FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Can India and China use BRICS to build a house?
Updated:Aug 29, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
By Ravish Bhatia 
 
Fourteen thousand feet above the sea level, at the Nathu La Pass on the India-China border, morbid danger signs warn visitors of dated land mines that might have remained from the war of 1962. Reflective of artful diplomacy from both sides, India and China have managed to metaphorically avoid stepping on another such land mine in the Doklam plateau, at the trijunction of India, Bhutan and China. Come September 3, another opportunity for the two Asian giants to take a step in the right direction will come up, when prime minister Narendra Modimeets Chinese president Xi Jinping, along with other leaders from Brazil, Russia and South Africa at the 9th annual BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China.
 
 
What began as an acronym coined by investment bankers at Goldman Sachs in 2001 to symbolise the engines of economic growth in the twenty first century, BRICS has evolved into something much bigger — a representation of the changing geo-political and geo-economic world order. India and China lie at the helm of this new order and they realise the importance of it.
 
 
The fact that the two countries released statements indicating disengagement at Doklam just a few days before the summit shows a realisation on both sides that the opportunities in cooperation for a greater say on the world stage far outweigh individual territorial ambitions that either of them might have. It can be argued that in intensive political disequilibria such as this, economics tend to be a stabilising force – which is the raison d’etre for BRICS.
 
 
If world history is anything to go by, there comes a major world event every few decades that shapes the next few. The global financial crisis of 2008 was one. The informal bloc of BRIC(S) nations was established as a response to the cracks that had begun to form in the global financial system lead by the Bretton Woods institutions and dominated by the west.
 
 
Much has changed in the years since. The rise and rise of China is not only the singular biggest challenge to US supremacy as well as western financial and political hegemony since the end of the Second World War, it has paved the way for the existence of a multi-polar world order. The BRICS nations have together promoted their exports, coordinated responses in international legal disputes, successfully negotiated for an increase in voting shares at the World Bank and in an increasingly overpopulated topography of multi-lateral institutions, have consolidated their reserves to become creditors of foreign aid rather than just borrowers of the same.
 
 
As the first decade of the existence of BRICS comes to a close, the bloc has achieved much economically – of course, there is much left to be desired politically.
 
 
Today, another major world phenomenon presents itself to the bloc – the increasing inwardness of the west. As the last decade presented an opportunity to make the world institutions more equitable economically, the next decade presents the opportunity to do so politically. For the success of that, India and China need to find common ground before the economic momentum that is behind them begins to fade.
 
 
The cry about the lack of coherence among BRICS nations, especially India and China, has often been over emphasized in western media outlets. The EU and the US were themselves at odds in several political and economic transatlantic agreements during the first five years of the GATT (which then evolved into the WTO). In fact, some of the issues still remain. But that did not stop them from coming together to establish a world order as primary engines of economic growth.
 
 
Similarly it is true, for India and China, that there exist multiple points of divergence between the two countries, but that is also exactly why sitting on the same table is important.
 
 
It would be prudent for China to stop treating India as an economic laggard to itself that can be coerced into submission and realise that such actions only push India, against its will, towards the west. India on the other hand must continue to advocate for an increased joint collaboration with China in multi-lateral institutions, even if it’s voting shares in such institutions is second to China.
 
 
Russia, Brazil and South Africa will surely count on India and China to speak in one voice in the upcoming summit and showcase the points of convergences among the BRICS nations to the world. In line with the theme of the summit, which is “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”, India and China must use BRICS to build a house, not a wall.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
Senior representatives from the US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Muscat, Oman, on Monday to revive stalled peace talks with the Taliban, but the insurgent group failed to participate in the meeting being held after a year.
 
read-more
Ruskin Bond’s first novel ‘Room on the Roof’ describes in vivid detail how life in the hills around Dehradun used to be. Bond, who is based in Landour, Mussoorie, since 1963, captured the imagination of countless readers as he painted a picture of an era gone by.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
Braid-chopping incidents have added to the already piled up anxieties of Kashmiris. Once again they are out on the streets, to give vent to their anger. A few persons, believed to be braid-choppers were caught hold by irate mobs at various places. They were beaten to pulp.
 
read-more
Communist parties everywhere gather the ranks every five years to review the past, set future direction, renew political leadership and rejig organisational structure.
 
read-more
In a move lauded worldwide, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud recently issued a royal decree allowing women to obtain driving licences.
 
read-more
The death toll from Saturday’s twin truck bombs in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has crossed 300.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive