How much do Brazilians know about China? What is the image of China in Brazil?
Carlos Fujita, lived in Brazil
Well, as one would expect, there are a selected few that will know a lot about it, and a very large majority who will know almost nothing about it. Stereotypical impressions about China, shared by most people I know, include the following:
1.There are lots of Chinese there. Like, more than one billion. We do not really know how one billion people look like but it must be a hell lot of people.
2.Because of the huge population, there is a very strict one-child-only policy.
3.They suck at football. But they are really good at stuff like table tennis and maybe gymnastics.
4.They are extremely determined and disciplined. This translates in the most beautiful opening and closing acts of Olympic Games. But they lack social skills.
5.They all look the same. And they also look the same as Japanese and Korean people (I am of Japanese descent, so I hear this all the time).
6.They manufacture most of the stuff we use. Like kitchen stuff, clothes, electronic devices. We find it funny, but are not totally surprised, when we buy souvenir from a Brazilian city we visited on vacations and it is also made in China.
7.They eat bugs.
8.They eat lots of fried chicken and chop suey. Because this is what we buy every week from the local (Brazilian) home-delivery restaurant. The most famous is called “China in Box”.
9.There is a huge wall there, that can allegedly be seen from the moon.
10.Chinese language (yes, this is the way most people think of it – as one single Chinese language) is very difficult, not only because of the thousands of different letters one has to learn, but also because it is very difficult to speak.
11.It is very far away from here.
Some other stuff that sometimes pops up:
1.Chinese government is authoritarian. They mistreat Tibetan people, who in turn are all nice, peaceful, Dalai-Lama-like people.
2.There is also something going on with Taiwan. Not sure what…
3.They recently had a quarrel with Japan because of some empty island. This is because of some historic rivalry with Japan.
4.They have been there for, like, thousands of years.
5.Their culture is ancient. There was Confucius.
6.There are lots of rich people there. They like to buy expensive stuff.
7.There is Deal Extreme. And Ali Express.
Alex S. Constâncio, lives in Brazil
It's my oppinion we don't know much, in general.
We know it's a big country, with a milenary culture, with a dictatorial government. We know kung fu and many other martial arts have their roots in the Shao Lin temples and that there are many languages spoken in China, since we understand is as one country that was many ones in the past.
They are the inventors of the pasta and dynamite. They also have one of the biggest populations of the world and have a birth control system in effect for many years already, in order to prevent exausting all of their natural resources, more than they already are.
We know that we have to learn mandarim if we want to make business with China.
We know some pieces of their history from what movies show. We know they have a cinema industry bigger than Holywood, but not much of their production come to us. Usually, only big wuxia productions with Jacky Chan of Jet Lee. Sometimes a few romance stories with Gong Li or Zang Zi.
I believe the general knowledge about China in Brazil is fragmented, giving us a kind of incorrect and unaccurate idea on what the country is really all about.
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Luiz Dias, Product Development Engineer at Vishay Intertechnology
I've read some of the answers and for me, the knowledge cited doesn't represent the mass population in Brazil.
In other hand, the mass has some idea of the chinese, but usually doesn't refer to the citizen chinese: for the mass, Chinese and Japanese are called "japanese" indiscriminately*. When we talk about China here, it is natural to think about commerce and products. I still think that they refer to a product as "chinese" in a pejorative sense, something with raw quality, but this is changing year by year.
Augusto Filippo, lived in Brazil
Most of the people know that China is the most populated country in the world, but they don't need to study a lot to be aware of that. They also think of China as a place that people eat the most disgusting things like scorpions, rats and stuff. Some people have difficulty to know the differences among the Asiatic people, even asking sometimes "Aren't they all the same?", but that I think it isn't exclusively a brazilian vision.
But the image of China, for those who put effort into knowing a little bit more, is of a country with a very powerful educational system. Speaking for myself, I've read some articles about chinese education and it has given me motivation to my study schedule. Education is really the key to a huge development in many aspects to a country and the Chinese are wise to apply that.
Also, some books and magazines are treating China as the future #1 country, economically speaking, and that process of overcoming the USA has already started.
Marcus Vinicius Monteiro, I'm a Brazilian programmer
I don't think the average Brazilian knows much about China, except for the food and the Kung Fu.
