Barring any further complications from a bout of pneumonia, Brazil’s leftist President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva is expected to
Barring any further complications from a bout of pneumonia, Brazil’s leftist President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva is expected to land in Beijing today for a five-day state visit.
Lula will lead a large delegation that includes 240 business leaders, including 90 from the agricultural sector. He will meet fellow BRICS leader—Chinese President Xi Jinping—on March 27.
Lula seeks to reset relations with China after the tumultuous presidency of his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro when bilateral relations soured. However, a key outcome sought by Brazil is to lift a Chinese ban on Brazilian beef exports, halted due to mad cow disease. Brasilia has announced the ban has been lifted but Beijing has yet to confirm this. China accounted for 62% of Brazilian beef exports last year and is a crucial market for Brazilian beef farmers. For Beijing, Brazil is an important source of agricultural imports to fuel the recovery of post-COVID-19 consumer demand, but also part of a BRICS bloc which is a bulwark against the American-led order in global trade.
Brazil-China relations will be cemented this week when 20 economic deals are expected to be signed—especially if the beef ban is lifted—but, more importantly, for China, expect BRICS relations to strengthen further in the medium term.