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The BRICS nations will meet in South Africa in an effort to curb Western domination

The BRICS nations will meet in South Africa in an effort to curb Western domination

An attendee stands next to the flags of South Africa, India, Russia, Brazil and China during the BRICS summit plenary session, in Xiamen, China September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu Acquisition of licensing rights

  • China, India, Brazil and Africa are heading to meet while Putin is absent
  • Expansion into the Global South is high on the agenda
  • About 40 countries are interested in joining
  • The BRICS countries seek to woo African countries with aid and trade

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – BRICS leaders will meet in South Africa next week to discuss how to turn a loose group of countries representing a quarter of the global economy into a geopolitical force that can challenge the West’s dominance in world affairs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who faces an international arrest warrant over alleged war crimes in Ukraine, will not join leaders from Brazil, India, China and South Africa amid disagreements over whether to expand the bloc to include dozens of prospective “Global South” countries. to join.

South Africa will host Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS summit from August 22-24.

Scattered across the world and with economies operating in vastly different ways, the main thing that unites the BRICS is a suspicion of the world order that they see as serving the interests of the United States and its rich-country allies who promote the international norms they impose but do not. t always respect.

Few details have emerged on what they plan to discuss, but expansion is expected to be high on the agenda, with around 40 countries expressing interest in joining, either formally or informally, according to the South African. They include Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Egypt.

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BRICS and Africa

China, seeking to expand its geopolitical influence as it struggles with the United States, wants to expand BRICS quickly, while Brazil resists expansion, fearing that the already impractical club would see it weaken its standing.

In a written response to Reuters’ questions, China’s foreign ministry said it “supports progress in membership expansion, and welcomes more like-minded partners to join the BRICS family at an early date.”

Russia needs friends to counter its diplomatic isolation from Ukraine, and so it is eager to bring in new members, as is its most important African ally, South Africa.

India is neutral.

In a nod to the African bloc’s hosts, the theme of its 15th summit is “BRICS and Africa,” focusing on how the bloc can build relations with a continent that is increasingly becoming a theater of competition between global powers.

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said in a statement last week that the BRICS countries wanted to show “global leadership in addressing the needs of … the majority of the world, namely … the development and integration of the global south into multilateral systems.” In a veiled criticism of Western hegemony.

The BRICS countries are keen to project themselves as alternative development partners for the West. China’s foreign ministry said BRICS had sought to “reform global governance systems to increase representation of developing countries and emerging markets.”

The bloc’s New Development Bank (NDB) wants to de-dollarize financing and offer an alternative to the much-criticised Bretton Woods institutions.

But it has approved only $33 billion in loans in nearly a decade — about a third of the amount the World Bank committed to disbursing just last year — and has been hampered recently by sanctions against member Russia.

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South African officials say talk of the BRICS currency, which Brazil discussed earlier this year as an alternative to reliance on the dollar, is off the table.

With 40% of the world’s population, the carbon-intensive BRICS countries account for the same share of greenhouse gas emissions. Officials in Brazil, China and South Africa said climate change could emerge but indicated it would not be a priority.

The BRICS countries blame rich countries for causing most of the global warming and want them to shoulder more of the burden of decarbonising the world’s energy supply. China has been accused of blocking climate discussions at the G20, which it has denied.

Additional reporting by Laurie Chen in Beijing, Lysandra Paraguaso in Brasilia, David Stanway in Singapore and Karen du Plessis in Johannesburg; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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