OPINION: The return of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil could offer China a chance to boost its energy ties with the Latin American country.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan was a prominent guest at Lula’s inauguration, and Chinese energy companies, along with contractors, are itching to increase their presence in Brazil.

While Lula’s predecessor Jair Bolsonaro and members of his family displayed outright hostility to China, Lula da Silva, who has held two previous terms of office, is a long-term advocate of developing Sino-Brazilian relations, partly through the BRIC group of nations that also includes Russia and India, but also bilaterally.