Xi Jinping a “son of a bitch,” say Bolsonaro supporters

Jair Bolsonaro said his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping is “excellent.” Then, his supporters called Xi a "son of a bitch"

xi jinping bolsonaro

Since Wednesday, when Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro blamed China for the Covid-19 outbreak, tensions between Brasília and Beijing have escalated rapidly. The Chinese Embassy in Brazil swiftly reacted to the words of the president’s son, asking for an immediate retraction—which came from House Speaker Rodrigo Maia.

During a conference call with business leaders, Mr. Bolsonaro was asked to improve relations with the Asian giant—where many inputs used by Brazilian factories are produced. The president replied that his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping is “excellent.” 

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro supporters ramped the diplomatic crisis up another notch, placing offensive signs just outside of the Chinese Embassy building in Brasilia. They call both Xi Jinping and Ambassador Yang Wanming “sons of bitches.”

Xi Jinping a "son of a bitch," say Bolsonaro supporters
Xi Jinping, “Son of a bitch,” and “China lied, people died,” say Bolsonaro supporters. Image: Twitter/@Heitormde

Earlier today, newspaper Valor reported that Jair Bolsonaro tried to contact Xi Jinping to bury the hatchet—but the Chinese leader refused to take his call.

As a presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro threw diatribes at China time and again. When he was elected president, however, the Brazilian far-right politician toned down his rhetoric, aware that China is Brazil’s number one trading partner—on which Brazil’s commodity exporters heavily rely. Politically isolated due to his failure to handle the coronavirus crisis, Mr. Bolsonaro seems to have returned to his old ways.

Yesterday, Lucas Berti listed in our Covid-19 live blog reasons why picking a fight with China goes against Brazilian interests. You can read here.