Amidst US president Trump’s plans to oust Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, Pentagon on the other hand keeps a watchful eye as China creeps in into the country at an alarming rate.

During an interview with Craig Faller, the commander of US Southern Command, he stated that China’s disinformation campaign is designed to put the blame on the US for the blackouts which have ravaged Venezuela these past few weeks.

Maduro, under the backing of Cuba, China, and Russia, has been accusing the US Defense Department of the recurring blackouts the nation has experienced. Meanwhile, Beijing has offered help to fix the current power failures.

According to Faller, a spokesman from China attributed the blackouts in Venezuela to the cyberattacks the US government has launched. However, he explicitly stated that it’s all a lie, and the recent blackouts are actually caused by Maduro’s corruption and inability to properly rule the country.

However, this is not the only case that has caused concerns for Pentagon. There’s also the Pacific area where China is currently establishing its military force, bringing forth worries and concern to nearby smaller neighbors, particularly Taiwan.

Faller further mentioned that China is trying to exert economic control over Venezuela through infrastructures and hefty loans which the Venezuelan government will have difficulty repaying. This is not the only case of loan deals struck between the Chinese and Venezuelan government. In 2014, China has provided a $30-billion-dollar loan to Venezuela for oil production.

Aside from that, China also has its information technology footprint through telecommunications giant ZTE which is currently creating a new ID card with the motive of monitoring every Venezuelan citizen’s behavior. The information from these cards will allow the government to monitor every citizen’s activity, including medical history, finances, and voting records, Reuters reported.

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