Brazil seeks closer defense relationship with China: defense minister

14:33, September 30, 2010      

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Brazil is seeking closer defense relations with China by various means, Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said Wednesday.

"We are looking at cooperation in terms of basic training and the possibility of producing basic defense materials," Jobim told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of an event marking the 61st birthday of the People's Republic of China.

"I was in China a few weeks ago for four days, and I have just welcomed Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Liang for a five-day visit."

Brazil considers China an important trade partner. China recently replaced the United States as the largest buyer of Brazil's raw material exports. Total trade between the two countries in the first eight months of this year saw a 55-percent year-on-year growth, according to statistics from the Chinese embassy in Brazil.

Brazil and China share a basic desire for world peace and regional harmony, Jobim told Xinhua.

"We are both big nations," the minister said. "Like China, Brazil's defense policy, relating to its South American neighbors, is one of close collaboration."

Brazil has demonstrated the policy by participating in UN peacekeeping efforts, and in the peacekeeping and nation-building efforts in the Caribbean island country of Haiti.

"We take part in peacekeeping ... In Haiti, we have 12,300 personnel on the ground and a great deal of cooperation in terms of rebuilding the nation," Jobim said.

Deepening the Brazil-China defense ties takes time, Jobim went on to say, adding that the issue is already on the agenda and there has already been a great deal of cooperation.

"The defense industry is one that can't be profitable with only state purchases. Production has to reach the civilian market. Our strategy has been to ensure that the defense industry would become part of the nation's development," he said.

Brazil's military industry includes the nation's largest aerospace company Embraer, which expanded into the field in 1990s and recently opened an office in Beijing.



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