India, China, and Russia joined Brazil and South Africa at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China, on September 3 -5 under the theme “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future.” Formal goals for the Summit included securing peace, common development, diversity, and improved global economic governance. Read more here.Continue Reading →
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) held its sixth summit on July 15-16 in the Brazilian cities of Fortaleza and Brasilia, where agreements were signed for creating a Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) worth $100 billion and establishing a $50-billion New Development Bank (NBD), to be headquartered in Shanghai. In this Policy Alert, we examine reactions to the outcomes of the BRICS summit from China, Russia, India, Brazil, and Japan. The RPI’s coverage of previous BRICS summits can be found here and here.
Numerous commentators and media outlets in China hailed the BRICS summit as a milestone, praising the BRICS for positioning the group for a bigger role in both the political and economic spheres. (more…)Continue Reading →
Amitav Acharya, Professor of International Relations, American University, wrote an op-ed for The Hindu where he discussed the BRICS countries’ decision to create the New Development Bank and a contingency fund to deal with financial crises. While he admits that it is “too early to say whether these mechanisms will challenge…the Bretton Woods system under U.S. hegemony,” Acharya concludes that these new mechanisms “at least serve as a reminder that the era of Western and American dominance of the world is ending, giving way to a more complex and diversified world order: the multiplex world”:
The western media has been dismissive of the BRICS move to set up a bank, but such cynicism misses the larger picture — the end of western hegemony and the rise of the multiplex world.
For the first time since its creation in the aftermath of World War II, the structure of global economic governance established and dominated by the United States has some serious competition. At their summit in Brazil on July 15, 2014, the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) agreed to set up the New Development Bank (with a capitalisation of U.S. $100 billion) and a contingency fund to deal with financial crises.
It is too early to say whether these mechanisms will challenge the role of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which have been the bedrock of the Bretton Woods system under U.S. hegemony. But they at least serve as a reminder that the era of Western and American dominance of the world is ending, giving way to a more complex and diversified world order: the multiplex world. The move by BRICS, though outwardly economic in nature, has serious geopolitical undertones.
It comes after a speech last May to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point by U.S. President Barack Obama in which he declared: “America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.” Such remarks would seem arrogant and dismissive of the ambitions of the emerging powers. The BRICS nations do not accept the view that the world is for America’s alone to lead or manage. The BRICS summit in Brazil also showed that the emerging powers do not buy the Obama administration’s move to punish Russia for its actions in Ukraine by isolating it internationally. (more…)Continue Reading →
The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gathered in New Delhi last month for the 4th BRICS Summit, where they agreed to work toward creating a BRICS development bank, proposed trading with each other in their own currencies, criticized the slow pace of reforms in IMF governance, and expressed support for a UN rather than US or EU role in resolving crises in Iran and Syria.
Today’s post examines the views of Russia, India and China on the growing importance of the BRICS.
Commentary in Russia praised the deepening of coordination amongst BRICS countries and supported plans for a BRICS development bank while also emphasizing the need for further development of the bloc.
- Russian president Dmitry Medvedev expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of reform of “the world’s financial-economic architecture which fails to take sufficient account of [the BRICS’] role in the global economy,” and called for a key role for the BRICS in world affairs. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin added that Russia will continue to prioritize its relations with the bloc, which he called “the most telling symbol of transferring from a uni-polar to a more just world order.”
- Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, asserts that the BRICS value “national sovereignty as a fundamental structural element of the world system. This concept is an alternative to the Western approach that is based on the premise that today sovereignty is no longer as sacred and immutable as it was in the past.” In the state-run RIA Novosti, Lukyanov added, “the recipes for resolving international issues offered by the usual leaders (the West) either don’t work or produce the opposite effect. “
Hosted in Delhi, the BRICS Summit drew extensive and diverse commentary in the vibrant Indian press, reflecting the contesting schools of thought on India’s foreign policy.
On economic matters, the proposal to set up a BRICS development bank drew much attention and generated heated debate:
- Samir Saran and Vivan Sharan of the Observer Researcher Foundation outlined a series ofconcrete proposals for how such a bank could be designed, calling the bank “an idea whose time has come.” The ORF is an Indian think tank that hosted the BRICS Academic Forum, which produced policy recommendations for the summit. (more…)