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Future China-Venezuelan cooperation looks optimistic


08:32, May 13, 2013

CARACAS, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Officials from Venezuela and China have voiced confidence in bilateral relations since President Nicolas Maduro took office in April, saying the two countries' cooperation prospects look great.

China and Venezuela established diplomatic relations in 1974. In recent years, the two countries have expanded their cooperation in energy, finance, infrastructure, technology and production. During his 14-year mandate, the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited China six times and boosted bilateral relations.

After Maduro was sworn in last month, he said his government will continue to attach great importance to its strategic partnership with China and will further deepen and promote their cooperative relations in various fields.

"The best way to pay tribute to Chavez is to continue to deepen Venezuela and China's strategic relationship," he said.

The China-Venezuela High Level Joint Commission was established in 2001 as a high-level decision-making center of the cooperation between the two countries. A joint development fund between the two nations was created in 2007.

Han Deping, regional chief of China Development Bank's American division, told Xinhua that the joint development fund and the long-term financing loans are cornerstones of cooperation between the two countries.

They not only help undertaking the financial risks for the Chinese enterprises, but also solve the budget restriction for the Venezuelan government, Han said.

Wang Yong, China's economic and commercial counselor to Venezuela, said trade volume between China and Venezuela amounted to over 23 billion dollars in 2012.

Venezuela has become China's fourth largest trading partner in Latin America.

China has provided more than 30 billion dollars to Venezuela in financing nearly 300 bilateral cooperation projects in energy, agriculture, industry, technology and infrastructure, he added.

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