China Fears for Oil Deals as It Loses Ally Chavez
From Times of India
By Saibal Dasgupta
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s death could jeopardize China’s oil deals with an important Latin American ally.
The deals are crucial for the world’s second largest economy and were inked during the tenure of the late leader, known for his anti-US stand.
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles had recently said he would “revise every deal” with Russia and China that Chavez approved if he came to power.
Observers fear that the deals might come under the scanner and Chinese companies may have problems in inking new deals.
The socialist leader was a key ally of China and sought closer ties the Communist nation to reduce his country’s dependence on the US. China buys about 640,000 barrels of oil daily from Venezuela that has the world’s largest crude oil reserves.
China helped Venezuela launch its own satellite, besides offering $42 billion in loans that can be repaid in oil over the years.
Chavez used his influence to help Beijing expand its trade in Latin America and reach a trade volume of $250 billion last year.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying hailed Chavez as an “outstanding leader” and a good friend.
National Development and Reform Commission head Zhang Ping would attend Chavez’s funeral.
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