Monday, May 23, 2022

Expanding BRICS?

 Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping has called for the BRICS group to expand to include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Argentina, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The original group, suggested by the research department at Goldman Sachs in 2001 as a group to leading future world economic growth was Brazil, Russia, India, and China, who then decided to officially form a group, which then added South Africa in 2010. At about that time, this group that included the world's two largest nations in population and the world's largest in land area, were arguably leading the world in growth as it came out of the Great Recession.  

Their collective relatively good performance at that time reflected high commodity prices, which several of them exported substantially. As those prices fell later in the subsequent decade, several of them also saw their growth rates noticeably decline, notably Brazil, Russia, and South Africa.  But commodity prices are back up again, so this has been making them more important in the world again.

I must confess that I am unclear what criteria Xi Jinping is applying to determine this particular set of nations.  Some of them are major commodity exporters, notably Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Kazakhstan for oil, with Senegal a source of rare earths, a matter of particular interest to China. But this is less obvious for the others, although Indonesia certainly fits being one of the world's largest in population. Some of these, especially Kazakhstan, are involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative, but several are not particularly, and there are some large nations that are involved in the BRI that are not on this list, such as Pakistan. For that matter some people at Goldman Sachs have said Turkey should be part of the group, but it is also not on the list. It is not all that obvious what this group has in common.

Some of this may be political.  Most of these are not closely allied with the US, although several of them have condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Curiously none of them are nations ruled by a Communist party, so no Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, much less not fully communist but strongly socialist and anti-US Venezuela, which also happens to be an oil exporter. Again, there seems to be a certain degree of arbitrariness to who is in and who is not in this group.

It may be that this is not going to go anywhere. Do these nations even want to join the BRICS group? Will it still be able to be called by that acronymic name if they do?  I guess it does not cost any money or require then ro provide troops or something to do so. The group does have annual conferences, so I guess they would get to attend those. But would they want to?  I do not know. We shall see.

Barkley Rosser

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

...paramount leader...

[ These are words of prejudice and false, and tell me there is no reason to read on. ]

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Anonymous,

You are definitely being overly sensitive on this one. "Paramount Leader" was the title applied to Deng Xiaoping all the time. It indicated that he was the top leader, although he did not possess all the top positions, such as President or General Secretary of the Party, although he was Chair of the Military Commission.

As it is, Xi does hold all those positions, so he is even more clearly "Paramount Leader" than Deng was. Do you think it was "prejudiced and fals" to call Deng "Paramount Leader"? Were you not around then? Do you deny he was called that?

Hey, I think the term you really do not like is "Dictator." Note that I did not call Xi that here, although he seems to be achieving that. You are simply totally wrong and insulting and downright idiotic to claim what you claim about the term "Paramount Leader." You are in danger of seriously losing my respect for you, which remains considerable. But, you are beginning to go way off the deep end.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

I knew I was right, as I usually am, but I have double checked.

DENG XIAOPING WAS CALLED "PARAMOUNT LEADER"!

You owe me a serious apology, Anonymous, you really do. If I do not see one forthcoming here, I shall stop being witty on another venue and become very unpleasant. This scheiss from you is totally unacceptavble.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

So, I shall dispense with calling Xi Jinping a Paramount Leader. Rather I shall be more accurate and call him an EVIOL DICTATOR, which he is, unfortunately.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Actually, Anonymous, what would have been more useful from you would have been an explanation for this set of nations that Xi has called to join the BRICS. You are someone who I think might have some knowledge or insight as to why this particular set was picked.

Instead, you decided to destroy your credibility with a completely false and prejudiced accusation that makes you look like an ignorant raving moron.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Anonymous,

You may think this is outrageous from me, but I am going to forgive you for messing up here, which you did. I happen to continue to think you are smart and knowledgeable and so will get it that indeed Deng was called with much less reason what I called Xi, so you were completely out of line with this.

However, I understand that there are several things that have happened and have been said, including a couple that have not been mentioned on other blogs, that I think have you rattled and upset, as well as one that has been mentioned. So, I understand that you jumped the gun here and made a false accusation when you should have known better. You are forgiven.

Anonymous said...

Rather I shall be more accurate and call him an EVIL DICTATOR, which he is, unfortunately.

[ These are words of prejudice and falseness, and tell me there was and is no reason to read on. How sad such prejudice is. ]

Anonymous said...

Correcting the initial comment:

...paramount leader...

[ These are words of prejudice and falseness, and tell me there is no reason to read on.

I was of course correct, though this is saddening. ]

Anonymous said...