As for the educated Brazilian, he probably knows that China is the most populated country in the world and an already huge and still growing economy. He recognizes Mao Zedong. To him, China is also a place where there is little political freedom, and serious environmental issues. Brazilian businessmen are probably the ones that most regularly think of China, in terms of how they can leverage China to make money. Finally, as a touristic destination, I think the Brazilian traveller would rather go first to Europe, the USA and the South American countries before going to the more exotic China.
As for the Brazilian expert in China, he probably knows it much more precisely and deeply than that.
Fred Landis, Investigative Reporter
The largest community of Japanese outside Japan in in Brazil.
They have a huge influence on Brazilian business.
If tensions rose to a certain level between China and Japan, I could see this interfering with China-Brazil business.
Brazilians care less about anything outside Brazil than any similar-size country. It is a hermetically sealed system.
The only Brazilians who know or care about China are the Japanese and those who import Chinese products.
The only time I have seen Chinese faces on Brazilian TV it is in the context of the authorities seizing warehouses full of counterfeit goods from China.
Nuno E. F. Silva, lives in Brazil
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the average Brazilian doesn’t think much about China. Indeed the Brazilian “man in the street” doesn’t think much about the world outside Brazil (note so self: must someday write about this different kind of [government/elite promoted] isolationism and its reasons).
This does not apply to the learned, educated elite, though…
Because the biggest Japanese immigration group is the one that went to Brazil, average Brazilians do know about Japanese.
When presented to an ethnic Chinese, most unadvised Brazilians will call him (surprise!) Japanese...
Fair warning: I'm a Portuguese living in Brazil.
Soybean farmers must know it is the main market for their crops.
Apiano Morais, College professor and a traveler
Some of Portuguese words were influenced by the commerce with China 500 years ago. Like tea and fan: Chá (茶) Léque (琉球). But there is not much immigration of Chinese in Brazil.
Well… Both are huge countries in size, GDP per capita almost the same and similar food.
There are enormous differences. Brazil is essentially a urban country (85% of people live in cities) and China is essentially rural (55% in the cities). Population density in Brazil is about 25 persons per square kilometer, in China is 146. Ethnicity in Brazil is really diverse, white people from Europe and Arabic/North African ancestor responds for 50%, mixed “race” (afro-brazilians+white/afro-brazilians+native/white+native) responds for 42%, Afro-Brazilians 7%, Asian 1% and Natives 0.3%.
I do not see much similarities…
Robean Felix, knows Portuguese
Both countries are developing countries, both of them have a huge territory, both of their main cities are localized in litoral areas, both of them are in BRINCS, both of them have a HDI around 72–75, so on
Neethika Reddy, Neethika Reddy
it has transpired as China's economic growth has slowed and manufacturing surveys show contraction, rippling across the globe as more and more companies depend on the world's number two economy.
The powerful Federation of German Industries recently noted that "German companies were definitely prepared for a slowdown in Chinese growth but were nevertheless surprised by the extreme jolts on the stock market."
Both Volkswagen and BMW have warned the slowdown in China -- the world's top auto market and key source of growth for Western automakers in recent years -- could undermine sales this year.
The Chinese slowdown has also hammered commodity prices, weighing on the fortunes of countries which produce and export key raw materials.
That has complicated the situation for Brazil, which not so long ago had been hoping to ride the commodities boom to top rank economic status, but has instead found itself stuck in a seven-year stretch of zero or negative growth.
The Brazilian real has tumbled to a 12-year low against the dollar, forcing the country's central bank to jack interest rates up to 14.25 percent to stabilise the currency and curb inflation. The government, meantime, has had to scale back its fiscal savings plans in order to prop up the economy.
Standard and Poor's last month switched the outlook on Brazil's 'BBB-' rating to negative, which means the country's investment-grade ranking is at risk.
Brazil is in good company in having its money pummelled, with fellow emerging markets like Mexico, South Africa, Colombia and Turkey also witnessing their currencies slide to multi-year lows.
I do not think Chinese economy can hit brasil in the long term. i really think this devaluation of the BRL has given a Opportunity for startups here to engage and find manufacturing ideas which will help the export economy
so Brasil can only go Up from here and te wrost is over
Rafael Kaufmann Nedal, born and raised in Brazil, pays attention
It's too early to say, as the China crisis has only really started and we don't have many real-time economical indicators (apart from the financial market, which is tanking).