Wednesday, September 27, 2023
HomeLifestyleSouth Africa beefs up security ahead of BRICS summit

South Africa beefs up security ahead of BRICS summit

Russia and China will look to gain more political and economic ground in the developing world at a summit in South Africa this week, when an expected joint dose of anti-West grumbling from them may take on a sharper edge with a formal move to bring Saudi Arabia closer.

Leaders from the BRICS economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will hold three days of meetings in Johannesburg’s financial district of Sandton, with Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s attendance underlining the diplomatic capital his country has invested in the bloc over the last decade-and-a-bit as an avenue for its ambitions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will appear on a video link after his travel to South Africa was complicated by an International Criminal Court arrest warrant against him over the war in Ukraine. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be at the summit alongside Xi.

The main summit on Wednesday – and sideline meetings Tuesday and Thursday – are expected to produce general calls for more cooperation among countries in the Global South amid their rising discontent over perceived Western dominance of global institutions.

That’s a sentiment that Russia and China are more than happy to lean into. Leaders or representatives of dozens more developing countries are set to attend the sideline meetings in Africa’s wealthiest city to give Xi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will represent Putin in South Africa, a sizeable audience.

One specific policy point with more direct implications will be discussed and possibly decided on – the proposed expansion of the BRICS bloc, which was formed in 2009 by the emerging market countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, and added South Africa the following year.

Saudi Arabia is one of more than 20 countries to have formally applied to join BRICS in another possible expansion, South African officials say. Any move toward the inclusion of the world’s second-biggest oil producer in an economic bloc with Russia and China would clearly draw attention from the United States and its allies in an extra-frosty geopolitical climate, and amid a recent move by Beijing to exert some influence in the Persian Gulf.

“If Saudi Arabia were to enter BRICS, it will bring extraordinary importance to this grouping,” said Talmiz Ahmad, India´s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Even an agreement on the principle of expanding BRICS, which already consists of a large chunk of the developing world’s biggest economies, is a moral victory for the Russian and Chinese vision for the bloc as a counterbalance to the G-7, analysts say.

Both favor adding more countries to bolster a kind of coalition — even if it’s only symbolic – amid China’s economic friction with the U.S. and Russia’s Cold War-like standoff with the West because of the war in Ukraine.

Nations ranging from Argentina to Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates have all formally applied to join alongside the Saudis, and are also possible new members.

If a number of them are brought in, “then you end up with a bigger economic bloc, and from that a sense of power,” said Prof. Alexis Habiyaremye of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Johannesburg.

While Brazil, India and South Africa are less keen on expansion and seeing their influence diluted in what’s currently an exclusive developing world club, there is momentum for it. Nothing has been decided, though, and the five countries must first agree on the criteria new members need to meet. That’s on the agenda in Johannesburg amid Beijing’s push.

“BRICS expansion has become the top trending issue at the moment,” said Chen Xiaodong, China’s ambassador to South Africa. “Expansion is key to enhancing (the) BRICS mechanism´s vitality. I believe that this year´s summit will witness a new and solid step on this front.”

The U.S. has stressed its bilateral ties with South Africa, Brazil and India in an attempt to offset any outsized Russian and Chinese influence emanating from BRICS. In the buildup to the summit, the State Department said that the U.S. was “deeply engaged with many of the leading members of the BRICS association.”

The European Union also will closely follow happenings in Johannesburg, but with almost sole focus on the war in Ukraine and the bloc’s continued effort to draw united condemnation for Russia’s invasion from the developing world, which has largely failed so far.

With Xi, Lula, Modi and Ramaphosa coming together, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said the EU was calling on them to use the moment to uphold international law.

“We look forward to their contribution to make Putin stop his illegal, destabilizing behavior,” Stano said.

If a BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Cape Town in June, the precursor to the main summit, is anything to go by, there will be no public criticism of Russia or Putin over the war. A planned protest by the Amnesty International rights group and the Ukrainian Association of South Africa outside the Sandton Convention Centre will likely be the only condemnation heard.

If anything, Russia might see the summit as an opportunity to leverage some favor.

