http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Chavez_says_world_now_revolves_around_China_999.html Chavez says world now revolves around China by Staff Writers Beijing (AFP) April 8, 2009 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared here Wednesday that the world now revolved around China, as he praised the Asian giant for driving the global economy amid the "capitalist" crisis. In a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, the flamboyant Latin American leader also spoke warmly about ties between their two nations, in comments that could once again rile his critics in the United States. "This is our home and you are our brothers. Moreover, no one can be ignorant that the centre of gravity of the world has moved to Beijing," Chavez told Hu. "During the financial crisis, China's actions have been highly positive for the world. Currently, China is the biggest motor driving the world amidst this crisis of international capitalism." Hu also greeted Chavez with enthusiasm, although in a more restrained fashion. "The president is an old friend and a good friend. He has visited us six times, proving the great importance he places on developing ties as well as on the economic benefit of our relationship," Hu said after they shook hands. After arriving in Beijing for his three-day visit on Tuesday, Chavez told reporters he would pursue three "concrete objectives of great strategic significance" in China that were all related to energy. They were a strengthening of the Chinese presence in the Venezuelan oil sector, the construction of Venezuelan refineries on Chinese soil, and the establishment of an oil transport joint venture, he said. "In themselves, these projects are more than enough to justify my visit to China," he told reporters on Tuesday. China imported 380,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela at the end of 2008, Chavez said, adding he wanted to expand this to one million barrels by 2013. Venezuela is the biggest oil producer in Latin America and fast-modernising China, with its 1.3 billion people, is on a global quest to secure energy supplies. While oil is the dominant theme in the two nations' relationship, it has been expanding into other areas during Chavez's leftist administration. When Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Venezuela in February, the two nations signed 12 agreements and doubled an investment fund to 12 billion dollars. Bilateral trade peaked last year at more than 10 billion dollars, according to Venezuelan figures, and corporate China is making inroads into the Latin American country. Agreements signed during Xi's visit stretched from a mobile phone factory to an assembly plant for household appliances and a farm venture. Military ties have also expanded. Venezuela recently purchased a fleet of 18 K-8 reconnaissance and training aircraft from China with delivery expected in January 2010. Chavez touched on his theme of declining US global power in his comments to reporters on Tuesday. "A new world equilibrium is being born, a new world order, the multi-polar world of which we have long dreamed," he said. "The power of the US empire is at an end... and by contrast other poles of global power are emerging, Beijing, Tokyo, Tehran." But his Chinese hosts appeared keen to play down any implications that China's developing relationship with Venezuela might have for the United States. Seeking closer ties with Latin America is not intended to be a threat to anyone, said Wu Guoping, a professor of Latin American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, according to the state-controlled China Daily newspaper.