President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva kicked off his three-day official visit to China by participating in the inauguration ceremony of former President Dilma Rousseff as Chair of the New Development Bank (NBD) of the BRICS countries on Thursday (13), in Shanghai.
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In addition to these commitments, the Brazilian president in Shanghai will also visit the research and development center of Huawei, one of China’s major technology companies.
Lula will also meet with BYD CEO Wang Quanfu and Chairman of the Board of Directors of China Communications Construction Corporation (CCCC), Wang Tongzhou.
Another audience on Lula’s agenda is with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Shanghai, Chen Jining. The meeting will be followed by a banquet hosted by Chen Jining himself.
After the schedule in Shanghai, Lula leaves for Beijing, where he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The former Brazilian president’s visit to China aims to strengthen trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries, especially in areas such as technology, infrastructure and energy.
Lula’s visit to China comes at a time when the governments of the two countries are talking about rebuilding relations between Brazil and China after tense moments during the tenure of former President Jair Bolsonaro.
During his stay in China, Lula should meet with Chinese authorities and businessmen to discuss investment opportunities and bilateral cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, technology and energy.
Conversation with Xi Jinping
According to the Planalto Palace, Lula and the Chinese president will meet on Friday (14).
The Workers’ Party and Xi Jinping have to tackle issues ranging from the war between Russia and Ukraine, trade issues, global governance, and promoting Brazilian products in the Chinese market.
Although Brazil is not directly involved in the conflict in Eastern Europe, Lula has stated publicly that he will speak with the Chinese president about the Asian country’s role in resolving the war.
The Brazilian president wants China to be one of the leaders of a group of countries seeking a diplomatic way out of the war involving Russia and Ukraine.
In a social media post, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, said that his country is grateful for President Lula’s “efforts” to try to end the war in the region, except that the country will not yield “one inch” of land to Russia.
Dispute between China and the United States
On the international scene, Lula’s journey continues to put the Brazilian government at the center of the struggle for influence and power between China and the United States. After years of frosty relations resulting from the noise the Bolsonaro government has made with the two countries, Brazil is establishing itself as the new trench for the Chinese and the Americans.
The two superpowers are experiencing a tense moment in their economic and political rivalry, with accusations of espionage and slander threatening to escalate into military conflict in Taiwan – which China considers its territory and which the United States considers independent.
In addition to meeting Xi Jinping, on Friday Lula will have dinner with the Chinese president and meetings with Zhao Lijie, chairman of the National People’s Congress, at the Great People’s Palace, and with Premier Li Qiang.
Batista also faces the challenge of untangling the relationship, inherited from the Jair Bolsonaro administration. In his years in office, the former president has aligned himself unreservedly with fellow American Donald Trump and repeatedly criticized the Chinese regime — even in the trade in vaccines against Covid-19.
Stopover in Abu Dhabi
On the flight back to Brazil, Lula will stop in the United Arab Emirates.
He is scheduled to meet with local leaders in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Arab country, on Saturday (15).
President Lula postponed his trip to China on medical advice at the end of March. According to the information released in the government memo, Lula was diagnosed with pneumonia on the night of March 23.
According to the president’s advisory, Lula underwent checks in a unit at Cerio Libanon Hospital, in Brasília, that night. Earlier in the day, the President was in Rio de Janeiro, where he participated in an event at the Naval Complex of Itaguay, visited reconstruction work at the National Museum and an event at the Municipal Theatre.
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