Attempt to sow discord between China, India won’t impact BRICS cooperation

The BRICS is attracting increasing attention worldwide, as evidenced by the growing interest of many countries wanting to join. At the same time, it’s increasingly viewed by the West as an economic and geopolitical challenge. Thus it’s no wonder that Western countries are amplifying the conflicts between the BRICS member states.

On Wednesday, an article in Bloomberg, entitled “This club isn’t big enough for both China and India,” claimed that “tensions between the Asian rivals will likely prevent the BRICS bloc from ever posing a coherent challenge to the West.”

With the imminent BRICS summit focusing on member expansion, the West, especially the US, is attempting to draw India to its side while making a fuss about China-India conflicts and downplaying the future of BRICS.

“Now the US and the West don’t want to see a more united and more powerful BRICS,” Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times. They deliberately make an issue of the current and previous contradictions between the two influential countries, China and India, to drive a wedge and undermine BRICS unity.

While it is true that there are some contradictions and difficulties in the relationship between China and India, there is still a lot of cooperation between the two countries in the global spheres. Long Xingchun, a professor of international relations at Sichuan International Studies University, said “China has always emphasized that some contradictions between China and India, such as the border issue, should not affect the relations between the two countries, let alone affecting cooperation in other areas. India may hold different views on some specific issues, but these are insignificant when it comes to BRICS cooperation.” Overall, the conflicts between China and India will not have too much impact on BRICS cooperation, Long believed.

Actually, China and India have much in common in the global arena, particularly in multilateral mechanisms where they have a wide range of common interests. Despite some differences in bilateral relations, India’s international ambition to improve its status and become a great power should not lead it to go against BRICS cooperation.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that “Brazil has resisted gathering momentum in the BRICS group of major emerging economies to add more member countries” and that “India has reservations about the expansion.” But the next day, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed support for more countries joining the BRICS group. Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also denied on Thursday reports that the country was against expanding the BRICS organization. This blatantly contradicted the Reuters report and raised doubts about the accuracy of its claim that both Brazil and India were opposed to the expansion.

The reason behind the growing momentum of the BRICS is the shared goal of establishing a more just and reasonable global economic order. Qian emphasized that unity is the key to the success of the BRICS.

Considering that China’s economy is larger than the combined economies of the other BRICS countries, India may have concerns about China dominating the group. However, the inclusion of new members will help alleviate the unwarranted worries, and it’s important to note that China itself has no intention to play a dominant role at all. On the contrary, China openly stated it supports member expansion of the BRICS, a stance that advocates for increased representation of developing countries.

The Bloomberg article also said that BRICS “is increasingly described as a counterweight to the existing Western-run multilateral institutions. In fact, it’s nothing of the sort and may never be.”

The US has always regarded any emerging country or organization consisting of emerging countries, with an economic and political system different from its model, such as BRICS, as a challenge to its hegemony. This, in fact, reveals its weakness.

The BRICS was not established to challenge the US or the West, but to offer more choices for all countries and help improve the global economic order. The US can’t suppress others in order to safeguard its economic hegemony. Its attacks on BRICS merely suggest it lacks confidence in related fields.

The BRICS group plays an essential role on the global multilateral stage. Both India and Brazil see the BRICS as a platform to enhance their international status and influence. For India in particular, the BRICS is a favorable instrumental platform that can support it in achieving greater representation on the international stage.

All the BRICS countries, especially China and India, should address differences in a pragmatic manner and avoid bringing bilateral conflicts into the multilateral mechanism, while keeping vigilance against the Western attempt to sow discord among them. Other BRICS countries should also promote BRICS cooperation and safeguard the rights and interests of developing countries.

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