This has been a difficult year for Venezuela, given the precarious world oil market. The drop in the global oil price has hit the oil exporter hard, and the country was already struggling economically.
Venezuela has become increasingly reliant on China to keep its economy afloat.
CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas.
Venezuela relying on China to keep its economy afloatBrazil, Paulo Cabral, Sao Paulo, unemployment, Economic crisis, Holiday season
There is a consensus among many economists that Venezuela’s GDP is set to shrink between six and 10 percent in 2016. That will have profound consequences, including the impact on the relationship between Venezuela and China.
More than half a million people of Chinese descent live in Venezuela. There has been immigration between the two countries for more than 150 years.
But the last decade has seen a transformation in the relationship between these geographically distant nations.
A series of high-profile visits, including one from President Xi in 2014, has brought with them multi-billion dollar loans, in return for oil.
Alongside that arrangement, China has multiple cooperation deals with Venezuela, from building social housing to selling the country Chinese-built taxis.
But Venezuela’s sharp economic decline means those Chinese loans are not just welcome, but essential.
The question on many people’s minds is will more loans be forthcoming? China won’t want to throw good money after bad, but it’s heavily invested in Venezuela, and has a stake in its economic stability.
Margaret Myers on China’s relationship with Venezuela
CCTV’s Phillip Yin sat down with Margaret Myers, the Inter-American Dialogue’s China and Latin America Program Director.