: The BRICS Summit will be held in Xiamen, China on September 4 and 5. This gathering of the emerging markets’ most promising countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – showcases the desire for these nations to continue to be deemed as such: the most promising emerging markets still.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, through a statement released by the Russian embassy here in Kuala Lumpur says that he considers this summit to be an important one, and that this would allow Russia to present its approaches to cooperate within the association.
“The Group of Five has greatly strengthened its global standing. It is important that the group’s activities are based on the principles of equality, respect, and consensus,” says President Putin.
The president added “this open and trust-based atmosphere is conducive to the successful implementation of BRICS’ tasks. Russia highly values the multifaceted cooperation that has developed within BRICS.”
The tone that the Russian president carries is one of cooperation, conciliatory, and collaboration. And this could prove tactical in a time where the world really needs a counter weight to the hegemony on global policing powers that the United States had.
Russia tried to do this alone, and failed. Perhaps if Russia does this with partners in the form of the BRICS members, could prove successful in creating this counter weight.
The US is currently in a dilemma. Faced with the growing resistance of governance that stems from inside the Oval Office itself, is currently dogged by a stalemate with their own institutions of power. The Congress can’t seem to pass a bill to save its own existence. Their Judiciary branch is constantly locked in what seems to be a never ending legislative skirmish with the Executive branch. And even their foreign service – the State Department – is having a tough time building relationships with key nations globally because of weakened rapport the country has, courtesy of the White House occupant.
The domestic political outlook for the US also looks dim. Currently at least, even the Democrats doesn’t look interested to put up a fight with their Republican colleagues, and instead is looking to build a strong 2018 re-election campaign, and an even stronger 2020 presidential bid. The New York Times today ran a story of how dozens of Democrats are already meeting their donors for their prospective and respective presidential run in 2020.
Because of the US needing to sort their own issues internally, the role to fill the global powerhouse is now left vacant. And BRICS could be the wise grouping of nations to fill this void. Each of the BRICS nation has considerable influence in the region that they belong.
China is the ‘big brother’ of many Southeast Asian nations. Much can also be said about Russia with their influence in the middle east and the Balkan states. South Africa has considerable economic influence on the African continent, just like Brazil with Latin America. India alone does not have this unique ‘regional influence’ like its BRICS partners. But what India lacks in regional influence, they make up with a stable and strong domestic control politically and economically, all the while embracing pure democracy that is the envy of many nations.
The BRICS is starting to look like the Marvel’s Avengers team. A hodgepodge of loosely collectively nations with respective superpowers that would wield interesting global powers should they work in unison.
Realistically speaking, BRICS is looking like a mini UN of sorts if you will.
But not all is rosy with the BRICS coalition. Just like the Avengers analogy, there seems to be two prospective captains on top. Both China and Russia would like to ‘captain’ the team. And both have vastly different economic and political mantra that governs their worldview.
Perhaps that is why Putin is consistently trying to charm the global media by creating a scenario where Russia, with Putin at the helm, is charting the course of the ship. Putin reminds the BRICS community that Russia is very much active in policing the middle east. “I would like to say that it was largely thanks to the efforts of Russia and other concerned countries that conditions have been created to improve the situation in Syria. We have delivered a powerful blow to the terrorists and laid the groundwork for launching the movement towards a political settlement and the return of the Syrian people to peace”.
Having include Syria in his pre-BRICS summit signals that BRICS is more than just an economic grouping, but very much a political one too. If Russia is happy to remind their BRICS partners of Syria, one can safely assume that other BRICS members would only be too happy to remind each other of their respective political ‘assistance’ to their respective neighbouring countries as well.
All this while the US is still locked in their own domestic turmoil. It is clear and has been so for a few months now that the US’ dominance on the global stage is waning. Perhaps BRICS is deciding amongst themselves that the time for them is now.