Beyond the Western Mirror: How China views the Venezuelan Crisis

Going astray from the mainstream media we consume in our Western bubble, how would a Chinese diplomat view the situation developing in Venezuela? In this article we imagine being a Chinese official outlining his/her position, in an effort to understand the slit in the fabric of our understanding of global political disagreement:

 Chinese ambassador to Venezuela hails “great advances of socialism” at event marking 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China

‘The People’s Republic Of China would like to come to a compromise whereby a stronger presence of humanitarian aid is accepted into Venezuela, while retaining its people’s political independence and refraining from breaching the principle of non-intervention, so that a peaceful resolution may be found and the Venezuelan crisis may be alleviated.

The Venezuela Crisis, along with its consequences and its outcomes, are all of great importance to the People’s Republic of China. This is largely due to the significant levels of financial investment China has invested in Venezuela. China has since the presidency of Hugo Chavez invested heavily in Venezuela’s infrastructure, in return for a share of the countries’ vast oil supplies. This has made Venezuela China’s strongest partner in the South American region. Between 2007 and 2012, the China Development Bank loaned Caracas around 42.5 billion dollars, accounting for 60% of all loans made to Latin America and the Caribbean. This stands as a testament of how strong the two countries’ partnership is.

However, the Venezuelan economic crisis, coupled with the collapse of international oil prices, all deeply damaged Venezuela’s ability to pay back its debts through oil, as lower prices meant it would have to export more, leaving less for sale on the market. For this reason alone, it would be in China’s utmost interest for Venezuela and its people to recover and come out of the situation that they find themselves in.

The People’s Republic Of China backs the outcomes coming from the meetings of the International Contact Group, and recognises that the intentions of the United States of America directly oppose the peaceful intentions of said group. In addition, China supports its common stance with the European Union on the issue, as pointed out in article 20 of the China-EU Summit joint statement of 9th April, 2019, which states the following: “China and the EU are following closely the evolving situation in Venezuela and are willing to work with other parties on a political, peaceful and democratic solution, decided by the people of Venezuela”.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, right, walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they arrive to a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on January 7, 2015 in Beijing, China.

By stating its willingness to intervene militarily if needed, the United States of America have clearly interfered in Venezuela’s internal affairs and have severely violated basic international relations norms. In addition to this, the USA and its allies are pushing for an international breach of the principle of non-intervention, thereby forcefully threatening the political independence of Venezuela and its people.

China firmly opposes this behaviour, and showed thus when vetoing, along with The Russian Federation, the USA’s proposed resolution at the Security Council, which called for new presidential elections in Venezuela and unimpeded deliveries of humanitarian aid. The People’s Republic of China supported a resolution drafted by Russia which urged the use of peaceful means in order to find a settlement and also insisted that humanitarian aid is done in cooperation with the government so as to ensure that the intentions are well-founded. This resolution did not garner enough votes.

The People’s Republic Of China believes that the best way for this crisis to be solved is to allow the Venezuelan people to resolve their countries’ affairs under the framework of its constitution, laws and through peaceful dialogue and political means. The Chinese government, however politically or economically drawn, is not willing to intervene in a sovereign nation’s internal affairs. China opposes external intervention in Venezuela, and reiterates that the only viable path towards long-term peace and stability in Venezuela is through national resolution. This effort is to be supported through constructive efforts by the international community in a push for peaceful resolution.’

Written by: Gianluca Vella

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