At a Brics meeting, Bolsonaro says partnership with China is ‘essential for the proper management’ of the pandemic | Policy

President Jair Bolsonaro stated this Thursday (9) that the partnership with China “has proved essential for the proper management of the pandemic in Brazil”, since part of the Covid-19 vaccines applied in Brazil has inputs from the Asian country.

Bolsonaro made the statement during a virtual meeting of leaders of the Brics, a bloc composed of Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa. The President of China, Xi Jinping, attended the summit, as did Vladimir Putin (Russia), Cyril Ramaphosa ( South Africa) and Narendra Modi (India).

Presidents Narendra Modi (India), Vladimir Putin (Russia), Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) and Xi Jinping (China) during a Brics meeting — Photo: Marcos Corrêa /PR

The tone adopted by Bolsonaro differs from that used by the president himself in other moments of the pandemic, whose first cases were registered in China.

The president has already disdained the Coronavac vaccine, developed in the Asian country and produced in Brazil by the Butantan Institute, and has already hinted that the coronavirus may have been purposely created in China.

On Thursday, Bolsonaro preferred to praise the relationship with China, Brazil’s main trading partner. The president recalled that in 2019 he had the opportunity to meet in person with Xi Jinping, in Brasília during the Brics summit, and highlighted the “partnership” in combating the pandemic.

“This partnership has proven to be essential for the proper management of the pandemic in Brazil, given that a significant portion of the vaccines offered to the Brazilian population is produced with inputs originating in China,” he said.

One of Bolsonaro’s statements insinuating that China created the virus on purpose was given in May this year:

“It’s a new virus, nobody knows if it was born in a laboratory or born by a human being ingesting an unsuitable animal. But it is there. The military knows what chemical, bacteriological and radiological warfare is. Are we facing a new war? Which country has grown its GDP the most? I won’t tell you,” Bolsonaro said at the time. Among the large economies, the country with the highest GDP growth during the pandemic was China.

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