Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva start his on three-day state visit to China on Wednesday hoping to strengthen economic ties with his country’s largest trading partner.
Lula, who was accompanied by a large delegation of businessmen, state governors, congressmen and ministers, said he wanted to “relaunch” Brazil’s relations with China, which have grown 21 times since his first visit to the country in 2004.
The Brazilian leader also said he would invite Xi to visit Brazil for a bilateral meeting and show him projects that Brazil wants to attract Chinese investment in, such as infrastructure, agriculture, technology and tourism.
Among the more than 20 agreements expected to be signed during the visit is one on the joint construction of CBERS-6 satellites, which can monitor biomes such as the Amazon rainforest even on cloudy days.
Lula also attended the inauguration of his ally and former president Dilma Rousseff as the head of the New Development Bank of BRICS, a bloc of emerging economies composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Lula has adopted a policy of non-intervention over the war in Ukraine, rejecting US President Joe Biden’s efforts to unite the international community against Russia’s aggression. Lula has said he believes dialogue is the best way to resolve the crisis and avoid a nuclear war.
Lula’s visit to China is part of his strategy to reassert Brazil’s place on the global stage after four years of diplomatic isolation under his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro. Lula has also visited Washington DC in February, where he met with Biden and discussed climate change, human rights and democracy.