China–Venezuela Strategic Partnership: Problems and Prospects

377
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-8-96-102

V. Shamshina, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (V.N.Shamshina@mail.ru



Abstract

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Sino-Venezuelan relations have witnessed remarkable strengthening. This approach reflects China's commitment to enhance unity and cooperation with developing countries, to ensure national oil security and to expand markets. The fundamental feature of modern Sino-Venezuelan relations is China's growing economic influence on the Bolivarian Republic. Over the last 15 years, the PRC has managed to become the second largest trading partner of Venezuela and the largest creditor of Caracas. Venezuela needs China's financial support to develop social projects and thus to ensure domestic political stability. The intensification of economic relations between two countries promotes their cooperation in the international arena. Caracas is largely in tune with Beijing, when it comes to foreign policy issues. At the same time, China's proposals seem to be more restrained and sensible compared to Venezuela's radical foreign policy rhetoric. Therefore, Beijing is not ready to support Venezuela's anti-American initiatives despite the fact that China by no means advocates the American hegemony. Nevertheless, Venezuelan anti-American rhetoric, especially manifested during Hugo Chavez's rule, allows Beijing to assess the limits of Washington's tolerance. Beijing also expands arms sales to Caracas, which can be treated as China's response to the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and to the American military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. China's growing ties with Venezuela cause concerns in the United States, which for centuries have seen Latin America as its sphere of influence. Beijing doesn't want to provoke Washington in the region. The “triangular relationship” (involving the United States, China and Venezuela) requires China to adjust various foreign policy goals. The article attempts to examine objectives and to evaluate the achievements of the PRC's policy toward Venezuela. The author tries to explore possible implications of closer cooperation between the countries amid changes in the Venezuelan political balance.


Keywords

China, Latin America, Venezuela, USA, trade and economic relations, energy ties, military-technical cooperation, foreign policy, international relations 


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For citation:
Shamshina V. China–Venezuela Strategic Partnership: Problems and Prospects. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2016, vol. 60, No 8, pp. 96-102. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-8-96-102



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