Lula da Silva’s Visit to China Means People See Beijing as ‘Viable Alternative’ to US

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva shake hands after a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 14, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovThe Brazilian president visiting China can be perceived as a good sign now that more people become frustrated over the US’ dominance in a unipolar world, Dr. Ken Hammond, writer and professor of East Asian and global history at New Mexico State University, told Sputnik. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing. Before departing Brazil earlier this week, Lula pledged that his country is “going to consolidate” its relationship with China.Xi Jinping said after the talks with Lula da Silva that as comprehensive strategic partners, both sides “share extensive common interests”. Xi also underlined that China sees the bilateral relationship as “a high priority on its diplomatic agenda.”“What we’re seeing is that people in countries around the world don’t want to be in a unipolar world dominated by the United States. And they are increasingly seeing China as a viable alternative, not the only alternative, but, you know, as a country that it’s good to work with,” Hammond said.He added that those countries see that “the Chinese are trying to build a new multicentric international order, and that Beijing is trying “to support the development of countries like Brazil through things like the Belt and Road Initiative. It’s just a logical process.”

The professor pointed out that even though the US “continues to act as a great sort of menacing presence," the modern day world remains “on the verge of changing for the better.”

According to him, “people getting together like Lula going to Beijing” are “the good signs of our times.”

China ‘Frustrated’ Over Its Ties With US

In this vein, Hammond pointed to the China-US relationship, which, he said, the PRC is “very frustrated” with.He added that the US “persists in adopting an attitude of hostility” toward China, trying to provoke and demonize the country, as well as “cut off educational contacts and informational exchange with ordinary people.”The expert also commented on the developments in early February, when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his visit to China over the suspected Chinese balloon in American airspace.Hammond said he thinks it’s “entirely legitimate” for China “to keep people like Blinken a little bit at arm’s length.”“When he [Blinken] has gotten together with Chinese leaders and officials in the past, all he’s done is basically berate them, tell them to get with the American program and kind of try to throw his weight around. So who wants that? Why do you want this guy in the room when you have this ongoing process of building more creative or mutually beneficial relationships with countries where the vast majority of people in the world live?” the professor concluded.


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