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Brazil's Lula lands in China for state visit

April 12, 2023

The Brazilian president has arrived in China ahead of a high-level meeting with Xi Jinping on Friday. Lula plans to rebuild the relations that were damaged under his predecessor.

President Lula was handed a bouquet of flowers upon landing in Shanghai for the beginning of his state visit
President Lula was handed a bouquet of flowers upon landing in Shanghai for the beginning of his state visitImage: Palacio Planalto/dpa/picture alliance

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrived in the Chinese city of Shanghai on Wednesday to kick off a state visit that aims to set relations between the two emerging powers back on track.

Lula and his wife Rosangela "Janja" da Silva were greeted at the airport by China's deputy foreign minister, Xie Feng.

The veteran leftist will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday to discuss trade, investment, climate change, and peace agreements, according to the Brazilian government.

The visit had been scheduled to take place in March but was postponed after Lula came down with pneumonia.

Key trading partners

Lula is hoping to rebuild relations with China after four years of relative isolation and antagonism from his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil exports more goods to China than anywhere else, including tens of billions of dollars worth of soybeans, beef, iron ore, poultry, pulp, sugar cane, cotton and crude oil.

It also receives more Chinese investment than any other Latin American country.

The two countries are expected to sign at least 20 bilateral agreements during Lula's visit.

Can Lula put Brazil back on the world stage?

Putting Brazil back on the map

The Brazilian president's visit to China comes after high-level talks with US President Joe Biden in Washington in February.

Lula — who served as president from 2003 to 2010 — hopes to see Brazil rise as a key player on the global stage following the Bolsonaro years.

But his stance on how to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a topic that is expected to come up when he meets with Xi, has caused concern among Ukraine's Western backers.

Lula will also attend the inauguration of ally and former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as the head of the BRICS development bank.

The BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are a group of emerging economies that gained prominence as a concept after the end of the Cold War.

ab/nm (AFP, AP)

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