Venezuela Might Mutate Into Yet Another US-China Battlefield – Historian

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
By Paul Martin

The US and China have taken opposite sides with regard to the ongoing Venezuelan crisis. Speaking to Sputnik, former UN independent expert Alfred de Zayas and Chinese academic Jiang Shixue shared their views on Beijing’s relations with Caracas, explaining why self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido has zero legitimacy.

“Venezuela might indeed mutate into yet another US-China battlefield”, Alfred de Zayas, an American lawyer, writer, historian and former UN independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, told Sputnik, adding that he does not believe that the US will benefit within the framework of trade war with China.

Following the Venezuelan opposition’s attempt to hijack power by declaring Juan Guaido an interim president, the US, which has recognised the self-proclaimed leader, introduced unilateral sanctions against Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA on 28 January, planning to block $7 billion in the firm’s assets.

In response, Beijing lambasted Washington’s move: “We oppose unilateral sanctions”, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed out, adding that China will continue to maintain cooperation with Caracas.

In December 2018, Reuters reported that PDVSA subsidiary the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation (CVP) and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) had doubled production in the previous seven months and were due to “slow a freefall in Venezuela’s output”. The PDVSA and CNPC have maintained a joint venture since 2006.
According to Zayas, “[the] PDVSA should begin multiple legal actions to protect the company”. He admitted that it would be difficult “when US courts are not neutral and will not entertain favourably any litigation from Venezuela”.

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