IN THE JOURNAL | GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES
The united [`non-Western`] states of the world
January-March 2018
By: Yury Sigov

In addition, Chinese diplomats used unclear phrases, such as "South-South"cooperation, which have nothing to do with any intelligible expansion of Brics – the same as Brazil or South Africa have nothing to do with strengthening cooperation with Malaysia or Myanmar, for example. In principle, there is nothing surprising in such Chinese behavior because Beijing always prefers to guarantee some concrete support from "potential new friends," as was the case with the Silk Road project and the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

For instance, China wants to invite countries ranging from Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Meanwhile, the views of the other four current Brics members are unclear because nobody has asked them. And China, as far as the official position of the government in Beijing is concerned, will notify them when it finds time.

And one more very significant observation: various Russian experts are coming out with an obviously mythical (to put it mildly) idea to bring the Brics cooperation pattern to all post-Soviet (primarily economic) structures that supposedly will be able to successfully promote more complete integration with the five Brics members. However, it is absolutely unclear if Brazil or India, to say nothing of South Africa, would be much interested in expanding their cooperation with organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States or the Eurasian Union. The latter gives the impression that the Eurasian Union does not have any other headaches and has resolved all its internal problems and is now thinking about how to join the Brics "friends" list.

The most important issue is not who will be included on any "friends of China" list or who will make friends with someone else. The main thing is that until now, there has been almost no discussion about the pointlessness of Brics as a structure. Maybe the initial idea was really attractive and purposeful, but the practical implementation of the process was flawed in all aspects. Maybe the five Brics leaders really wanted to start building a new world without a Western presence (at least a political one). However, the international theater today is completely different from the one when Brics was created.

This raises a serious question: Will Brics countries be able to create a pragmatic, functional association of states that could resist the political and economic dictates of one country and its closest allies? Or will they present their unofficial submission to the so-called global world order, where a strict and relentless driver will sit in Washington while all other states will be begging for a ride, keeping their security and future development in American hands. Just look at the latest figures. China`s share of the Brics economy is 67 percent and India`s is 13 percent; Brazil, Russia and South Africa together account for a mere 20 percent. More than 70 percent of inter-Brics trade is bound for China. Internal Brics investment was $197 billion in 2016 – and $170 billion of that was from China.

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