Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will arrive in China Thursday to discuss economic and energy cooperation at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ahead of the visit, Geng Shuang a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the visit was a symbol of the faith the country's government has in Venezuela along with the recently implemented economic reforms.
“Recently, the Venezuelan president has actively pushed forward economic reforms, and there has been a positive reaction from society,” Shuang told reporters in a briefing.
“I think that a Venezuela that is steadily developing is in everyone’s interests. China is confident that the Venezuelan people and government will be able to handle its domestic affairs with the legal framework.”
He added: “This visit by President Maduro is beneficial to both sides’ mutual trust, to push forward cooperation, to expand ties between the two countries and to promote Venezuela’s development.”
Maduro, who will be in Beijing until Saturday, told reporters before he left Caracas: “I am going with great expectations and we will see each other again in a few days having made big achievements.”
Maduro's meetings with Xi follows a brief but "productive" visit by Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, who met with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Rodriguez met with her counterpart, Qishan, and the executive president of the Chinese Development Bank of China, Zheng Jizhe, also with the aim of strengthening a series of bilateral accords.
Along with meeting with Xi, President Maduro will hold talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Legislative President, Li Zhanshu, according to EFE.
The Venezuelan leader will also chair the sixteenth meeting of the high-level committees for bilateral relations of both countries while in China.
China has agreed to extend a $5 billion credit line to Venezuela, the country’s Finance Minister Simon Zerpa told Bloomberg News Thursday. The minister added that the finances would paid back in cash or oil.
“Venezuela has a great alliance with China,” Zerpa said.
Rodriguez, during her visit, also met with the head of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Zhang Jianhua. Zhang said he hopes both sides continue to work harder to deepen cooperation in the oil and gas sectors. The CNPC website quoted Rodriguez as saying she hopes China can help Venezuela boost output and move bilateral collaboration to a higher level.
CNPC is a major investor in oil and gas exploration in Venezuela.