Introduction and Opinions of the Guests
Du Zhanyuan's address at the China-Brazil Forum for Exchange and Mutual Learning
  ·  2023-02-24  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

Du Zhanyuan, President of China International Communications Group  

November 30, 2022, Beijing 

Your Excellencies Ambassador Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvão, Mr. Aloysio Nunes, 

Your Excellencies Special Representative Qiu Xiaoqi, Mr. Yu Hongjun, 

Distinguished Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Friends, 

Good evening! It is a great pleasure to attend the China-Brazil Forum for Exchange and Mutual Learning. First of all, on behalf of China International Communication Group (CICG), I would like to extend my sincerest welcome to all guests attending the forum and my warmest congratulations on its opening! 

This past October was of milestone significance to both China and Brazil. The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held successfully, drafting a development blueprint for China’s transformation into a modern socialist country in all respects. President Xi Jinping was re-elected as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the first plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee. At the same time, the Brazilian Workers’ Party candidate, former President Lula, won the second round of voting in the presidential elections and once again was elected as the new President of Brazil. The bilateral relationship ushers in a new chapter. In his congratulatory message to Lula, President Xi Jinping made it clear that he attaches great importance to the development of China and Brazil’s relationship. He would like to work with President-elect Lula, from a strategic and long-term perspective, to outline, promote and lift the China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level that serves the interests of both countries and peoples.   

Currently, with drastic changes unseen in a century and the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, the world is undergoing major development, adjustment, and transformation. Facing a complicated, volatile international situation and tough global challenges, mankind needs openness, inclusiveness, and common development now more than ever. History has proven that cultural exchanges and mutual learning are effective ways to promote human development and progress. Today, we host the China-Brazil Forum for Exchange and Mutual Learning, hoping to strengthen the dialogue and communication between China and Brazil in the political, academic and media fields, jointly explore measures to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and provide intellectual support for pushing the China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to the next level. On that topic, I’d like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.   

First, promoting the exchange of governance concepts and the sharing of experience. As developing countries with vast lands and large populations, though different in histories, cultures and social systems, both China and Brazil have independently opted for developmental paths befitting their national conditions. At present, both countries are at a critical stage of development and encounter many common issues in terms of national governance. Strengthening the exchange of governance ideas and experience therefore particularly matters to both sides. In recent years, Brazil has paid more attention to China’s self-development undertakings. Brazilians have widely welcomed the first and second volumes of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China – published in Portuguese. Similarly, Brazil’s economic development has increasingly grabbed the spotlight in China. The two countries have carried out extensive exchanges under mechanisms such as the BRICS Seminar on Governance and the Forum on People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges among BRICS Countries. China and Brazil should further explore more institutionalized communication channels, focusing on areas of common concern such as poverty alleviation, environmental protection, and innovative development, sharing governance concepts and practices, and setting an example for other developing countries to carry out strategic dialogue and friendly cooperation. 

Second, deepening cooperation with mutual benefits and boosting common development and prosperity. Since China and Brazil established diplomatic relations 48 years ago, bilateral relations have achieved substantial progress and yielded fruitful outcomes across many sectors. Bilateral trade has exceeded $100 billion for four consecutive years and China has been Brazil’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years. Additionally, Brazil is China’s largest investment destination in Latin America and China’s largest supplier of agricultural products. The economies of both countries are highly complementary, and the two share wide-ranging interests. In the future, they should deepen mutual political trust and friendship, follow the path of strategic cooperation, and, within the Belt and Road Initiative framework, extend the space for and tap into the potential of cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, digital economy, advanced technologies, green development and poverty alleviation, to generate new momentum for the China-Brazil comprehensive strategical partnership and promote the cooperative outcomes to better benefit the people of both countries. 

Third, safeguarding multilateralism and jointly confronting global challenges. Nowadays, developing countries have become a significant engine for world economic growth and a new force for the evolution of world patterns. China and Brazil best represent emerging market countries and are the largest developing countries in the eastern and western hemispheres, respectively--with both countries being a founder of the BRICS cooperation mechanism. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing uncertainty of global sustainable development, China and Brazil must strengthen coordination and cooperation in international and multilateral mechanisms, such as the UN, WTO, G20 and BRICS. They especially need to further exploit the BRICS mechanisms and platforms in trade, investment, supply chain, food security, climate change, and people-to-people exchanges and promote the building of a global community of development. The two countries need to jointly oppose unilateralism, bloc confrontation, decoupling, abuse of sanctions, false information and double-standards, so that to defend the legitimate development right of emerging markets, multilateralism and free trade. They should strive for the more institutional right of speech for developing countries, push the development of a global governance system in a more just and reasonable direction, explore new ideas and paths to meet the common challenges mankind faces, and promote the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity. 

Fourth, intensifying dialogues between the two civilizations and promoting the connection of people’s hearts. People-to-people exchanges are an eternal driving force of long-term development for China-Brazil relations. Despite great oceans separating them, China’s porcelain, silk and tea-growing techniques came to Brazil and received the love of its people centuries ago. In recent years, the country’s craze for the Chinese language and culture has intensified, and Brazil is also the Latin American country with the largest number of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms. At the same time, the Brazilian music, dance and soccer culture are all very popular among China’s younger generations. With the 2022 World Cup in full swing, the Brazilian team has no lack of enthusiastic supporters in China. So, in the future, the two countries should follow their peoples’ expectations, continue to expand social exchanges, give full play to the active role of media, think tanks and enterprises, learn from each other’s cultures, and further cement the foundation, in terms of public opinion, for comprehensive strategic cooperation. Younger generations are the future of China-Brazil relations and the two countries need to actively create the right conditions to promote communication and understanding among young people and pass on this friendship from generation to generation.       

CICG has long been dedicated to the cultural exchanges and mutual learning between China and Brazil. Last year saw the establishment of the CICG Center for the Americas, a move of CICG to enhance communication between China and Latin American countries, Brazil in particular, and continuously promote people-to-people interactions. CICG has maintained a stable cooperative relationship with Brazilian think tanks such as FGV and the Lula Institute and established an editorial office for China-themed books in Brazil. In addition, the Portuguese version of our China Today magazine, or China Hoje, has attracted many Brazilian readers. In recent years, we have also hosted a series of influential cultural exchange events, such as the China-Brazil Think Tank Dialogue, continuing to consolidate the friendship between the two countries. 

As a Brazilian saying goes, “friendship is like a fine wine, it gets better with age.” CICG will continue to make good use of the bridging function that the China-Brazil Forum for Exchange and Mutual Learning has, continuously enhance friendship and practical cooperation with Brazilian think tanks and media, and contribute to the construction of the China-Brazil community with a shared future.   

To conclude, I wish this conference a full success! 

Thank you! 

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