Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Brazil and attended the BRICS Summit held in Fortaleza. Fang Ji, Vice president of the Brazilian Chinese Association and China head of Brazilian Elite Entrepreneurs Association, took part in the related activities during the visit of President Xi. A few days ago, Fang Ji introduced to the reporter the related activities details and relation between China and Brazil in her eyes.
China Youth Daily: During President Xi’s visit in Brazil, what activities did you participate in?
Fang Ji: I attended the President Xi’s 3-day activities in the Brazilian capital – Brasilia: President Xi’s speech at Brazilian National Congress on July 16th; the military parade, Chinese and Brazilian artists’ performance, which President Xi and Brazilian President Rousseff watched together on 17th; President Xi’s meeting with overseas Chinese in Brazil, the employee representatives from Chinese-funded enterprises and consulate personnel on 18th.
What impressed me most was that on July 18th, after President Xi took photos with us, he was standing less than 2 meters away from me and communicating amiably with us. I still remember that President Xi told us that it was his third time to visit Brazil. The first time was in 1996 when he came as deputy secretary of Fujian province and secretary of Fuzhou to Fortaleza, where he signed a memorandum on the establishment of sister province between Fujian province and Fortaleza state; the second time was in 2009 when he visited Brazil as vice president, during that visit he attended 80 meetings and signed more than 50 projects.
China Youth Daily: This year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Brazil. It has been 27 years since your first arrival in 1987, how do you think of the development of bilateral relations between two countries during 27 years?
Fang Ji: Let me take things around me as the example. When I first came to Brazil, there were quite many small Chinese local traders, but their influence in Brazil is very limited and Brazilians were not much aware of China.
In recent years, with the development of China’s economy, the popularity of Chinese culture is greatly boosted in Brazil. One of the most obvious examples is the boom of learning Chinese language. In Sao Paulo State University, only 3 students enrolled in Chinese classes 8 years ago. But these years, the Chinese classes there are mostly fully enrolled and more classes are often added to meet the needs. Nowadays in Brazil, knowing Chinese is a very big advantage of employment. One can usually be recruited in priority and get a relatively higher salary. Therefore, there are especially many Chinese language classes in Brazil. The Brazilian Chinese Economic and Trade Exchange Center where I am working in is also promoting the Chinese education and study to the students.
China Youth Daily: What is China like in your Brazilian friends’ eyes?
Fang Ji: In the eyes of most Brazilians, like its high-speed rail, China is in the stage of rapid development. Brazilians are fascinated by Chinese culture and Chinese goods with high price performance ratio are favored by them as well. In Brazil, “Canton Fair” is well-known and Chinese cuisine is especially popular.
China Youth Daily: You have been working for many years in Chinese and Brazilian economic and trade exchange. How do you think of the development of the economic and trade relations between China and Brazil?
Fang Ji: The economic and trade relations between China and Brazil have absolute complementarity. In 2009, China has surpassed the U.S., becoming Brazil’s largest trading partner, largest export destination and largest source of import; in 2011, instead of China and Russia, China and Brazil are becoming the two countries that created the largest bilateral trade volume among BRICS; in the last two years, Brazil has also listed Top 10 of China’s largest trading partners.