China and Venezuela have expressed their wish to deepen their strategic association and cooperation during the three-day visit of a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
During his visit, Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, fulfilled a tight working schedule, speaking to senior Venezuelan officials to exchange ideas on the development of bilateral relations.
On Monday night, Li met Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, in the Miraflores presidential palace. There he said that since the establishment of the China-Venezuela strategic association, and especially in recent years, relations had entered a new phase characterized by frequent high-level visits, growing political trust and collaboration.
He added that China is certain that cooperation to the benefit of both nations is in the fundamental interest of both nations, and that China seeks to increase strategic consensus with Venezuela.
He also said that the CPC regards exchanges with the Fifth Republic Movement party, founded by Chavez, as very important and called for every closer cooperation between the two.
Chavez said that bilateral relations held many opportunities and good prospects. He emphasized the Venezuelan government's hopes to explore more collaboration with China in other fields.
Li and Chavez attended a Monday night event, where economic and technological cooperation agreements were signed.
Li also met senior members of Venezuela's economic cabinet to review economic cooperation agreements.
He also placed a floral wreath at the grave of South American liberation hero Simon Bolivar at the National Cemetery, and visited the Caracas house where Bolivar was born.
On Tuesday, Li met Cilia Flores, the president of Venezuela's legislature, the National Assembly. He also visited the Caracas offices of CNPC America Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp.
This is the first high-level official visit by a Chinese official since Zeng Qinghong, China's vice-president, visited Venezuela in January 2005.
China-Venezuela trade was 4.338 billion U.S. dollars in 2006, a record level and up 102.5 percent from a year earlier, according to Chinese official statistics. China and Venezuela established diplomatic relations in June 1974.