|Venezuela's Acting President Nicolas Maduro (L front) meets with Zhang Ping (R front), head of the National Development and Reform Commission and special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao, in Caracas, March 9, 2013. China is willing to continue to strengthen and deepen the development of bilateral relations with Venezuela, Zhang said here Saturday. (Xinhua/Venezuela's Presidency)
CARACAS, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to continue to strengthen and deepen the development of bilateral relations with Venezuela, Chinese President Hu Jintao's special envoy said here Saturday.
Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission and special envoy of Hu, made the remarks during his meeting with Venezuela's Acting President Nicolas Maduro.
The Chinese government and people expressed deep condolences on the death of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Zhang said. He recalled that during his 14-year mandate, Chavez had visited China six times and accelerated the bilateral relations since its establishment 40 years ago.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the bilateral relations and focuses on their long-term development, Zhang said, adding that China is willing to continue to promote ties between the two countries in order to comfort the soul of the deceased President.
Maduro said the late President Chavez had deep feelings for China and had been committed to building bilateral strategic cooperation, as well as expanding bilateral ties in different fields, so the best way to pay tribute to Chavez is to continue strengthening and deepening these ties.
Maduro thanked China for sending special envoys to participate in the funeral of Chavez at the most tragic moment for the Venezuelan people. He said Venezuela will always be a loyal friend to China.
The Venezuelan government expressed appreciation for China's achievements in various fields and is well prepared to continue deepening and accelerating the strategic cooperation between the two countries in various fields, Maduro noted.
Maduro was officially sworn in on Friday as Venezuela's acting president. This is his first official meeting since taking office.
Venezuela's Communication and Information Minister Ernesto Villegas made a televised speech after the meeting, conveying the message of condolences and sympathies from Chinese President Hu Jintao to the people of Venezuela.
Zhang arrived in Venezuelan capital Caracas on Thursday for the funeral of late President Hugo Chavez in the capacity of Hu's special envoy.