Power

Brazil wasting golden opportunity in U.S.-China feud

Covid-19 has driven a bigger wedge between China and the U.S. Brazil could profit from it, but Bolsonaro's pro-Trump stance is a problem

Covid-19 has driven a bigger wedge between China and the U.S. Brazil could profit from it, but Bolsonaro's pro-Trump stance is a problem.
Model figures of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at Bangkok home. Photo: Phol_66/Shutterstock

On top of imposing a massive death toll, unprecedented economic recession, and a possible “job apocalypse,” the pandemic has once again squeezed Brazil between its two major trading partners — China and the U.S. Marching on to become the world’s undisputed Covid-19 epicenter, the biggest market in Latin America is now a battleground for superpowers’ coronavirus diplomacy — that is, the use of health cooperation to enhance countries’ influence in the global scene.

A couple of weeks ago, the city of São Paulo received 30,000 protective face masks from authorities in the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen. The supply was used to provide...

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