"I Never Wanted to Offend Chinese People," Says Eduardo Bolsonaro

Congressman blamed China for coronavirus and received harsh response from Chinese ambassador to Brazil

São Paulo

Federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) tweeted on Thursday that he did not offend Chinese people when he blamed the Chinese for Coronavirus in a series of Twitter posts on Wednesday. Instead, he said he was just criticizing the Chinese government.

His Wednesday posts prompted a harsh response from the Chinese ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming twitter, which ignited a diplomatic crisis between the countries.

"I have never offended the Chinese people, such an interpretation is totally out of place," wrote President Jair Bolsonaro's son. "I clarify that I shared a post that criticizes the Chinese government's action in preventing the pandemic, especially in sharing information that would have been useful in prevention on a global scale."

Dep. Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL - SP). Credito Gilmar Felix / Camara dos Deputados

Eduardo also said that the country does not want problems with China and explained his "esteem for the contribution of the Chinese community in the development of Brazil". He also wrote that he did not speak on behalf of the Brazilian government

The deputy, however, defended his tweets that irritated the Chinese. He referred to Covid-19 as a Chinese virus, which for him does not represent xenophobia. He also compared the current crisis with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, which was initially concealed by the government.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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