Los Angeles, June 21, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Chinese government denied rumors Tuesday that it engaged in dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition to discuss debt payments in a post-Maduro scenario.
The deputy director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Information Department, Hua Chunying, made the official declaration during a press conference.
“[The dialogue] does not exist at all,” Chunying confirmed. China and Venezuela “are working well” she added, assuring that Beijing firmly supports Venezuelan sovereignty.
Venezuela, she continued, “will have the wisdom and capacity to deal with its own domestic issues.”
The declarations came after the London-based publication Financial Times referenced unidentified Venezuelan and Chinese sources that spoke to Venezuela’s requested changes to the repayment schedule on debt obligations equivalent to $USD 65 billion dollars to China.
According to the publication, Venezuela allegedly requested a moritorium on debt payments, proposing to pay only interest for a pre-arranged period of time.
The report also claimed that meetings were held between opposition leaders and a special Chinese envoy to Venezuela but did not disclose where the meeting took place.
Since last February, the Chinese foreign ministry has accepted crude oil shipments as payment for the equivalent of $USD 4 billion in debt. Beijing has publicly recognized Venezuela’s economic challenges given the severe drop in global oil prices and has since accomodated the South American nation’s debt repayment plan.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela’s economy will shrink 8 percent in 2016, and an additional 12 percent in 2017. The international organization also estimates that inflation will reach 500 percent by the end of the year.