GT Voice: Lula’s visit to boost China-Brazil ties despite discrediting by West
A cargo ship loaded with soya beans from Brazil prepares to unload at Yangpu port in the Yangpu Economic Development Zone in Danzhou, South China’s Hainan Province, July 2022. Photo: Xinhua
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will pay a state visit to China from March 26 to 31. According to Reuters, the Brazilian president will be accompanied by a delegation of 240 business representatives, including 90 from the agriculture sector. Brazil’s trade promotion secretary Daniel Fernandes was quoted as saying that all the government’s ministries will be represented during the trip. Such a huge delegation in itself reflects the Brazilian side’s strong interest in expanding cooperation with China.
However, such a strong interest and the vast potential for greater China-Brazil cooperation have also evidently drawn ire among some in the US with hegemonic mindset who do not want to see closer China-Brazil ties. Since Lula was reelected as Brazil’s president, many Western media outlets and think-tanks have been making some disharmonious noises in an apparent attempt to disrupt and discredit China-Brazil cooperation.
“Lula can’t simply count on China this time,” asserted an article published in January by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think-tank. Before Lula’s scheduled visit to China, some Western media also attempted to complicate Brazil’s relations with China. For instance, the Diplomat, a magazine, published an article on Saturday, claiming that “the potential China-Uruguay trade deal risks fracturing Mercosur,” a trade bloc among some South American countries also known as the Southern Common Market.
Needless to say, such attempts will not change the general trend of growing economic and trade cooperation between China and Brazil, which is the natural result of strong economic complementarity between the two countries.
Like China, Brazil’s primary strategy is to promote economic and social development. Brazil’s Finance Ministry on Friday reportedly reduced its estimates for economic growth this year, citing the impact of higher basic interest rates on activity and credit. Cooperation between the two countries is especially crucial given such a testing time of global economic uncertainty. It is imperative for the two countries to ignore noises made by the West, and focus on taking advantage of their complementarities to boost cooperation and economic competitiveness.
Despite the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy over the past three years, the trade relationship between China and Brazil has been achieving new breakthroughs. Bilateral trade has exceeded $100 billion for five consecutive years, and China has remained Brazil’s largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years. In 2022, Brazilian exports to China amounted to 89.43 billion dollars, accounting for 26.8 percent of the country’s total, according to official Brazilian figures. Brazil is also China’s largest investment destination in Latin America.
Lula, who assumed office as Brazil’s new leader on January 1, has had a long career in Brazilian politics. As then President of Brazil, Lula visited China in 2004. He led a large delegation of cabinet ministers, state governors and business leaders to China in a bid to foster closer ties with the world’s second-largest economy. Just five years after that trip, China reportedly surpassed the US as Brazil’s biggest trading partner. Hopefully, Lula’s visit this time will once again push China-Brazil economic relations to a new height.
The deepening economic and trade partnership between China and Brazil has driven the development of Brazil’s agriculture, infrastructure, science and technology, e-commerce and other fields, contributing greatly to Brazil’s economic growth. To develop the potential of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, China and Brazil are working together to further promote investment facilitation measures, jointly shape the security environment of the industrial chain and supply chain, enhance sustainable development capabilities, and carry out practical cooperation in key industries.
It is important to note that China has attached high importance to bilateral economic cooperation with Brazil, Uruguay, and all the members of the Southern Common Market. It should be pointed out that the strengthening of bilateral economic and trade relations is conducive to promoting the overall cooperation of the Southern Common Market.
It is predictable that some Western forces want to see friction between China and Brazil, but these forces are going to be deeply disappointed by the result. China’s win-win cooperation with countries such as Brazil will only increase. Peace and development will prevail.