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New oil deals set stage for Venezuela-China visit

Venezuela's new president Nicolas Maduro will make his first visit to Beijing this weekend in a fresh test of the countries' energy relations, which have been strained in recent months

Chinese officials have grown frustrated by the slow pace of progress at their Venezuelan projects and have reportedly sought to wrest more control over the management of their oil projects from Venezuela's state oil company PdV. Nevertheless, China is in Venezuela for the long term and appears keen to reinforce that message during Maduro's visit. In the days leading up to that visit, Venezuela's oil minister and head of PdV Rafael Ramirez has been busy in Beijing signing new oil and financing deals. Ramirez took to Twitter (using a proxy service presumably, considering that the popular social network is blocked by China's internet censors) to announce the deals. The biggest of which were a

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