Hu Jintao, the president of China, will be visiting Brazil, Venezuela and Chile in mid April according to a release from Beijing. From an international summit on nuclear security, April 12/13, President Hu Jintao will travel to Brazil for the second BRIC summit, scheduled from April 14 to 17.
The so called BRIC group, (Brazil, Russia, India and China), brings together the main emerging economies that held their first official summit in June 2009 in Russia. At the first meeting BRIC warned about the weakness of the US dollar and suggested plans for a new international reserve currency.
From Brazil, the Chinese leader flies to Venezuela to meet President Hugo Chavez. China and Venezuela have a long list of agreements in different fields from oil and energy, to agriculture and satellites plus arms.
April 18, Hu Jintao is expected in Chile, a long time ally of Beijing where he will ratify the close links between the two countries and expand cooperation and areas of common development.
“This is a very important visit for China, to promote friendship with the three countries; we anticipate its success” said the Chinese Foreign Office spokesperson Qin Gang. Hu Jinatao was in Latinamerica last time in 2008 when he visited Cuba, Costa Rica and Peru.
Since the first visit of a Chinese president to Latinamerica in 2004 (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Cuba) China has increased its presence in the region where it has multiple projects particularly regarding oil, gas and energy with Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia.
In Brazil China has agro-industrial businesses; in Chile, mining and wood exploitation projects and in Venezuela cooperation has expanded rapidly from energy to military and financial affairs. According to the Venezuelan government bilateral trade soared from 742 million US dollars in 2003 to 10 billion in fiscal 2008.
Venezuela supplies 400.000 barrels of oil per day to China and last month the Venezuelan Air Force incorporated the first batch of six Chinese combat aircraft K-8 of a total order of 18, plus a support workshop for maintenance.