World Cup Focuses Chinese Media Attention on Brazil

˙ China & Latin America

The Inter-American Dialogue’s China and Latin America program is pleased to provide monthly reports on China’s media coverage of Latin America. Though still relatively limited, Chinese media reporting on Latin America has expanded in recent years. Coverage generally highlights economic opportunities in the region, high-level visits, as well as security and other challenges in certain Latin American nations.

Chinese media attention focused on Brazil and the World Cup in June. Like their Western counterparts, Chinese sources reported extensively on criticism of the Brazilian government in the lead-up to the games. Articles in pro-government Huanqiu detailed strikes by subway workers in Sao Paulo (巴西工人罢工抗议政府耗巨资办世界杯忽略民生) and overall negative perceptions of the World Cup among Brazilian citizens (调查:多数巴西人对世界杯持不良情绪和反对态度). The newspaper also reported the hacking of Brazil’s Foreign Ministry by the Anonymous group, which made public details of the government’s security measures for the games (黑客组织’匿名者’盯上世界杯将发动网络攻击).

Chinese news coverage last month also scrutinized Brazil’s economic prospects in the coming period. Government news agency Xinhua reported that a lowering of tariffs on more than 200 goods is expected to stimulate local business (巴西宣布降低250种产品进口关税). While the World Cup could also boost growth and attract additional foreign investment to the country, Chinese sources highlighted the difficulties that  Brazilian export face in global markets (巴西世界杯 拉美经济强心剂?). The economy will be a critical issue for President Dilma Rousseff, according to a Huanqiu article. The Brazilian president faces a difficult re-election campaign despite an early lead in the polls (巴西劳工党正式提名罗塞夫为总统候选人).

Economic news, both positive and negative, dominated Chinese reporting on other countries in the region. Employment numbers are improving across Latin America, according to Hong Kong-based ifeng.com (2013年拉美及加勒比地区就业形势及2014年展望). But the wealth gap continues to widen in Latin America (拉美地区贫富差距正在扩大), and several countries face macroeconomic challenges. Argentina is grappling with the US Supreme Court decision to support creditors in a long-fought debt repayment dispute. Hexun noted the possibility of default if Argentina’s government cannot deliver a $900 million interest payment scheduled for June 30 (美国高院驳回上诉‘倒债’阴霾再次笼罩阿根廷).