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Chavez, China Sign Deals Worth Billions

What a gadabout he is.

First from China Daily:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez talks with the media after arriving in Beijing August 23, 2006. Chavez will spend nearly a week in China on his fourth visit and hopes to secure investment in oil production and shipping, exploiting the shared interests of the world’s number two oil consumer and its number five exporter.

Chavez unveils railway plan

By Qin Jize (China Daily)

2006-08-26 09:39

Visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday unveiled a plan to construct a 1,000 kilometre-long railway worth US$10 billion with aid from China.

"The building of the railway will bring great economic vigour to the northern part of Venezuela," he told a press conference, where he also repeated his ambition to boost energy ties with China.

But Chavez pointed out that the two countries’ co-operation has expanded beyond energy, noting that co-operation in the field of infrastructure was also playing a very important part in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

He said deals were also signed on US$1.22 billion loans from Beijing to build 20,000 homes and buy 18 Chinese-made oil tankers and 13 oil drills…

Chavez hailed President Hu Jintao’s remarks that China is considering and dealing with Sino-Venezuelan ties from the strategic point of view and expressed his appreciation for China’s support for Venezuela’s bid to join the UN Security Council…

Meanwhile, from the Washington Times:

U.S. eyes Chavez ties to China

By Bill Gertz

August 25, 2006

The visit to China by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this week is being watched closely by U.S. national security officials who are concerned that Beijing is increasing its backing for the leftist leader.

A defense official involved in Asian affairs said the visit to Beijing by Mr. Chavez is part of China’s strategy of forming coalitions aimed at controlling resource markets — in Venezuela’s case, access to oil.

"China does not believe in free markets and wants to lock up access to them," the official said. He noted that Beijing thinks the United States is trying to block access to international energy and other resources as part of a containment strategy designed to prevent the emergence of a threatening China.

In Beijing yesterday, Chinese President Hu Jintao warmly welcomed Mr. Chavez, who has proposed an ambitious plan for his country to almost quadruple sales to China to 1 million barrels per day in the next decade…

Mr. Chavez also sought and won Beijing’s backing for Venezuela’s bid for a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council next year, something the Bush administration opposes.

China views souring relations between Washington and Caracas as a strategic opportunity and is cautiously coaxing Mr. Chavez into reducing Venezuela’s current large exports to the United States, the defense official said.

Currently, Venezuela ships about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day to the United States, accounting for about 10 percent of all U.S. oil imports…

Richard Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, noted that Mr. Chavez said earlier this year that he would consider buying Chinese jet fighters in addition to 24 Su-30 fighter bombers purchased as part of a $3 billion deal with Russia…

Additional weapons purchases likely will be discussed during Mr. Chavez’s meetings with Chinese leaders, including Mr. Hu…

China’s sale of military equipment to Venezuela appears to contradict a pledge made by Beijing officials to the U.S. government earlier this year…

There are also concerns that the close ties between Venezuela and Cuba will lead to covert arms supplies from China to Cuba through Venezuela…

Now we know why the Panama Canal is so important to China.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, August 26th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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