Lula da Silva’s Visit to China: A Pivotal Moment for Brazil-China Relations
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's visit to China marks a pivotal moment in the history of Brazil-China relations. The two countries have established a long-term relationship, and Brazil was the first developing country to establish a strategic partnership with China. Lula's visit is expected to push the China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level. Both nations can embark on a journey toward a brighter future featuring mutual growth, prosperity, and sustainable development. This historic moment presents an opportunity for renewed cooperation between both sides, and it is crucial that they act decisively and embrace the potential benefits that it can bring to the world.
The strategic need for a stronger China-Brazil relationship has increased. President Xi Jinping attached great importance to the development of the China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership in the congratulatory message he sent to Lula on his inauguration. On his visit to China, Lula brought along a substantial delegation of businesspersons in response. China and Brazil have their own distinct foreign policies and both prioritize achieving sustainable development. Lula's visit to China is highly anticipated as it has the potential to establish a range of partnerships between Brazil and China that would be mutually beneficial and extend beyond the two countries.
The visit will last until April 15th, and Lula's agenda began in Shanghai, where he attended the inauguration ceremony of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as director of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). Later, Lula left for Beijing, where he met with National Assembly President Zhao Leji, Prime Minister Li Qiang, and President Xi Jinping. Lula's large delegation “shows how both sides have attached great importance to this visit and the development of bilateral relations,” a spokesperson stated.
Trade in agricultural products between China and Brazil reached $53 billion in 2022. According to data from China's General Administration of Customs, Brazil exported 54.4 million tons of soybeans and 1.11 million tons of frozen beef to China, accounting for 59.72 percent and 41 percent of China's total imports of these products, respectively. Brazil is the main supplier of food to China, and the Asian country is the main destination for Brazilian agribusiness exports.
As part of the bilateral agreements, Brazil and China will be signing an agreement that establishes the Brazilian real and the Chinese yuan as reference currencies for transactions between the two nations. This means that the U.S. dollar will not be used in trade operations between the two countries. “The two countries will work together to upgrade mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, which will inject positive energy into the promotion of solidarity and cooperation among developing countries and joint efforts to cope with global challenges,” the spokesperson added.
Lula's decision to visit Huawei followed an invitation made by the company, which has been present in Brazil for over 20 years. In 2021, just as the US Federal Communications Commission included Huawei on a list of technology firms considered to pose “unacceptable risk” to national security, the company won an auction to supply equipment for the implementation of 5G technology across Brazil. Lula's visit to Huawei sends a message that he won't pick sides in the US fight against the technology giant.
Lula's visit to China is part of his plan to resume Brazil's tradition of multilateralism, which was partly abandoned under former President Jair Bolsonaro. Lula's visit aims to reset relations with Brazil's largest trade partner following a frosty four years under his far-right predecessor. The visit will also discuss how countries can coexist in peace and harmony, better protect the environment, and eradicate social inequalities. The meeting of the presidents raises great hope, and the initiatives will help resolve disagreements between and among countries and promote peace and development.
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