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Chinese military planes for Venezuela

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says Caracas will receive Chinese military training planes in 2009 after meeting with the Chinese president.

Chavez said on Thursday that Caracas bought 24 K-8 aircraft, adding that he was trying to improve energy and finance relations with Beijing, not military ties.

“(The military deal) for us is not the most important thing. What are important are finance and energy,” Reuters quoted the Venezuelan president as saying.

China also rejected any military cooperation between the two countries.


“From the Chinese side, I can confirm once again that during this visit by President Chavez, the two sides did not talk about cooperation in military areas,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao.

In a meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chavez in Beijing earlier, Venezuela signed a deal to build three oil refineries in China capable of processing Venezuelan crude, which is heavily-laden with sulfur.

Venezuela has already become one of China’s major oil suppliers, increasing exports to the equivalent of 360,000 barrels a day last month, compared to 280,000 barrels a day earlier this year.