China says report of talks with Venezuela opposition ‘fake news’


China says report of talks with Venezuela opposition 'fake news'
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country's rightful interim ruler, speaks next to his mother Norka Marquez and his wife Fabiana Rosales, as he attends a rally to commemorate the Day of the Youth and to protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlin

In Summary

  • The Wall Street Journal said the diplomats, concerned about oil projects in Venezuela and almost $20 billion that Caracas owes Beijing, had held talks in Washington with representatives of Juan Guaido, the opposition leader heading U.S.-backed efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
  • Guaido invoked a constitutional provision to assume the presidency three weeks ago, arguing that Maduro’s re-election last year was a sham.

China said on Wednesday a newspaper report that Chinese diplomats had held talks with Venezuela’s political opposition to protect its investments in the Latin American country was “fake news”.

The Wall Street Journal said the diplomats, concerned about oil projects in Venezuela and almost $20 billion that Caracas owes Beijing, had held talks in Washington with representatives of Juan Guaido, the opposition leader heading U.S.-backed efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

“In fact the report is false. It’s fake news,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters when asked about the article.

Guaido invoked a constitutional provision to assume the presidency three weeks ago, arguing that Maduro’s re-election last year was a sham.

Most Western countries, including the United States, have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state, but Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China as well as control of state institutions including the military.

Venezuela’s “affairs” should be resolved via dialogue, Hua added, reiterating China’s previous stance.
China has lent more than $50 billion to Venezuela through oil-for-loan agreements over the past decade, securing energy supplies for its fast-growing economy.

A change in government in Venezuela would favor the country’s two main foreign creditors, Russia and China, Guaido told Reuters in an interview last month.

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