Bilateral trade between Venezuela and China will reach 3 billion US dollar in 2005, double this year, President Hugo Chavez said on his return to Venezuela following a five-day official visit to Beijing which was also another strategic move to lessen dependency from the dominating regional power.
Mr. Chavez said described his trip to China as "extraordinary for its scope and for the results achieved" and invited Venezuela's producers of cacao, bananas and other fruits to sell their produce to the Chinese market.
"We can sell all these produce to China which has welcomed us with open arms and great optimism ... it's a tremendous opportunity for all", highlighted the Venezuelan president.
Mr. Chavez and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao signed several agreements in such diverse fields as energy, agriculture, transport, mining, housing, tourism, telecommunications, information technology areas as well as customs, trade and military technology.
This was Mr. Chavez third visit to China since taking office and coincides with Beijing's efforts to promote trade and relations with Latinamerica. Last November president Hu Jintao was in the region for a two weeks visiting Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba.
China which in 2003 became the world's biggest oil consumer behind the United States has been growing at a nerve breaking 8% in recent years and is seeking to diversify its suppliers of oil, gas and other basic commodities for its ever demanding economy.
Last September the Chavez administration outlined what it called a new strategic alliance with China designed to promote multilateralism and remedy the negative effects of "the North's" dominance of Western Hemisphere relations.
Chavez reiterated this new diplomatic orientation in Beijing stating that Venezuela - the world's fifth oil exporter - was ready to meet the rapidly growing energy needs of China while diminishing its dependency from the U.S. market, where most of its oil exports are destined.
"We've been producing and exporting petroleum for more than 100 years, but they were 100 years of domination by the United States. Now we're free and at the disposal of the great Chinese nation" President Chavez told his hosts. "The streets of New York are paved with our oil" he insisted in direct reference to the fact that 60% of Venezuela's crude exports flow to the United States. "We'll keep selling to them (U.S.), but not only to them" President Chavez insisted.
Relations between Washington and Caracas have been strained since the former Army officer and failed coup plotter was first elected president in late 1998 and openly declared his admiration for Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Mr. Chavez has accused President George Bush administration of "imperialism" and war mongering.
Since surviving a recall referendum last August, the Venezuelan president has embarked on a round of visits to countries - including Iran, Russia and now China - that share his unease with U.S. dominance and prefer a "multi-polar" world.