Wednesday, September 24, 2008

China and Venezuela

China is increasing her investment in Venezuela via a mutual investment fund, and oil refinery building agreements.

As articles have noted, China needs to play out the relationship with Venezuela delicately, considering Chavez public display of dislike for the US (except the billions in petrodollars of course).

China is the obvious choice to replace the US as the major consumer of Venezuelan oil. Chavez has nationalized the oil industry in Venezuela effectively kicking out American oil companies, and China has an increasing demand for oil.

While this is not necessarily breaking news today, I find the following quote from the article rather interesting. I'm not sure who makes the bigger gaffes, Biden or Chavez.

"In the face of the collapse of global capitalism, we can say: how fortunate that China had a revolution, how fortunate that Venezuela had and still has a revolution, how fortunate that we got to know each other."
Yes, how fortunate. Of course, if you examine the details and history you will find that while it may be fortunate, Venezuela and China owe a great deal of their prosperity to capitalism AND are heavily invested in capitalism. China is a leading trading partner with the US, thanks in large part to cheap labor (a capitalist notion: increase profits by decreasing labor costs). Venezuela (or at least it's leaders) are swimming in money thanks to the increase in the price of a barrel of oil, determined by the capitalist commodities markets. Venezuela floats debt on the capitalist debt markets.

Question to Mr. Chavez: If the US economy collapses, what will that do for demand of Chinese goods, or Venezuelan oil?

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