The Chinese government confirmed on Tuesday that it granted two loans worth more than USD 20 billion to the government of President Hugo Chávez and that both countries signed oil and energy agreements.
"We hope China and Venezuela to make joint efforts to implement these agreements and take bilateral relations to a higher level," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, reported Efe.
On Saturday April 17, the Chinese government and a corporate delegation signed seven bilateral cooperation agreements with Venezuela, Jiang said, including a "framework agreement on financing" under which the China Development Bank (CDB) will provide a USD 10 billion loan and other credit amounting to 70 billion Yuan (USD 10.25 billion).
According to Chinese media, the agreements were signed in presence of President Hugo Chávez and a Chinese delegation led by Zhang Guobao, the director of the National Energy Administration, as President Hu Jintao canceled a visit to several Latin American countries due to the Qinghai earthquake.
The fund in Yuan will be a pilot program to internationalize the Chinese currency, Chinese experts say. Given Venezuela's oil potential, the agreement could consolidate the position of the Chinese currency in the oil sector.
"We have signed many agreements on the oil and electrical sectors," the Chinese spokeswoman said.
With the agreements signed on Saturday, China ensures part of Venezuelan oil for its voracious economy, and Venezuela gets huge cash inflow at a time of falling oil prices.
Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.