President Hugo Chavez is vowing that Venezuela will provide China with all the oil it needs “for the next 200 years.” Chavez spoke Tuesday to a visiting delegation led by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. The two nations are expected to sign a series of accords on Wednesday.
Caracas sees China as a key partner in its strategy of diversifying oil sales away from the U.S., which buys about half Venezuela’s crude despite years of political tensions. The South American nation aims to increase exports to China to 1 million barrels a day by 2012, up from 330,000 currently.
Venezuela and China plan to build four oil tankers and three refineries in China capable of processing heavy Venezuelan crude.