Venezuela plans to increase oil sales to China by 500,000 barrels a day in 2009 to become the country's top oil supplier. During an interview broadcast on a state-owned television channel, President Hugo Chavez said his country will double the supply to China next year from 150,000 barrels a day to 300,000 and "reach 500,000 barrels a day in 2009". Chavez is in the middle of his fourth visit to Beijing since taking over the country's presidency in 1999. During the trip he has signed deals on housing, mining, telecoms and oil, the Wall Street Journal reported. The country has sought to strengthen relations with Iran, Cuba, China and Russia while slowly reducing reliance on business dealings with the US.
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