Congress of the Chinese Communist Party: what does the risky geopolitical chess say to Brazil? – Opinion

By Christopher Mendonça and Vinícius Paulinelli

On October 22, the first phase of the Congress of the Chinese Communist Party ended. The event is the largest and most important in Chinese politics, responsible for leading Xi Jinping to a third term in the presidency, something unprecedented in that country’s politics.

In addition to the presidential choice, it is up to the party, in this Congress, to choose the Permanent Committee of the Politburo, a select group of seven people who will command the Asian giant for the next few years, with direct influence on the country’s economic organization and social policy, supporting to the president.

The party understands that a stable and constantly growing economy is essential to guarantee its own legitimacy inside and outside China, making the nominations of the names responsible for economic policy in the Standing Committee always receive great attention from the international market.

In a scenario of slowdown in consumption in Europe and the United States (USA), and in view of Xi Jinping’s growing need to expand his influence within the party, the decision will probably be to take measures to leverage and reheat the domestic market . The expectation is, therefore, positive in relation to the demand for the main products of the Brazilian agribusiness, with highlights for soy, corn, chicken and beef.

On the other hand, the scenario regarding the future logistics of Chinese ports is less optimistic. The low efficiency of nationally produced vaccines and the appointment of Li Qiang as a member of the committee – (he is responsible for the lockdowns in Shanghai) – indicate that the “covid zero” policy should continue in the near future and, generating problems with delay and costs high in the entry and exit of goods from the country.

When it comes to geopolitics, what is drawn does not seem encouraging either. Throughout his political career, Jinping centralized the command of the state in his figure and became the main Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, skillfully pursuing opponents and controlling the state media apparatus to propagate his ideas about the “Chinese dream” of greatness. political and cultural.

These ideas strongly influenced the style of diplomacy inaugurated in the current leader’s government, much more imposing, ambitious and hostile to Western influences. By filling the Standing Committee with a majority of allies and removing the brakes on its ambitions, Chinese foreign policy under Jinping is expected to become even more aggressive and intolerant of US influence in the world, meeting a commensurate response from its main adversary. geopolitical.

In addition to the well-known dispute over Taiwan, technological competition may gain prominence in the clash between China and the United States. Thanks to the potential military use of innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and supercomputers, technology companies present in both countries are preparing for the growing risk of having operations affected by sanctions and trade blockades caused by national security concerns.

For the nations of South America, an increasingly disputed international environment between the two powers will mean growing difficulty in reconciling interests.

China’s accommodation in the BRICS could be the target of increasing pressure from the United States, as Beijing expands its influence in the Global South through financial, commercial and even technological means – citing, for example, the participation of state-owned Huawei in the auction of the 5G in Brazil, heavily criticized by Washington.

In this sense, it will be up to Itamaraty to devise a strategy to better protect the regional environment from the side effects of a risky geopolitical chess game, without alienating relations with its main source of commercial revenue in Asia or creating disagreements with its historic and powerful ally in the North. .

Christopher Mendonça holds a PhD in Political Science and is a professor of International Relations at Ibmec Belo-Horizonte (MG). Vinícius Paulinelli is a researcher at the Study Group on War Privatization at Ibmec Belo-Horizonte (MG).

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