China’s move to invest $2.2 billion in Venezuela for a share of increased crude production shows a desire to extract itself from the country’s political fights while securing access to its vast oil reserves. The deal, which represents China’s first economic support this year for the beleaguered South American country, would help Venezuela reverse declining oil output by improving its infrastructure. In exchange, Venezuela would promise to send its largest creditor even more oil — 800,000 barrels a day — compared with about 550,000 in September. The deal will be finalized in mid-December. As low oil prices ravage Venezuela’s economy and President Nicolas Maduro struggles to maintain his grip on power, China is paying greater attention to things like fiscal stability and political risk in its overseas lending. The increased scrutiny could complicate its pledge to deploy $60 billion across Africa over the next three years, much of it […]