News ID: 114013
Publish Date : 15 April 2023 - 22:24

Lula Renounces U.S. Dollar on China Visit

BEIJING (Dispatches) – Brazil’s president said Saturday that the United States should stop “encouraging war” in Ukraine, as he wrapped a state visit to China in which he has strengthened economic ties with his country’s main trading partner.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva used his trip to push the message that “Brazil is back” as a key player on the global stage -- and to warn that the South American country’s deepening relations with China were non-negotiable.
Lula was headed on Saturday to the United Arab Emirates for a one-day official visit, and was to meet his counterpart Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
During the trip to China, the Brazilian leader lashed out at the power of the U.S. dollar and the IMF, and met representatives from Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has been effectively shut out of the U.S. market.
“The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace. The European Union needs to start talking about peace,” Lula told reporters in Beijing.
In that way, the international community will be able to “convince” Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky that “peace is in the interest of the whole world”, he said, before leaving for the United Arab Emirates.
Lula, who returned to power in January after serving two terms between 2003 and 2010, met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday.
The leaders called on developed countries to keep their promise to provide $100 billion a year to the poorest countries to fight against the effects of climate change.
Lula’s visit, which included an economic agenda in Shanghai and a more political one in Beijing, came after a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in February.
Unlike Western powers, neither China nor Brazil has imposed sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine war.
Both seek to position themselves as mediators to achieve peace in the conflict, which is still raging in Ukraine’s east.
Before the trip, Lula had proposed creating a group of countries to mediate in the war, and said he would discuss this in Beijing.
Asked about the progress of this initiative after his conversation with Xi, Lula did not give details.
“It is important to have patience” to talk with Putin and Zelensky, he said.
“But above all, it is necessary to convince the countries that are supplying weapons, encouraging the war, to stop.”
Lula defended stronger ties with Beijing in order to reorient the global geopolitical order, boosting Chinese plans to counter decades of U.S. preeminence in world affairs.
“Our interests in the relationship with China are not just commercial,” Lula said during a meeting with Zhao Leji, the chairman of China’s National Peoples Congress standing committee. “We have political interests and we have interests in building a new geopolitics so that we can change world governance by giving more representation to the United Nations.”
Lula, who previously served as president from 2003 to 2010, has long favored a multilateral approach to global affairs in line with Brazil’s traditional foreign policy.
In Beijing, he pushed China to back Brazil’s desire to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and on Friday said that it was necessary to make deeper reforms to the United Nations.
“The United Nations needs to have the strength to coordinate the balance that the world needs for people to live in peace,” he said.
China “recognized the need to reform” the UN and the Security Council in order to make them “more representative and democratic,” according to a joint summary of the trip released by both countries.
Brazil signed an assortment of new economic agreements with China, its largest trading partner, during the trip, including pacts on agricultural trade, aviation and investment. That added to a list of trade wins amassed last month, when a delegation of more than 100 Brazilian business leaders traveled to China as part of Lula’s originally scheduled visit, which was delayed because of a mild case of pneumonia.
But other aspects of the trip may

raise eyebrows in the U.S., which is Brazil’s second-largest trading partner and has sought to improve its ties with Lula’s government since he took office in January.
On Thursday, the Brazilian leader called for the creation of an alternative currency to replace the dollar in foreign trade transactions between the BRICS nations, a bloc that along with China and Brazil includes Russia, India and South Africa.
Lula’s visit to a Huawei Technologies facility in Shanghai on Thursday also held the potential to irk the U.S., which has sanctioned the technology company over national security concerns.
Lula defended the stop at Huawei, saying Friday that it was meant to demonstrate that Brazil “has no prejudice against the Chinese people.”
“Nobody is going to forbid Brazil from improving its relationship with China,” he said.