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Lusophone world reinforces support for Beijing

Paulo Rego

The demonization of China has less space in Portuguese-speaking countries than it does today in the Anglo-Saxon world. In Africa, there is even an ideological proximity to the Chinese CP; as in Brazil, if Lula da Silva – ahead of the polls – returns to the presidency. But above all, there is a coalition of interests: Chinese investment and trade make perfect sense. What scares you is the economic war

“Make business, not war”, says Marco Galinha, a Portuguese businessman who has strong ties to the United States; but he wants to have them in China too.

“There are serious problems all over the world. Look at the difficulties that Europe is going through. And, despite the appreciation of the dollar, there are fears of recession in the United States. China’s problems must be addressed at the level of the domestic economy. But it is obvious, as Xi Jinping says, that globalization, trade and foreign investment are fundamental to economic recovery. The worst thing that could happen to all of us would be for the United States and China to enter a deep economic crisis together. The political and economic elites perceive this on both sides”, he concludes, speaking to PLATAFORMA.

“For us, based in Portugal – and with good Atlantic relations – Macau is naturally our preferred gateway to the Greater Bay and mainland China”, Marco Galinha, CEO of Grupo BEL and Global Media Group.

East Timor’s Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak applauds the Chinese people for “great development achievements”. In an interview with CRI, Rádio Internacional Chinesa, the Timorese leader considers that the rapid economic development and the elimination of poverty in China, in the last 30 years, consists of a “remarkable miracle”, attributing merit “to the strategic vision of development and the management high-level leadership of the Communist Party of China”, and expressing the intention to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

“China is in good hands”, continues Matan Ruak, in a high praise for Xi Jinping, assuming China’s relevance for the development of Humanity. May China’s future be “even better under the leadership of the CCP”, concludes the ruler.


The Lusophone contrast is obvious, for example, with the view of Richard McGregor, a prominent member of the Lowy Institute in Australia: “Xi Jinping is at the top of the party, the party is at the top of China and China is at the top of the world. That’s basically the program”, summarizes the Australian political analyst, who somehow mirrors the “new consensus” between Democrats and Republicans in the United States, who make ideological pressure and control of freedoms in China the main argument to justify the blockade. of its global influence.

“The objectives achieved are attributed to the strategic vision of development and the high-level management of the Communist Party of China”, Taur Matan Ruak, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste

Angola is another Portuguese-speaking country that assumes the Chinese partnership. Despite the American effort, which has more space with João Lourenço than it had with José Eduardo dos Santos, Transport Minister Ricardo Viegas de Abreu praises the “successful” Chinese development model. “For me, the CCP is the key to today’s successes achieved by China.” Similar position, for example, to that of the former president of Cape Verde, Pedro Pires:

“I hope that China will continue to advance on its path, further contributing to solving important global issues, as well as creating a safer, fairer and more comfortable world.”

“I hope that China continues to play this balancing role, for a better world”, Pedro Pires, former president of Cape Verde

Pedro Pires’ statements were made to Chinese International Radio, which carried out a series of interviews with relevant voices in Africa that support China. And not just in Lusophony, as can be seen, for example, in the statements made to the same media by the former president of Nigeria. Olesegun Obasanjo highlights the CCP’s successes, especially “in the eradication of poverty, which was a miracle (…) We cannot copy the Chinese model, but we can learn from their experiences”, he concludes.

In Mozambique, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation projected the official position:

“China is a friendly country that has stood by Mozambique’s side, making its contribution to efforts towards the sustainable development of our country”.

Verónica Macamo commented on the fact that China donated 13.9 million euros, forgiving another 7 million to the Mozambican debt: “This gesture is yet another unequivocal symbol of our deep friendship, solidarity and cooperation forged since the times of the national liberation struggle. ”, commented the governor.


In Brazil, support is even more relevant, given its geostrategic importance, its economic dimension, and the fierce electoral struggle underway. Bolsonaro, ideologically far from Beijing, was one of the few Western leaders to buy the Chinese vaccine against Covid-19 in 2021.

“Partnership essential for the proper management of the pandemic in Brazil,” she said at the time. In September of this year, he did not support at the United Nations the resolution proposed by the United States and European allies to open a debate on accusations of human rights violations in China.

“China is a friendly country that has stood by Mozambique’s side, making its contribution to efforts towards sustainable development”, Verónica Macamo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique

But it is Lula da Silva who goes further in supporting Beijing: “China is an example of development for the world. I hope that other countries learn the lesson so that we can be richer, stronger and have more distribution of wealth. I worked a lot with Hu Jintao on the need for a South-South relationship, not to be dependent on the North as we are”. These statements, made to the Chinese portal Guancha, launched an extensive debate on Brazilian social networks, where the presidential candidate was accused of preparing to “implant Chinese communism as early as 2023”.

The newspaper Estadão felt the need to dissect the interview, demonstrating that this interpretation was based on phrases “taken out of context”.

“For me, the PCC is the key to today’s successes achieved by China”, Ricardo Viegas de Abreu, Minister of Transport in Angola

But it is a fact that Lula assumes a strategic vision in that same interview: “We should have built a strategic partnership also with Russia, India and South Africa”.

The issue can also be seen in numbers. Brazil threatens to exceed with China the value of trade with the United States. Agricultural exports to China alone account for two-thirds of its trade balance surplus; and 26 percent of exports which, incidentally, grew 13 percent last September compared to the same period last year.


The tension in the Taiwan Strait is seen in the west as a kind of beacon of Beijing’s intentions. Marco Galinha, a Portuguese businessman who confesses to having good relations with the Americans, and interests in the Portuguese-speaking world, looks carefully at the signals coming from China.

“The fact that Xi Jinping has made it clear that reunification with Taiwan will be done through dialogue is very relevant in this tense moment between the two superpowers. It is important that there are conciliatory speeches, both in the South China Sea and around the world.

I am well acquainted with American thinking in various political and business sectors. Nobody wants war, nor does this hypothesis make any sense”, he comments in statements to PLATAFORMA.

“China is an example of development for the world”, Lula Da Silva, presidential candidate in Brazil

With regard to Macau, both because of its historical setting and in the context of integration in the Greater Bay Area, he considers the Region “increasingly important to promote bridges between cultures and markets”.

Marco Galinha turns to History: “In times of crisis, nationalist and protectionist sentiments tend to grow. But it is also history that proves that this path leads to more problems and fewer solutions. The BEL Group, which I lead, has every interest and is available to bet on the Chinese market. For us, based in Portugal – and with good Atlantic relations – Macau is naturally our preferred gateway to the Greater Bay and mainland China”.

This vision is reinforced by the fact that he has “an already established personal and professional relationship with Kevin Ho, through the investments we have in the Global Media Group”, he concludes.

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