Power

Why has Taiwan become a Brazilian far-right symbol?

Supporting Taiwan has become a new way for Brazil's far-right to take jabs at China, and could draw a bigger wedge between Beijing and Brasília

Why has Taiwan become a Brazilian far-right symbol?
Tsai Ing-wen supporters celebrate her electoral win, in January 2020. Photo: O.O/Shutterstock

Jair Bolsonaro and his acolytes have a history of sparring with China. Setting himself apart from all predecessors — including the generals who ruled the country during the 1964-1985 military dictatorship — the current Brazilian president has treated Chinese investments as a threat to national security and economic sovereignty. In his first year in office, Mr. Bolsonaro adopted a pragmatic approach toward Beijing, but the coronavirus pandemic has erased all of this tentative rapprochement. Now, the Brazilian far-right is doubling down on its Sinophobic discourse, a process which has led to an odd show of solidarity with the island state...

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