Autonomy will best benefit Brazil’s development

That Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to China, from Wednesday to Friday, was rescheduled so soon after his proposed trip in late March was postponed due to him catching pneumonia highlights that it was the common wish of both sides that the visit be materialized as soon as possible.

The postponement of the trip did not forestall encouraging developments in bilateral cooperation — in particular, a yuan clearing deal was signed on March 29 to get their sizable trade rid of its long-term reliance on the US dollar and last week China hosted a forum for 500 Brazilian and Chinese businesspeople that resulted in the signing of more than 20 cooperation agreements in various industries.

That these fruits could be harvested smoothly even before Lula set his foot in China, for his third state visit to the country since 2004, indicates the mutual trust between the two sides has already reached a very high level.

But that does not mean Lula will have a more relaxed agenda for his visit, as there is much for the two largest developing countries, both ardent advocates for fair and just international order, to discuss, ranging from boosting trade, financial, technological and cultural cooperation to upholding multilateralism and defending world peace and stability. In fact, the postponement of his visit has seen his about 300-people delegation further swelling as more businesspeople and politicians have joined it.

Every member of the large delegation will be well aware of the complementarity between the two economies. China has been the largest trading partner of Brazil, China's largest investment destination in Latin America, for years, and their bilateral trade reached $171.49 billion last year, more than 21 times that of 20 years ago. China now imports 36 percent of Brazil's exports of soy, 20 percent ore and 18 percent oil, and China's equipment and technology in manufacturing, aerospace, digital economy and green development have a broad market in Brazil.

In particular, it is good to hear that the Brazilian side shows strong interest in taking advantage of Lula's visit to discuss Brazil's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, which can greatly enrich the two countries' cooperation framework besides the BRICS system and at the bilateral level, and in exploring feasible ways to work with China to advance a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis.

After following the development path that the US prescribed to Latin America in its Washington Consensus in 1989, Brazil has finally realized that standing on its own two feet is the prerequisite for the country to overcome the trap the US set for countries in the region by pushing for the liberalization of industry, market and finance in a bid to dominate their economies with US capital and companies.

Lula's visit to China will provide the country with a first-hand experience of what a difference keeping its strategic autonomy can make to an emerging market economy of its size, and with its resources and potential. There is no reason for the door of modernization to be shut and bolted on Brazil.