China’s ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming, has made an urgent plea for a “healthier climate” in bilateral relations, days after the Brazilian president made remarks widely seen as offensive to China.
At a virtual conference on 14 May, Yang labelled accusations from the Brazilian government that seemed to connect China to the pandemic as “unfair and unfounded”.
Last week, President Jair Bolsonaro – without specifically naming China – said that the Covid-19 pandemic is the result of a “biological war” by a country which is “growing the most” economically.
Yang asked the National Congress to help “make the environment healthier between Brazil and China”, addressing the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Brazilian Parliament, Aécio Neves.
Recently, the Chinese diplomat also met with Brazil’s Foreign Affairs minister Carlos França and the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga.
“Brazil continues to be a priority for China in trade relations and for receiving IFA (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) to produce vaccines. But the environment between the two countries has to be healthy,” warned the ambassador.
Chinese laboratory Sinovac has readied 10,000 litres of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient to be sent to Brazil.
But the IFA can only be sent when the Chinese government authorises the shipment and the Chinese ambassador pledged to act personally for the quick release of the IFA within 48 hours, while denying a diplomatic and political crisis with Brazil.
Yang said that China has already exported more than 300 million doses of vaccine to about 100 countries. “There is no retaliation,” said Yang.
The ambassador also argued that the United States and the European Union should expand the export of vaccines to poor and developing countries.
Yang called for dialogue at the World Trade Organization to give developing countries greater access to Covid-19 vaccine.