Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hailed China as a “big sister” as he prepared to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, hoping to broker economic deals for his crisis-hit country.Maduro declared after landing in Beijing overnight that he came with “great expectations” to further deepen strategic ties with Venezuela’s key creditor.
The leftist leader said his visit would give a “big push” to energy investments, trade and the “successful financial relationship” between the two countries.
China has loaned some USD 50 billion to OPEC member Venezuela in the past decade, with Caracas repaying debt with oil shipments.The socialist-led Latin American country still owes USD 20 billion to Beijing.
Maduro may return home with a new USD 5 billion loan and a six-month extension to the grace period to service its debt, according to Venezuelan consultancy Ecoanalitica.
“Recently, the Venezuelan government has actively promoted economic and financial reform with a good social response,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press conference.