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Issue #1753      October 19, 2016

BRICS nations’ stronger ties

Leaders of the BRICS group of nations held a summit of the powerhouse bloc in the Indian state of Goa this past weekend. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa represent nearly half the world’s population and a quarter of its economy, a combined £13.6 trillion.

Writing in the China Daily, Chinese Foreign Affairs University vice-president Wang Fan said: “The rise of the BRICS countries is related to the fate of the whole world and humanity. With the BRICS members as representatives, the emerging market countries and developing countries have seen marked and rapid increases in their international influence.

“[The BRICS group] is also an active advocate and supporter of South-South co-operation.”

As well as co-operation on economic growth and prosperity, the summit discussed international conflicts and the fight against terrorism.

Reform of global governance – including democratisation of the United Nations and the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Bank and international Monetary Fund – were a focus along with setting up an alternative national credit rating agency from those based in New York.

Climate change, energy and the green economy are also on the agenda.

During the summit, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as Prachanda, met Chinese President Xi Jinping for a one-on-one meeting.

China aided Nepal this summer after India staged an unofficial economic blockade of the Himalayan nation.

However, the BRICS nations face an offensive from the imperialist powers and internal strife. The latest WikiLeaks revelations from the hacked emails of US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman show her hostility to China.

She said in a 2013 speech at a private event that if Beijing did not act to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs “we’re going to ring China with missile defence. We’re going to put more of our fleet in the area.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently signed a military and nuclear energy co-operation deal with Washington, drawing strong criticism from the powerful Communist Party of India-Marxist. While in Brazil, elected left-wing president Dilma Rousseff was overthrown in a right-wing legislative coup this summer.

Moscow remains under economic sanctions from the US and EU nations over Crimea’s reunification with Russia in the wake of the 2014 Maidan Square coup in Ukraine.

And South Africa has had its credit rating downgraded to BBB by US-based agencies and faces a further cut to junk status over the looming prosecution of finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

Morning Star

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