Lula pledges partnership with China to ‘balance global geopolitics’

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he wants to work with Beijing to “balance global geopolitics” as he wraps up a three-day visit to China aimed at deepening ties between the two countries.

“We want to raise the level of strategic partnership between our countries, expand trade flows and, together with China, balance global geopolitics,” Lula said, seeking to reiterate Brazil’s role since returning to office for a third term in January. In the international arena.

In particular, themes close to the heart of Beijing’s international diplomacy – the 77-year-old has created a multi-polar world and renewed multilateral institutions.

Lula was warmly welcomed to China, where she cheered on children who danced to a Brazilian song. New time He also hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping as his “good old friend”. The two sides signed more than a dozen deals worth $10 billion in areas ranging from infrastructure investment to building satellites and trade facilities.

Both Brazil and China are members of the BRICS bloc, a grouping of developing countries including India, Russia and South Africa that Lula has sought to revitalize since his return to office.

During a speech in Shanghai on Thursday, he called on the group to come up with an alternative currency to use in inter-dollar trade.

“Every night I ask myself why all countries trade based on the dollar,” Lula said, raising eyebrows among policymakers in Washington.

The Brazilian leader struck a note of defiance against Washington in another speech he delivered alongside Xi, when he noted that Lula had visited Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, which is subject to US sanctions.

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“We visited Huawei yesterday to tell the world that we have no bias in our relationship with the Chinese and that no one will stop us from improving our relationship with China,” Lula said. said.

During an earlier meeting with Zhao Leji, the head of the country’s rubber-stamp parliament and the third most senior official in the Communist Party, Lula underlined his ambition to reshuffle the world order.

“Our interests in our relationship with China are not just commercial. We have political interests, and we have interests in creating a new geopolitics to change world governance by giving more representation to the United Nations,” Lula said.

The multilateral focus is a marked departure from the approach taken by his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, who prioritized bilateral ties with the United States under former President Donald Trump and other countries led by populist leaders such as Hungary and Israel.

“It’s a global foreign policy,” Brazil’s foreign minister Mauro Vieira told the Financial Times last month.

Ahead of his visit to Beijing, Lula had said he would discuss with Xi the creation of a “peace club” of nations to mediate the conflict in Ukraine.

In a joint statement on Friday, the two countries stressed that the only way out of the conflict in Ukraine is through dialogue. But while the news on Ukraine reflects some points from China, it does not fully reflect Beijing’s position, which the West has criticized as pro-Russia.

In brief comments to the media on Saturday morning, Lula reiterated an idea he had previously floated of starting a club of like-minded non-belligerent nations to discuss peace, with China likely to play a role. He called on the US to stop “promoting” the war.

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“Another important country is the United States. That is, the United States must stop inciting war and start talking about peace,” Lula said. Europe must also talk about peace, he said, so that Russia and Ukraine gradually begin to see that the whole world wants an end to war.

“Lula believes that Brazil has something to contribute, especially when it comes to the Russia-Ukraine war. Many understand this as naïve. [but] “Lula understands that China plays an important role in trying to put pressure on Russia,” said Felipe Loureiro, a professor of international relations at the University of São Paulo.

“The problem is that China, while positioning itself as a neutral country, has a clear pro-Russia stance.”

At a press conference at the Brazilian embassy on Friday night, Finance Minister Fernando Haddad said the country had no intention of alienating the United States over China.

“Country [Brazil] Choosing partners is huge,” Haddad told reporters. “Brazil has the capacity to partner in bilateral agreements with these major conglomerates and other countries. There is no point in forcing yourself to make a choice to distance yourself from another when you get close to someone.

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