by Raimundo Urrechaga
CARACAS, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's economic and social development in this century is closely linked to China, which is seen as the country's key cooperation partner, Venezuelan Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Xoan Noya has said.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Friday, Noya said the Venezuelan government highly values its solid ties and extensive cooperation with China, which now stand at a new high.
The two countries are marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment bilateral relations on Saturday. Venezuela has launched a series of events to commemorate the occasion.
Under the leadership of late president Hugo Chavez that started in 1999, Venezuela's relationship with China has embarked on a fast track of development, with a Joint Cooperation Agreement signed in 2001 to form a strategic partnership between the two sides, said Noya.
Both nations have since worked to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, which is a right path to follow, said the vice foreign minister for Asia, the Middle East and Oceania.
One of the highlights of Venezuela-China relations, said Noya, is the frequent high-level exchanges which have underlined mutual respect, solidarity and mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two sides.
During Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's visit to China last year, a total of 24 cooperation agreements were inked between the two sides in such fields as infrastructure, social development, agriculture, mining, energy and technology, he noted.
He said economic cooperation with China has brought tangible benefits to millions of people in Venezuela and has transformed their lives.
With the help of China, Venezuelan is expanding its national infrastructure by building highways, bridges and housing for its working and middle classes, and even a railway system to help boost the economy, he said, adding that the South American nation has successfully launched two China-made satellites.
"This is a relationship that has distinct advantages beyond economics. Our extensive cooperation with China has brought about incalculable social benefits that can be seen every day," he added.
Noting that the Venezuelan and Chinese economies are highly complimentary to each other, the senior official urged the two nations to further tap their cooperation potentials.
"We can say that it is a relationship that is constantly growing," he said.
As an example, said Noya, Venezuela has promised to ship in the coming years one million barrels of oil per day to China.
"Oil export is one of our main strengths and the diversification of our market is important," he said.
Beyond bilateral ties, noted Noya, China plays an important role internationally to build a much-needed new world order.
"China plays an essential role in reshaping this world and advancing a new global economic order. Venezuela is committed to helping build such a multilateral world," he said.