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President sets a new course with Venezuela

Updated: 2014-07-22 07:33
By Wu Jiao in Caracas and Zhang Yunbi in Beijing ( China Daily)

President sets a new course with Venezuela

President Xi Jinping and his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, agreed on Sunday to upgrade their countries' relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Xi arrived in Caracas on Sunday on his first-ever state visit to the South American country.

It is also the first visit by a Chinese president to Venezuela in 13 years.

New cooperation agreements were signed on Monday in energy and mining, finance, infrastructure construction, agriculture, high-tech and other fields that will expand Chinese investment, facilitate local social and economic development and strengthen commercial ties between the two nations.

Maduro threw a warm welcoming ceremony, featuring honor guards and hundreds of local people dancing in colorful costumes.

After Xi's arrival, the two leaders held extensive talks for hours, during which the two sides decided to ramp up their bilateral ties into a comprehensive strategic partnership.

During a news conference with Maduro, Xi also said that, as a sincere friend, China supports Venezuela's development path as it suits its domestic situation, and that the current leadership is capable of handling domestic affairs while preserving stability and achieving economic development.

President sets a new course with Venezuela

Xi said the two sides decided to continue to strengthen investment cooperation, as well as improve upstream and downstream cooperation in the energy sector, along with high-tech cooperation, including development of a remote-sensing satellite.

China is willing to actively participate in the planning and construction of economic zones in Venezuela, Xi said.

Maduro said there are various kinds of cooperation between China and Venezuela in many fields, and it is well-known among Venezuelan people that bilateral cooperation has brought big changes to their lives.

"We have established a framework for cooperation within all of the sectors of Venezuela. It will have a profound impact on the process of our country's industrialization and modernization, and it also has a significant meaning for our further development, especially the expansion in the energy sector," Maduro said. "China's development model is a worthy lesson for our country to learn from."

Zhao Rongxian, China's ambassador to Venezuela, said Xi's visit is a "milestone" because both countries are currently deepening their respective domestic reforms.

"The bilateral relationship will be promoted to a record high at a strategic level, and will provide powerful driving forces for the two peoples to realize their shared dreams," Zhao said.

Contact the writers at wujiao@chinadaily.com.cn and zhangyunbi@chinadaily.com.cn

 President sets a new course with Venezuela

Venezuelan children wave flags as they welcome President Xi Jinping at Simon Bolivar airport in Caracas on Sunday. Jorge Silva / Reuters

(China Daily 07/22/2014 page3)