After Canada and most probably the UK, Huawei is in for another jolt as the US has now moved to get Brazil to dump the Chinese 5G company. The South American country is all set to give away its 5G contracts to major European telecom players like Ericsson and Nokia, as the United States is in talks with the Brazilian government where it proposes to fund the 5G infrastructure under the condition that Brazil dumps Huawei.
This comes as a big loss to the Chinese telecom giant as the company had been laying the groundwork in the Brazilian market for the major part of the last two decades, and when it came to reaping the benefits of the hard work, it is set to lose the Brazilian market. Huawei had conducted 5G trials for all four major telecom companies of Brazil, namely, Telefonica Brasil SA, TIM Participacoes SA, America Movil’s Claro, and Oi SA. The company had also promised to set up a factory in Sao Paulo by 2022 with an investment of 800 million dollars.
The Brazilian market was a sure shot for Huawei but now with the US ready to fund infrastructure costs if the government moves to European players, the deal looks very unlikely. And this means a huge loss for the Chinese telecom giant, which is already reeling from bans in numerous countries and is also engaged in Chip wars with Taiwan.
The US government has already told European countries to use Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung products instead of Huawei, which many other countries are expected to follow as they do not want to enrage the Trump administration, given the importance of American markets.
Trump of the Tropics—Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil who looks up to Donald Trump and tries to emulate his style of governance is often called ‘Trump of the Tropics’ in the media circuit. With Coronavirus ravaging the Latin American country, Bolsonaro is increasingly becoming wary of the Chinese menace.
Walking in the footsteps of Trump, Bolsonaro had even threatened that Brazil will quit the WHO over ideological bias. The sentiment stems purely from the fact that the unholy collusion between China and WHO had led to the Coronavirus becoming a global pandemic.
Brazil has over 800,000 cases of Coronavirus infection, the second-highest in the world with over 43,389 deaths already. Bolsonaro is under pressure to keep the Chinese at bay as they have become a large player in the Amazonian country.
The anti-China sentiment is simmering in the country and it is evident from Eduardo Bolsonaro’s statements. Eduardo is Jair’s influential politician son–-who many regard as Brazil’s de facto foreign minister.
“It’s China’s fault,” Bolsonaro had claimed on Twitter, retweeting a message that said: “The blame for the global coronavirus pandemic has a name and surname: the Chinese Communist party.”
Bolsonaro had compared the Coronavirus situation with Chernobyl and said, “Those who watched Chernobyl will understand what happened. Replace the nuclear plant with the coronavirus and the Soviet dictatorship with the Chinese.”
Quem assistiu Chernobyl vai entender o q ocorreu.Substitua a usina nuclear pelo coronavírus e a ditadura soviética pela chinesa
+1 vez uma ditadura preferiu esconder algo grave a expor tendo desgaste,mas q salvaria inúmeras vidas
A culpa é da China e liberdade seria a solução https://t.co/h3jyGlPymv
— Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷 (@BolsonaroSP) March 18, 2020
China, of late, has spread its tentacles deep in the Brazilian market and the biggest casualty is the Amazon Rainforests, colloquially called ‘Lungs of the World’. The United States can use the COVID-19 as an opportunity to completely weed out China from the South American country.
China and its dependence on Brazil
China has become heavily reliant on Brazil’s resources over the years and therefore the current situation is ripe to give it a reality check that if China does not keep its vile motives in check, something similar could happen on the lines of 5G in the other sectors of the Brazilian economy.
Brazil’s 80 per cent of all soy exports now go to fatten up hogs in the People’s Republic of China. Beijing buys most of Brazil’s beef exports, too and it is importing timber from Brazil at a rate that may turn out to have a huge impact on many Brazilians—and on the world.
As of 2018, China had become the world’s largest timber importer followed by the United States, the European Union, and Japan. Owing to China’s unquenchable thirst for natural resources, the Amazon rainforest witnessed deforestation of a record 829 square kilometres in May, the highest monthly level since 2015 when measurements first began to be taken.
Environmentalists have warned that the effect of Chinese incursion in Brazil could impact the Amazons and in turn the entire planet. The world’s largest rainforest plays a critical part in the fight against climate change. Its vegetation is capable of absorbing massive amounts of carbon emissions and its size helps to curb the rise in the Earth’s temperature.
China and Brazil which were once going strong as anything have a hit a major roadblock in the wake of COVID-19. Bolsonaro also needs to understand that China’s market demand and manufacturing competitiveness risk straining the local Brazilian industries and jobs. China uses the economic mantra of creating a monopoly to cripple any country’s economy.
With Donald Trump jumping in the fray, Brazil needs to be cautiously freed from the Dragon’s grasp. China is the buyer, trader, lender and builder in the Brazilian Amazon which could have a potentially devastating effect for the country in the near future.
Coronavirus has presented an opportunity for the Brazilians to get out of the Chinese clutch. Like Australia, Brazil needs to start diversifying its exports and not depend only on China.