BEIJING – Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez touted China’s role in the global economy during a meeting on Wednesday with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.
“China is the biggest engine that exists to lead the world beyond the crisis,” the Venezuelan leader said.
Chávez, who shared his ideas with Hu on the state of bilateral relations and what he calls the “construction of a new world geopolitical order,” said the steps taken by China to deal with the global recession were “very positive.”
“I think your visit presents an exceptional opportunity for exchanging points of view face to face on the agenda that most interests you,” the Chinese leader said.
Hu called Chávez an “old and great friend” whose six visits to China were “obvious proof of the importance he gives to the development of bilateral relations and their good dynamics.”
“No one can doubt that the center of gravity of the world has shifted toward Beijing,” the leftist Venezuelan leader said.
Chávez also praised China’s efforts to deal with the global economic crisis, such as at last week’s G-20 summit in London, saying they “have been very positive for the world.”
“A new world is being born, a new balance, the multipolar world that we have all dreamed about for a long time. The unipolar world went down, the power of the empire of the United States, and Mao Zedong ended up being right when he talked of the ‘paper tiger’ of the empire,” the Venezuelan leader said.
In light of Chávez’s visit, the official China Daily analyzed the growing relations between the Asian nation and Latin America.
Trade between China and Latin America grew to $106 billion in 2008, an increase of 40 percent, according to official Chinese figures.
China acquires raw materials from Latin America to feed its growing economy, the world’s third-largest and the biggest among emerging nations, purchasing petroleum from Venezuela, soy and iron from Brazil, soy and cooking oil from Argentina, copper from Chile, tin from Bolivia and wool, wood and leather from Uruguay.
Last November, Chinese officials published the first White Paper on policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasizing plans to bolster “complete cooperation” in the political, economic and cultural areas, as well as in security, defense and legal affairs. EFE