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China’s Xi says ‘upgrading’ Venezuela ties

Xi tells Biden China 'will not sit idly by' on tech restrictions: state media
Source: Video Screenshot

President Xi Jinping announced Wednesday an “upgrading of China-Venezuela relations” in a meeting with his counterpart Nicolas Maduro, state media reported.

Maduro arrived in Beijing on Tuesday after a tour of Shanghai and other Chinese cities.

The Venezuelan leader, who touched down in the southern tech hub Shenzhen on Friday, is expected to stay in China until Thursday for his first state visit to the country since 2018.

Xi announced Wednesday the “upgrading of China-Venezuela relations to an all-weather strategic partnership”, according to footage of the meeting published by state broadcaster CCTV.

The 60-year-old Maduro is seeking to secure membership for Venezuela in BRICS, a bloc of emerging economies.

Beijing is Venezuela‘s main creditor and has close ties with the diplomatically isolated, inflation-ravaged socialist nation.

China “will, as always, firmly support the efforts of Venezuela to safeguard national sovereignty, national dignity and social stability, and firmly support Venezuela’s just cause of opposing foreign interference,” Xi told Maduro, while also saying he would work to deepen cooperation between the two countries.

The pair will also hold a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, CCTV added.

Last week Maduro posted on social media that his “historic” visit was aimed at “strengthening cooperation and the construction of a new world order”.

China loaned about $50 billion to OPEC member Venezuela in the 2010s, with Caracas repaying the debt with shipments of oil, of which it has some of the largest reserves in the world.

It owed $20 billion to Beijing in 2018.

China has also provided extensive technological assistance to Venezuela as it expands control over its population, according to the Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning has hailed ties with Venezuela as “rock solid”, calling the two countries “comprehensive strategic partners”.

 

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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