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08.08.2019 | China labels Trump 'bully' before joining Putin in Venezuela alliance as Maduro ends talks
Source - The Daily Express

A major Chinese contractor has agreed to repair Venezuela’s main oil refineries in a deal that could well indicate Beijing growing closer to Caracas. Wison Engineering Services Co., a state-backed chemical engineering and construction company, will service the crumbling oil infrastructure in exchange for various oil products. The deal comes days after US National Security Adviser John Bolton called on Russia and China to withdraw their “intolerable” support for Caracas. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying responded furiously, saying: “We have to point out that which political party rules a country is a domestic issue and should be decided by its people. "What the United States said and did constitutes gross interference in Venezuela's internal affairs and severely violates the basic norms governing international relations. China firmly opposes that. "China is fully convinced that the China-Venezuela cooperation will go on as usual no matter how the situation changes.” A ship heading towards Venezuela containing 25,000 tons of soy products was seized last night due to the US blockade. The work by Wison – which is set to take six months – is a lifeline for the embattled Mr Maduro. Global sanctions stemming from the White House have combined with a fall in oil prices and economic sabotage to put Venezuela in a precarious position. Venezuela’s refineries, meanwhile, have been operating far below their capacity of over a million barrels a day. In recent years, they have struggled to operate on 250,000. Energy analyst Schreiner Parker suggested that China’s motivations were political. He said: “China wants to be identified with a friendly socialist government, especially in the backyard of the US. "They have no guarantee that a regime change will necessarily mean that they're going to be repaid." Cooperation between China and Venezuela began in 1999 under former President Hugo Chavez, but analysts suggested they may take a step back from trading with the debt-stricken nation under Mr Maduro. However, expert Carols Eduardo Pina claimed that China would continue to support the Venezuelan state in order to maintain their regional influence. He wrote: “‘South-south cooperation’ is currently one of the mainstays of China's foreign policy and Beijing does not want to risk its reputation as a leading trading partner and trustworthy investor in the global south. “China views the oil-rich socialist country as a significant trading partner and a geopolitical ally in its main political and economic rival US's backyard. “Moreover, the investments Beijing made in the country in the last couple of decades made Venezuela an important component in China's future economic prosperity and energy security.” Beijing’s strategy is likely to see them cooperating with Moscow, as they have done in other parts of the world to thwart the Washington Consensus.


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