Brazil's Northeast Becomes Stage for Cold War between US and China

With Brazil under pressure to block Chinese investment, Asian country tightens technology ties with region

Patrícia Campos Mello

Chinese technology companies Huawei, ZTE, Dahua, and Hikvision--all under some US embargo because they pose a threat to national security--are negotiating to provide services and products in the Northeast.

The exchange between China and the nine northeastern states has never been so intense. This year alone, four governors and two deputy governors of the region were in the Asian country - and the pilgrimage of secretaries was even greater. China has also sent countless entourages to the states.

The Northeastern Consortium Group, formed earlier this year by state governments to promote partnerships in the region, will soon launch the Connected Northeast program, a PPP (public-private partnership) to install thousands of kilometers of optical fiber and connect the states.

CBTU's headquarter, in Recife. Credito Lucas Kubaski

"Huawei and ZTE are studying digital education, security, and health, and are very interested in the Connected Northeast project," Piauí Governor Wellington Dias (PT) told Folha. ZTE invested in the Piauí Conectado PPP project for the installation of 5,000 kilometers of a fiber-optic network.

The US is trying to persuade President Bolsonaro to follow countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan, which have vetoed Chinese companies' investments and products for public procurement, government suppliers or anyone on government loans.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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