CARACAS – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said China would provide $20 billion for a “large volume and long term” financing plan, and in exchange he guaranteed to supply more petroleum to the Asian giant.
“China will contribute financing, in just a first tranche, of $20 billion” to help with development in Venezuela “under conditions that in no way have anything to do with the excessive interest rates” of multilateral lending entities, such as the International Monetary Fund, Chavez said Saturday.
“But not even the smallest word is similar to or approaches by a millimeter that IMF disgrace,” the president said without detailing the conditions of the agreement, which he had planned to sign Sunday in Caracas with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The Chinese leader had to suspend his visit to Chile and Venezuela because an earthquake killed more than 1,000 people in Western China last week.
Chavez repeated the condolences of his government over the natural disaster,” which we feel to be ours, in our heart and spirit,” but Hu did not want this to delay the signing of the accords.
Venezuelan officials signed the pacts with members of a government delegation sent by Hu to Caracas and led by China’s National Energy Administration minister, Zhang Guobao.
Venezuela already has been sending to China about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and, thanks to the signing Saturday of an additional agreement for the creation of joint venture that will operate in the Orinoco Belt, to that volume another 400,000 bpd will be added, Chavez said.
“All the petroleum that China may need to consolidate itself as a great power is here,” Chavez said, adding that the Asian giant will become “the No. 1 great world power.”