The BRICS alliance’s resilience: handling Western critiques and propaganda

By Imran Khalid | Gwadar Pro Aug 4, 2023

Editor's Note: The writer is a freelance columnist on international affairs based in Karachi, Pakistan. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

The approaching 2023 BRICS summit in South Africa is witnessing contrasting dynamics unfold. On one hand, aspiring candidates are displaying an unprecedented level of eagerness to join the prestigious bloc. However, on the other hand, Western media is actively amplifying purported divergences among the existing members, stirring speculation about potential ramifications for the organization's unity and future progress, speculating how these discordances might erode the organization's unity and future development. However, these insinuations have not gone uncontested, as the concerned member countries have swiftly rejected such propaganda.

The summit's imminent convening has placed BRICS in the spotlight. Indeed, Western countries are increasingly perceiving the grouping as an economic and geopolitical challenge, leading them to exacerbate perceived rifts between the BRICS states. But the BRICS bloc stands firm against external attempts to sow seeds of disunity, reaffirming its commitment to collective progress and cooperation. Diverse viewpoints are naturally inherent in any multilateral organization committed to democratizing international relations. Yet, the attempts by certain Western elites to hyperbolize dissent within the BRICS and undermine its significance reveal their envy and apprehension. These hawkish elements are driven by a desire to maintain US hegemony and unipolar world order, threatened by the unwavering cooperation and growth among non-Western nations and emerging economies. The rising influence of BRICS poses a formidable challenge to the West's dominance, leaving them uneasy and eager to tarnish the cooperative spirit flourishing beyond their realm.

As the 2023 BRICS summit draws near, certain Western media outlets have posted articles to fuel a narrative of disunity within the bloc. Proliferating reports that emphasize so-called "problems" and purported dissent among BRICS members are becoming increasingly common. One such recent article from Reuters speculates about Brazil and India are resisting the inclusion of new member countries for their own reasons, stirring anticipation for a potential debate over admission criteria during the forthcoming summit. Reuters reported that "Brazil has resisted gathering momentum in the BRICS group of major emerging economies to add more member countries" and that "India has reservations about the expansion." But both Brazil and India promptly rebutted this "assumption" without wasting any time. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da expressed great anticipation for the event and stressed the vital significance of including countries like Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and other major developing nations in the bloc. He further said that such a move would not only strengthen BRICS but also challenge the West's narrative and its efforts to undermine the alliance. Similarly, on Thursday, the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuted reports claiming India's resistance to BRICS expansion, directly contradicting Reuters. Shri Arindam Bagchi, India's Foreign Ministry spokesman, dismissed 'baseless' media speculation on India's opposition to BRICS expansion as untrue. He said in his briefing to the media, "We have seen some baseless speculations...that India has reservations against [BRICS] expansion. This is simply not true."

BRICS, increasingly seen as a counterbalance to Western-dominated multilateral institutions, unnerves the US due to its distinct economic and political framework. This fear, however, exposes the US's underlying vulnerability. BRICS was never intended to challenge the West; instead, it offers a diverse array of options for all nations and seeks to enhance the global economic order. The US's attempts to suppress BRICS signal its lack of confidence in competing arenas. Embracing multipolarity and accommodating emerging economies can lead to a more equitable and cooperative world order, but the US must overcome its fixation on preserving economic hegemony to truly embrace this vision. The soaring momentum behind BRICS is fueled by a shared mission to forge a more equitable global economic order. The essence of BRICS lies in unity, and while India may harbor concerns about China's economic clout, the addition of new members can allay any apprehensions. China's economy outdoes that of all other BRICS members combined, yet it firmly rejects any notions of dominance. On the contrary, China passionately champions the expansion of BRICS to embrace more developing countries, amplifying their representation on the world stage. This stance speaks to China's commitment to fostering a fair and inclusive international landscape.

Amidst the complexities of Sino-Indian relations, it's worth noting that both nations share a common objective in promoting BRICS expansion. While discrepancies exist over the sequencing of new member inclusions, these differences can be managed through coordination. China consistently underscores that specific frictions, like the border dispute, should not impede overall bilateral ties or hinder cooperation within BRICS. India's varying stances on certain matters do not significantly impact the cooperative spirit of BRICS. Ultimately, both nations can find common ground in advancing the shared goals of the alliance, transcending individual dissimilarities for the greater good of BRICS cooperation.

Embracing cooperation and shared goals, the BRICS countries have consistently demonstrated a steadfast commitment to rising above individual dissensions for the greater good of the alliance. This collective resilience showcases the strength of the bloc and affirms its determination to chart its course on the global stage, independent of external influences.

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