Proximity of Bolsonaro to Taiwan may hurt trade relations between Brazil and China – The Economic Journal

polling of the ballot boxes gives Bolsonaro 45% and Haddad 28% - The Economic Journal


A Brazilian political analyst based in China has warned that the proximity of the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro to Taiwan could affect relations between Brazil and Beijing.

A visit to Taipei last February by Bolsonaro, a favorite on the presidential runoff, resulted in a formal protest by Chinese diplomacy and his government program refers to Taiwan as a country four times.

"It is important for Bolsonaro to be aware that the 'One China' principle is sovereign and non-negotiable for Beijing," says José Medeiros da Silva, a PhD in Political Science from the University of São Paulo and a professor at the University of International Studies in Zhejiang. east coast of China.

Beijing considers Taiwan a Chinese province and advocates "peaceful reunification," but threatens to "use force" if the island declares independence. Taiwan, the island where the former Chinese nationalist government took refuge after the communists took power on the mainland in 1949, is assumed to be the Republic of China.

The One-China Principle [visto por Pequim como garantia de que Taiwan é parte do seu território] is considered by the Chinese authorities as a prerequisite and political basis for maintaining diplomatic relations with other countries.

"If Bolsonaro decides to treat Taiwan as a country, there is no doubt that there will be a breakup, not only diplomatic but also commercial, in all dimensions," says Medeiros da Silva.

"China does not negotiate this principle," he says.

The former mayor of Rio de Janeiro, César Maia, last March revealed a protest letter sent by the Chinese embassy in Brasília to the National Executive of the Democrats, in which the Chinese authorities affirm to face Bolsonaro's visit to Taipei with "deep concern and indignation. "

In the same note, the Chinese embassy considered the trip an "affront to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China," which "causes possible turbulence in the China-Brazil Global Strategic Partnership, in which partisan exchange plays an indispensable role."

During his visit to Taiwan, Bolsonaro met with members of the Taiwanese government.

José Medeiros da Silva believes, however, that Bolsonaro will not recognize Taiwan as a country if elected, pointing to the importance of the Chinese market for the Brazilian economy.

"Part of the support base that should lead to its election is linked to agribusiness, which is the major exporter to China, and the mining sector," he says.

"In a time of economic crisis, pulling a diplomatic crisis of these proportions, would not make much sense," he said.

Since the pro-independence Progressive Democratic Party (TLD) President Tsai Ing-wen's rise to power in Taiwan in May 2016, a total of five countries have broken ties with Taipei, including Sao Tome and Principe, recognizing Beijing as the only government in the whole of China.

The island currently has diplomatic relations with only 17 countries worldwide.

The European Union countries maintain unofficial government relations with Taiwan. In Portugal, there is a Cultural and Economic Center of Taipei.

China is Brazil's largest trading partner and the largest foreign investor in the South American country.

In 2017, trade between Brazil and China reached 87.53 billion dollars, a year-on-year increase of 29.55%. China sold goods worth $ 29.23 billion and imported goods worth $ 58.30 billion, according to official Chinese data released by the Macau Forum.

Brazilian exports to the Asian country are mainly made up of oil, soybeans and iron ore.

Jair Bolsonaro won the Brazilian presidential election on Sunday with 46.7% of the votes, followed by Fernando Haddad (PT), with 28.37%, which resulted in the need for a second round between the two candidates, since none obtained more than 50%.

The decision on the successor of Michel Temer as 38th President of the Federative Republic of Brazil is thus postponed until October 28.



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