Taiwan–Venezuela relations have almost been nonexistent since Venezuela recognized the People's Republic of China in 1974, although unofficial relations have been preserved through a Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Caracas. In the 2000s, increasing partnership between the government of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and the People's Republic of China has led to a more overt rejection of the Taiwan's legitimacy by Venezuela.
Relations between Taiwan and Venezuela began on August 1944 when an office belonging to the Republic of China was established in Caracas. On September 1949, José Manuel Ferrer who was in charge of the Venezuelan office in China moved with the government of the ROC to Taipei when Chiang Kai-shek lost the control of mainland China.
José Gil Borges was appointed to the position of ambassador of Venezuela in Taiwan on February 1966. On 1 July 1966 the previous ROC office in Caracas was promoted to the category of embassy.[dead link]
Venezuela broke diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of the People’s Republic of China on 28 June 1974. Since then unofficial relations between the two countries have been managed through a Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Caracas.[dead link]
In the past some important Venezuelans have visited Taiwan such as:
- Rafael Caldera: a former President of Venezuela: January 1992.
- Werner Corrales: a former Minister of development: October 1995.
- Ramón Germán Monzón Salas: a former President of the foreign policy commission of the Venezuelan congress: January 1996.
- Juan José Caldera: a former senator of the Venezuelan congress: April 1997.
- Paciano Padrón: a former President of the foreign policy commission of the Venezuelan congress: January 1998.
Relations during Chávez's presidency
In July the spokesman for the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Chien-yeh, said Taiwan held conversations with the Venezuelan government to reach an agreement in order to avoid the closure of the Taiwanese commercial representation.
In the case of a shutting down of Taiwanese office those Venezuelans who want to travel to Taiwan have to ask for visas in other countries such as Colombia or Panama and people from Taiwan who want to visit Venezuela have to ask a visa in other countries such as the Venezuelan consulate in Hong Kong.
CPC Corporation, Taiwan
In July of that year the Taiwan state-run oil firm Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said the government of Venezuela had asked the firm to give up the 7.5 percent shares CPC holds on two oil fields the firm has in the South American country. The president of the CPC, Chen Pao-lang, said CPC will hold contacts with the Venezuelan government in order to defend their oil exploration rights on the two oil fields. Besides Chen said if no progress is made, CPC does not rule out a possible international arbitration.
In 2005 Venezuela was the eighth most important largest trading partner in Latin America for Taiwan. Taiwan exports to Venezuela parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings, baler machinery, electrical machinery and equipment and parts, sound recorders, television imagers, reproducers, vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock, plastics and plastics articles, rubber and rubber articles, man-made filaments, iron and steel, cotton, furniture, optical instruments and toys.
In return, Venezuela exports to Taiwan organic chemicals, raw hides and skins, aluminum and aluminum articles, iron and steel, plastics and plastic articles, copper and copper articles, inorganic chemicals, optical instrument, rubber and articles.
In 2007 around 400 people from Taiwan lived in Venezuela. Many of them were owners of companies that manufacture plastics, ceramics, textiles, glass, and marketing finished products.
At the end of July 2007 more than 100 pilots, a baseball player and a student from Venezuela were living in Taiwan. The pilots have been working in Taiwan after the bankruptcy of some Venezuelan airlines such as Viasa and Avensa.
- Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Venezuela: Relaciones entre la República de China y la República de Venezuela Accessed 18 December 2007 (Spanish)[dead link]
- El Universal Taiwan strives to keep mission in Venezuela (19 July 2007). Accessed 18 December 2007.
- El Universal Taiwanese diplomats to leave Venezuela (18 July 2007). Accessed 18 December 2007
- El Universal Venezolanos residentes en Taiwán temerosos ante rupturas de lazos (30 July 2007). Accessed 19 December 2007(Spanish)
- International Herald Tribune Report: Taiwanese diplomats may have to leave Venezuela (18 July 2007). Accessed 19 December 2007
- Monsters and Critics Taiwan to negotiate with Venezuela over oil exploration (17 July 2007). Accessed 18 December 2007
- Taiwanese Bureau of Foreign Trade Taiwan-Venezuela Bilateral Trade Relations in 2006 Accessed 18 December 2007
- Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Venezuela Taiwan-Venezuela Trade Tends To Fade Away Accessed 18 December 2007