Updated:04/07/2020 08: 56h
The Chinese Embassy in Brazil has branded the Brazilian Minister of Education as “racist”, Abraham Weintraub, for suggesting in a Twitter message that the Asian giant intentionally caused the coronavirus pandemic.
The origin of the controversy is a tweet published on Sunday by Weintraub in which he uses a popular childish character from Brazil, Cebolinha, to present his theory about the Covid-19.
“Geopolitically, who could come out stronger, in relative terms, with this world crisis?” Asks Weintraub in writing, together with the image of Cebolinha on the Great Wall of China.
To this is added that Cebolinha is a comic character with diction problems that make him pronounce erres as eles, something that is used as a mockery to Chinese speakers for their difficulties in pronouncing that letter.
The Minister of Education withdrew the tweet the same Sunday after receiving a shower of criticism, which was added on Monday by the Chinese Embassy in Brazil through a statement published on the social network.
– Embaixada da China no Brasil (@EmbaixadaChina) April 6, 2020
“Weintraub, ignoring the position defended by China on several occasions, has made defamatory statements on social networks stigmatizing China by associating the origin of Covid-19 with the country,” said the diplomatic mission.
“These statements are completely absurd and despicable and have a strong racist character and unspeakable objectives, taking into account the negative consequences on the healthy development of relations between China and Brazil,” he added.
In addition, he stressed that “the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community explicitly oppose the association of the virus with a specific country or region.”
In this regard, he recalled that the coronavirus “is spreading throughout the world, giving rise to a challenge that no one can face alone”, for which he defended that “at this moment the most urgent thing is to unite countries in proactive cooperation to end the pandemic as soon as possible. “
This being the case, he has urged “certain individuals in Brazil” to “immediately correct the mistakes made”, while exhorting them to “stop the unfounded accusations against China”.
It is not the first clash between Beijing and Brasilia on account of the coronavirus. Eduardo Bolsonaro, one of the sons of the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, said on Twitter that “China is to blame” for the pandemic. Then, the Chinese Embassy accused him of imitating “his dear friends,” in apparent allusion to the United States. “Upon returning from Miami, he unfortunately contracted a mental virus that is infecting friendships among our peoples,” he snapped.