I am only saddening at your remarks. I wish I knew how to dispel such prejudice, as opposed to just pointing to it, but though I too a class on the matter with a much respected psychologist no formula was offered. So, I point to the prejudice in sadness and possibly in some way this might help you at some time.

Anonymous said...

Correcting:

I am only saddening at your remarks. I wish I knew how to dispel such prejudice, as opposed to just pointing to it, but though I took a class on the matter with a much respected psychologist no formula was offered. So, I point to the prejudice in sadness and possibly in some way this might help you at some time.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Anonymous,

I am not going to call Xi Jinping an "evil dictator," although the case most definitely can be made that he is, a case you obviously disagree with. I grant it is debatable and certainly is insulting.

I am not going to use "Paramount Leader" again either, but not because I remotely agree with your bizarre fantasy that it is either "false" or "prejudiced." You somehow think it is is insulting, but I in fact did not use it to be so. It was basically a one time description simply recognizing the reality of his position. Again, he is more that than was Deng Xiaoping was, who was called that, and I do not remember anybody considering it to be insulting or whatever.

I suppose you can argue that it is not an official position and so should not be used. OK, maybe that is correct. I am not sure if it was somehow officially applied to Deng or not. I think it might have been actually. But I do not see anything insulting about it. "Evil dictator" is insulting.

Anyway, you may not believe me, but I used it here simply as a descriptor, not as any sort of intended insult. Really.

Hey, I am one of the few around who accepts many of your posts about good things that happen in China. I have even pointed out that you accurately comment on many things, something many will not do, with many of those making accusations about you I have cast doubt on. Really, I am probably among your main defenders, which may be why you get so upset when I give you a hard time. As it is, I do think you need to be a bit more selective about making some of the accusations you make, and you did go overboard on this matter here about "paramount leader," which simply is not at all insulting.

As it is, I remain somewhat curious what anybody thinks were the criteria for picking the nations in this group. On Angry Bear somebody said China wants to increase its "soft power." Yes, I agree with that, but that does not answer the question as to how it was decided to push for this particular set of nations that do not seem to share any obvious set of criteria.

Anonymous said...

It is another coalition of the willing - others may be on the fence, but these are the ones they were able to get onboard - I am sure they wanted more and will press on. This is another attempt to counter TPP, the Quad, etc.

Anonymous said...

Barkley Rosser,

Thank you for the response, which I should have looked for but foolishly and ungraciously did not. I will in turn and in pieces respond. As Secretary Blinken made completely clear today, America is determined to contain or isolate China. That policy has been developing since 2011. The Chinese leadership of course understood from 2011, and began preparing, though always hoping America would relent. Chinese policy is designed to make sure containment and isolation are impossible.

I will go on.

Anonymous said...

https://english.news.cn/20220520/51fad92bb0614165b42013734da8cd1d/c.html

May 20, 2022

China highlights multilateralism, win-win in "BRICS Plus" cooperation

BEIJING -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday chaired via video link a foreign ministers dialogue between BRICS and emerging markets and developing countries.

Noting that it is the first "BRICS Plus" dialogue at the foreign minister level, Wang said the dialogue is of significant importance in further expanding cooperation between BRICS countries and other emerging markets and developing countries.

Wang stressed upholding true multilateralism, the key of which is to adhere to extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, to advocate openness and inclusiveness, and to oppose closure and exclusion....

Anonymous said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/26/us/politics/china-policy-biden.html

May 26, 2022

U.S. Aims to Constrain China by Shaping Environment Around It, Blinken Says
The U.S. secretary of state gave a glimpse of President Biden’s classified strategy on China, in which officials have concluded they cannot change Beijing’s aggressive behavior.
By Edward Wong and Ana Swanson

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said Thursday that despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China remains the greatest challenger to the United States and its allies, and that the Biden administration aims to “shape the strategic environment” around the Asian superpower to limit its increasingly aggressive actions.

“China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do it,” Mr. Blinken said in a speech laying out the administration’s strategy on China. “Beijing’s vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years.” ...

Anonymous said...

What China has been about since 2011, when prevented by American law from working on space exploration with NASA, when Secretary Clinton developed the "pivot to the Pacific" for President Obama, when President Trump began a technology onslaught against Chinese enterprises... China has been about globalizing in ways that could not be limited by America. BRICS plus is in a small way about China forming partnership after partnership in globalizing. BRICS plus is now to be considered a development alliance.

