China-Venezuela ties take a positive step

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/13 21:33:41

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will pay a state visit to China from Thursday to Sunday. Venezuela is in the middle of a severe economic crisis. Not long ago, Maduro was the target of a drone assassination attempt. Moreover, there have been constant rumors saying that the US wants to conduct a military intervention in Venezuela. Thus Maduro's visit to China inevitably captured worldwide attention.

But no matter what happened in Venezuela, how many difficulties it confronts, the country is an important friend as well as one of the major economic partners of China in Latin America. Beijing will not interfere in its internal affairs. What the two nations need is to continue the friendship between China and Venezuela, optimize and innovate their mode of economic and trade cooperation.

There are three misunderstandings of China-Venezuela ties that need to be clarified. Some say by developing relations with Venezuela, China is playing a geopolitical game in Latin America, the so-called "US backyard." The China-Venezuela relationship is a part of China's cooperation across the world with equality and mutual benefits. Beijing will not manipulate any nation as a tool against any other country. China does not want to become a geopolitical player. It wants to take a different path in international relations.

China is not paying unilaterally in its cooperation with Venezuela. The two's collaboration is based on principles of equality and mutual benefit. Trade and economic ties between the two sides are diverse, including oil-for-loan deals. This is an innovation of South-South cooperation, a vital mode for economic and trade collaboration, and has yielded fruitful results. The debt risk between China and Venezuela has been exaggerated. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and China is the largest oil importer. This provides the possibility to control their debt risk at the macro level.

Some claim that the Maduro government would have long ago collapsed if not for the economic support of China. They clearly underestimate the Maduro government's capabilities. It should be noted that the government has quite a few supporters and its political foundation is not as vulnerable as the Western media describe.

Venezuela has been going through severe sanctions from the US and other Western nations. It has also been threatened by military intervention. External interference has easily penetrated the country through its domestic political mechanism. All these factors have added to the country's political and economic turmoil. Venezuela's story reflects the desire of people from developing countries for equality and justice, and it also unveiled how hard it is to realize their desire under the Western system. Under the shadow of US geopolitical hegemony, it is even harder.

Venezuela's state finance is largely based on oil. It is an important reason for its fragile politics and economy. Given its political infighting, a successful economic transformation is hard to accomplish. But despite all the difficulties, the international community noticed that Venezuela's government is pursuing economic diversification.

President Maduro's China tour will give rise to many conjectures from Western media. But they should be more realistic.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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