Venezuela: China’s Sinopec sues oil company PDVSA more than unpaid bills

China is arriving the heat on Venezuela.

One of its biggest state-owned companies has filed a good lawsuit against Venezuela’s essential oil company, PDVSA, in a good U.S. courtroom, claiming huge amount of money it says it is owed.

Chinese oil and gas company Sinopec is certainly suing PDVSA for $23.7 million plus interest and damages, accusing the Venezuelan company of breach of contract and conspiracy to defraud.

Related: Venezuela: We can not pay our debts anymore

According to court documents filed on Nov. 27 in Houston, Texas, Sinopec USA statements that PDVSA has didn’t pay for half of a $43.5 million order for metal items. The lawsuit was initially reported by the Financial Occasions on Wednesday.

The disputed amount is small when compared to the massive debts Venezuela is struggling to repay.

Venezuela and PDVSA owe a lot more than $60 billion just to bondholders. In total, the country owes $196 billion, relating to a paper posted by the Harvard Law Roundtable.

China’s state banking institutions loaned $60 billion to Venezuela between 2007 and 2016, and the lawsuit is just the most recent sign that Beijing keeps growing impatient with the embattled South American nation.

Sinopec doesn’t hold back found in its complaint, slamming PDVSA for its “disingenuous character [and] feigned guarantees to create full payment.”

It alleges PDVSA “hid behind a complicated series of subsidiaries and affiliates,” detailing how various PDVSA-affiliated companies “were acting found in concert to defraud Sinopec.”

PDVSA could not end up being reached for comment outside of business hours.

Related: The chaos in Venezuela could easily get much worse

Paying Sinopec’s bill is usually definately not the most pressing matter facing Venezuela.

The united states is suffering an enormous humanitarian crisis. There is a severe shortage of food and medicine. Many Venezuelans can’t buy simple items because prices are skyrocketing. The country’s currency, the bolivar, is worth less than a tenth of a U.S. penny, and the central bank has less than $10 billion kept in reserves.

PDVSA made a $1.1 billion debt payment previous month. Shortly after, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that Venezuela and PDVSA would search for to restructure their debts payments.

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