Security & Strategic Review - June 2023

BRAZIL: The double-edged sword of Chinese investment

When Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited China from 12-14 April, not only did he sign 15 bilateral agreements with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but he also met Chinese business leaders, such as the chairman of the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), Wang Tongzhou, and the head of the vehicle manufacturer BYD, Wang Chuanfu. With agreements to build bridges, railways, ports, and car factories, among other areas of economic cooperation, Chinese investment will be key to Lula’s plans for growing Brazil’s industrial output and developing its infrastructure. But this vision of economic development is by no means a rose without thorns, as Chinese-led ventures over the years have had their political, social, and environmental problems.

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