China's Presence in South America Hits Radar of Brazil's Military

Defense policy and strategy update calls for fixed resources for the sector

São Paulo

China's presence in South America, a frequent concern of the United States, has officially entered Brazilian military radar. There is also risk of armed confrontation in the region.

Statements from the National Defense Policy (PND) and National Defense Strategy (END) show special concern with the so-called "exogenous actors" on the continent and they will be sent to Congress on the 22nd.

Brazil's Defence Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva (R) talks with Brazil's Minister of the Secretariat of Government Luiz Eduardo Ramos after a meeting with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino - REUTERS

As in previous versions, the Amazon is treated as a target of external greed. A preliminary document on defense scenarios until 2040, which Folha revealed in February, showed that France was seen as the greatest strategic threat to the country.

The European country is at the forefront of criticism of the environmental policy of the Jair Bolsonaro government and has a physical border through French Guiana with the region - which does not make it an "exogenous actor." Paris diplomacy considered the possibility of delusional confrontation.

As an official government document, the PND / END pair does not name threats, it only presents objectives and how to reach them with the available resources. These are then inventoried in a third document being updated, the White Paper on National Defense.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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