BEIJING – Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping have agreed to promote bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, the state-run Xinhua reported.
Xi welcomed the visit of Maduro to China, expressing appreciation of Maduro’s high value of the development of bilateral ties and firm support for China-Venezuela cooperation.
“China always views and develops Sino-Venezuelan ties from a strategic and long-term perspective,” said Xi.
In the face of new circumstances and new challenges, China and Venezuela should jointly deepen friendly mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation in an innovative way, continue to advance common development, and drive China-Venezuela ties to a new height to better benefit the two peoples, he added.
China appreciates Venezuela’s understanding and support on issues concerning China’s core interests and major concerns, said Xi, noting that China will continue to support the Venezuelan government’s efforts in seeking stable development and a development path suited to its national conditions, and China is willing to strengthen exchanges with Venezuela on governance.
The Chinese president called for closer people-to-people and regional exchanges, to consolidate the social foundation for bilateral friendship.
Xi said that China has always promoted cooperation with Latin American countries on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual benefit, and common development, and is willing to promote the building of the China-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Forum and the steady development of China-Latin America ties.
Maduro said the two peoples enjoyed a long-term friendship. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, bilateral ties had withstood various tests and become increasingly solid and fruitful.
The fact that the two sides reached consensus on expanding cooperation in a wide range of fields during his visit fully demonstrated that the bilateral cooperation is comprehensive and compatible with Venezuela’s economic recovery, growth and prosperity program, he said.
The Venezuelan side appreciated China’s long-standing understanding and support, said Maduro, expecting to learn more about China’s successful experience in reform, opening up, and governance.
Venezuela is willing to actively participate in the construction of the Belt and Road, explore effective financing methods, strengthen cooperation in such areas as energy and production capacity, and expand people-to-people exchanges, said Maduro.
Maduro said he highly agrees with Xi’s concept of advocating to build a community with a shared future for humanity, adding that Venezuela will work with China to safeguard multilateralism.
He also expressed firm support for the development of the China-CELAC Forum, saying Venezuela will make positive efforts to enhance China-Latin America cooperation.
After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several cooperative documents, including an MOU on jointly promoting the Belt and Road Initiative.
Days ahead of a visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Beijing, Venezuela’s finance minister told Bloomberg that China will provide a $5 billion loan to Venezuela as a means of alleviating its domestic economic woes.
Simon Zerpa said that “either cash or oil” will be how Venezuela plans to pay back the credit, with an additional deal involving cooperation on gold mining.
The two governments are still finalizing the terms of any deal and will release details in a timely manner, said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.
“The domestic situation is getting better and Venezuela’s government is actively promoting economic and financial reform,” the spokesman said.
Maduro government owes over $6 billion and has been forced to freeze repayments on foreign debt, squeezing any remaining financing streams left in the economy.