Venezuelan President in China amid row with US over air space
BEIJING (AFP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he had arrived in Beijing on Saturday after accusing the United States of refusing his plane access to its airspace for the journey.
"I have just arrived in China to strengthen friendship and cooperation between our two countries," said Mr Maduro, successor to deceased former leader Hugo Chavez, on a newly created Weibo microblog, China's equivalent of Twitter.
The visit comes amid high tensions between Washington and Caracas, which on Thursday described as "insulting" the US' alleged decision to refuse Mr Maduro permission to use its air space.
Washington denied the charges on Friday, saying the US authorities worked with the Venezuelan Embassy to resolve the issue after being given insufficient notice.