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High-tech bilateral projects signal deeper Brazil-China cooperation

Villagers plant rice in a field in Lianyungang, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on June 4, 2017. STR | AFP | Getty Images. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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SAO PAULO, Feb 22, 2020, Xinhua. Brazilian and Chinese scientists are collaborating closely on a variety of projects — from the rice fields in Brazil’s southern Rio Grande do Sul state to satelites monitoring the Amazon rainforest — which shows that the two countries have embarked on a new phase of deeper cooperation, said experts, Xinhua reported.

Since 2003, the Rice Institute of Rio Grande do Sul (IRGA), Brazil’s leading rice-producing state, has been working with experts from Hunan Rice Research Institute.

The aim is to develop a kind of hybrid rice variety Chinese consumers use for cooking, which can be “a great business” for the future, said Ivo Mello, an IRGA researcher.

“Our type of rice is different from what the Chinese consumer prefers… That is why we want to develop hybrid rice in Brazil, so that we can supply this grain to China,” he explained.

“The business of the future is really in China,” Mello said.

In December 2019, the jointly-developed China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A (CBERS-4A) was sent into orbit from a base in Taiyuan, capital of north China’s Shanxi Province, advancing aerospace cooperation between the two countries.

CBERS-4A, the sixth satellite of a joint cooperation program, is designed to improve the Brazilian government’s ability to monitor the Amazon rainforest and environmental change.

Since 1982, when Brazil and China signed an agreement for scientific and technological cooperation, the two countries have inked scores of bilateral accords, particularly in the areas of science, technology and innovation, said Luis Paulino, a professor of Sao Paulo State University’s Faculty of Philosophy and Sciences.

After nearly four decades of cooperation in science and technology, China’s ties with Brazil and the rest of Latin America have reached “a new phase of deep integration,” based on direct foreign investment, and scientific and technological cooperation, said Paulino.

Paulino also commended the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which is aimed at infrastructure development and acceleration of economic integration of countries along and beyond the routes of the historic Silk Road.

“This new model of cooperation is interesting for both sides,” said Paulino, as it offers regional countries such as Brazil access to superior technologies and techniques “to boost local production and job creation, and demand for local inputs,” he said.

“Chinese investments, especially in the areas of infrastructure and logistics, are fundamental to improving the competitiveness of local companies and the productivity of the economy,” Paulino added.

Noting that both Brazil and China are developing countries with common interests and aspirations, as well as complementarity, the scholar said all countries in the region, regardless of their political and ideological orientation, have shown great interest in strengthening their ties of cooperation with China.”

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