Lula says will invite Xi to Brazil as China trip approaches

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
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BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday he would invite his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to Brazil, speaking on the eve of his departure the Asian country in a bid to tighten relations between the two countries.

"I am going to invite Xi Jinping to come to Brazil, for a bilateral meeting, to get to know Brazil, to show him the projects that we have of interest for Chinese investment," he said in an interview to state-owned broadcasting company EBC, adding he is planning to "consolidate" the relationship with China.

The trip to China comes little more than two months after Lula met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House, as Brasilia aims for a pragmatic foreign policy balancing ties with its top trading partners despite growing tensions between the two.

"What we want is for the Chinese to make investments to generate new jobs and generate new productive assets in Brazil," Lula added.

Lula's trip to China, Brazil's top trading partner, was initially scheduled for March, but was postponed after he was diagnosed with a mild pneumonia. He will meet Xi as well as Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang next Friday.

(Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Sarah Morland)