Venezuela ties set for new stage

Xi tells Maduro two coun­tries should en­hance friend­ship, boost co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAO DESHENG caodesh­eng@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and Venezuela signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing on Fri­day on Belt and Road con­struc­tion as part of their joint ef­forts to fur­ther ad­vance their prag­matic part­ner­ship.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and his Venezue­lan coun­ter­part, Ni­co­las Maduro, who is on a state visit to China, wit­nessed the sign­ing of the MOU as well as a num­ber of other co­op­er­a­tive agree­ments in such fields as ed­u­ca­tion, agri­cul­ture, trade, cul­ture and hu­man re­sources.

The two lead­ers agreed to bring the com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween the two coun­tries to a new stage when they held talks at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing.

Wel­com­ing Maduro’s 10th visit to China, Xi said that, against the back­drop of in­creas­ing in­sta­bil­i­ties and un­cer­tain­ties in the world, the two coun­tries should work to­gether to en­hance friend­ship and mu­tual trust, in­no­va­tively ad­vance mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion and pro­mote sus­tained com­mon de­vel­op­ment.

The two sides should avail them­selves of the op­por­tu­nity pre­sented by the sign­ing of the MOU on con­struc­tion re­lated to the China-pro­posed Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, strengthen align­ment and push for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the con­sen­sus of the two coun­tries on co­op­er­a­tion, in or­der to im­prove Venezuela’s ca­pa­bil­ity for in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ment and pro­mote the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, Xi said.

China ap­pre­ci­ates Venezuela’s un­der­stand­ing and sup­port on is­sues re­lated to China’s core in­ter­ests and ma­jor con­cerns and will con­tinue to sup­port Venezuela’s ef­forts to seek na­tional sta­bil­ity and de­vel­op­ment, he said.

Xi called on the two coun­tries to in­ten­sify mul­ti­lat­eral co­or­di­na­tion and co­op­er­a­tion, jointly par­tic­i­pate in the re­form of the global gov­er­nance sys­tem and safe­guard the le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

China stands ready to pro­mote a com­pre­hen­sive co­op­er­a­tive part­ner­ship with Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries in a sus­tained and steady man­ner, he added.

Maduro hailed bi­lat­eral ties as solid and fruit­ful, say­ing the all-around co­op­er­a­tion is in syn­ergy with Venezuela’s na­tional plan for eco­nomic re­cov­ery, sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity.

He said he highly ap­pre­ci­ates Xi’s pro­posal for build­ing a com­mu­nity of shared fu­ture for mankind, adding that his coun­try stands ready to work with China to up­hold mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism.

Also on Fri­day, Maduro met with Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang and top leg­is­la­tor Li Zhan­shu and

at­tended the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the 16th High-Level Joint Com­mis­sion be­tween the two gov­ern­ments, at which en­ter­prises from the two coun­tries signed a se­ries of co­op­er­a­tive agree­ments.

Zhao Ben­tang, di­rec­tor-gen- eral of the For­eign Min­istry’s Depart­ment of Latin Amer­i­can and Caribbean Af­fairs, told re­porters that Venezuela’s sta­ble de­vel­op­ment is in the in­ter­ests of var­i­ous par­ties. China hopes and also be­lieves that the Venezue­lan gov­ern­ment and peo­ple can deal with the coun­try’s do­mes­tic is­sues within a le­gal frame­work, Zhao said.

The re­la­tions be­tween China and Venezuela and even Latin Amer­ica at large are based on equal­ity and mu­tual ben­e­fit, said Wu Hongy­ing, a se­nior re­searcher of Latin Amer­i­can stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, in an in­ter­view with China Daily.

Venezuela con­sid­ers China as the main coun­try for oil ex­ports, while China’s in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, satel­lites and tech­nol­ogy has in­jected im­pe­tus into the in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of the Latin Amer­i­can coun­try, Wu said.

Venezuela is one of China’s im­por­tant part­ners in Latin Amer­ica, Wu said. “China and Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries have com­ple­men­tar­i­ties in eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, and the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive pro­vides greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for part­ner­ship be­tween China and Latin Amer­ica.”

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping holds a wel­com­ing cer­e­mony for his Venezue­lan coun­ter­part, Ni­co­las Maduro, out­side the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Fri­day.

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