China defends Venezuela, strongly rejects “foreign intervention”

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BEIJING, China – Peace talks and a political path are the “only way” to move towards a lasting peace in Venezuela, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying was made after a question about the meeting of the International Contact Group led by Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez and Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden.

“China believes that Venezuela’s affairs must be resolved by the people of Venezuela, within the framework of its Constitution and laws, and through peaceful dialogue and political pathways,” the spokesman said.

In late January, Beijing issued a statement rejecting “foreign intervention” in Venezuela.

In the last decade, China has given Venezuela $65 billion in loans, money and investments.

Caracas still owes Beijing about $20 billion.

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Beijing’s only hope of receiving the debt seems to be in Venezuela’s growing oil production, although low fuel prices and the country’s economic crisis are not conducive to this possibility.

Meanwhile, Maduro has dismissed the US pledge to send humanitarian aid to the country, claiming to be suffering a “political coup” and a pretext for the invasion, as Washington refused to recognize Venezuela’s legitimate government by imposing sanctions on Caracas.

“They are trying to destroy the independence and sovereignty of the country under the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid. They are trying to destabilize our country, but this has not brought them any success,” said the Venezuelan president.

Maduro has confirmed that he is ready to hold early parliamentary elections in the country in order to end the ongoing political crisis.

“I propose early elections to the National Assembly, and I will ratify them,” Maduro told reporters, adding that he would like to “see people voting in a new National Assembly that will help the country and contribute to its stabilization.”

He also said that Caracas is ready to support the “Montevideo mechanism” or any other initiative aimed at contributing to dialogue in Venezuela. Maduro rejected, however, the contact groups supported by the European Union, classifying them as biased, saying that the bloc is “deaf”, since it does not listen to Venezuela.

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