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7

Venezuela Wants to Become Steady and Stable China's Oil Provider

China will invest around $5 billion in energy projects in Venezuela by 2012

China will invest around $5 billion in energy projects in Venezuela by 2012 as part of a plan to boost Venezuela's oil output, the South American country's energy minister told state television on Monday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez just completed a visit to China to sign cooperation accords as part of an effort to reduce Venezuela's dependence on U.S. energy markets.

Rafael Ramirez said China's participation in Venezuela energy ventures would "require in first instance around $5 billion in investment."

He said Venezuela is seeking to become a "steady and stable" provider of oil to China, an effort that the United States has watched nervously as political relations between Caracas and Washington remain tense.