Venezuelan President Chavez on China visit

September 23rd, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 23 (RIA Novosti) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in China Tuesday on a three-day state visit, part of his week-long world tour which includes Russia, Portugal and France. China’s foreign ministry official earlier said Chavez would meet President Hu Jintao and other top officials to discuss an agenda dominated by energy cooperation. She also said the two sides would sign documents on cooperation in justice, sports and other fields.

China, a booming economy with huge energy needs, is the second largest destination of Venezuelan oil after the US. Chavez, an outspoken critic of US foreign policy, is seeking new markets to reduce his country’s reliance on the US.

Chavez’s visit to Moscow comes at a time of increased military cooperation between Russia and Venezuela. Russian strategic bombers visited Venezuela earlier this month and made a six-hour patrol flight along the South American coast. The show of force close to US borders was condemned by Washington as a “dangerous game”.

On Monday, Russia also sent a naval task force on a tour of duty in the Atlantic, which includes joint naval drills with Venezuela in November.

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