According to the BBC article linked below, China has been getting particularly close with Venezuela. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced that China has given $5 billion in aid to the Venezuelan government. The financial assistance comes at a time when Venezuela’s economy is crippled and falling with every day. Despite the fact that Venezuela is one of the world’s top oil producers, inflation is increasing by several percent per day, and shortages and unemployment are rampant. The new support of China is significant because, despite the fact that the U.S. economy is closely linked to China, the U.S. government often criticizes Chinese government practices, human rights abuses, and market practices. These criticisms have been the cause of disagreements between the two nations. On the other hand, Venezuela’s government recently denounced (once again) U.S. imperialism, even calling together an ALBA conference to discuss the issue. Thus, it appears that both China and Venezuela are taking advantage of the United State’s rifts with the other, forming new partnerships and alliances. This will be a political development worth monitoring as China, with its rapidly expanding economy, becomes close to Venezuela, which has resources (oil) but also a struggling economy. Their economies are different, but both have had their share of disagreements with the U.S., which will provide an interesting platform for China’s and Venezuela’s governments.