The state-run Chinese media has prophesied that differences between India and China including the discord over Pakistan could “capsize” the BRICS grouping.
Underlining the need on part of the member nations to address competition and disagreements among them, an article in the “Global Times” said that while achieving substantial benefits through their joint efforts, the BRICS nations must also face up to the divergence in their interests, which has given rise to concerns that the group is losing its shine.
“Territorial disputes between China and India have been an obstinate disease between the two sides. Additionally, some Indians believe that China supports Pakistan, which is viewed as tantamount to supporting terrorism,” the article said.
The article further counted three main challenges for the BRICS member nations.
“It has been argued that the BRICS members face three key issues: the lack of a solid foundation for shared interests, a weak cooperation mechanism and external pressures. If the member countries aren’t careful enough, they might capsize while sailing around the world,” the article said.
In regards to shared interests, “competition and disagreement between the BRICS nations have been an impediment”, said the article titled ‘BRICS need to address challenges to strengthen ties’ written by a think-tank from Renmin University.
“The five emerging countries all value exports and foreign investment, resulting in inevitable collisions and friction as they compete for resources, market footholds and foreign investment inflows,” it said. Accusing India, Brazil and South of Africa “sending signals of trade protectionism”, it said the three “often seek to launch anti-dumping probes against China”.
“India and Brazil have been among the countries that have implemented the biggest number of protectionist measures against China,” it said. Yet another impeding factor is the divergent political and economic pursuits among BRICS states, it said.
Brazil and South Africa hope that cooperation within BRICS will boost their regional influence both politically and economically, while Russia cares more about the BRICS’ political and strategic importance, it said. “The second risk that BRICS faces is an insufficient cooperation mechanism. In addition to the recently concluded eighth annual BRICS summit in Goa, many ministerial meetings are held annually.
“However, the grouping of BRICS remains a loose union lacking stability. There is yet to be any institutions such as a secretariat or any guidelines and procedures designed for BRICS cooperation,” it said. “Ever since the launch of BRICS, Western countries have never ceased courting or alienating individual BRICS countries or elbowing them out from participating in the global governance.
“India has always been a target for the US to contain BRICS members within the club of emerging powers. By launching the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and Trade in Services Agreement, the US aims to isolate BRICS countries, putting more pressure on developing countries,” it said.
(With PTI inputs)