Just months after the Chinese press celebrated Hugo Chavez’s presidential victory, concerns are mounting in China about the Venezuelan president’s health, his future successor, and the fate of the ‘Bolivarian revolution.’ With loans to Venezuela estimated at $38 billion, some of China’s largest overseas entities are facing an uncomfortable degree of political and investment-related uncertainty. A likely political transition in Venezuela will test China’s appetite for risk-taking in its future engagement with Latin America, as well as its capacity for risk calculation. China is unlikely to abandon its ‘risky’ ventures in the region, but will approach future deals with a greater degree of caution and more research.

Originally published on January 18, 2013 in the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. Click HERE to view the rest of the article.