald Trump. While the timing may be simple coincidence, the growing economic ties between oil-rich Venezuela and the second-largest owner of U.S. foreign debt no doubt raised alarm bells among the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

The China-Venezuela Joint Commission on 14 February 2017 reviewed the expansion of the Puerto La Cruz refinery, according to Venezuelan Vice-President of Planning and Knowledge Ricardo Menendez. This plant, which was located in the northeastern state of Anzoategui and near the Caribbean Sea, has a current capacity of 129,000 barrels of oil per day for internal and external distribution. "This alliance will raise (capacity) to 210,000 barrels of oil per day, following the vision that (former president) Hugo Chavez had for the Orinoco Oil Belt as the country's main reserve," Menendez told a press conference, who was accompanied by Ning Jizhe, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission of China.





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