The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, paid his third state visit to China from 8 to 14 September at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. His last visit was in September 2018. With a special focus on economic cooperation, development and diversification, the visit was highly successful and saw the bilateral relationship upgraded to an all-weather strategic partnership, a category that China has so far only agreed with a handful of countries.
Meeting President Maduro in Beijing on September 13, Xi Jinping said that “the establishment of an all-weather strategic partnership between China and Venezuela meets the common expectations of the two peoples and conforms to the general trend of historical development.”
Xi spoke about China’s reform and opening up, especially the development of special economic zones, and noted that these are important instruments for China to catch up with the times in great strides and a crucial move in making China what it is today.
He added that China stands ready to work with Venezuela to firmly support each other in exploring a development path suited to their national conditions and to strengthen party and national governance exchanges. He said China supports Venezuela in setting up special economic zones and will share relevant experience to help its national development.
Maduro said Venezuela’s national development and Venezuela-China relations are at a significant stage. “The establishment of an all-weather strategic partnership is of historic significance and will surely usher in a new era of bilateral relations.”
He added that Venezuela is willing to learn from China’s experience in building special economic zones and to deepen practical cooperation in agriculture, investment, education, and tourism.
The two heads of state agreed a detailed joint statement. It noted that China and Venezuela are good friends with mutual trust, good partners for common development and good comrades-in-arms in strategic cooperation. China firmly supports Venezuela in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, national dignity, socio-economic stability, and the right to self-determination under the guidance of the legacy of liberator Simón Bolívar.
The two sides agreed that at present, the changes in the world, the times and history are unfolding in an unprecedented way. China and Venezuela are both developing countries and share extensive common interests and similar positions in international affairs. The two sides spoke positively of the strategic cooperation between the two countries in international organisations and multilateral mechanisms and will continue to firmly support each other in international affairs.
The Venezuelan side reaffirms its interest in joining the BRICS countries, which, as a reliable energy supplier, with the world’s largest oil and fourth largest natural gas reserves, can make an important contribution to the mechanism’s energy agenda. China welcomes Venezuela’s positive willingness to join BRICS and supports Venezuela’s efforts to achieve this goal.
The statement notes that illegal imposition of unilateral sanctions seriously violates the basic principles of international law, such as the sovereign equality of states and non-interference in internal affairs, and seriously damages the Venezuelan people’s rights to subsistence, development and peace. China firmly supports the Venezuelan people’s just struggle to defend national sovereignty and oppose external sanctions, opposes the imposition of illegal and compulsory unilateral sanctions and so-called “long-arm jurisdiction” by certain countries against Venezuela under any pretext, opposes any acts of political bullying, and opposes military intervention or the threat of force.
The two sides agreed that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way to resolve the Ukraine crisis, and all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be encouraged and supported. The Venezuelan side highly appreciates and firmly supports China’s relevant proposals. The two sides called on more countries to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
Having noted the two countries’ previous cooperation in satellite launches, the Chinese side welcomed Venezuela to join the cooperation of the International Lunar Scientific Research Station, highly appreciated the signing of the framework agreement on cooperation in the field of space, and is willing to work together to jointly promote the progress of cooperation projects in the fields of communications and remote sensing satellites, lunar and deep space exploration, and promote the improvement of space capabilities and the national economic development of the two countries. Venezuela thus becomes the first Latin American country to whom China has extended such an invitation.
The Venezuelan side sincerely thanked China for its anti-epidemic support to Venezuela during the coronavirus epidemic. Chinese vaccines, medical supplies and Chinese medical teams have played a key role in Venezuela’s fight against the epidemic and made important contributions to saving the lives of millions of Venezuelans. The two sides agreed to promote health cooperation between the two countries by sharing experience and technology.
The two sides spoke highly of the important role of the China-Latin America Forum (CELAC) in promoting China-Latin America relations. They are willing to strengthen communication and coordination on China-CELAC Forum affairs and promote stable and far-reaching China-Latin America relations in the new era of equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and benefiting the people. China highly appreciates the positive role played by Venezuela in Latin American and Caribbean affairs and in promoting the sustainable development of China-Latin America cooperation.
President Maduro sincerely thanked President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government and people for their warm and friendly reception during his visit and welcomed President Xi Jinping’s timely state visit to Venezuela.
Maduro had begun his visit on Friday September 8 in Shenzhen, the home of China’s reform and opening up, where a spectacular welcoming ceremony was arranged in the city’s Talents Park, with a light show featuring hundreds of drones, culminating in them spelling out, ‘May the Friendship between China and Venezuela be Eternal’ across the night sky.
President Maduro’s itinerary then took him to China’s financial capital Shanghai and to Shandong Province. Visiting China’s International Poverty Reduction Centre, the Venezuelan leader noted that despite the hardships imposed by the US’ economic war against his country, 77.1% of Venezuela’s budget is devoted to social investment, strengthening programs in food production and distribution, social housing, education, health and social security.
Further underlining the great importance that Venezuela attaches to its relations with China, Maduro’s visit was immediately preceded by, and overlapped with, one by his Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, who arrived in China on September 5, primarily to attend the 17th Meeting of the Mixed Venezuela-China High Level Committee and to review and confirm bilateral agreements prior to the state visit.
On the day prior to Maduro’s arrival, she met with China’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who said that their two countries had forged an unbreakable, iron-clad friendship. On the day of Maduro’s arrival in Shenzhen, she met with her counterpart, Vice President Han Zheng in Beijing.
The following reports originally appeared on the websites of the Xinhua News Agency, the People’s Daily and Telesur. The full text of the joint statement was machine translated from Chinese and lightly edited by us.
Xi, Maduro announce elevation of China-Venezuela ties
BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro Moros, who is on a state visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday.
The two presidents announced the elevation of the China-Venezuela relationship to an all-weather strategic partnership.
“The establishment of an all-weather strategic partnership between China and Venezuela meets the common expectations of the two peoples and conforms to the general trend of historical development,” Xi said, calling on the two sides to push for more fruitful China-Venezuela strategic cooperation, bring more benefits to the two peoples and inject more positive energy into world peace and development.
Xi spoke about China’s reform and opening up, especially the development of special economic zones, and noted that reform and opening up is an important instrument for China to catch up with the times in great strides and a crucial move in making China what it is today.Continue reading China and Venezuela establish all-weather strategic partnership