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China defuses reports Venezuela late on oil-for-loans

By Wang Qingyun | | Updated: 2017-02-10 19:44

Oil shipments from Venezuela used to pay back loans from China remain "basically normal", Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Friday, responding to a report that a Venezuelan oil company has fallen behind schedule.

Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, has fallen months behind on shipments of crude and fuel under oil-for-loan deals with China and Russia, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Lu said the bilateral financing deal was struck between the two countries' financial institutions and companies, and has "brought tangible benefit to both sides".

Funds provided in return for oil have gone mainly to projects in Venezuela to promote the country's economic and social development, as well as projects jointly developed by the two countries, Lu said.

Pointing out that China-Venezuelan cooperation is going on "smoothly in general", Lu said that "China values highly the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, and is willing to continue cooperation with Venezuela in various fields".

Venezuela, a South American country for which the oil industry forms a pillar of the economy, has been struggling with an economic slowdown over two years.

In his meeting with President Xi Jinping in Beijing in January 2015, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said that enhanced cooperation with China based on mutual benefit and common development has enabled Venezuela to meet the challenges in the new year with greater courage and capacity, Xinhua reported.

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