Finance Meeting in China Canceled Over Venezuela Dispute, Sources Say

(Bloomberg) -- The Inter-American Development Bank canceled a meeting set to be held in China next week after the nation refused to allow representatives of Venezuela’s opposition to participate, according to people familiar with the matter.

They asked not to be named as they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on this topic.

The organization’s board said on Friday that the gathering planned for March 28 to 31 will not be held in Chengdu, and it will recommend a new date and location within 30 days. The U.S. had threatened to pull out if a representative of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido was prevented from participating, Reuters reported earlier.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and People’s Bank of China -- which was hosting the meeting -- did not reply to faxes sent on Saturday in Beijing seeking comment.

China has so far held back from strongly supporting either Nicolas Maduro’s regime or Guaido, mostly falling back on citing a longstanding policy of noninterference in other states’ affairs. The Asian nation is one of the biggest investors in Venezuela, and has been an ally of socialist administrations dating back to Hugo Chavez.

"This IDB conference is not a place for political issues, it should focus on financial issues and should not be politicized," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular briefing on Friday when asked about the issue. "The Venezuelan representative issue should be resolved on a practical basis. If some countries deliberately obstruct this, then they should shoulder responsibilities."

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