Chinese president arrives in Venezuela for state visit

Updated: 2014-07-21 05:22


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Chinese president arrives in Venezuela for state visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, July 20, 2014. Xi arrived in the Venezuelan captial for a state visit to Venezuela, the third leg of his four-nation Latin America tour. [Photo/Xinhua]

CARACAS - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here on Sunday for a state visit to Venezuela, the third leg of his four-nation Latin America tour.

The visit came as the two countries are celebrating 40 years of their diplomatic ties this year.

Bilateral relations have achieved comprehensive and rapid growth since a strategic partnership for common development was forged in 2001.

Xi is expected to hold talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, who visited China in September 2013, over future development of the bilateral ties.

Both leaders will also attend the closing ceremony of the 13th meeting of the China-Venezuela High-Level Joint Commission.

During the visit, the two sides are expected to ink a series of cooperation deals on finance, infrastructure construction, agriculture and high-tech.

Backing each other on issues concerning their core interests, China and Venezuela have conducted fruitful cooperation in areas such as energy, finance, infrastructure construction, agriculture, hi-tech and people-to-people exchanges.

Bilateral trade increased from 1.4 million U.S. dollars 40 years ago to a whopping 19.2 billion dollars last year.

China has become Venezuela's second largest trading partner, while Venezuela is China's fourth largest trading partner in Latin America, an important partner for energy cooperation and a major market of contracted projects.

Before Venezuela, Xi has paid state visits to Brazil and Argentina. In Brazil, he attended the sixth BRICS summit and met leaders of Latin American and Caribbean nations.

His current Latin America tour will also take him to Cuba.