Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
hailed China as a big sister as he prepared to meet with Chinese leader Xi
Jinping Friday, hoping to broker economic deals for his crisis-hit country.
Maduro declared after landing in Beijing overnight that he came with great
expectations to further deepen strategic ties with Venezuela's key creditor.
The leftist leader said his visit would give a big push to energy
investments, trade and the successful financial relationship between the
China has loaned some $50 billion to OPEC member Venezuela in the past
decade, with Caracas repaying debt with oil shipments. The socialist-led
Latin American country still owes $20 billion to Beijing.
Maduro may return home with a new $5 billion loan and a six-month extension
to the grace period to service its debt, according to Venezuelan consultancy
China is our big sister. I will be very happy when I meet with our brother
Xi Jinping on Friday, said Maduro, who last visited China in March 2017.
He will be in China until Sunday.
Recently, the Venezuelan government has actively promoted economic and
financial reform with a good social response, Chinese foreign ministry
spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press conference on Thursday.
I think a stable Venezuelan development is in the interest of all
parties, Geng said.
The trip to China is Maduro's first outside the country since he was
allegedly targeted by exploding drones at a military parade in Caracas August
Vice President Delcy Rodriguez visited Beijing before Maduro's arrival and
met with Chinese officials from the China Development Bank and China National
Petroleum Corp (CNPC).
Maduro's government has massively devalued the national currency as part of
a raft of measures intended to halt the economy's free-fall into
The International Monetary Fund projects Venezuela's inflation rate will
reach 1,000,000 percent by the end of the year.
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country, most of them
into neighbouring Latin American countries.
Venezuela's crude oil production fell in August to 1,448,000 barrels per
day, the lowest level in three decades excluding a strike in the sector
between December 2002 and February 2003, according to the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)