Venezuela, revolving door for Chinese interests in Latin America (part II)
Since the turn of the century, close to a hundred Chinese businesses have been set up in all but two of Venezuela’s 23 states. Yet this unprecedented inflow of Chinese capital has not translated into impactful projects. Financed by the two multi-billion dollar bilateral funds set up by presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro with China between 2008 and 2015, at least a quarter are still in an early or planning stage. Since then, issues surrounding the non-payment of loans have caused Sino-Venezuelan relations to cool considerably. Now, researchers from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy warn that at least half of China’s lending in recent years can be considered ‘hidden’. There are concerns that now, and in years to come, the opacity of China’s credit mechanisms could jeopardize crisis recovery in heavily indebted countries such as Venezuela.