Maduro meets Xi during official China visit

Beijing, Sep 13 (EFE).- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday met his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in Beijing during the latter’s official visit to the country, which began on Sep. 8.

The two leaders agreed to boost bilateral ties to an “all-weather strategic partnership,” state broadcaster CCTV reported.

In a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi backed Venezuela’s efforts to maintain its “sovereignty, national dignity and social stability” and welcomed Maduro during his 5th China visit since assuming office in 2013, Caracas-backed media outlet teleSUR reported.

The Chinese president added that Beijing and Venezuela were “good friends and partners” who “trust each other” and cooperate in various fields and underlined that 2024 will mark the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides.

He insisted that China had always viewed ties with Venezuela from a “strategic and long-term perspective.”

Meanwhile Maduro hailed China as the “great nation committed to piece, development and well-being of the entire humanity,” according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

He also thanked the Chinese people and the government for their support during the Covid-19 pandemic and amid “illegal and unilateral” sanctions, adding that this had helped Venezuela overcome the testing times and make “extraordinary achievements” towards national economic rebuilding.

The Venezuelan president said that his country wanted to learn from China’s experience in establishing special economic zones.

The two leaders signed several bilateral cooperation agreements in the fields of economy and trade, education, tourism, science and technology, health, space travel and civil aviation, according to Xinhua.

Beijing is the last stop in Maduro’s China tour, which began in the southern city of Shenzhen and included stops in Shanghai and the eastern Shandong province.

On Tuesday, the leader had met Liu Junwen, the director of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China, in the Chinese capital.

He also visited Mt Taishan, a sacred mountain in the Shandong province, to seek “blessings for Venezuela,” according to a post on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

During his stay in Shanghai, Maduro met the head of the BRICS New Development Bank, Dilma Rousseff, and highlighted the importance of Venezuela’s ties with the bloc.

Maduro’s China visit comes in the backdrop of historic strong ties between the two countries stretching back many decades, especially since the tenure of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (1999-2013). EFE


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