Following the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, and the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, there are few aspects that are important to highlight.
Cooperation between the BRICS countries:
It’s no secret that the BRICS designation was proposed by Goldman Sachs. It’s no secret that the core of the BRICS partnership is Russia and China. It’s no secret that Brazil and India, besides their current internal political difficulties, are struggling with huge external debts (ED). This means that two BRICS countries are on a tight grip by the IMF, where US has veto power over every decision.
Cooperation between the BRICS members has been more or less stalled. It appears to be more RC doing all the work and BIS on a secondary level not exactly knowing where to go.
That’s why, in my opinion, China is looking to bring other countries from outside the BRICS designation and include them in possible future agreements. A policy that has been played since 2014.
This year was Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan, Guinea and Egypt who joined the summit. These invitations came at the same time when AIIB announced the financing of $210 million to Egypt, supporting the development of renewable energy in that country, and that China will loan $20 Billion to Guinea in exchange for minerals.
This policy may lead to the official expansion or even the renaming of the BRICS. For now, the BRICS Plus designation has been launched.
This reorganization and renaming of the BRICS members might prove to be essential to dilute US influence. Disconnecting from the dollar and counter its hegemony has to be made on an ideological-sociological dimension as well.
To end the dollar hegemony, China and Russia need to have strong military capabilities to counteract US conflict initiatives (check), engage in trade agreements in their own currencies (check), but also, for example, start announcing that X agreement is worth Z yuans or Y rubles, not W dollars; or that this organization of countries is not the BRICS but the BRICS Plus.
Leading the narrative is another way of exhorting influence. Proposing their own designations, coining their own terms, using their own expressions and approaches, expanding their millennium-old philosophy, culture and literature is also part of the big game.
It’s another form of ending the dollar hegemony, but played on an ideological level.
Achievements of the Eastern Economic Forum:
In my opinion, this was the main event of the beginning of September. Both economically and diplomatically, the Eastern Economic Forum achieved much more than the BRICS summit.
On the geopolitical front, while US was deploying the THAAD system in South Korea, which both Russia and China publicly condemned, this two-day meeting gathered at the same table North Korea, South Korea and Japan.
It is my conviction that this may be the beginning of a peace process, led by Russia and China, for the Korean peninsula, leaving US out of the diplomatic discussions. US rhetoric has achieved nothing besides an increase in tensions, in an obvious attempt to create another conflict area around Russian and Chinese borders.
The Eastern Economic Forum sent a clear message to everyone that Russia and China speak at one voice and that voice is telling North Korea, South Korea and Japan to ignore US-led hysteria and start solving their issues peacefully.
If only Russia and China had in 2013-2014 the influence they have today probably Syria wouldn’t be a war zone.
On top of that, as RT reported, 217 agreements worth around 2.5 trillion rubles (nearly $44 billion) were signed. An outstanding 35% increase in value from last year’s forum agreements.
Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District has an incredible potential. From agriculture to tourism (Kamchatka has absolutely breath-taking landscapes), there’s a lot of work to be made in that region.
But to support this development, good infrastructure is required. The development of airports, roads, railroads, sea routes and harbours, linking Russia’s Far East with its neighbours, is already underway.
Pedro Buinhas, a Portuguese finance student, is currently finishing his Masters program, and he has a deep interest in geopolitics and economic-financial history.
The 21st Century