Venezuela’s Guaido seeks talks with China

HONG KONG • Juan Guaido (picture), named interim president by Venezuela’s National Assembly, is ready to talk to Chinese officials “as soon as possible” to establish a “productive and mutually beneficial relationship”, the Sunday Morning Post cited him as saying in an interview.

China would continue to play a role in Venezuela’s economic development, and its deals with the government of President Nicolas Maduro would stay in place as long as they adhered to “due process”, Guaido said in an interview last Friday, according to the Morning Post.

China, along with Russia, has refused to join the US, European Union and most Latin American nations in recognising Guaido’s interim presidency to succeed Maduro.

China has loaned US$50 billion (RM204.83 billion) to Venezuela over the past decade, which the South American nation has been repaying in oil shipments, the Morning Post said.

Guaido said he sought to improve relations with Beijing to stimulate the Venezuelan economy, which is suffering hyperinflation and has witnessed a collapse of investor confidence, according to the report.

China is a crucial global player, Guaido said in the interview, and its support will be “very important in boosting our country’s economy and future development”.

Beijing continues to promote trade in Latin America and the Caribbean within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, which gives China a natural space to foster development across the region, the Morning Post cited him as saying.

Guaido said that if he assumes the presidency, his priority would be to increase investments and promote economic development, and he conceded that he would need China’s support. — Bloomberg