BEIJING – Chinese experts commented on Bolsonaro’s visit to China after the Asian giant was called “capitalist” by Brazil’s president.
On Friday, the last day of his visit to China, Bolsonaro met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who promised to increase trade with Brazil. The meeting took place at the Great People’s Palace in Beijing.
“Bolsonaro’s visit to China is a favorable event,” said Wang Ping, vice chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Chinese Association of Latin America and former director of the Nankai University Center for Latin American Studies in Tientsin, China.
“After Bolsonaro came to power, there was concern that this could affect Sino-Brazilian relations because of his pro-American position as well as his right-wing political affiliation. However, the visit showed that the president highly values Sino-Brazilian relations and demonstrates a pragmatic approach to their development. The visit will certainly help to expand economic ties and strengthen mutual trust,” Ping said.
“A considerable part of Brazil needs China, and China also needs Brazil. Brazil is a sea of opportunity, and we want to share it with China.” With these words, Jair Bolsonaro ended his three-day visit to Beijing, convincing most observers that he had abandoned his earlier anti-Chinese rhetoric, something first noted by Wang Ping.
Fan Hesheng, director of the Anhui University Latin American Institute, commented on the results of the visit of the president of Brazil.
“China and Brazil have a mutual need for each other. It is conditioned by the need for economic development and international cooperation. This is a very important point. During the visit, we felt that both leaders gave clear guidance for the development of the cooperation,” said Fan Hesheng.
Waking up the meeting in China
For the first time, Bolsonaro announced his visit to China immediately following his meeting with the US president in Washington. This was done to balance Brazil’s relationship with the US and China. The visit seems to have achieved this goal. Observers drew attention to Bolsonaro’s statement at the Beijing Business Forum that China and Brazil “were born to walk together.”
Although strategic relations between the two countries only began in 1993, China is Brazil’s largest trading partner. In 2018, trade flow between the two countries reached the $98.9 billion mark.
During his visit to the Asian country, Bolsonaro was able to sign various official protocols in Beijing for agreements on science and technology, economics, trade, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, foreign affairs and education.