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13 Feb, 2019 12:31

‘Fake news’: Beijing slams WSJ report on Chinese diplomats meeting with Venezuelan opposition

‘Fake news’: Beijing slams WSJ report on Chinese diplomats meeting with Venezuelan opposition

A newspaper report alleging that Chinese diplomats met in secret with Venezuelan opposition figures to ensure that Beijing's vast investments in the Latin American country are not endangered is “fake news,” China has claimed.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese officials held talks in Washington with representatives of Juan Guaido, the self-appointed interim president of Venezuela who has received the full backing of the US… not so from China.

The paper suggested that Beijing was looking to safeguard its oil projects in Venezuela from the current political crisis. Caracas also owes China around US$20 billion, it is estimated.

“In fact the report is false. It’s fake news,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters when asked about the article.

China and Russia have refused to acknowledge Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. Joined by NATO member Turkey, Beijing and Moscow have stressed that dialogue is the only solution to the crisis – which some fear could balloon into a civil war fueled with US-supplied weapons.

Guaido has billed himself as a business-friendly alternative to President Nicolas Maduro, pledging to open up Venezuela to foreign investment should he formally assume power. His critics say that his plan to reinvigorate Venezuela’s crippled economy is sparse on details and could result in the mass privatization of the country’s natural resources.

Already, Guaido has been awarded some of Venezuela’s state assets in the US, and reports suggest that he may even gain partial or complete control over the state-owned, US-based oil giant Citgo.

Also on rt.com Russia’s Gazprombank rejects Reuters report, denies opening new accounts for Venezuelan oil giant

Moscow as well as Beijing have called for a peaceful solution to the Venezuelan crisis, stressing that no foreign meddling should take place. On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pulled no punches on the US, accusing Washington of having lost “all shame” when dealing with the government crisis in Venezuela.

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