Chinese President Xi Jinping Signs Oil Deal With Venezuela
Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a series of mineral and oil deals with Venezuela Tuesday in an effort to strengthen ties with the Latin American country.
The deals include a $4 billion credit line in exchange for Venezuelan oil and other profitable products, according to BBC News.
Venezuela was the penultimate stop on Xi's visit to four Latin American countries over the past week. He has already signed deals in Brazil and Argentina, and will visit Cuba as his last stop on the tour, where he will meet with President Raul Castro.
China has had close diplomatic and trade ties with Cuba due to their similar Communist-style governments.
The Chinese president also agreed to an $11 billion currency swap in Argentina, which will provide funds for the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Argentina defaulted in 2001, and has since been locked out of international capital markets.
At a summit in Brazil, Xi also helped create a new development bank with other emerging BRICS powers: Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa. The new bank is intended to be an alternative to the World Bank, which is dominated by Western powers.
China's trade with Latin America has been growing as of late. China is now the second-largest trading partner in Cuba and Argentina, and has been Brazil's biggest trading partner since 2009.
China is also now the second-largest market for oil from Venezuela, only second to the United States. China buys a daily volume of 640,00 barrels, in part to pay off Venezuela's debt of $17 billion.
Xi brokered the deals in Latin America in order to secure more natural resources to fuel China's diplomatic and economic fast-paced development. Venezuela has the world's largest proven reserves of oil, according to BP.
China became an ally of Venezuela during the 15 years that late president Hugo Chavez was in power.
Xi also said China will increase satellite technology transfer to Venezuela and encourage Chinese companies to construct "economic zones" in the country, according to South China Morning Post.
He added that China and Venezuela should cooperate more on economic governance, climate change and energy security.
Last week, Xi also said that he wants to promote China's global ties and promote a "fairer' international order while giving a speech at the National Congress of Brazil.
China and Brazil brokered official diplomatic ties in 1974. While in Brazil, Xi said the diplomatic relations between the two countries has since become "more solid and mature."
Brazil is China's primary diplomatic partner among emerging countries, and was also the first country in Latin America to strike a diplomatic and economic deal with China.
The two countries are marking 40 years in their cooperative relationship, and the renewed commitment to their strategic partnership is meant to expand their influence together.
Xi announced a three-point proposal during the speech to describe the details of the partnership.
He said China and Brazil will continue their efforts to strengthen their trust, support each other on major issues like security, territorial integrity and sovereignty and support each other in their respective developments. He added that they will engage in "strategic dialogue" and provide advice regarding governance.
Both sides will also enhance their coordination in development by coordinating macroeconomic policies and expanding "strategic converging points." The two countries have a ten-year cooperation plan already in place, which Xi said should be accelerated by expanding their trade and mutual investments and pushing more strategic cooperation plans forward.
Additionally, he said the two countries will both promote the tenets of the UN Charter to establish a balanced global development partnership and take on international responsibilities. China and Brazil will also reach out to other emerging countries to enhance trade and diplomatic ties.
While many human and democratic rights groups have decried China's political and labor practices, including a repression of free speech, Xi claimed that China is committed to peaceful development and "openness" between the two nations.
Xi's visit comes at the same time as Russian President Vladimir Putin's Latin America tour. Putin also came to Latin America with the main goal of bolstering ties with Latin American allies.
Two weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered a nuclear energy agreement with Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in an attempt to strengthen Russia's trade and diplomatic ties with Latin American countries.
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