字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 On this episode of China Uncensored, Guess which country is propping up the Venezuelan regime: Is it A: Albania, B: Bulgaria, or C: China? The Chinese Communist Party wants to build a better world. And they're doing it through the One Belt, One Road initiative— as we know from Chinese state-run media. It's also sometimes called the Silk Road Initiative. Over the next 10 to 15 years, China plans to invest $5 trillion dollars on infrastructure projects around the world. Now sure, these investments often take the form of loans to countries with, shall we say questionable human rights. But it's that kind of no-questions-asked money lending that's going to make a difference. Why, just look at China's long time beneficiary— Venezuela! Or...maybe don't. Well that doesn't exactly look like China built a better world in Venezuela. Which is strange because they've been long-time partners. In 2001, Venezuela became the first Latin American country to enter a “strategic development partnership,” with China. In 2014 that got upgraded to a “comprehensive strategic partnership.” And Venezuela has been a big supporter of China's Silk Road Initiative. Just last month, an official called it fantastic, saying no country should hinder it. Well let's see how fantastic it's been for Venezuela. Since 2007, China has lent Venezuela about 63 billion dollars. That's about half of all China's lending in Latin America. And why not? Venezuela is a socialist country. And China loves socialism! Especially with Chinese characteristics. But a mutual love of socialism is not the only reason Chinese officials were so eager to befriend Venezuela. One reason is influence. Back in 2001, China didn't have much of a presence in Latin America. In fact, many Latin American countries supported Taiwan. But with Venezuela's help, China soon became a major player in the region. In fact, China's trade with Latin America is now 22 times what it was back in 2000. Another reason is oil. Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves- almost 300 billion barrels. And that is music to the ears of a resource-hungry country like China. Yes, it was a match made in petroleum. But in the end, it wasn't quite a win-win. Remember those 63 billion dollars in loans? Well, it turns out the Chinese Communist Party's no-strings-attached loans actually do come with a string, and it's often in the shape of a noose. According to the Foreign Policy, “There was an important catch [to the loans]; to guarantee repayment, Beijing insisted on being repaid in oil.” And it seemed like a good deal at the time. China gets the oil it wants, and petroleum is what Venezuela does best! It makes up half of the country's GDP— and 95% of total exports. When China and Venezuela signed their repayment-in-oil deal, the price of oil was about $70 a barrel, and then shot past $100. But then in 2014, the price of oil plummeted— and now it's only about 40-something dollars a barrel. That means, the amount of oil Venezuela now has to give China to pay back its loans has exploded. And you really don't want exploding oil. More critically, the drop in oil prices has devastated the Venezuelan economy. It's gotten so bad that even basic necessities are hard to come by. McDonald's literally had to stop selling Big Macs last summer because they were unable to get the middle bun. No, not the Big Mac! What's next? The quarter pounder? Or even worse, the McRib? But seriously, food in Venezuela has become so scarce, that I kid you not, last year, 75% of the country lost an average of 19 pounds. Although it doesn't look like President Nicolás Maduro has lost any weight. The effect of low oil prices on Venezuela's economy is magnified because decades of extreme socialism wrecked the country's economy. The government nationalized most of the big industries. Not just oil, but eventually also food, tourism, banking, telecom, manufacturing, and more. Meanwhile, Venezuela cut ties to the West and cozied up to China and Russia. That was all well and good when high oil prices sustained Venezuela's socialist paradise. But now... well it doesn't look like paradise anymore, does it? Over one hundred people have been killed during the last four months of protests. Police patrol the slums, and extrajudicial killings are rife. I mean this policeman is literally on fire. And so is this guy. This should not be a thing, people! Some are even making their own homemade rocket launchers. Even the mascots are getting in on this! Although that's not an official Mickey Mouse Gas Mask. I know because during World War 2, Disney really did make official Mickey Mouse Gas Masks. Venezuela is becoming a real life The Purge— except that it won't end in the morning. So with all this chaos, how is President Maduro still in power? Because he has the guns, obviously. Plus, on July 30, a national election gave him sweeping powers to rewrite Venezuela's constitution. I mean, sure the vote was a probably a sham— but once you're dictator, who cares, right? And you know who loves authoritarian regimes? Other authoritarian regimes! For example, the Chinese Communist Party. Guess where those Venezuelan police are getting their “non-lethal” weapons and gear? China has supplied President Maduro with “armored vehicles, water cannons and tear gas.” And if you were worried about where Venezuela is getting their “lethal” weapons from, well that's also China– almost $350 million dollars worth. Plus Russia has supplied them with even more. Frankly, China's massive loans to Venezuela are one of the few things keeping the economy going. China is Venezuela's biggest foreign lender. And even now China continues to give the Venezuelan government infusions of cash. You might find it surprising— since Venezuela is falling behind on oil deliveries. In 2016, Venezuela's state-owned oil enterprise couldn't even deliver 1.8 million barrels of oil to China's state owned oil enterprise, because they couldn't afford their storage space anymore. But the the Chinese Communist Party will still continue to support Venezuela. The CCP gambles on regimes like the one in Venezuela because few other countries will do business with them. And that gives China an economic advantage, with things like lucrative infrastructure deals, manufacturing deals, and market access for Chinese companies. As well as political advantages, like influencing other countries in Latin America. This is not to say that the CCP is responsible for Venezuela's economic disaster. No, Venezuela's current and former presidents are mostly to blame for that. But the CCP has given massive loans to Venezuela, which has ultimately made its debt problem worse, while also keeping Maduro's regime afloat. Anyway, even as Venezuela's economy continues to decline, and President Maduro becomes Supreme Dictator Maduro, he'll always have a friend in the CCP. That's because the CCP doesn't want the Maduro regime to fall. You see, opposition leaders in Venezuela are unhappy with the Chinese regime because they see China as propping up Maduro, and profiting off of Venezuela's economic disaster. So if there is a regime change in Venezuela, the next leader might just choose to never repay China's loans. Although that doesn't look like it's going to happen soon. It seems like the Chinese Communist Party just can't quit the bad boys. And that's it for our show. What do you think of China's investments in Venezuela? Leave your comments below. Once again, I'm Chris Chappell. Thanks for watching China Uncensored. You know, you could've watched this episode five days earlier if you visited ChinaUncensored.tv. We upload the full episodes there every Friday. Click here to check it out.