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Brazil commemorates bicentennial of Chinese immigration

2012-12-11 15:01 Xinhua     Web Editor: Gu Liping comment

Brazil marked the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants, with a commemorative event headed by Senate President Jose Sarney and Chinese Ambassador Li Jinzhang on Monday.

At the ceremony, attended by senators, diplomats and representatives of the Chinese community in Brazil, the speakers highlighted the strong friendship that unite the two countries.

"Brazil and China became closer at the end of the 20th century and today they are great commercial and technological partners. I was part of that process when I visited China as president, I talked with Deng Xiaoping," Sarney said.

"We are greatly satisfied by our friendship with China and the Chinese people, and at the same time our admiration grows for the great contribution of the Chinese people made to the history of mankind," he added.

Ambassador Li said that in 1988 Sarney and Deng met in Beijing and agreed to strengthen the friendship between the two countries in the 21st century.

"The goal is becoming a reality. We are satisfied that the Brazil-China relationship is closer than ever," said Li.

In 1812, about 300 Chinese immigrants travelled by a ship from Macao to Rio de Janeiro to cultivate green tea in Brazil.

At present, Brazil is home to some 200,000 Chinese, among them 130,000 live in Sao Paulo.

"Two hundred years ago, the 300 chinese sailed to Brazil and now 200 years later, the ship of the China-Brazil friendship has already set sail," the ambassador said.

"We have every reason to believe that the two countries are fully capable of steering the ship toward a better future," Li said.

In 2011, the volume of bilateral trade was 5,000 times greater than that when diplomatic ties were established four decades ago, and the economic plans recently approved by the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China bode well for the further expansion of bilateral trade, Li said.

To commemorate the historical event, two commemorative stamps were issued with one depicting the odyssey of Chinese pioneers and the other Chinese children performing dragon dance in Rio.

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