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China's Perspective and Expectations: BRICS in the new world order.

Byline: Wang Li and Nodir Boboev

Since the concept of the "BRIC" was coined in 2001, a series of comments, both positive and negative, have affected the audiences around the world. It was argued that the emerging countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa combined would rise exponentially to reset the world order. According to scholars like Dominic Wilson, by 2025 the BRICs could account for over half of the size of the G-7 in terms of GDP; and within less than 40 years, the BRICS economies together would be larger than the G-7. It implies that China and India will rise as the world's principal suppliers of manufactured goods and services, while Brazil, Russia and South Africa will become similarly dominant suppliers of raw materials. Yet, they have evidently ignored the fact that the BRICS have invested huge resources at their control into the technological innovation, productivity and cultural creativity in the next decades.

Considering all these prospects, this article argues with an analysis of what role of the BRICS being played in the world affairs from Chinese perspective?

According to Constructivism, international conflicts and their prevention are determined not only by the balance of power, but also by the domestic structures of states, their values and identities, in particular by international institutions for conflict resolutions. Compared to the G-7, which is regarded as the elite hegemony of the West, the BRICS have insisted on three key elements i.e. inclusiveness, openness and cooperativeness for their partnership in development.

As a rising power and the second largest economy in the world, China has more expectation from the BRICS. During the 12th G-20 Summit in Germany, the leaders of the BRICS held informal talks reaching consensus on building an open world economy and improving global economic governance. President Xi Jin-ping took the occasion to express that the BRICS members would establish an open and multilateral trade system and advance inclusive, balanced and win-win economic globalization. True, the BRICS en bloc is important not just because of their huge potentials and current rapid development rate, but because of the predicated changes that are going to transform the global economy and even change the balance of global economic power.

On 19 June, 2017, President Xi Jin-ping held a meeting with Foreign Ministers from Russia, S. Africa, Brazil and India in Beijing during BRICS Foreign Minister's meeting. While extending his sincere thanks for their support to China in holding the BRICS rotating in the upcoming September, Xi Jin-ping reiterated that given the current world filled with entangled turmoil, BRICS cooperation as an innovation have aimed to transcend the old pattern of political and military alliance and establish new relations of partnership instead of conventional alliances; surpass the old notion of drawing lines according to ideology and take a new path of mutual respect and common progress. This sort of cooperation mechanism fits the needs of the five nations as well as the historical trend. Chinese FM Wang Li then informed at the press conference in the wake of the meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs that the BRICS countries in the next decade or longer should act as a booster, stabilizer and accelerator.

First, China, though as the second largest economy of the world, is still a developing country. That means China is having a long way to go to realize its "century-long dream" of a global power. Since China's sustainable growth depends on the developing countries including emerging market states as they have huge resources and potential markets for Chinese-made goods, the BRICS would act as the "booster" in view of the unity and cooperation between the emerging markets and developing countries. The BRICS countries not only pertain to five member states, but also to all countries with emerging market and developing economies. Chinese media and official lines appeal to upholding the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and cooperation, particularly advocating the mutual inclusiveness among diverse cultures and social systems.

In the long-run, Chinese experts are of the view that it is necessary for the BRICS to continue to develop a cooperative model featuring mutual benefits and win-win outcomes, and furthermore to expand increase the number of beneficiaries of BRICS cooperation for the purpose of maintaining and enhancing the overall interests and wellbeing of developing countries.

Second, China affirms that BRICS cooperation should act as a "stabilizer" for regional and international situation. This concern comes from the fact that the United States and its key allies of the West have had unchallenged sway over the decision-making institutions of global financial governance for 70 years, and the last thing they want to see is equal inclusiveness. But that is exactly what the world trend moves towards. The IMF and the World Bank were created in 1944, when the United States was the only standing industrial power in the world. Today Washington still controls both institutions, with the subordinate partnership of a handful of rich allies and the same is true for the G-7. And even in the World Trade Organization, which was formed in 1995 and has a different consensual process, the founding rules were written by the same elites of the West - and in this case, especially their corporations.

The BRICS members have more than 40 percent of the world's population, and China is now the second largest economy, but they have almost no say at either of these institutions. To say that an alternative has been long overdue is an understatement. The BRICS hold the same or similar views on many international and regional affairs and have gradually been an important force for upholding international equity and justice as well as promoting world peace and stability. As a key rising power, China has entertained no intention to challenge the status quo holding by the United States. But China along with other members of the BRICS has appealed to the core status of the United Nations and equally the authority of international law in world affairs in order to cooperatively cope with terrorism, climate change and other global challenges.

Third, China expects BRICS acting as an "accelerator" in the reformation of international order. That means that BRICS countries will collaborate with each other in joint efforts to commit to promoting world multi-polarization and democratization of international relationship. As scholars have highlighted that ten years ago, the BRICS emerged in the trend of world multi-polarization and economic globalization. Since then, their efforts have opened up a new era with solidarity and mutual benefits among emerging markets. Over the past ten years, BRICS cooperation, endorsed by the consensus of the heads of the BRICS members, has formed three cooperation pillars such as political security, economy and finance and public and cultural ties, followed by tangible progress in all the fields. As the BRICS presidency rotating in September 2017, China is willing to continue the mission of opening the second decade for cooperation among the BRICS.

Together with other four countries, China will exercise all its efforts to strengthen and enrich the three cooperation pillars in light of consensus through consultation and gradually expand the "BRICS+" model of dialogue and cooperation.

In conclusion, on a wide range of global political, security, economic and financial issues involved, the BRICS have expressly reaffirmed their commitment to safeguard the principles of the United Nations Charter as well as a fair and just international order, which is constructed on the basic norms of international law: equal sovereignty and non-interference in others' internal affairs, promoting greater democracy and rule of law in international relations, constructing a brighter shared future for the global community through mutually beneficial international cooperation. China and Russia also reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN. In return, all five powers unanimously support political and diplomatic solution to conflicts in the areas such as the Korean Peninsula, Syria and Libya.

Equally, they condemn unilateral military intervention or economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognized norms of international relations.

Undoubtedly, the BRICS member-states have their own internal challenges and external disagreements on many issues. Yet, the central point of the role of the BRICS in the world affairs is not where world order is now, but where it will be going to in the next decades, to say by 2050. Chinese leaders admitted frankly that these questions are not persuasive, since the BRICS has greater importance and become more mature. Globally, the G-20 is a major symbolic of how the structure of global governance is shifting in response to the new geometry of power, what the future would bring about is that as the BRICS members are among the members of the G-20 now, the bargaining power of the BRICS vis--vis U.S.-dominated global institutions is evidently growing.

For sure, China welcomes this trend wisely and happily.
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Publication:The Diplomatic Insight
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Aug 31, 2017
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