Brazil's Foreign Ministry Stifles China's "Mask Diplomacy"

11 tons of medical equipment to combat Covid-19 have been trapped in China since April

São Paulo

Eleven tons of medical equipment donated to combat Covid-19 in Brazil has been stuck in China since the beginning of April

Chinese company ByteDance, owner of the TikTok, offered the donation. But, according to people who follow the subject, it is stuck due to logistical obstacles stemming from diplomatic issues.

Brazil?s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo listens to President Jair Bolsonaro at the Alvorada Palace, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino - REUTERS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not prioritizing donations from China. So Brazil won’t be affected by the called “mask diplomacy” —the Chinese strategy of using donations of medical equipment to gain influence in the world.

When some shipment finally arrives in Brazil, the guidance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not to give visibility or announce the news on social media, unlike donations made by the USA.

The ByteDance donation, valued at US $ 1 million (R $ 5.24 million), includes 90 lung ventilators, 450 thousand surgical masks, 100 thousand pairs of gloves, and 25 thousand protective clothes. The Ministry of Health accepted the donation in late April, but the shipment has not yet left China.

This is just one of the many shipments of medical equipment from the Asian country that are still waiting for transport or bureaucratic clearance.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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