In the last episodes of a state visit that began on Friday (8), the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Beijing. This Wednesday’s agenda (13) served to announce the promotion of the relationship between the two countries towards a “Strategic Partnership under All Conditions”.
In this way, Venezuela becomes the third country, after Pakistan and Belarus, to establish this level of relationship with the Asian giant. Strategic partnerships are one of the main features of China’s foreign policy and refer to the breadth and level of commitment that States make to each other.
Following China’s diplomatic relations criteria, at the highest level is North Korea, with which China has a joint defense agreement. Next comes the level of strategic partnership under any conditions, which is the level Venezuela is at now. Then there is Russia, with whom China has a “Comprehensive Strategic Coordination Partnership for a New Era.”
On a third level of relations is Brazil, which this year also elevated its relationship with China to a “Global Strategic Coordination Association”. Some African countries, such as Morocco, or those from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, such as Brunei, are also at this level.
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In total, Venezuela and China signed 31 agreements, conventions and memoranda of understanding. Maduro described the agreements of the energy and mining subcommittee (one of seven subcommittees) as the backbone of cooperation between the countries. But the agreements cover varied sectors, from agriculture to aerospace cooperation.
On this trip, the Venezuelan government sought to strengthen technological cooperation initiatives to promote the diversification of its economy, taking advantage of the recent creation of four special economic zones.
One of the agreements in this regard was the establishment of a joint development plan between the city of Shenzhen and the La Guaira Special Economic Zone to receive investments, technology and the installation of Chinese companies.
Delcy Rodríguez, Vice President of Venezuela and Minister of Finance, was appointed to coordinate the steps necessary to make Venezuela’s request for formal entry into the New Development Bank (NBD), known as the Brics Bank.
The president of the NDB, Dilma Rousseff, met Maduro and highlighted that Venezuela is welcome at the financial institution, which is “made by developing countries and for developing countries.”
The Venezuelan president, in turn, highlighted that Caracas aspires to be able to establish a virtuous relationship with the NDB and, sooner or later, be part of what he called the “great family” of the Brics.
*With collaboration by Isabela Shi.
Editing: Thales Schmidt