Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sino-Venezuelan Cooperation

Good old Hu Jintao and señor Chavez met in Beijing today and agreed to step up their efforts to advance cooperation in energy, agriculture and technology.

The two also agreed to take joint steps to combat the financial crisis. How they hope to achieve such a grand goal, one can not say. All in all it's not much different than all the talk that has been going on about fighting the global financial crisis.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, 4/8/09. (

APEC, the UN, IMF, US-Euro, the "G2," etc. All these multilateral organizations and the major economies of the world seem to be making a lot of pledges these days. If anything I think its a good thing in order to restore confidence around the globe. As for this recent foray of China-Venezuelan Cooperation, it is nothing THAT special.

It indicates Chavez continues to aggressively pursue new export markets for Venezuela's oil. Chavez was in Japan earlier this week where he also succeed in getting Japan to promise over $30 billion in investments for Venezuela's oil and gas industry in exchange for guaranteeing a healthy supply for the island (see this Bloomberg article).

Chavez also thanked China for the successful launch of Venezuela's first telecommunications satellite, which according to Chavez will help the "Bolivarian Nation," (a.k.a. Venezuela) achieve scientific and technological independence (see this CNN article about the launch).

Second, it shows that even in the wake of a financial crisis, developing nations are mutually interested in building their relations for the long-term. This means that they remain optimistic about the long-term picture.

A good thing considering growth in the developing world and rising demand from domestic economies is going play a siginificant role in helping the global ecoonomy emerge from this financial crisis.

Of all the announcements, the most important would have to be Hu Jintao's rhetoric. China has its poker face on and is planning its next couple of moves VERY carefully.

The financial crisis has given it a golden opportunity to assert it self on to the world stage. Personally, I believe leaders in China would have preferred to wait a while longer before being forced onto the world stage as a major decision maker and agent of change.

By forging strong alliances with the other developing countries like Venezuela and more importantly the fellow members of the BRIC block (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Hu Jintao and the rest of China's leaders are slowly building allies to support China in a new global framwork.