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China seems to be actively working on expanding the BRICS alliance to position it as a geopolitical rival against the Group of Seven (G7) countries, according to remarks made by a Chinese official. The upcoming summit in Johannesburg will see discussions regarding the possible addition of countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to its existing member nations.

Utilizing a Larger BRICS to Counteract G7’s Influence

China may have a keen interest in increasing the membership of the BRICS group, which currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, with the aim to amplify its influence and establish the augmented group as a geopolitical contender against the Group of the Seven (G7). Various countries have already signaled their intent to join the bloc, and the expansion issue will be debated at the summit, marking the first such discussions since South Africa joined in 2010.

An anonymous Chinese official cited by Financial Times has emphasized:

Should BRICS be expanded to represent a similar share of the global GDP to that of the G7, our collective presence in the international arena would be more pronounced.

Notable economic giants, Saudi Arabia and UAE, are in talks with BRICS to possibly join, or at least enhance, trade relationships with the bloc’s member countries. The inclusion of these high-GDP countries would bring the stated Chinese goal closer to realization. Furthermore, nations such as Iran and Venezuela, known for their clear opposition to U.S. policies, are also seeking to become part of the group.

Resistance to China’s Plans

A week ago, numerous experts publicly acknowledged the might of the BRICS group. Anthony Rowley, a journalist with the South China Morning Post, affirmed that the challenge BRICS poses to the prevailing economic structure cannot be ignored casually. Similarly, Hung Tran, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, elaborated that BRICS could potentially “morph into a parallel entity to the Group of Seven (G7), leading to a significant alteration in international relations,” forecasting China’s motives.

However, the expansion path that China appears to be eyeing may encounter resistance from within the group, most notably from India and South Africa. India is seemingly more disposed towards maintaining the group as a non-aligned platform serving the economic aspirations of developing nations, as per sources knowledgeable about the stance of both nations.

South Africa’s stance may further complicate China’s intentions. Its Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor proclaimed on August 7 that South Africa did not view the BRICS alliance as “favoring Russia or opposing the West.” Additionally, Pandor expressed his belief that such a characterization of the group would be “utterly incorrect.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about BRICS expansion

What is China’s intention with the expansion of the BRICS bloc?

China appears to be interested in expanding the BRICS bloc, which currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, to enhance its influence and position the augmented group as a geopolitical contender against the Group of the Seven (G7).

Which countries are being considered for inclusion in the expanded BRICS group?

Economic powerhouses like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are in discussions to join the BRICS bloc. Additionally, nations expressing clear anti-U.S. sentiment, such as Iran and Venezuela, are also seeking to become part of the group.

What potential opposition could China’s ambitions face within BRICS?

China’s plan to expand BRICS may encounter resistance from India and South Africa. India may prefer the group to remain a non-aligned platform for developing nations, while South Africa’s Foreign Minister has expressed a view that doesn’t align with China’s intentions.

How could the expansion of BRICS impact the current global economic structure?

The expansion of BRICS, according to some experts, could lead to the group evolving into a parallel entity to the G7, resulting in a significant alteration in international relations and challenging the prevailing economic order.

What are some public statements regarding the strength and potential of BRICS?

Several experts, such as Anthony Rowley and Hung Tran, have acknowledged the strength of the BRICS group. Rowley emphasized that BRICS’ challenge to the existing economic structure can’t be dismissed, while Tran explained that BRICS could become a counterpart to G7.

More about BRICS expansion

  • Financial Times
  • South China Morning Post
  • The Atlantic Council
  • Statements by South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor

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4 comments

Mira Johnson August 23, 2023 - 4:20 am

isn’t this just a power play by China. seems like they’re trying to stretch their influence even more. thoughts?

Reply
SophiaR August 23, 2023 - 7:07 pm

This is geopolitics at its finest. the opposition from India and South Africa’s pretty interesting, wonder how China will respond.

Reply
James T. August 23, 2023 - 9:00 pm

China’s up to somthing big with BRICS, want to see how this plays out. If it does, could shake the G7’s control.

Reply
KarlM August 23, 2023 - 10:53 pm

Expanding BRICS might be a good idea, bringing in countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE… but what will the G7 do? They wont be quiet, thats for sure.

Reply

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