Intriguing BRICS politics

ByUmair Jalali

Teaches in The Royal Colosseum and is an avid sports fan


July 8, 2022

BRICS politics is not a new phenomenon as this group has been in news for the last more than two decades with the result that it has increased bitterness in the annals of multilateral diplomacy. The group represents the ambitions of its members that comprise of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa described to be the countries representing the emerging spirit of nations that place themselves as credible alternative to the current so-called powers dominating the United Nations. It is pointed out that BRICS group brings together five of the largest developing countries in the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade. As is the norm with groups having India as their members, they do trade barbs with Pakistan quite obviously due to the Indian obsession about Pakistan that is often reflected in Indian foreign policy orientation.

This year, China is hosting the summit in its capacity as the chair of the group hosted leaders of two dozen non-member countries of the BRICS’ “High-level Dialogue on Global Development” who attended the meeting virtually. However, Pakistan remained absent from the meeting. In response to media queries over the matter Pakistani foreign office did allude to the subject and regretted blocking Pakistan’s participation in the meeting. It is quite obvious that India was basically instrumental in keeping Pakistan out of the meeting as both do not share a pleasant relationship and are embroiled in disputes, most prominently over the territory of Kashmir, that goes back decades. The Pakistani foreign office added in this respect that Pakistan hoped that future engagement of the organisation would be based on the principles of inclusivity keeping in view the overall interests of the developing world and in a manner that is devoid of narrow geo-political considerations.

Pakistani authorities appreciated China’s role in promoting the interests of the developing countries and emphasised that together with China, Pakistan has been a strong voice for global peace, shared prosperity and inclusive development. Pakistan is the current chair of G77+China and also part of group of friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI). It was added that Pakistan and China were all-weather strategic partners and their iron brotherhood was rock solid as the two countries are fully committed to take their all-round cooperation to higher levels both bilaterally and multilaterally. They further expressed resolve that Pakistan was ready to stand with all developing countries, including the BRICS members for addressing the challenges faced by the global community.

China has said that Pakistan was an important member of the group of friends of the Global Development Initiative. Chinese authorities emphasised that China highly valued Pakistan’s important role in advancing the implementation of the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The Chinese authorities impressed that China and Pakistan maintained close communication and coordination as both countries conducted substantial cooperation in the field of development which has delivered tangible benefits to the people of both countries and the region stressing that China would continue to work with Pakistan to advance the global development agenda.

As far as the 14th BRICS Summit is concerned, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made some interesting observations about the state of global politics particularly the danger military alliances and blocs pose to world peace. In a clear swipe at the US and its allies, Xi mentioned that bloc-based confrontation would result in more turbulence and insecurity while also observing that sanctions were a double-edged sword that politicise the global economy. He urged BRICS member states to support true multilateralism. In light of the Ukraine crisis, as well as US-China tensions, specifically over the Taiwan issue, Xi’s call to reassess military alliances and bloc politics needs to be heeded seriously if any semblance of an international rules-based order is to survive.

The Ukraine crisis has shown that the hatred and mistrust that marked relations between the Eastern and Western blocs are very much alive. It is quite clear that the Western bloc has firmed up military alliances against China, such as AUKUS and the Quad. Ironically, while India sits with Russia and China in BRICS, it is also a member of the anti-China Quad. While Russia and China are hardly role models of democratic governance, their opposition to Western militarism is being justified on the grounds that the western bloc is pursuing neo-imperialism and wants to take back the days of the Cold War. In this context many observers are quite sure that the pressure exerted by the Western alliance on China and Russia may push them into a wholesome bloc that may have negative and adverse affect on not only strategic balance but also the economic situation of the world. This problematic aspect of the confrontation is required to be kept in view while devising future policies. TW


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