Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro asked a reporter from Hong Kong to communicate in his native language of Mandarin at a press conference during his state visit to China last week.
A new world: The interaction happened on Sept. 13, in which Maduro explained to the journalist, “Speak Mandarin, there is no English interpreter. It’s a new world.” Maduro would then go on to express his admiration for China, describing it as a “non-hegemonic country” distinct from those that “blackmail, dominate and attack the peoples of the world.”
Week-long trip: Maduro’s visit, which took place from Sept. 8-14, marks the leader’s first state visit to China since 2018. It included a tour of several Chinese cities and a visit to the southern tech hub of Shenzhen, culminating in a crucial meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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Strategic partnership: Xi and Maduro signed various bilateral cooperation documents focusing on economic, trade and tourism collaboration. They also agreed to elevate their nations’ relations to an “all-weather strategic partnership.”
Deepening relations: Throughout his tenure, Maduro has cultivated strong ties with China, securing significant support in the form of loans, cash infusions and investments amounting to tens of billions of dollars. China remains Venezuela’s primary creditor, having extended loans of approximately $50 billion to the South American nation during the 2010s. Venezuela is repaying the debt through oil shipments.
During the trip, Maduro reiterated his willingness to collaborate with China within multilateral frameworks like the BRICS mechanism and the United Nations. Venezuela also actively supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to boost global trade infrastructure.
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