BRICS plus is meant to be another Chinese partnership such as the Belt and Road or Shanghai Cooperation Organization or RECP or ASEAN or CPEC or a trade and infrastructure development partnership with Israel that is beyond limiting by America.

Anonymous said...

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-05-26/China-builds-largest-pumped-storage-power-plant-in-Israel-1alRBy5ybte/index.html

May 26, 2022

Chinese-built lowest-altitude power plant in Israel enters final construction stage

A large-scale pumped storage power plant in northeastern Israel reached the final stage of construction on Wednesday, as a 200-ton rotor, crucial to turning water into electricity, was smoothly installed on a generating unit....

[ I can do Ethiopia and Egypt and Greece and on, but America will not be containing and constraining the well-being of 1.4 billion Chinese. ]

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

A.,

I understand all of above. I am still not sure what determined this particular set of nations to add to the BRICS. Have they all already agreed to join? Have the other members of the BRICS agreed to this? Or is this something Xi is proposing as something he wants, but the others are not yet on board, or maybe not all of them. There are some loose ends on all this.

Anonymous said...

There are some loose ends on all this....

[ All of the "plus" countries attending the BRICS foreign ministers conference want to be BRICS partners and the BRICS countries have all agreed to the expanded partnership. Wang Yi explained that BRICS will look to developing or emerging countries for partnership from here.

China is globalizing and countries all about the world want to join and are joining partnerships with China. This means the Chinese are becoming partners with peoples through much of the world. American "containment" policy towards China will be of little significant account or self-defeating.

China now has an international space station and advanced global positioning system and a comprehensive and steadily expanding satellite system with "no" participation by NASA. China is even now exploring the Moon and Mars, with no assist from NASA.

"Containing" China is absurd. ]

Anonymous said...

Inviting the set of countries in question to become BRICS partners was a splendid diplomatic move. For instance, each of the countries in question can expressly join in programs of space exploration with China. China is building an entire capital city for Egypt. Belt and Road connections with China for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are steadily expanding. China is building a 5G system for Saudi Arabia...

The point is China is globalizing...

Anonymous said...

America's China-containment policy is sadly against the spirit of the United Nations:

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-05-27/China-vows-to-defend-legitimate-rights-interests-of-small-countries-1ansjiYGqru/index.html

May 27, 2022

China vows to defend legitimate rights, interests of small countries

China is not only a friend of Kiribati, but also the most reliable friend of all developing countries, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday during a meeting with Taneti Maamau, president and foreign minister of Kiribati.

"We will continue to speak up for developing countries in the international and multilateral arena, and continue to firmly defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, particularly small- and medium-sized countries," Wang said.

Kiribati is the second stop of Wang's 10-day tour, following the Solomon Islands....

Anonymous said...

Here is a little of what BRICS is offering:

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-05-25/Space-agencies-from-BRICS-countries-begin-satellite-and-data-sharing-1akvZCk5evK/index.html

May 25, 2022

Space agencies from BRICS countries begin satellite and data sharing
By Gong Zhe and Sun Ye

The BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, launched a new cooperation committee on Wednesday to share remote sensing satellites and data.

The new committee, composed of space agencies from the five countries, held its first meeting by video on the same day.

The shared data will help the countries to better protect the environment, reduce disaster risks and deal with climate change, according to Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Zhang said the committee involves higher-level cooperation among BRICS countries.

The meeting also passed technical standards of data sharing and the procedures for observation cooperation....

Anonymous said...

China now has the most complete and advanced system of weather satellites of any country, and China will share weather satellite data. What is such sharing "worth" to a Senegal or an Egypt or an Argentina...?

American China-containment policy is needless and tragic.

Anonymous said...

The BRICS development bank is important and will be more so:

https://english.news.cn/20220527/63d82ef79abd4b15b361c688eeb6b3f3/c.html

May 27, 2022

Brazilian state's "strategic partnership" with BRICS bank "essential" for sustainable urban development
By Luo Jingjing

BELEM, Brazil -- Thanks to the "strategic partnership" with the New Development Bank (NDB), which formally opened in 2015 as a fruit of the BRICS mechanism, the northern Brazilian state of Para has been carrying out an infrastructure construction project that is expected to benefit over 340,000 residents and "improve their quality of life," the state officials have said....

Anonymous said...

And here come the trolls and the bots...

Anonymous said...

What BRICS is about for China, is the forming of economic relations that preclude American containment efforts and strategy. So too, ASEAN, RCEP, CPEC, SCO, * Belt and Road especially, and country by country social-economic partnerships.

America is trying to contain China and stop Chinese development. China is countering the American led effort.

* Sorry about the initials