Brazilian foreign minister Ernesto Araujo batted away concerns about Brazil's relations with China, its biggest trade partner, during the BRICS summit hosted by Brazil. Many had feared ties could rupture under newly-elected President Jair Bolsonaro, whose previous criticisms of Beijing and fervent admiration of US President Donald Trump are shared by Araujo.
We never had any issue with China, Araujo told reporters a day after sitting down with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for the first time.
We had an issue with the way Brazil was organizing, or not organizing, its relations with China.
Closer ties with China were encouraged under former populist president Lula da Silva, who is in jail for corruption.
During last year's election campaign, however, Bolsonaro accused the world's second largest economy of buying Brazil and antagonized Chinese leaders by visiting Taiwan, considered a renegade province by Beijing.
Since taking power in January Bolsonaro has sought to deepen relations with like-minded conservative governments in the United States and Israel as he pivots away from developing countries.
But Brazil's economic slowdown and pressure from its powerful mining and farming sectors, which depend on China to buy their iron ore and soya bean exports and are influential backers of Bolsonaro, have buffered the relationship.
Brazil's closer ties with the United States would not be to the detriment of China.
We don't have a logic here of either or, Araujo said.
China always negotiated very well ... we just think that Brazil has to do better work in those negotiations.