BRICS can no longer be dismissed, writes the South China Morning Post, published in Hong Kong. Moreover, the West will not be able to isolate itself from China. And BRICS China needs, just as China needs this organization. The Five leaders summit will be held August 22-24 in Johannesburg, according to The Moscow Post.
In 2006, Brazil, Russia, India and China created the BRICS group. This happened within the framework of the international economic forum in St. Petersburg, in which the ministers of the economies of these four countries took part. The Republic of South Africa became a member of the association in 2011. South Africa is presiding over the organisation this year.
Get around not to catch up
The Five countries discuss issues of interaction in three areas: politics and security, economics and finance, social issues and humanitarian contacts. These areas are consulted at the ministerial level.
For Russia, participation in the BRICS helps to look at issues of interaction with China and India in a broader context, enriches ties with South Africa and Brazil, and opens new markets. The founding states discuss, in particular, the reform of the global financial and economic system.
There are grounds for this. In terms of purchasing power parity, five BRICS countries caught up with the Seven. This was confirmed in her speech on April 13 in Shanghai by Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank – BRICS Bank.
In 2023, the BRICS countries will account for 31.5% of global GDP, while the G7 will account for only 30.7%. Above all, this influence reflects China’s economic strength and India’s booming economy. By the beginning of the next decade, the share of China in world GDP will grow to 22.6%, India – 12.9%, while the share of the United States will be 11.3%, – say the data of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Has the new world order already arrived?,” politicians in Europe ask. It is no coincidence that Le Figaro decided to recalculate the data of the Acorn Macro Consulting study, published in March this year. But IMF figures say BRICS is ahead of the Seven and continues to strengthen its position in the global economy.
Ahead of the BRICS summit in South Africa, the West has tried to smear the bloc by fanning rumours of divisions between member states. Western countries fear that BRICS will “correct” the current world order, and are trying to undermine its unity, experts say. Especially nervous are those who advocate the preservation of US hegemony.
Looking back at Taiwan
In terms of its political significance, the Five is already competing with the G7, Bloomberg said. It is clear that the political importance of BRICS in world affairs is determined primarily by the states of Greater Eurasia – China, India and Russia.
In particular, the fact that the Russian Federation and the PRC are permanent members of the UN Security Council. China accounts for 69% of BRICS GDP. China is not only the largest economy in the Five, but also surpasses the United States in GDP in terms of purchasing power.
The PRC is Russia’s neighbor and main economic partner with a trade turnover exceeding $200 billion per year. “More than an ally,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said about China, speaking at the XI Moscow Conference on International Security. Bilateral relations between Russia and China have surpassed the level of strategic ties in all respects, becoming more than allied, the minister said.
“Western countries escalate the situation around Taiwan in the same way as they shook the situation around Ukraine. The cynicism of the situation is that from Washington at the same time there are calls for dialogue with Beijing at different levels, “Shoigu said, speaking at a security conference.
The strengthening of the BRICS, as a union of like-minded people, prevents the West from “pushing” China to the position of the beginning of the century, to the place of the “assembly shop.” It is these plans that are embedded in the strategy of the leaders of the “golden billion” in the Chinese direction – to deprive the PRC of access to modern technologies, to prevent the course of normal economic interaction of the Chinese through the Taiwan Strait. By all means, even by means of a devastating conflict for all.
This is reminiscent of Brussels’ destructive strategy towards Russia. The policy of the EuroNATO Union was aimed at “pushing” Moscow in the early 1990s, stopping economic modernization, limiting oil and gas revenues. Even through the destruction that occurred through the EU-Russian Federation and occurs in the former Ukraine.
In a sense, in the explosions of the Northern Flows at the bottom of the Baltic, what can be prepared for Taiwan is caught. In the context of these political convulsions, BRICS acquires particular value for the policies of the leading states of Greater Eurasia.
This group is also important for Russia because BRICS opposes unilateral sanctions imposed by “individual countries and organizations,” said Anil Suklal, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, adding that the only body that has the right to restrictions is the UN Security Council.
At the same time, it is known that the BRICS New Development Bank (NBR), due to sanctions, “does not consider new projects in Russia and operates in accordance with the current restrictions on the markets of finance and international capital,” said the head of the bank Dilma Rousseff in June.
Under these conditions, Russia’s relations with China and India form a kind of anti-sanction “core” within the BRICS.
As of August 2022, India tripled imports of Russian oil and petroleum products. By April 2023, at the end of the 2022-2023 financial year, Russia became the leading oil supplier to India, ahead of Iraq, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in this indicator. Imports of Russian oil during this time increased 14 times, to $31 billion, providing 43% of India’s total oil imports in April!
China continued to import oil. In February-April 2023, Russia remained the largest oil supplier to the PRC, providing about 18% of China’s oil imports.
China also came to the rescue, replacing Western automakers in the Russian car market. Deliveries of passenger cars in the first half of 2023 increased 5.5 times compared to the same period 2022. 326 thousand cars worth $4.6 billion were imported from China! Russia has become the largest export market for the Chinese auto industry.
China at the end of this year will become the main exporter of cars in the world, exceeding Japan’s export indicators. In 2021 and 2022, the Chinese auto industry bypassed South Korea and Germany for export, respectively. In particular, the volume of Chinese automobile exports exceeded pre-pandemic levels amid growing demand for electric vehicles.
“The speed with which China is introducing new technologies into the automotive industry has no analogues,” experts say. One of the main advantages of Chinese automakers is in the production of lithium-ion batteries.
Production of cars at the former Volkswagen plant in Kaluga may begin before the end of the year, Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov said on the sidelines of the Army – 2023 forum. State Duma deputy Gennady Sklyar said that production at the Kaluga factories Volkswagen and Volvo will be resumed by a manufacturer from China.
One Belt, One Way
Observers note that when creating the BRIC bloc (without South Africa), it seemed that its members were too different both in history and in a geographical sense. In fact, the commonality of interests and, perhaps, diversity have allowed these countries to gain a broader global perspective than those groups of countries that are regional in nature.
The BRICS is becoming a natural pole of attraction because its main goal is to promote multilateralism and mechanisms of global governance. In particular, in the field of economics and finance. Interest in the BRICS group in the world has grown. More than 40 countries have either formally applied to join or expressed interest in developing relations with the group. Among them are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia. Although quick decisions on expansion should not be expected, – warned Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
It is said that the rivalry between China and India can prevent the further development of the Five and the rapprochement of its members. For Beijing, BRICS will help promote the Belt and Road program. India supports South-South economic and financial cooperation projects. This will give developing countries more influence in world affairs, including representation in international financial institutions.
There are no insurmountable contradictions here. The new development bank plans to provide about a third of all financing in local currencies of member countries. This is in line with the BRICS decision to reduce dependence on the dollar, which is equally shared by both China and India, writes China Daily. Participating countries are actively moving to settlements in national currencies.