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Lula’s Victory Expected to Boost China-Brazil Ties

Newspapers reporting Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s presidential victory. Image: AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping was quick to send his congratulations on Monday to Luis Inacio Lula da Silva on his re-election as president of Brazil. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing was equally enthusiastic about Lula’s return to power, with spokesman Zhao Lijian telling reporters that China now wants to take ties with Brazil to “a new level.

This palpable sense of relief from Chinese officials over the defeat of populist right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro reflects the persistent unease that defined the relationship in recent years. While President Bolsonaro was keen to expand trade ties with China, he was also among Beijing’s most vocal critics.

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