What is BRICS? Part III

By | October 21, 2021

6: The BRICS countries in the geopolitical picture

According to topbbacolleges, the BRICS countries are too different to represent any collective political weight. They do not constitute an economic and political bloc. Apart from increasing contact with each other, the common denominator is solid domestic challenges .

The Chinese have minority problems, among other things. in Sinkiang and Tibet and great difficulties in dealing with the effects of globalization on the environment, the economy, redistributive politics, civil society and politics. In principle, they are willing to learn from all cultures, role.

The Indians are threatened by fragmentation and hampered by a poorly developed infrastructure. India is a relatively weak state with a diverse civil society, and with partly very different political agendas in the various states. Russia shields a wide range of “strategic sectors” from foreign engagement and uses energy revenues to strengthen and re-establish its foreign policy influence.

The colossus among them is China, and geopolitics revolves more and more around the US-China axis. For the United States, as it were for the British Empire in its day, the second country is the problem, the challenge and possibly the enemy. Country number two is the country closest to the hegemon (the leading country) in the international hierarchy of power and which may therefore be considered to undermine its leadership position. Country number two today is China.

In the United States, there are roughly two camps in the view of China . The one believes cooperation is realistic and focuses on it; the other believes that sooner or later there will be a confrontation.

The United States and China are bound by an economic marriage of convenience – a relationship of interdependence – and cannot challenge each other too strongly without both being harmed. Chinese growth is largely based on exports and China has large values ​​in the United States, while close to a little more than a quarter of US foreign debt is debt to China. (see HHD 2008−2009: 22)

Militarily , the United States and the West are superior. The United States accounts for 45 percent of the world’s military spending and NATO for almost 70 percent . When the BRIC countries increase their military spending in line with economic growth and some of them more than that, we are prone to losing sight of the proportions. The West looks down into the ranks and shouts warning when someone moves far down there.

When the Chinese start building aircraft carriers, the Americans ask what they mean by that and see a challenge, if not a provocation, in it. The Americans themselves have a number of aircraft carrier groups packed with the most advanced weapon systems. When Russia recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia and establishes bases there after the war against Georgia in 2008, we are preoccupied with Russian sphere of interest policy – and rightly so. On the move, we easily forget that the United States has over 700 military bases around the world in addition to a superior worldwide navy. The country is also regularly at war.

The smaller countries in East Asia fall largely into the same pattern as the World without the West. They are cooperating more and more with China without cutting ties with the United States. They do not fear China as many Americans do. In this perspective, the balance of power policy becomes first and foremost a European exercise and not as universal a phenomenon as we are trained to believe.

7: Consequences for Europe?

To the extent that the BRICS and the World without the West turn their backs on liberal internationalism, it is naturally a problem for Norway and other western countries. Nationalism in the east and south also presents problems, especially the Russian one. In the case of China, the common economic interests are large and the foreign policy problems are small. The EU is China’s largest market, and within a decade it could also be the other way around.

When shipping across the Arctic Ocean (Northeast Passage) begins, travel time between Shanghai and Rotterdam will be reduced by 40−60 percent part of the year. Norway is part of this picture and strategically located in relation to the route across the Arctic Ocean. All the BRIC countries adhere to international law and the Security Council’s responsibility for international peace and security, as do we. Taiwan is not a European problem, and China’s and India’s investments in seagoing navies to protect shipping lanes are “business as usual” for major powers.

Turkey is among the hottest candidates for an expanded BRICS and could become member number six. Turkey is taking advantage of the opportunities offered by a world with multiple centers of power (the multipolar world) to build connections in many directions and reduce dependence on individual powers. The country is involved in Central Asia where Turkish languages ​​are used.

In addition, Turkey has a rapidly growing trade with Iran; it has become a power factor and a role model for other countries in the Middle East. In addition, the country is taking important political initiatives with Brazil and many others, and it is still a member of NATO. Several European countries will be able to feel freer to do as Turkey as US influence diminishes.