September 14, 2023
BEIJING – China and Venezuela elevated their ties to an all-weather strategic partnership on Wednesday, as the countries agreed to advance cooperation on the joint building of the Belt and Road, economy and trade, education, tourism, science and technology, health, aerospace and civil aviation.
President Xi Jinping and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros jointly announced the elevation of the countries’ ties, and witnessed the signing of the agreements after their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The two countries issued a joint statement on the establishment of the all-weather strategic partnership.
Maduro is making a weeklong state visit to China at the invitation of President Xi. The visit, which runs through Thursday, marks his fifth trip to China as Venezuelan president. It also took him to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, as well as Shanghai and Shandong province.
During their talks, Xi spoke highly of the development of China-Venezuela relations in recent years, saying that the two countries are good friends who trust each other and are good partners for common development.
He told Maduro that China has always viewed its relationship with Venezuela from a strategic and long-term perspective, firmly supporting Venezuela’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty, dignity and social stability, as well as its efforts to oppose external interference.
Both sides should push for more fruitful results in China-Venezuela strategic cooperation, bringing more benefits to the two peoples and injecting more positive energy into world peace and development, he added.
Xi briefed Maduro about China’s reform and opening-up, especially the construction of special economic zones. He noted that reform and opening-up is an important instrument for China to catch up with the times in great strides and a crucial move in making China what it is today.
“China cherishes the valuable experience gained in this process and will continue to advance reform and opening-up. No force can stop China’s progress and development,” Xi said.
Noting that China supports Venezuela in establishing special economic zones, Xi said that the nation is ready to share relevant experiences to help advance Venezuela’s development.
As next year marks the 50th anniversary of the countries’ diplomatic ties, Xi called on both sides to enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges and promote practical cooperation in various fields.
China is willing to import more high-quality and distinctive Venezuelan products, Xi said.
He congratulated Venezuela on becoming the first country in Latin America to join the International Lunar Research Station project, which was initiated by China.
Both countries should closely cooperate in multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations and the Group of 77 and China, and strengthen unity and cooperation with other developing countries to safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the common interests of developing countries, Xi said.
Highlighting that China attaches great importance to the development of China-Latin America relations, he said that the nation is willing to work with Venezuela and other countries in Latin America to promote overall cooperation between China and the region, and to jointly build a community with a shared future.
Maduro said that China has become a great country dedicated to peace, development and the wellbeing of all humanity, as well as an important engine for promoting a new multipolar world.
He said that his state visit to China and the elevation of Venezuela-China relations to an all-weather strategic partnership are of historical significance and will usher in a new era for bilateral relations.
Venezuela actively supports the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, Maduro said, adding that his country is willing to closely communicate and cooperate with China within multilateral frameworks, such as the UN and the BRICS mechanism, to uphold multilateralism and the legitimate interests of developing countries.
In the joint statement, Venezuela reaffirms its interest in joining BRICS, and China says it welcomes Venezuela’s positive intention and supports efforts to achieve this goal.