Beijing has dismissed reports that it sent a cohort of soldiers to Venezuela along with a shipment of humanitarian aid.
A shipment of 65 tons of Chinese medicine reached Caracas on Friday. Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami welcomed the aid flight, and praised the “important and strategic level” of the partnership between Beijing and Caracas.
However, unconfirmed reports stated that a deployment of more than 120 Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers accompanied the aid flight, bringing military supplies for President Nicolas Maduro’s forces.
Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers, as part of a cooperation program, arrived, after delivering humanitarian supplies, to one of Venezuelan military facilities. pic.twitter.com/HwZ9Ee67d0
— Sukhoi Su-57 frazor🇷🇺🇮🇳 (@I30mki) April 1, 2019
Beijing, however, denies sending troops to Venezuela. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Tuesday
“I don’t know where you got this information or for what purpose was it produced, but I can tell you this: what you said is simply not true,” he said at a briefing.
“The Chinese government’s position on the Venezuela issue is consistent and clear-cut,” Shuang continued, adding that China opposes “external interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs, and believe the country’s government and opposition need to seek a political solution through peaceful dialogue.”
The reports come less than two weeks after Russian military personnel arrived in Venezuela. The deployment, carried out under the terms of a 2001 cooperation treaty between Moscow and Caracas, set alarm bells ringing in Washington.
US President Donald Trump announced that Russia “must get out” of Venezuela, and warned “all options are open” when it comes to a US response. The Russian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, insisted that the deployment was carried out “in strict accordance with the constitution of that country and with full respect for its legal norms,” and Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova shot back at Trump, advising Washington to “fulfill the promises that it had given to the international community” and withdraw from Syria first.
Source: Russia Today