The core of the dispute is 5G technology. The son of the Brazilian president maintained that Beijing tries to spy with that system. And there was a tough Chinese retort.
The Brazilian government described this Thursday as “offensive” and “disrespectful” a statement from the Chinese embassy against Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the president, who in the previous days had accused the Asian country of spying through 5G technology.
Faced with the clash, which reissues old frictions between both governments, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao sought to put cold cloths clarifying that his country’s “strategic partnership” with China will be fundamental in the “post-pandemic” world.
The friction began last Monday when, on his Twitter profile, Deputy Bolsonaro, who heads the Foreign Committee of the lower house, published a text in which he celebrated Brazil’s adhesion to the Clean Network initiative, launched by the president Donald Trump, who creates a global alliance “For a safe 5G, without spying from China.”
The publication was deleted the next day by the legislator after a meeting of President Bolsonaro with the Minister of Communications, Fabio Faría, and advisers of the state National Telecommunications Agency in which the central issue was just that of the tenders for 5G in 2021. However, the deputy maintained another part of the message in which he accuses the Chinese multinational Huawei of “dangerous behavior”, without delving into details.
The Chinese embassy reacted to these commentss and released a statement in which he expressed his “defense of international cybersecurity”, described Bolsonaro’s statements as “rhetoric of the North American extreme right” and urged the “personalities that follow” to stop giving “misinformation and slander ”.
Otherwise, China vehemently warned, “they will bear the negative consequences and the historical responsibility of disrupting the normality of the China-Brazil alliance.”
“That is totally unacceptable to the Chinese side. and we express our strong dissatisfaction and vehement repudiation of this behavior ”, added the embassy in its exto. In the note, the Asian diplomatic headquarters said that the deputy and “some personalities” from Brazil “have produced a series of infamous statements that disrespect the Sino-Brazilian cooperation, the mutual benefit that it fosters, and crack the atmosphere friendly ”.
The Brazilian government escalated the episode the next day and, in a statement from his Foreign Ministry, he argued that Beijing’s reaction creates “unnecessary friction” that “only serves the interests of those who, by any chance, do not wish to promote good relations between Brazil and China” and also considered that the embassy Asian used an “offensive and disrespectful” tone in her official note.
Faced with the rapid crossing of positions, something that surprised the foreign ministries with representation in Brazil, Vice President Mourao affirmed this Thursday that “The Brazilian Government needs to walk together with the Chinese Government in an objective manner”, since the Asian giant has been its largest trading partner “for a decade” and one of the “few countries” with “technological and financial capacity and resources” for the period that will follow the end of the coronavirus pandemic, as stated.
Mourao participated in the opening of a seminar organized by the Brazil-China Business Chamber and appreciated “the clarity” with which that Asian country “identifies the new dynamics of the global economy, with growth and sustainability”, two variants that represent “opportunities for expand trade ”.
Mourao’s speech was received by many businessmen as an intention to turn the page on the ongoing clashes with the Chinese government.
Strictly speaking, bilateral frictions are not new. In April, the Chinese embassy had demanded a retraction due to a comment by the then Brazilian Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub, which it described as “strongly racist.”
The discord was caused by a post on Twitter in which Weintraub, using a popular Brazilian cartoon character as a spokesman, implied that the coronavirus pandemic is part of China’s “foolproof plan” to take over the world.
In March, in turn, both countries had gone through another diplomatic rift when the president’s son himself accused the Beijing regime of having been responsible for the global spread of the coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic.
Source: AFP, AP and EFE agencies.