China Quietly Seeks Influence From Disaster In Brazil

(MENAFN- Asia Times) Since late April, floods have devastated the southern Brazilian state of
Rio Grande do Sul , causing more than a million people to be forcibly displaced from their homes and killing at least 150 people.

The floods destroyed billions of dollars worth of property, and much of
Porto Alegre , the state's capital and one of the largest cities in South America. Smaller cities in Northern
Uruguay and Argentina
were also affected by the environmental disaster.

Many foreign governments, international organizations, and charities have rushed to help Rio Grande do Sul, and the Brazilian federal government has issued emergency funding for response and prevention support to the state. One of the countries that has been at the forefront of the international funding efforts for the flooding has been China.

The BRICS New Development Bank (BND), led by former Brazilian president and close Lula aide Dilma Rousseff, gave
US$1.1 billion
to help with reconstruction efforts.

Rousseff said,“I want to tell the people of Rio Grande do Sul that they can count on me and the BND in this difficult time.” She reportedly has been coordinating the aid efforts with Lula directly. The BND is headquartered in Shanghai with majority power and financing from the People's Republic of China.

The Chinese community in Brazil also provided humanitarian assistance in response to the floods. In Brasilia, the country's capital city, a Chinese community group organized a shipment of essential supplies to those affected. They
1,000 containers of bottled water, along with 1,100 baskets of essential goods.

Li Hongzhong , the first vice chairman of the National People's Congress, gave a small speech at the Chinese Embassy to support the donation. The Chinese Community of São Paulo also raised 60 tons of donations of food and supplies for Rio Grande do Sul, with help from state government authorities.


Asia Times

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