Brazil and the US celebrate 200 years of diplomatic relations amid China’s growing presence in South America

Brazil and the US celebrate 200 years of diplomatic relations amid China's growing presence in South America

He 200th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Brazil and the United Statescommemorated in the middle of the South Seas Exercise 2024 in Brazilian territorial waters, had a Task Force led by a nuclear aircraft carrier from the US Navy and escorts, as well as with the presence of an ocean cutter of the Coast Guard (USCG).

Behind this diplomatic/media showcase another chapter of the intense dispute waged by the United States against China’s growing economic, political and military influence in Latin America.

Richardson (2)Ceremony aboard CVN-73 celebrates 200 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and the United States. Signature: United States Southern Command

Regional cooperation

One of the promoters of this regional cooperation policy, the US Southern Command, has interfered (directly or indirectly) in the Security and Defense policies of many of Washington’s allied countries through its current commander, the four-star general Laura Richardsonwith a constant presence in South America.

In May 2023, General Richardson conducted a tour of South America that included Colombia and Chile, arriving in Brazil, where she met with commanders of the Marineof the Army and of the Air Forcethe head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On the agenda, the issue of the increase in the Chinese presence in the country and greater alignment with Beijing by the current Brazilian government.

One year later, in May 2024, the head of the US Southern Command and her counterpart in the US Navy., rear admiral Jim Aikencommander of US Naval Forces Southern Command/US 4th Fleet., collected positive data from the first stage of the Southern Seas 2024 exercise, held off the coast of Brazil with the presence of the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington.

Once again, between the lines of the exercise and the celebrations, the Chinese issue continued to be the backdrop of the conversations between authorities, even more so with the recent announcements of new space agreements between Brazil and China, among other events.

The visit of another high-level delegation of the Brazilian army to China (the third in two years) in the coming weeks could lead to the purchase of Chinese weapons for the Brazilian Army, which the Americans have openly and vehemently opposed.

Richardson usa rio 2024Accompanied by US Ambassador to Brazil Elizabeth Bagley, Admiral Alexis “Lex” T. Walker, commander of Task Force 10, and Rear Admiral Jim Aiken, commander of US Naval Forces Southern Command US / US 4th Fleet, General Laura Richardson disembarks in Rio de Janeiro. Signature: US Embassy in Brazil

Anti-Chinese and anti-Russian shield

Richardson has repeatedly raised the issue of the Chinese presence in Latin America as a “very clear threat” to the US national securitysince companies from the eastern country, with the encouragement of the Beijing Government, invest heavily in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, to name the largest economies.

The Chinese have come to control, or have acquired, commercial dominance in the purchase and shipment to China of raw materials such as minerals, strategic metals such as the highly coveted lithiuma wide variety of foods and other energy resources, as well as access to drinking water in quantity and quality.


The US military repeatedly cites Brazil’s natural wealth as a source of concern for the US government, as it is fueling the industrial and technological growth of the Chinese economy.

Another aspect is the massive contribution of resources to the construction and control of vast infrastructures of ports, roads, railways, telecommunications and commercial space exploration, a strategic advantage that guarantees Chinese access to the resources it dominates on the continent, both in times of peace as in case of open conflict against the United States.

In fact, China is Brazil’s largest trading partner, with the United States in second place, and the difference in values ​​between the two is increasing in favor of the Chinese.

Xi JinpingAt the beginning of a dispute between powers, the president of China, Xi Jinping, plans to travel to Brazil in November to participate in the G20 Conference and celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and China. Signature: Chinese Embassy in Brazil

It is believed that by 2035, according to figures provided by Richardson, China’s trade with the region will reach 300,000 million dollars annually.

Besides the “economic invasion” China, another problem that Washington faces is the presence of the Chinese Space Station in Argentinaidentified as a supposed spy facility ELINT/TELINT, SIGINT/COMINT highly sophisticated, which would have nothing to envy the capabilities of Pine Gap in Australia, a base shared between the US and Australia that spies on China with the same ingenuity, with a strong participation in military actions in areas close to the Chinese mainland.

Neuquen.base 960x540The lease contract for 200 hectares is valid for 50 years, renewable. Very few Argentines have access to the Chinese base in Neuquén. Signature: CONAE

Located in the Patagonian province of Neuquenthe activities of this Chinese Government facility have been repeatedly questioned by the United States through General Richardson, and its closure or total cancellation is clearly one of the objectives of the military at the head of the North American Southern Command.

