Congratulations to Lula, looking forward to further development of China-Brazil ties: Global Times editorial
Published: Nov 01, 2022 12:31 AM
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (C, front) attends a celebration event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Oct. 30, 2022.Photo: Xinhua

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (C, front) attends a celebration event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Oct. 30, 2022.Photo: Xinhua

The results released by the Superior Electoral Court of Brazil show that in the second round election on October 30, the Brazilian Workers' Party candidate and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeated incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro from the Liberal Party by a "slight advantage" and was elected as the new president of Brazil. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to Lula over his election as president of the Federative Republic of Brazil, and expressed his willingness to work with Lula to jointly push the China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level from a strategic height and long-term perspective so as to benefit the two countries and two peoples.

As a big country that accounts for about half of South America in terms of area, population and GDP, and has important influence in international affairs, Brazil's general election has attracted great attention from the international community. In addition, due to Lula's special background as president during 2003 to 2010 and his reputation in global politics, especially in South-South diplomacy, people from all circles have high expectation over the direction of Brazil's internal politics and diplomacy under Lula. After Lula's victory, US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron immediately expressed congratulations to him, which was seen as a signal that the US hopes to take the opportunity to consolidate US-Brazil relations and that the Europe-Brazil relations, which have been undermined by the climate issue, are expected to be repaired.

Since Lula vigorously promoted the development of China-Brazil relations during his previous term of office and visited China several times, many people are paying high attention to the development of China-Brazil relations after he comes to power. However, Lula's identity as an "old friend of the Chinese people" has been subject to some ulterior interpretations in the current public opinion environment in the US and the West.  Some claim that in the context of tense China-US relations, Latin American left-wing forces assuming power will be interpreted as a rejection of US hegemony. Others say that it will be "inevitable" that Lula gets closer to China after his election. Some even argue, in a conceited manner, that "a full tilt toward China is unlikely." These are in fact a copy of the recent hypes of ludicrous narratives such as that China is "infiltrating" in Latin America and turning the region into its "backyard."

Such interpretations are actually judging others by oneself. It is disrespect for Brazil, an independent emerging power, and it is also ignorance of the driving force behind the continuous deepening and development of China-Brazil relations and even China-Latin America relations.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, especially since Lula took office the first time in 2003, China-Brazil relations, particularly the economic and trade relations, have developed quickly. Today, the economic and trade complementarity between the two countries have witnessed remarkable growth, becoming ballast stone of the bilateral ties. The deepening of China-Brazil relations follows the trend and has a strong internal driving force. It will not be easily changed shortly or by a single event. Though there were some noises in bilateral times under Bolsonaro, China-Brazil trade still hit the record of about $164 billion in 2021 despite the pandemic. In the past few years, Washington has come to its wits' end to squeeze out the disharmonious factors in China-Brazil relations and amplify them, but as everyone sees it, there is no desired effect.

Exchanges between China and Brazil have never been demarcated by ideology. No matter who is in power, we would like to see stability and development of the Brazilian society. Meanwhile, as both are major developing countries and important emerging market countries, the two countries share extensive common interests and responsibilities. Lula wrote in the government plan: We advocate working toward the construction of a new global order committed to multilateralism, respect for the sovereignty of nations, peace, social inclusion and environmental sustainability, which takes into account the needs of developing countries. The plan can find many common grounds with Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative that China proposed. 

Brazil has created three "firsts" in its ties with China: the first developing country to establish strategic partnership with China; the first Latin American country to establish comprehensive strategic partnership with China; and the first Latin American country whose bilateral trade volume with China broke the $100 billion mark. Long-term friendship between China and Brazil, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples, and is conducive to maintaining regional and global peace and stability, promoting common development and prosperity. We congratulate Lula on his election victory, and look forward to further development of China-Brazil friendship.