Lula’s four-day visit to the Chinese capital is expected to feature talks on trade, investments and geopolitics, including the war in Ukraine.
China is Brazil’s biggest trading partner, followed by the US.
Lula faces the daunting challenge of straddling the rivalry between Beijing and Washington, but he has indicated that he expects China to take a more prominent role in bringing about a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine conflict.
Reuters reported that during a visit to Brazil by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last month, Lula said “I want to talk about it with President Xi Jinping. It’s time for China to get its hands dirty.”
The China-Lusophone Brief reported that investment was high on the agenda.
It quoted Geraldo Alckmin, Brazil’s vice president and development minister, who said: “We have many possibilities and opportunities, mainly in renewable energy, green hydrogen, infrastructure, the health complex, the aerospace area, education, science and technology, agriculture and tourism.”
China views Lula as a more reliable partner than former president Jair Bolsonaro, according to the China-Lusophone Brief. Bolsonaro was openly critical of Chinese investments in Brazil and blamed Beijing for the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reuters added that Lula would also be discussing the appointment of a new president of the New Development Bank – a development bank set up by the so-called BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is in the running for the position.