The Coming US-China Proxy War In Venezuela

Sunday, February 3, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Sat, 02/02/2019

China won’t give up on embattled Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro anytime soon even as the US-led international noose of “delegitimizing” hangs around the socialist strongman, according to government statements released on Friday. Beijing reaffirmed it maintains “normal state-to-state relations” and cooperation between the two sides “shouldn’t be undermined no matter how the situation evolves,” according to press briefing by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Or rather, we could more simply translate: with billions of dollars in credit on the line, “non-interference” is simply not an option for China.

“China has maintained close communication with all parties through different ways,” a ministry spokesperson said in response to question about whether China has had contact with National Assembly leader Juan Guaido. “We are ready to work with all parties to promote peace talks, and create favorable conditions for the proper settlement of the Venezuelan issue,” the ministry added.

But then there’s the not so minor issue of China over the past decade lending over $50 billion to Caracas as part of an oil-for-loan agreements program. It underscores just how quickly what appears a new White House full court press for regime change could bring Washington again into indirect conflict with both China and Russia. And in total Venezuela owes “more than $120 billion just to China and Russia” FOX reported this week.

A new Wall Street Journal report outlines what’s at stake, and the mounting costs for Beijing:

When China hatched the first of a series of oil-for-loans agreements with Venezuela in 2007, it seemed like a perfect match. Venezuela had the world’s biggest oil reserves; China was poised to become the biggest energy consumer.

Twelve years and more than $50 billion in loans later, a political crisis in Venezuela is threatening China’s payout and drawing Beijing into a proxy standoff as it supports a Venezuelan leader the U.S. is intent on toppling. It is a conflict with Washington that Beijing could do without, amid efforts to resolve a trade dispute that is weighing on the Chinese economy.

And what remains of that loan which could potentially disappear with the stroke of an anti-Maduro coup?

According to estimates by China’s Commerce Ministry, Venezuela still owes around $20 billion, the WSJ reports.

The Rest…HERE

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