Having halted a deal allowing the passage of grain out of Ukraine last month, Putin might use the BRICS gathering to announce more free Russian grain shipments to developing countries, as he has already done for several African nations, said Maria Snegovaya, senior fellow at the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

It would allow Putin to demonstrate “goodwill” to the developing world, Snegovaya said, while cutting Ukraine out of the process.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin would have “full fledged participation” in the summit despite appearing on a video link and would make a speech.

What’s also likely to be aired regularly over the three days in Johannesburg is the developing world’s gripes over current global financial systems. That has streamlined in the months and weeks leading up to the summit into a criticism of the dominance of the U.S. dollar as the world’s currency for international trade.

BRICS experts are generally united in pointing out the difficulties the bloc has in implementing policy due to the five countries’ differing economic and political priorities, and the tensions and rivalry between China and India.

But a focus on more trade in local currencies is something all of them can get behind, said Cobus van Staden, an analyst at the China Global South Project, which tracks Chinese engagement across the developing world.

He sees BRICS pushing a move away from the dollar in regional trade in some parts of the world in the same way he sees this summit as a whole.

“None of this is the big sword that´s going to slay the dollar. That´s not the play,” said van Staden. “It´s not one big sword wound, it´s a lot of paper cuts. It won´t kill the dollar, but it´s definitely making the world a more complicated place.”

“They don´t need to defeat the dollar … and they don´t need to defeat the G-7. All they particularly want to do is raise an alternative to it. It´s this much longer play.”

and secure environment Source: Africanews

Maravi Post Reporter
Maravi Post Reporter
Op-Ed Columnists, Opinion contributors and one submissions are posted under this Author. In our By-lines we still give Credit to the right Author. However we stand by all reports posted by Maravi Post Reporter.


Comments are closed.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

James Hastings Chidule on Malawi’ fistula recovery at 86%
WELLINGTON WITMAN MOSELIJAH LUNDUKA on The history of Ngoni Maseko in Malawi
Lisa Frank on Home
azw3 on Home
Define Regtech on Home
Tobias Kunkumbira on Malawi to roll out Typhoid vaccine
arena plus nba standings 2022 to 2023 ph on Home
David on Home
마산출장 on Home
Cristina Thomas on Home
Alicia Alvarado on Home
The History of online Casinos – Agora Poker – hao029 on The History of online Casinos
Five factors that will determine #NigeriaDecides2023 - NEWSCABAL on Leadership Is Difficult Because Governance Is Very Stubborn, By Owei Lakemfa
Asal Usul Texas Holdem Poker – Agora Poker – hao029 on The Origins of Texas Holdem Poker
Malawi has asked Mike Tyson to be its cannabis ambassador - Techio on Malawi lawmaker Chomanika against Mike Tyson’s appointment as Cannabis Brand Ambassador over sex offence
Finley Mbella on Brand Chakwera leaks Part 1
Maria Eduarda Bernardo on The 2021 Guide to Trading Forex Online
Atsogo Kemso, Political Foot Soldier on Why MCP and UTM Alliance Will Fail
Em. Prof. Willem Van Cotthem - Ghent University, Belgium on Malawi army, National bank cover Chilumba barrack with trees
Christopher Murdock on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Samantha The Hammer on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Muhindo Isevahani on The Cold War Against TB Joshua
JCON/SCOAN/BKN(888/8885/8808) on The Cold War Against TB Joshua
Keen Observer on Jesse Kabwila, Then and Now
Francesco Sinibaldi on Advertising in 2020 and beyond
VICTORIA NAMENE FILLIPUS on Is TB Joshua not another religious fraudster?
Andrew Jisaba on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Roseline Ariaga on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Edmore Tembo on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Arvind Mohan Dass. T on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Francis zvomuya on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Julius Bolokwe on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Esther lotha on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Okechukwu Cletus Igwe on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Justin sahando on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Samson orubor john on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Lizzie Tendayi on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
AKAMAH ANDREWS on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
AKAMAH ANDREWS on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
AKAMAH ANDREWS on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Judith Wingo on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Hlohonolofatso on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Jantie Lupaji Lupaji on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Phillimon Kgasago on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Ferdinand Parangan on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Natasha Oloishiro on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Anthony Orimolade on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Anthony Orimolade on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Kelly Chisulo on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Orville Raposo on TB Joshua Finally Exposed?
Elizabeth Van Niekerk on Black Rhino Moved from SA to Eswatini!