CARACAS -- Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro met with China's President Xi Jinping over the weekend in Beijing and said that China had granted Venezuela another $5 billion credit line.
"We have ratified the strategic partnership with China, following an extraordinary meeting with the President Xi Jinping!" Maduro said via Twitter.
"In the meeting we approve projects and resources for the development of energy, housing, agriculture, transportation, among others," tweeted the Venezuela President, even working in that tribute was paid to the late President Hugo Chávez. "!We have paid tribute to our Commander Chávez in China. Sister homeland who remembers him as a great leader!"
According to the Venezuelan government, the country currenlty holds 365 agreements of cooperation with China in areas including energy, oil, education, health, technology, trade, construction, agro-industry and agriculture, infrastructure, industry, culture and sport, among others. With the agreements signed during trip, that total is now 400.
According to Venezuela Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela was supplying China with 626,000 barrels per day of oil, just behind the US which purchased 731,000 barrels a day. In 2012, US oil imports from Venezuela averaged 906,000 barrels a day. Ramirez predicted that the export to China figure is expected to reach 1 million barrels per day within 2 years.
In the 2005, the figure was only 49,000 barrels per day.
The oil shipments help pay down the debts from China that Venezuela has previously incurred -- $20 billion of the $46.5 billion that China has already loaned the oil rich nation. Ramirez said earlier this year that 270,000 barrels a day are used to repay the loans. A confidential US cable from the US embassy in Caracas to the State Department in Washington unveiled by Wikileaks in 2010 documented that a PDVSA director had revealed that the state oil company "had analyzed its crude sales to China and determined that China had only paid $5 a barrel of crude on a couple of deals."
China has loaned Venezuela $46.5 billion between 2005 and 2012, 55% of the loans it has issued to nations in South America.AGREEMENTS SIGNED
Maduro and the team of Venezuelan officials in Beijing met with representatives of various Chinese companies over agreements in energy, industry, construction and agriculture, among others, but most importantly oil.
On Sunday, Maduro announced via twitter that the agreement between Venezuela and the Chinese oil company Sinopec will achieve the production of 200,000 barrels a day of crude oil in the block Junin 1 of oil in the Orinoco Belt.
"In the energy field, we agreed with Sinopec an investment of 14 billion dollars in the block Junin 1 of oil in the Orinoco Belt, for the production of 200,000 barrels per day," Maduro wrote.
An agreement was signed for the construction of the maritime terminal of Pequiven (petrochemical company of Venezuela), signed with The Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) of China.
"Have signed financing of $391 million with the Eximbank for the construction of the maritime terminal of Pequiven in Moron, in the State of Carabobo, to export Urea and ammonia," wrote Maduro by tweet.
The construction of this maritime terminal, said Maduro, would enhance the export of chemicals such as ammonia and urea.
The $5 billion will be invested in the country, through a credit from the China Development Bank (BDC) for the financing of strategic projects in the field of health, science road, transport, technology, industry, electricity and mining, which will improve the quality of life of the Venezuelans.
"With this Bank funding we will develop also the Las Cristinas mine. All for the benefit of our beloved people," wrote Maduro about the long delayed gold mining project.
China Development Bank will establish an office in Caracas to oversee the loans, and the Venezuelan Bank of Economic and Social Development (Bandes) will establish an office in Beijing.
Aside from gold mining and oil production, housing for Venezuelans are also part of the presidential agenda of Maduro. "The meeting with the construction company Citic Group has been very important: review the construction of homes in Fuerte Tuna, houses in Aragua," Maduro tweeted.
In addition to these dwellings, agreements were signed to build another 4,500 homes in the states of Nueva Esparta and Anzoategui, with the support of the company manufacturer CUC.
According to the Venezuelan government, Maduro also signed new agreements with representatives of different companies for electrical production, transportation infrastructure and refinery rehabilitation.
"In meeting with the Sinohydro company checked the progress of the projects of thermoelectric generation in Carabobo. Agree to the rehabilitation system of irrigation Las Majaguas in Portuguese, and decided to implement the project road connection East-West motorway Kempis - Santa Lucía Miranda," Maduro tweeted.
According to the Venezuelan government, Maduro also talked about the supply of spare parts necessary for the continuation of the expansion of the El Palito refinery in the State of Carabobo and the maintenance of the thermoelectric plant La Cabrera in Aragua, which arose from an agreement to increase the capacity of power generation in that entity. For help in these areas, Venezuela turned to the Camc Engineering CO (CAMC).
Food shortages have also racked Venezuela. "The supplier Beidahuang, the first in the agricultural industry in China, we agreed planting 60,000 hectares of corn, rice and soybean in Guarico, Barinas, Apure, Delta Amacuro and Portuguesa for agricultural and food sovereignty," Maduro tweeted.
Aiming to modernise public transport in Venezuela, the President agreed to import 2,000 from the first Asian manufacturer of vehicles, Yutong Bus. It also announced the installation of a joint venture that will export these vehicles to other countries in Latin America.
"We will install a bus production joint venture in Venezuela, and also for the Region, to design our export capacity," Maduro tweeted.HISTORY OF RELATIONS
In October 1999, then Venezuela President Hugo Chávez made his first visit to the Asian nation, answering an invitation from his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin.
Memorandums of understanding for the establishment of a mixed Energy Committee, the signing of a treaty with the protection of inversionies, the granting of credit for export by the Development Bank of China to Venezuela and an agreement for the development of a programme for the construction of dwellings were formed during the meeting.
Chávez made six official visits to the People's Republic of China to deepen partnerships with the nation that has allowed a strong impulse to the development of the nation, since the creation of the high level joint Commission in 2001.
- In 2004, signed a letter of intent between the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Light Industries and Trade in Venezuela with Chinese company Lanchao Group Co. Ltd to establish the joint company Venezuelan Industrial Technology (VIT), which assembles and distributes computers with Venezuelan labor.
- In 2005, Chavez started Chino-Venezolana cooperation in housing by the agreement between the Ministry of Habitat and Housing and the Citic Group company for the construction of houses in various states of the country.
- In 2007, the Chinese Venezuelan mixed fund Fonden that has financed more than 200 development projects such as the Simon Bolivar satellite, five lines of the Metro and trackbeds and land was created.
- In October 2010, the two nations signed an agreement for the joint exploitation of block Junin 4 in the Orinoco Belt through an establishment of a joint venture with the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation.
- In 2013, Venezuela took over full control of the Miranda satellite, the second satellite Venezuela has from China, which was put into orbit on September 28, 2012. The first was the Simón Bolívar, launched on October 29, 2008 from the Asian country.