Monday, September 22, 2008

Venezuela to buy Chinese combat planes


Sep 21 07:09 PM US/Eastern
Venezuela will buy combat and training aircraft from China this week, leftist Venezuela President Hugo Chavez confirmed in a television broadcast Sunday.

The purchases will be made as part of a six-country tour, Chavez said in his broadcast of the "Alo President" television program from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, hours before leaving on a "strategic interest" trip to Cuba, China, Russia, Belarus, France and Portugal.

Chavez, a staunch foe of the US government, confirmed that during his stay in Beijing he will purchase 24 K-8 aircraft "to train fighter pilots." The planes could be part of Venezuela's air force by next year.

The president also confirmed that while in Beijing he will arrange the construction of tanker vessels in Chinese shipyards, with the aim of installing a shipyard in Venezuela in the near future.

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