BRICS Expansion Comes With a Risk: Here’s How

Lavina Daryanani
Source: China Daily – Global Edition

Until now, the West had been single-handedly dominating the global economy. However, other nations seem to be done with their superiority now. Over the past few weeks, they have been collectively taking measures, like ditching the U.S. dollar, to change that narrative.

BRICS nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are one such group that’s at the forefront at the moment. Right from working to creating its own currency, to depending on their bloc’s native bank, BRICS countries have been taking back-to-back initiatives from their end. On the other side of the equation, several other countries want to join BRICS.

As reported recently, around 19 nations have submitted membership requests ahead of the bloc’s annual summit. Several experts, however, perceive that BRICS’ expansion comes with a risk.

Also Read: BRICS: Brazil’s Lula in Talks With NDB to Help Argentina

The China factor

Last year, when China hosted the BRICS Summit, it put forth the idea of expansion on the table. South Africa’s ambassador to the group, recently asserted in an interview that the expansion of BRICS and the mode via this could happen will be discussed when the nation representatives meet.

Now, it is worth noting that countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia have fairly close ties with China. This is because the latter assisted the former nations reach a peace deal between them. Now, the aforementioned countries are actively looking to join the group.

China intends to enhance economic and trade cooperation via the BRICS expansion. Now even though this is the foremost objective of BRICS, several feel that China could end up reaping benefits from the same. For instance, Jaikhlong Basumatary, an Assistant Professor at the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, stressed that the expansion of BRICS could help China in building its diplomatic clout.

That being said, former Indian Ambassador and High Commissioner, Soumen Ray noted that the addition of more countries to the bloc will be done only by consensus. Nevertheless, he cautioned,

“China will undoubtedly manage to cobble up that consensus. It could easily be surmised that the campaign to include more members into BRICS is China’s effective way to assert its power on the global stage vis-a-vis the US.”

In fact, several others are in the same boat and believe that China could end up hijacking. Seshadri Chari, Foreign Policy Expert warned in one of his columns,

“The idea of converting BRICS into an anti-West forum could have its origins in Beijing’s strategy to challenge the trade potential of the US. BRICS has no place for the anti-west agenda. India must not let China hijack it”

Also Read – BRICS Are Developing a New Currency: State Duma Deputy Chair