By Alex Rosaria
BRICS is emerging as a key bloc aiming to reshape the global landscape. BRICS comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. China sees itself as its indisputable leader and refers to BRICS as the model for a “pluriversal” world.
In fact, China’s Xi Jinping mentioned this (in a speech read out by the Chinese Commerce Minister) during the BRICS Meeting on August 22, 2023. Pluriversalism is a term coined by Colombian Arturo Escobar, which stands for a “multipolar world that is more inclusive, fair, and equitable.”
BRICS, for sure, is a force to reckon with. However, it’s turning out to be not more than a reaction against the major powers of the Global North. It has yet to demonstrate inclusiveness and justice regarding its own particular policies.
To consider BRICS as an inclusive and fair bunch compared with the “big bad North” makes me wince and think of the famous last words of Orwell’s Animal Farm: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
Both China and Russia have the same imperialistic wet dreams many of the North had or still have. They don’t hesitate to use military might to achieve their objectives. The illegal occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, annexation of Crimea, and the Ukrainian War show blatant Russian imperialism.
But also the illegal Chinese occupation of Tibet, interference in Tibetan Buddhist internal religious matters, and warlike actions against Taiwan and in the South China Sea are palpable illustrations. And where I’m now, in extreme Northern Laos, not far from the Chinese border, only the blind will not notice the scale of inappropriate logging and ecological rape going on in the name of Chinese commerce.
And India? This is frantically trying to influence Nepal and Bhutan, which are fighting for their lives, not wanting to suffer the same fate as the former Sikkim Kingdom, which was annexed by India.
More inclusive? Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies and China’s extermination policies against the Uyghur minority don’t exactly show inclusiveness. South Africa’s xenophobic policies against other nationalities and Brazil’s brutal neo-liberal commercial policies are killing the Amazon and driving the indigenous population out.
I’m not against BRICS. As a matter of fact, BRICS and other countries have a point when addressing the antiquated and imbalanced global stage we currently live in. Let’s call BRICS by its name. It’s an imperialistic and commercial power bloc that will not hesitate to subjugate and choke all who stand in its way. This is no altruistic justice-seeking group.
Alex David Rosaria (53) is a freelance consultant active in Asia & Pacific. He is a former Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and UN Implementation Officer in Africa and Central America. He’s from Curaçao and has an MBA from University of Iowa (USA).