China, Brazil agree to deepen strategic ties
China and Brazil agreed to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership — featuring openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation — during Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's state visit to China, which concluded on Saturday.
The two countries are expected to forge a new future in their relationship, which will bring greater benefits to the two peoples and play an important and positive role for peace, stability and prosperity in their regions and around the world, experts said.
When leaving China on Saturday morning, Lula said he was satisfied with the trip and was pleased that the strategic relationship between Brazil and China is improving.
The two nations issued a 49-point joint statement on deepening ties. They agreed to deepen cooperation in areas such as poverty alleviation, social development and scientific and technological innovation. They also issued a separate joint statement on combating climate change.
On the Ukraine crisis, both sides agreed that dialogue and negotiation are the only feasible ways to solve the issue, and they called on more countries to play a constructive role in promoting a political settlement of the conflict.
President Xi Jinping, who gave Lula a grand welcoming ceremony, said during their talks that the overarching, strategic and global influence of China-Brazil relations continues to grow. China sees the relationship as a high priority on its diplomatic agenda, he added.
Xi said China welcomes more high-quality products from Brazil into its market and will actively explore greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Brazil's re-industrialization strategy. He called on the two countries to capitalize on the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year to carry out more people-to-people exchanges.
Xi pledged China's firm support for Latin American and Caribbean countries to cement the momentum of peace, stability, independence, solidarity and development, advance regional integration and play a greater role in international affairs.
Lula said Brazil's legislature and society share a strong desire for strengthening relations with China on all fronts.
Noting that both Brazil and China uphold multilateralism and international fairness and justice, Lula said Brazil is ready to work with China to make contributions to developing countries' efforts to shake off unfair rules and realize more equitable and balanced development.
The four-day visit was Lula's first trip outside the Americas since he took office for a third term in January. Besides Beijing, he also traveled to Shanghai, where he participated in former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's inauguration as head of BRICS' New Development Bank, visited Huawei and met with Chinese business representatives.
Song Junying, head of the China Institute of International Studies' Latin American and Caribbean Studies Department, said Lula's visit demonstrated both sides' strong desire for developing bilateral ties and enhancing cooperation, given that his original March visit was rescheduled so soon, after Lula postponed it due to illness.
China-Brazil cooperation, which now involves more and diversified areas, will provide a big boost for the two countries' economic and social development and also bring more benefits to their peoples, Song said in a recent interview.
China has been Brazil's largest trade partner for 14 consecutive years. According to the General Administration of Customs, bilateral trade reached $171.49 billion in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 4.9 percent.
Earlier this year, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Central Bank of Brazil to establish renminbi clearing arrangements in Brazil, a move that will bolster bilateral trade and investment facilitation.
"As two representative countries in BRICS cooperation, the fact that China and Brazil promote trade and investment facilitation in bilateral relations, oppose protectionism and exclusionism of developed countries in the international trade arena, and adhere to multilateral cooperation in global governance, has a positive impact and significant implications for current international relations and global trade," said Zhou Zhiwei, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Latin American Studies.
Wang Lei, an associate professor at Beijing Normal University's School of Government and director of the BRICS Cooperation Center, said the positive sign of willingness for cooperation between China and Brazil will help consolidate financial cooperation among BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It will also push BRICS cooperation that is mutually beneficial and seeks common development.
Under the increasingly complex international situation, BRICS countries are able to unite and address major global challenges of various kinds, promote regional stability and contribute to a more fair and just world order, he said.
Lula's visit to China highlighted the two nations' people-centered policies and common approaches to multilateralism in global affairs, said Alessandro Golombiewski Teixeira, a former Brazilian tourism minister.
"That's very important," he said, "So I think (this) makes a lot of difference (to the world)."
As strong voices for developing countries, China and Brazil are also helping other countries on a multilateral level by enhancing their bilateral ties, he added.
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