Georgy Toloraya, Executive Director of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research
The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China is not a routine meeting because it comes at a time when the bloc is entering a new stage of intensive development.
Moreover, it is the place for China to demonstrate its new role in international relations and the global economy.
The summit also comes at a time of increased political tensions in different areas, both close to the venue itself – that is, the Korean peninsula – and faraway Syria and the Middle East.
At the same time, US policy seems to be in disarray and there is no clear understanding of how US President Donald Trump’s inward looking economic policy would be coordinated with the aggressive interference in other countries, which still remains the trademark of his administration’s activities despite his intention to withdraw from many regions.
BRICS, therefore, should demonstrate its role as an alternative source of power, derived from the combination of global rising powers that can contribute to the stability of the world order and introduce new rules of behavior, and new rules of cooperation on an international scale.
Regional security issues are acute. The BRICS mechanism has already proved its efficiency in becoming a channel for finding solutions in the bilateral and intra-BRICS political arena.
It was during a BRICS High Representatives meeting in China when Chinese and Indian officials found compromise to the Doklam territorial issue.
For most of this summer, Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a tense military standoff in the Doklam area on the Sikkim sector of the India-China border.
Their compromise to disengage on August 28 was implemented just in time so as to not aggravate the BRICS summit.
BRICS will also be united on issues like the Korean peninsula and the need for a diplomatic solution to this problem, and on the fight against terrorism as well as other hot issues of today’s world.
BRICS is in fact presenting a clear-cut strategy of creating a just world order which facilitates an increasing role for developing nations, including the bloc.
In fact, BRICS is becoming the meeting place for developing countries and the platform for South-South cooperation.
The “BRICS-plus” concept introduced by China (to invite five other nations to attend the Summit) is the innovation that brings to the BRICS process other regional powers on a permanent basis, and not on a case-by-case basis which it was before.
We hope that it is not a one time event and in the future a sort of “BRICS friends club” will emerge that will help these countries to cooperate with BRICS on various economic and political bases.
BRICS is particularly interested in the financial architecture of the world, and the Xiamen Summit will help develop the new approaches to increasing the influential role of BRICS and other developing countries in structures like the IMF and World Bank.
A demonstration of this financial vigor is nowhere more evident than in the increasing activity of the New Development Bank.
It has adopted its long-term strategy; it just opened its branch office in Johannesburg (South Africa) and is scheduled to open such branch offices in other BRICS countries.
The Bank has already disbursed $1.5 billion in the first seven credit lines for all BRICS countries and now is planning to disburse another $2.5 to 3 billion this year for projects as different as Russian judicial system informatisation and Chinese ecological projects.
The BRICS summit will surely defend the bloc’s position on the observation of WTO rules, will strongly stand against protectionism and economic discrimination, sanctions and attempts to downgrade the ratings of BRICS countries.
It is also vital that BRICS brings new ideas into the information security sphere, suggesting to sign a new intra-BRICS agreement on international information security.
This is a very logical sphere of BRICS’s interest because the five nations comprise the greatest number of internet users in the world and access should not be a national regulated enterprise but the sphere of necessity for all mankind.
This is part of where BRICS can demonstrate a new level of cooperation in humanitarian and people exchange in the science and technology, civil sector, youth, women etc.
China’s hosting of the summit, in line with the Beijing leadership’s commitment to increase multilateralism and globalization, will help BRICS move further intensively and extensively by pushing from the project inception stage to discussions, from discussions to signing the agreements and the real “on the ground” implementation.
That will help consolidate BRICS’s role as a vital player in global governance.
Source: The BRICS Post