The following is from an Economist magazine email newsletter:

Brazil’s left-leaning president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, will visit his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Tuesday. The biggest-ever Brazilian delegation to China—originally featuring dozens of legislators and 240 business representatives—was scheduled to travel in March, but the trip was postponed because Lula contracted pneumonia. The two leaders quickly set a new date. China is Brazil’s biggest trading partner and the destination for more than a quarter of its exports by value. The two countries are expected to sign at least 20 agreements, covering such areas as investment in renewable energy and co-operation on science and technology.

In his two previous terms as Brazil’s president, from 2003 to 2010, Lula maintained good relationships with both China and America. In February this year he made Washington the destination of his first official trip outside Latin America during his current term as president. But as tensions mount between America and China, Brazil’s commitment to non-alignment will be tested like never before.

When I was at the American embassy in Brazil, one of my tasks was to organize a science and technology meeting like the one Lula is apparently planning for China.  It was difficult because Lula favorite foreign policy advisor, Celso Amorim, was the foreign ministry representative working on the Brazilian side.  He did not like working with the US.  And the US turned out not to send the senior scientists it had promised, although it did send good people, not just the famous ones promised.  So, Amorim probably felt justified.