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China’s Xi Hails Brazil Ties as VP Alckmin Visits Beijing

China's President Xi Jinping (3rd L) and Brazil's Vice President Geraldo Alckmin (3rd R) hold a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 7, 2024. WANG Zhao / POOL / AFP

Xi Jinping hailed China’s friendship with Brazil on Friday, telling visiting Vice President Geraldo Alckmin that their ties “go far beyond the scope of bilateral relations.”

Beijing is the South American country’s top trading partner, exceeding $180 billion in each-way trade in 2023. Semiconductors, phones, and pharmaceuticals dominate Brazil’s exports.

Since returning to power last year, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has carried out a delicate balancing act as he seeks to deepen ties with China while improving relations with the United States.

Both Brazil and China have sought to position themselves as mediators in the conflict in Ukraine while declining to sanction Russia for its invasion.

“Currently, the world is facing major changes unseen in a century,” Xi told Alckmin at the start of a meeting at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

“As developing countries and important emerging economies, the ties between China and Brazil go far beyond the scope of bilateral relations and are a model for promoting solidarity and cooperation among developing nations, as well as for world peace and stability,” the Chinese leader added.

Alckmin’s visit to Beijing had been tipped as paving the way for Brazil to join China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project.

A number of South American nations have signed up to the initiative, a central pillar of President Xi’s bid to expand China’s clout overseas.

Among them are Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Brazil has not yet signed up.

“China is, for us, inspiring,” Alckmin told Xi, hailing China’s success in bringing hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in recent decades.

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