It is important to note that if the United States is being spied on through Neuquén, it is reasonable to assume that Brazil is also being targeted by the Chinese on a large scale, so this is also a national security problem for Brazil.

640px Pine Gap by SkyringNeuquén’s American counterpart is called Pine Gap, and it is in the heart of Australia: high-tech espionage, a dangerous game in which both are accused of acting illegally. Signature: Skyring

Russian for American barter

In another point of contention, the issue of support for Ukraine by South American countries, especially those that operate with some type of equipment similar to the Russian/Ukrainian, acquired a double-edged strategy: according to Richardson, those who “donated” their helicopters, tanks, vehicles and other military equipment of this origin would receive exchange equipment of equivalent function of American origin, provided that the material sent to Ukraine was in working condition.

Precisely this point has determined the failure of this initiative, at least until now, since most of the Russian military material on the continent is useless or suffers from serious shortages of supplies and various resources, since when they exist, they are allocated massively to the Ukraine campaign.

To complicate matters, the current Brazilian government and its diplomatic arm have repeatedly signaled their veiled support for Russia’s expansionist aspirations, even preventing companies based in Brazil from fulfilling large orders for military equipment placed by the Ukrainians.

Among the deals that did not come to fruition due to direct interference from Brasilia are the sale of 6×6 wheeled armored vehicles, turboprop training and light attack aircraft and 155m artillery ammunitionto name the best-known cases.

476864The Guarani 6×6 in ambulance version, one of the businesses that the Brazilian government vetoed, going against its Defense Industrial Base and acting in favor of Russian interests in Ukraine. Company: Roberto Caiafa

For the current Government, Brazil must maintain its neutrality, not attending to the demands of the countries in conflict, which means condemning the Brazilian Defense Industrial Base to ostracism in terms of exports, in the opposite direction to the rest of the Western world, and discreetly help the Russians, because they will be weapons and equipment that they will not have to deal with due to the friendship of the current Brazilian government with Moscow.

This friendship is not free. To cite an example, Russian diesel, with lower prices than in other markets, has been purchased in large quantities by Brazil, which has become one of the largest importers of fuel produced by Russian refineriesallowing Brasilia to compensate for the internal oscillations of its energy market and obtain political gains in its internal propaganda narratives.

In January 2024, Brazilian diesel purchases amounted to 500 million dollars, 462% more than imports in the same month of 2023and the product represented the 66% of all Russian sales to Brazil.

Farewell Cake Ship

The end of the Brazilian phase of the South Seas Exercise 2024 included a gala ball aboard the CVN-73 USSGWwhere nearly 300 guests attended the ceremony commemoration of 200 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and the United States.

Aircraft carrier bag May 2024The “cutting of the cake” in the form of CVN-73, commemorating the 200 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and the United States. Company: US Embassy in Brazil

In her speech, the US ambassador to Brazil, Elizabeth Bagleyhighlighted the importance of the partnership with Brazil and recalled the efforts of the US Government to collaborate with humanitarian aid to those affected by the floods in the State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS).

“The US Navy was passing by the Brazilian coast. The ships were in the city of Rio de Janeiro and offered their support to join the mobilization that exists to face the catastrophe in the South, and this was very welcome,” said Rear Admiral Nelson Leitecommander of the First Division of the Brazilian Navy Fleet.

WhatsApp Image 2024 05 27 at 21.41.33The NAM Atlântico and the CVN-73 sailing together off the coast of Rio Grande do Sul. Company: Brazilian Navy

The American aircraft carrier George Washington sailed further south carrying 15 tons of food, feed, water and hygiene and cleaning items for humanitarian aid.

The Atlântico Multipurpose Aerodrome Vesselwhich was already off the coast of Rio Grande do Sul supporting the operations, and the helicopters that operated aboard the Brazilian ship, supported by more aircraft from the US Navy embarked on the CVN-73. This fleet made 31 cargo transfer trips Vertrep (vertical replenishment) between ships.

Richardson usa sp embraer 2024On May 23, Richardson visited Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, and its competitor Boeing, which has an Engineering and Research Center in the city. Company: US Southern Command

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