China congratulates Jair Bolsonaro on election as Brazilian president

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The 63-year-old far-right leader, who previously suggested that Brazil could pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, plans to merge ministries agriculture and environment, an aide said.

Brazilian voters hung their hopes on a populist savior in closely-watched weekend elections, sweeping firebrand personality Jair Bolsonaro into the presidential office in a move that has human rights activists and those fearful of a return to authoritarianism on edge.

In a telephone call on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Bolsonaro discussed collaboration on priority foreign policy issues, including Venezuela, tackling transnational crime and ways to strengthen economic ties. Mr. Bolsonaro swept a runoff election over the weekend, winning almost 55% of the vote to defeat the left-of-centre Fernando Haddad.

The billionaire republican installed for almost two years the White House has called Sunday evening the ex-army captain to congratulate him warmly upon the announcement of his victory.


The Bovespa index welcomed the election of a market-driven president, but it remains to be seen if Bolsonaro's election will have long-term effects on Brazil's economy.

Bolsonaro, who rode a wave of anti-establishment anger to victory in Sunday's election, wants to slash the number of ministries from 29 to 15, in the name of reining in public spending.

Most of the rainforest is located in Brazil, which has taken major steps in recent years to protect it in the face of massive deforestation that has reduced its size by about 20 percent in the past 50 years.

Bolsonaro, who cast himself as a political outsider despite a 27-year career in Congress, is the latest of several leaders around the globe to gain prominence by mixing tough, often violent talk with right-wing positions.


In his television interview Bolsonaro - who recently threatened to exile or jail "red outlaws" - said he expected "fierce" opposition but would not seek "to crush" such dissent. "But we'll have to carry on", said Adriana Calvi, 55.

"The Brazilian also share the idea of a necessary counter-offensive to contain the expansionism of China, which he accused of" buy Brazil".

In his first TV interview since being elected, Mr. Bolsonaro also underlined his campaign pledge to loosen gun laws.

Asked about Brazil's currency, Lorenzoni said Bolsonaro would offer businesses more predictability, but ruled out an exchange rate target.


Retired General Augusto Heleno, slated to become defence minister, told reporters that Bolsonaro has a positive view of a planned $4.75 billion joint venture between Boeing Co and Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA.

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