Brazil’s Lula cancels trip to China due to medical reasons

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has canceled a high-profile trip to China due to medical reasons, and the March 27-31 visit will be rescheduled for a later date, his press secretary said on Saturday.

The press secretary released a medical note stating that after a clinical evaluation, Lula was diagnosed with bacterial and viral bronchopneumonia caused by influenza A, and treatment has been initiated.

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“Despite clinical improvement, the medical service of the Presidency of the Republic recommends postponing the trip to China until the viral transmission cycle ends,” the note said.

The Brazilian government has informed the Chinese authorities of the postponement and its intention to reschedule the visit.

The trip, which included a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, was viewed as a significant effort by the new leftist president who took office in January to enhance relations with Brazil’s largest trading partner.

Lula was initially scheduled to travel on Saturday, but had already postponed his departure to Sunday after being diagnosed with mild pneumonia.

He was going to travel with a large delegation including a half dozen cabinet ministers, plus governors, lawmakers and 240 business leaders, over a third from Brazil’s farm sector, which sends the lion’s share of its beef, soybeans and wood pulp to China.

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