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Lula’s visit is a milestone in bilateral-relation history: Wang Yi



Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s visit to China is an important milestone in the history of China-Brazil relations, Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said on Thursday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks when meeting with Celso Amorim, chief special adviser to the president of Brazil, in Beijing.

As the world is facing challenges unseen in a century, the upcoming strategic meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Lula will have a worldwide impact and draw a new blueprint for the development of bilateral relations, the senior Chinese diplomat stressed.

China has always viewed and developed the bilateral relations between China and Brazil from a strategic perspective, Wang said.

Noting that the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries has broad prospects, Wang pointed out that “as the biggest developing countries in the eastern and western hemispheres,” China and Brazil follow the path of development in the light of their national condition and pursue an independent foreign policy, oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries and oppose unilateralism. 

Noting this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang said that China is willing to strengthen the strategic communication and deepen BRICS cooperation with Brazil, promote the expansion of BRICS countries, enhance the impact of the BRICS mechanism, and contribute to promoting the change of the global governance system.

For his part, Amorim said that as the world is facing global challenges like pandemic and climate change, developing countries must be more united and cooperative than ever before.

Noting that China is playing an increasingly important role in global affairs, in particular by recently promoting the Saudi-Iranian dialogue in Beijing, Amorim said China has made a contribution to world peace.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern

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Foreign news

China’s first-quarter economy grows by 4.5% as recovery accelerates



China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 4.5 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2023 as economic activities gain traction, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday.

“We are seeing an accelerating recovery in all sectors with stronger momentum, including the improving domestic demand,” said Pang Ming, chief economist and director of Research at JLL Greater China.

The growth rate was higher than analysts’ expectation of 4 percent in a Reuters poll.

The market expectation has significantly improved since the start of the year, said Fu Linghui, spokesperson of the NBS. He added that the economy’s growth rate in the second quarter is expected to accelerate significantly compared to the first quarter because of the low comparison base in the same period last year.

Going forward, Pang cautioned that policy support and targeted easing are still needed to secure sustainable growth amid external uncertainties.

China’s macroeconomic policies should keep domestic demand expansion as a priority in light of generally weak external demand, said Cheng Shi, chief economist at ICBC International.

In the first quarter, the total retail sales of consumer goods rose 5.8 percent year on year. Notably in March, consumer spending surged 10.6 percent year on year, 7.1 percentage points higher than that in the first two months.

There is divergence in the recovery pace among different consumption types, said Wen Bin, chief analyst at China Minsheng Bank. Offline and get-together spending continued to pick up, while the durable goods consumption was lacking, reflecting people’s income and willingness to shop require a further boost, he added.

A recent central bank survey of depositors showed that “tourism” tops the list of the expected increase in expenditure in the second quarter.

The investment in fixed assets grew by 5.1 percent year on year in the first quarter while the total added value of large industrial enterprises grew by 3.0 percent in the same period.

China has set a GDP growth target of around 5 percent for this year. Local governments around the country are gearing up support for the economy including optimizing the business environmentstabilizing employment and promoting consumption.

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