WATCHING THE WORLD: Chavez blowing smoke

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez toured Asia and Africa last week, in particular China, where he tried swapping oil for political favors. But the chances of his doing that are about as good as his lighting up a Cuban cigar at the White House.Some analysts said Chavez offered to supply as much as 20% of China’s oil needs if Beijing backed Venezuela’s bid to join the UN Security Council. Others suggested that Chavez sees China as an emerging power quietly growing and challenging US dominance around the globe.Energy cooperation is generally recognized as an important aspect of cooperation between China and Venezuela.With oil production of 3 million b/d, Venezuela is a major suppli...

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