Opinion / Opinion Line

Misreading the Venezuela move

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-22 08:06

Misreading the Venezuela move

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a national TV broadcast in Caracas in this March 9, 2015 picture provided by Miraflores Palace. [Photo/Agencies]

Some Western media outlets have reported that China recently sent an "unofficial envoy" for talks with Venezuela's opposition party to ensure its loans to the country are recognized after President Nicolas Maduro steps down and claimed the move marks a shift in Beijing's attitude toward Caracas.

The continuous political turbulence in Venezuela has made the international community pessimistic about the Maduro government's survival. So it is natural for Chinese people to be worried about the safety of China's loans to Venezuela. But it is wrong to interpret China's gesture as a shift in attitude toward Venezuela, because Beijing is unlikely to reverse its friendly ties with Caracas.

China has for long kept in touch with opposing forces in other countries. So even if China has contacted the Venezuelan opposition, there is no reason to brand it a "hurried move" to retrieve its loans. Also, it is not unusual for one country to keep in touch with different political parties in another country.

Considering Venezuela's huge oil reserves, the oil-for-loan deal Caracas has signed with Beijing is basically safe. Friendly cooperation with China is Venezuela's strategic choice and goes beyond partisan interests. And most Latin American countries use their ties with China to geo-strategically balance their ties with the US.

Even should Venezuela suffer a collapse, the loans extended by China and other international lenders will be secure, although the possibility of the resource-rich Latin American country collapsing is extremely remote. Recovering oil prices indicate Venezuela will overcome its ongoing economic hardship.

And since China has generally received more benefits than losses from its all-round economic cooperation with other countries over the past decades, it would be myopic to consider the loans China offers to other countries as squandering of State money.

Most Viewed Today's Top News