Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil wants an alliance with the United States and “other democratic partners” to stem the rise of “techno-totalitarianism” in countries with “different models of society” – that is to say the China.
The statement was made during a virtual roundtable at the World Economic Forum by Brazilian Chancellor Ernesto Araújo.
He insisted on not naming “any country or company in particular”, but all his interventions were aimed at harassing China, Brazil’s largest trading partner and at the center of the so-called vaccine war, as the main producer of inputs. for vaccines. to be manufactured in Brazil.
Araújo was accompanied by Spanish Chancellor Arancha González and Canadian Minister François-Philippe Champagne (ex-Foreign Affairs, now Innovation), in a conversation moderated by Forum President Borge Brende.
The idea was to debate the concept of international cooperation in the face of the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change – themes in which the denial of the Bolsonaro government, fueled by the ideological wing of which Araújo is a part, is notorious.
While his colleagues debated the need to ensure equitable vaccination and meet the challenges of vaccine demand, Araújo preferred to speak about the need to maintain values such as freedom in international relations.
“Any change in the United States is huge for us,” said the chancellor, a staunch supporter of President Joe Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump. “If the focus is on climate change, okay, but we want to build a relationship on freedoms,” he said.
It was a biased reference to the Democrat’s announced $ 2 trillion climate package, which took over last week.
“One challenge is the emergence of techno-totalitarianism. It is not a question of the US against China, but it is a question of different models of society. New technologies can be great for democracy, but they can providing the means for a totalitarian. state, not we want that. “
“We want to address this issue with the United States and democratic partners,” he said, excluding the Communist dictatorship from the equation.
“Whoever controls the speech has enormous power. We cannot leave this in the hands of the actors, and I am not talking here about specific countries or companies, which are not committed to freedom,” the said. chancellor.
If this was not a direct attack on China, as it has done in the past alongside defenders of Bolonarianism with the President’s children, it was a somewhat disguised statement of principle – even if it spared the participants from the machinations of evil globalism that permeate their lines. .
“When we look at the 1990s and 2000s, the idea was that China would become like the West. It hasn’t. The West has become more like China. We don’t have to change our society. “, he said.
On climate change, which Araújo has already called ideology, or Covid-19, whose mess with the purchase of vaccine doses in India has put pressure on its position, no elaboration has been made.
His colleagues were more cautious when asked about the effects of the separation (“decoupling” in international jargon) from the technological models of the countries embodied in the dispute over the implementation of 5G networks – the self. – saying Internet of things.
As everyone knows, China offers a cheaper and more efficient product, but which is accused in the West of integrating elements of espionage or data theft. The discussion is heated in Brazil, which theoretically decides this year who will be able to supply equipment and operate 5G in the country.
“We can’t allow separation [nas relações internacionais] on climate change. Confrontation must be avoided at all costs [entre China e EUA]”said González, commenting on the European position facing the fight of the giants.
Champagne agreed with Araújo on the need to promote democratic governance, but said the relationship with China was “something complex”.
For Araújo, the only way to solve the problem is to leave the outstanding issues to be resolved in entities such as the World Trade Organization, as long as they are rephrased – Brazil shares the US view that China does not respect the rules in force. .
“The international system must reward democracy,” said the Brazilian. Reluctant to Biden, he said Brazil wants to work with the new US president “within this framework of freedom” and is in favor of what the Democrat has called “the alliance of democracies.”
He took the opportunity and repeated the usual Bolonarian story that Brazil came “from a situation where we were far from democracies”, in relation to the South-South policy of the Lula era, which had already been partially reversed. in the Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Michel Temer (MDB).