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Venezuela, China Create $6B Energy Fund

Venezuela and China created a US$6 billion (euro4.5 billion) fund on Monday to boost energy cooperation and finance joint development projects between the two countries.
During a televised speech, President Hugo Chavez said the fund "will provide the fuel for the acceleration of new bilateral development projects," including two joint ventures for the exploration and production of heavy crude in Venezuela's Orinoco Basin and three oil refineries in China.

The fund _ aimed at increasing Venezuelan oil exports to China from 150,000 to 800,000 barrels a day _ was part of a series of agreements signed following a meeting between Chavez and Li Changchun, a top-ranking member of China's ruling Communist Party, at the presidential palace.

"We have brought bilateral relations to a strategic point," Chavez said. "I don't think China has make a decision like this with any other country in half a century. We must thank them for their trust."

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