Right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro’s refusal Monday to concede in Brazil’s knife-edge election triggered fears that political unrest may be imminent in Brazil, a key battleground country in the growing Cold War-style rivalry between the U.S. and China for influence over South America.
With Chinese investment in Brazil dramatically outstripping that of the U.S. in recent years, Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday. Mr. da Silva beat Mr. Bolsonaro by roughly just under two percentage points in Sunday’s run-off vote, according to official tallies.
“I attach great importance to the development of China-Brazil relations,” Mr. Xi said in a statement calling for “a new level” of “comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Brazil.”
The Chinese president’s comments came hours after President Biden had also rushed to congratulate Mr. da Silva, whose win marks an about-face for Brazil after four years of populist, far-right policies under