Brazil honors Chinese immigrants' contribution on first Chinese Immigration Day

Xinhua
Chinese immigrants have made important contributions to Brazilian society and Brazil recognizes China as a sister nation, a Brazilian lawmaker said on Wednesday.
Xinhua

Chinese immigrants have made important contributions to Brazilian society and Brazil recognizes China as a sister nation, a Brazilian lawmaker said on Wednesday as the Latin American country observed its first Chinese Immigration Day.

"Chinese immigration was of utmost importance to the consolidation of our history. They are a people of great wisdom, humility and brotherhood," Fausto Pinato, a federal deputy and head of the Brazil-China Parliamentary Front, said during a solemn session in the Chamber of Deputies.

In June, President Michel Temer declared August 15 would be set aside to commemorate the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants in Brazil. It is also the day when China and Brazil established formal diplomatic ties in 1974.

Pinato also urged the government to make it easier for Chinese investment to flow into Brazil and bolster bilateral ties.

China's ambassador to Brazil, Li Jinzhang, said he was glad to see August 15 as a special day for "transoceanic friendship."

"More than 200 years ago, an extraordinarily courageous group of tea producers crossed the ocean, writing the first page of the story. That same pioneering spirit has been demonstrated by the relationship between the two countries," Li said.

Brazil was the first country in Latin America to build a comprehensive strategic partnership with China.

Li said Brazil's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative will see the Latin American country play a role in the modern development scheme inspired by the ancient Silk Road.

Thomas Law, president of the Brazil-China Sociocultural Institute in Sao Paulo and a second-generation Chinese in Brazil, descibed his family's integration.

"I was born in Sao Paulo, my parents are Chinese immigrants. My wife's parents are also Chinese," he said. "When they arrived, they encountered a culture shock, but they adapted and made progress, and we were able to study and make progress as well."

Law said commercial partnerships are not enough. "We need to increase cultural ties in order to have a good and lasting relationship based on friendship," he said.

Chinese represent about 5 percent of Brazil's registered immigrant population, according to police data. 


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