BRICS Summit: Surviving a Multipolar Pandemic World
Amid the recent BRICS Summit which took place, various important issues were discussed, which include digital economy, sustainable development, trade, counterterrorism, economic recovery post-pandemic amid huge misunderstandings regarding China taking place in many countries leading to checking on national interests.
According to a China Daily report, China could be aiming to further enhance its strength through providing aid to BRI member countries such as member country, Brazil, by paving way to economic recovery from the pandemic along with vaccine development creating a sense of hope among developing countries, which don’t realise the debt and dependency intention of the Chinese Dream of connectivity, cooperation, mutual benefit. It has also started to work actively on a vaccine with South Africa, Brazil and Russia, all in Stage -III trials.
BRICS members felt the urgent need for the development of a COVID vaccine which was under an agreement signed by the BRICS members signed a Johannesburg Declaration in 2018 to ensure joint research for sharing information on healthcare equipment through cooperation with the United Nations. India is working with Russia over the Sputnik V vaccine, which is also currently in its later stages.
Another milestone, which was trying to be achieved, was signing of the Strategy of BRICS Partnership. This BRICS document highlighted a need for a competitive market which is barrier-free and increased competitiveness in globally integrated markets, poverty eradication, technological sharing with respect to increased emphasis on AI and 5G, which many countries such as India, US have apprehensions about with respect to security and information.
Terrorism was also an important point of discussion during the meeting, where a Counterterrorism Agreement was signed between countries. According to Prof. Rajeshwari Pillai Rajagopalan, terrorism is not a common concern for other members likewise India, which is mainly being referred to China’s role in tackling terrorism with respect to India’s Neighbourhood and the Kashmir Issue.
The members’ countries have contradicting political interests which had led to a conflict of ideas, which was seen through India blocking Chinese apps and putting restrictions on trade. But the only points which were pointed in this Summit were about multilateralism and keeping a balance in an American hegemonic order, which Russia and PRC are heavily resenting. Even Russia is playing a neutral role with respect to the strained Sino India Relations and did not want to take sides due to improving ties with Beijing.
The BRICS is positive with regards to India’s strategic autonomy, which Russia highly appreciates and understands the need for India’s conflicts which it had supported the latter for in its wars with Pakistan in 1971 and 1965. Russia has been supportive of India for UNSG, Kashmir so there is some country likeminded in the grouping and always the door is open for India to take the strategic partnership forward since Russia is one of India’s largest arms importers.
Foreign Policy expert, Ms Nivedita Kapoor opined that the members need to find common converging views in order to survive in an Asian Multipolar world of anarchy. India can find a way to leverage its geo-political interests vis-à-vis China if India keeps its neutrality with many countries only if Russia sticks to its old friendship commitments with regards to defence and economic operation.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team