Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s return to the Brazilian presidency is expected by experts and scholars to energize China-Brazil relations and cooperation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative Vice President Wang Qishan attended Lula’s inauguration on Jan. 1 in capital city Brasilia, along with representatives from more than 60 countries and international organizations.
Mauricio Santoro, a political scientist and professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, told China Daily that Lula stresses the importance to Brazil’s economic growth of partnerships with major developing countries, and seeks to create more balanced relations with Western heavyweights.
Brazilian scholars view Lula’s new term as a chance to lift Brazil-China relations to higher levels, which will also contribute to global governance, the international order and multilateral mechanisms.
Marcos Cordeiro Pires, a professor at Brazil’s Sao Paulo State University, believes “Brazil and China have great potential for future cooperation.”
“During Lula’s administration, Brazil-China relations will be further improved, developed and enhanced. The two countries will strengthen coordination on issues such as global development and security, support multilateralism, oppose protectionism, cooperate in building infrastructure, and respond actively to climate change and global warming,” he said.
“Brazil-China relations will become an important cornerstone for maintaining world peace and development,” Pires told China Daily.
Bruno de Conti, an economist and professor at the Economic Research Institute of Brazil’s State University of Campinas, expects scientific and technological cooperation between Brazil and China to be deepened and better benefit the two countries.
Filipe Porto, a researcher at the Brazilian Foreign Policy Observatory, agrees, saying Brazil and China are likely to fully cooperate in an array of fields besides economy.
Being confident in a better relationship between Brazil and China, de Conti said, “as the trust between Brazil and China becomes stronger and stronger, starting in January, there will be more and more opportunities for various negotiations between the two sides.”
Looking to the future of China-Latin America relations, Chinese Ambassador to Brazil Zhu Qingqiao said Latin America will also embark on a modernization path tailored to its needs like what China has been doing.
“In the new era, China is committed to building a China-Latin America relationship that is equal, mutually beneficial, innovative, and open and beneficial to the people, and to boosting China-Latin America ties and overall cooperation between China and Latin America to a higher level, so as to better benefit the people of China and Latin America,” said Zhu.
This is Lula’s third presidential term. He was given another four-year mandate in general elections in October 2022, winning with 60.3 million votes, or 50.9 percent of the total, while his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro obtained 58.2 million votes, or 49.1 percent.
On the foreign policy front, Lula pledged to pursue multilateral diplomacy and actively develop cooperative ties with China, the European Union (EU) and other international partners, underscoring the importance of multilateral mechanisms such as South American trade bloc Mercosur and the BRICS bloc of emerging economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
As Xi’s special representative, Wang handed over a letter signed by Xi and conveyed Xi’s congratulations as well as his invitation for Lula to visit China. He said Lula is an old friend of the Chinese people, who has long been caring for and supporting the development of China-Brazil relations.