In a Wikistrat simulation last month, analysts highlighted a facet of the ongoing crisis in Venezuela that is being overlooked: the implications for China, which has been the country’s greatest economic supporter and for which the current turmoil is a major test of its economic and foreign policy.
In addition to the political crisis, which is pitting President Nicolás Maduro against an opposition-controlled legislature, Venezuelans are suffering under mounting crime, triple-digit hyperinflation, a collapse of essential public services and widespread shortages of basic supplies.
China, which deepened relations with the oil-rich nation under Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, now faces a difficult choice, argues Wikistrat’s Oren Kesler in this report: Help the regime in Caracas step back from the brink with aid and investment loans and hope that oil prices will stabilize to buy them more time — or risk a less Chinese-friendly government that would shift oil sales to whomever is willing to pay in much-needed cash.
Click here or on the cover image to download the report.
A version of this piece also appeared in The National Interest.
About the author
Wikistrat Group Leader