Saturday, May 18, 2024

Welcoming The BRICS Six: Nonaligned Trade Group Adds New Members.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, attend the BRICS summit in Johannesburg on Thursday. (Marco Longari/AFP)
- Advertisement -

The BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will next year add another six nations to that number, as Beijing and Moscow push for the loose collection of emerging economies to evolve into a beefier policy and ideas alternative  to Western global hegemony led by the US.

Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will join as the new members in January, the summit host, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, said Thursday, the last day of the three-day meeting in Johannesburg.

The announcement marked the first expansion since South Africa joined in 2010 at the invitation of China.

For Beijing and Moscow, adding members is part of a long-running effort to turn a largely symbolic grouping into a vehicle for remolding international trade and finance structures to protect their interests against future sanctions from the United States and its allies.

Xi Jinping, China’s powerful leader, on Thursday hailed the “historic” expansion, which he said would be a “new starting point for BRICS cooperation.”

This year has seen “the most open and explicit push from Xi Jinping to turn the BRICS into a kind of ‘anti-hegemonic’ vehicle,” said Andrew Small, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

Xi’s speeches have been “a blow-by-blow case against the U.S. alliance system and U.S.-dominated financial systems,” as well as a pitch for building “alternative, non-Western frameworks” for developing countries to trade, Small said.

Sanctions targeting Russia over the war in Ukraine have added urgency to China’s effort to create alternative global financial structures and supply chains resilient to Western disruption.

Source: NYT, news agencies.
- Advertisement -