While expressing confidence in the sound and steady growth of China-Brazil relationship, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the need for China and Brazil to support each other in exploring their own paths for development and highlighted the two countries’ positive role in promoting global peace, stability and prosperity, while meeting with visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday. Analysts hailed the top leaders’ meeting as offering clear guidance for future development of ties and allowing the two countries to better engage in global governance.
On Friday, President Xi met with visiting Lula in Beijing, during which he called him an old friend on more than one occasion and said he is ready to work with Lula from their strategic vantage point to steer and create a new future for China-Brazil relations in the new era, and to deliver greater benefits to the two peoples.
President Xi noted that as comprehensive strategic partners, China and Brazil share extensive common interests. China always views and develops relations with Brazil from a strategic and long-term perspective, and sees the relationship as a high priority on its diplomatic agenda.
Xi expressed his confidence that a China-Brazil relationship that continues to enjoy sound and steady growth is bound to play an important and positive role for peace, stability and prosperity in their regions and beyond.
Brazilian President Lula said he was honored and proud to head a large delegation on his fourth visit to China. This is his first visit outside the Americas since being elected President last year. This choice reflects Brazil’s affection for China and commitment to Brazil-China relations.
China is an indispensable force in global politics, economy and trade, science and technology, and plays a vital role in promoting world peace and development. Brazil is committed to building closer relations with China from the strategic perspective of shaping a just and equitable international order, said Lula, expressing his full confidence that Brazil-China relations would embrace a brighter future.
“With this visit, Lula aims to send a clear and firm signal that China-Brazil relations under his tenure will reach new historical heights,” Pan Deng, executive director of the Latin American and Caribbean Region Law Center of China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Friday.
The fact that Lula can overcome international and domestic voices of opposition and his own health issues to visit as he just marked his 100th day in office is telling, said Pan.
After Lula took office, the atmosphere for political dialogue between China and Brazil has changed, Zhou Zhiwei, an expert on Latin American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), told the Global Times.
China-Brazil relations had seen “cool politics but warm economy” under the previous right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, while analysts predict the two countries will embrace a “warm politics and economy” after President Lula’s visit, as political trust has been greatly enhanced and the comprehensive strategic partnership enriched, analysts said.
After the meeting of the two top leaders on Friday, China and Brazil released a joint statement on deepening their comprehensive strategic partnership.
Wider economic exchanges
Economic and trade cooperation was among the top items on Lula’s agenda. During the talks on Friday, the two leaders called for deeper bilateral cooperation in traditional as well as new areas.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents that cover a wide range of areas, including trade and investment, the digital economy, and information and telecommunication.
China-Brazil trade will not only increase in volume but also expand in scope, especially when the two countries are working to boost economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, analysts said.
“Lula’s visit to China has greatly promoted the breadth and depth of bilateral trade and investment,” Wang Youming, director of the Institute of Developing Countries at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times on Friday.
Wang noted that cooperation in traditional fields, such as minerals and agricultural products (soybeans, corn and meat), will be further consolidated. In emerging fields, such as digital economy, green economy and high-tech, the two sides will expand cooperation to form a scenario in which traditional and new trade goes hand in hand.
During the bilateral talks on Friday, Lula mentioned his visit to Huawei and said he was impressed by China’s achievements in areas such as 5G, expressing hope for cooperation in relevant areas.
Wang said that China-Brazil cooperation in the field of science and technology such as semiconductors, chips, 5G and satellites is of great significance, particularly in countering the US’ technological hegemony.
“In particular, Lula’s visit to Huawei’s research institute in Shanghai sent a strong signal to the outside world that Brazil will implement strategic independence and conduct in-depth scientific and technological cooperation with China. This move has a demonstration effect, and more developing countries will follow Brazil’s example in the future,” Wang said.
Shared pursuit for peace
Zhou Zhiwei at the CASS noted that the greater importance of Xi and Lula’s meeting lies in the communication between two major developing countries on regional and global affairs and joint expression of their understanding of peaceful governance.
President Xi stressed China’s firm support for Latin American and Caribbean countries to cement the sound momentum of peace, stability, independence and said China will step up strategic coordination with Brazil on global issues of mutual interest in the UN, BRICS, the G20 and other multilateral institutions, and enhance coordination on climate response.
Xi and Lula also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis and both agreed that dialogue and negotiations are the only feasible way for settling it. They appealed to more countries to play a constructive role for a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
Pan Deng said that it is easier for China and Brazil, both developing countries and BRICS members, to find common ground on the Ukraine crisis. With rich political experience, Lula has a deep understanding of the global situation. His visit itself and its outcome show that Brazil is willing to join hands with China on the path of safeguarding multilateralism.
Alessandro Golombiewski Teixeira, former Brazilian minister of tourism and former special economic advisor to the president of Brazil, said that instead of believing in a hegemonic world ruled by one country, both China and Brazil believe in multilateralism and international relations based on equality. The two leaderships from China and Brazil share a common vision in terms of world development, which also promotes bilateral cooperation.
Lula’s fruitful visit to China has also attracted global attention, as their joint efforts inject positive impetus into the world amid increasing turbulence and instability.
There is a need to have more weight from the Global South at international institutes and platforms, including IMF, and G20. The more Western countries boycott the voice of the South, the more institutions like BRICS and SCO will grow in influence and scope, Marco Fernandes, a researcher at the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, co-editor of Dongsheng Collective, and member of No Cold War Campaign, told the Global Times.
Timofei Bordachev, the program director for Moscow-based Valdai Club in Russia, hailed cooperation between Brazil and China for moving in the direction of strengthening their own independence.
BRICS is becoming a pillar of democratic global governance and is attracting the attention of more countries. Bordachev told the Global Times that “There is now a unique opportunity to create an infrastructure of global governance that does not depend on a single decision-making center – it can become the basis of a new international order.”