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Hopes voiced for Brazil ties after election

By MO JINGXI,PAN MENGQI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-30 02:14
Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro celebrate on Sunday as the longtime lawmaker is declared winner of the nation’s presidential race, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Photo/Agencies]

China hopes newly elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will foster new progress in the country’s national construction and deepen bilateral cooperation for the benefit of people in both countries, as the right-wing politician of the Social Liberal Party won the nation’s presidential election on Sunday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular news conference in Beijing that both China and Brazil are major developing countries and important emerging economies and the two countries are comprehensive strategic partners.

Lu said that China is ready to work with Brazil to maintain and develop the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to better benefit the two countries and their people, and contribute to safeguarding the common interests of developing countries as well as maintaining world peace and stability.

According to Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court, the 63-year-old Bolsonaro will be inaugurated on New Year’s Day. He won 55.13 percent of the vote, compared with 44.87 percent for his rival Fernando Haddad of the left-leaning Workers’ Party.

United States President Donald Trump and a number of Latin American leaders also sent congratulatory messages to Bolsonaro. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump expressed “a strong commitment to work side-by-side to improve the lives of the people of the United States and Brazil”.

Leaders from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela also sent their congratulations to the president-elect.

Bolsonaro posted a video message on Facebook after release of the official results pledging to deliver on every promise made during his campaign.

Tang Jun, an expert on Latin America at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, said Bolsonaro’s tough stance on crime and defense of traditional family values have earned him a large following in a country plagued by violence and corruption.

Tang said Bolsonaro’s supporters consider him “the man who can sweep away political corruption and rescue Brazil from its sluggish economy”. However, Tang said whether Bolsonaro’s liberal economic policies can revitalize the Brazilian economy remains to be tested by time and practice.

Among his campaign promises, Bolsonaro, a former military captain, pledged to enable citizens to carry guns for self-protection, to lower the age at which minors are held fully accountable for their crimes from 18 to 16, and to end prisoner furloughs.

However, Bolsonaro’s hard-line stance has also raised alarms among progressives.

He was stabbed at a campaign rally last month and spent weeks recuperating in a hospital.

According to Brazilian newspaper The Rio Times, current President Michel Temer said the transition of power will begin on Monday at the cultural center of the Bank of Brazil, which is close to the Palacio do Planalto, the presidential workplace in Brasilia.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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