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Interview: Brazil's former president Temer says China ties of "fundamental importance"

   Xinhua   09:15, April 29, 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The relationship between Brazil and China is of "fundamental importance" for the South American country, and all-round cooperation between the two countries is progressing steadily with vast potentials, former Brazilian President Michel Temer has said.

China is Brazil's main export destination, and the two countries have close trade relations, said Temer, adding that there is a broad prospect for further development of bilateral ties and Chinese investments in Brazil are expected to grow continuously.

The veteran politician, turning 80 and retired from political life, has served as president of the Chamber of Deputies on three separate occasions and also served as vice president before taking over Brazil's top job in 2016.

Visiting China multiple times in official capacities, he said he has a profound understanding of the importance of the bilateral ties.

Talking about the trade relationship between the two countries, he also highlighted the importance of agribusiness in the Brazilian export, particularly the sales of soybean and meat.

The former Brazilian leader also underlined the importance of cooperation between the two countries on combating the COVID-19 pandemic as Brazil and a large part of the world is still struggling with surging infections and rising tolls.

The former president commended bilateral cooperation to produce vaccines against COVID-19.

"This relationship is extremely important. I have always argued that there should be great cooperation between countries, especially vaccine producers," Temer said, adding that there is a very large cooperation project on vaccine between the Butantan Institute and the Chinese laboratory Sinovac.

"We are talking about a relationship that is not only institutional, but also humanistic, because we are trying to save lives," Temer said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Temer also recalled his visits to China, both as Brazilian vice president and president, for events such as the BRICS Summit, G20 and bilateral meetings, expressing his desire to come back to China one day.

"I would very much like to return to China as a tourist. I really liked Beijing and was delighted with Hangzhou. I'm currently reading (a book) about (late Chinese leader) Deng Xiaoping's life. And when I can, I have Chinese food here in Brazil," Temer said.