Published on Voltairenet.org, by Olivia Kroth, June 13, 2012.
China’s growing economic role in Venezuela is a direct result of Hugo Chávez’s systematic drive to supplant U.S. influence over his country, a trend that is spreading throughout Latin America. This staggering compendium of Sino-Venezuela co-operation projects, drawn up by Pravda journalist Olivia Kroth, is emblematic of the shift in the center of gravity towards China occurring in a region that Washington has traditionally regarded as its own backyard and which is now hanging the U.S. out to dry.
Since 2009, a boost in Sino-Venezuelan cooperation can be remarked in agriculture, energy, housing, telecommunications, trade, transport and tourism.
Great energy projects have seen the light of day during the last three years, from drilling oil in Venezuela’s Orinoco Basin to creating a Sino-Venezuelan company to manufacture oil tankers and an oil refinery. “Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world”, says President Hugo Chávez. “All the oil China needs is here in Venezuela”.
The Faja del Orinoco contains 520 billion barrels of crude oil. The Orinoco oil belt has been divided into blocs, where oil is extracted by Sino-Venezuelan joint ventures in which Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA keeps at least 60 percent controlling share.
Officials from PDVSA meet regularly with Chinese oil industry colleagues to plan further steps of oil extraction, building petroleum platforms, oil refineries and a fleet of oil tankers.
Currently Venezuela exports 400.000 barrels per day to China, the aim is to reach one million in 2025.
Hugo Chávez speaks of “gradualness and joint development”. Sino-Venezuelan projects constitute part of a “strategic long-term development plan, to be implemented in several stages until 2025”, according to the Venezuelan President.
China’s Vice-President, Xi Jinping, says of Hugo Chávez that “his presence is a very positive attribute for commercial development between China and Venezuela” … (full long text).