The Rise of the BRICS: The Economic Giant Taking on the West
The G7 Mountain peak
in Elmau, Germany, June 26-28, and NATO Mountain peak
in Madrid, Spain, two days later, were virtually useless in terms of real solutions to ongoing global crises – the war in Ukraine, impending famines, climate change and more. But both events were significant nonetheless, as they provide a stark example of the powerlessness of the West, amid rapidly changing global dynamics.
As has been the case since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the West has tried to show unity, even though it has repeatedly become clear that such unity does not exist. While France, Germany and Italy are paying
a heavy toll on the energy crisis resulting from the war, Britain’s Boris Johnson is to add
fueling the fire in hopes of making his country relevant on the world stage following the Brexit humiliation. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is exploiting the war to
Washington’s credibility and leadership on NATO – especially after Donald Trump’s disastrous tenure nearly broke up the historic alliance.
Even the fact that several African countries are become
vulnerable to famines – due to the disruption of food supplies from the Black Sea and the resulting rise in prices – did not seem to worry the leaders of some of the world’s richest countries. They still insist on not interfering in the global food market, although soaring prices have already pushed tens of millions below the poverty line.
Although the West had little reserve of credibility to begin with, the current obsession of Western leaders with maintaining thousands of sanctions against Russia, continuing to expand NATO, dumping even more “weapons killings” in Ukraine and maintaining their global hegemony at all costs have all pushed their credibility to a new low.
From the start of the war in Ukraine, the West championed the same “moral” dilemma posed by George W. Bush at the start of his so-called “war on terror”. “You are either with us or with the terrorist,” he said. declared
in October 2009. But the ongoing conflict between Russia and NATO cannot be reduced to mere self-serving clichés. We can, in fact, want the end of the war, and still oppose American-Western unilateralism. The reason American dictates have worked in the past, however, is that, contrary to the current geopolitical atmosphere, a few have dared to oppose Washington’s policy.
The times have changed. Russia, China, India, as well as many other countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America are navigating every available space to counter stifling Western domination. These countries have made
it is clear that they will not participate in the isolation of Russia in the service of NATO’s expansionist agenda. On the contrary, they have taken many steps to develop alternatives to the Western-dominated global economy, and in particular to the US dollar which for five decades has played the role of a commodity and not a currency. in itself. The latter has been Washington’s most effective weapon, coupled with numerous US-orchestrated crises, sanctions and, as in the case of Iraq and Venezuela, among others, mass hunger. .
China and others understand that the current conflict is not about Ukraine versus Russia, but something much bigger. If Washington and Europe emerge victorious, and if Moscow is pushed back behind the proverbial “Iron Curtain”, Beijing will have no choice but to make painful concessions to the resurgent West. This, in turn, would place a ceiling on China’s global economy. growthand weaken its arguments regarding the one-China policy.
China is not wrong. Almost immediately after NATO Unlimited Army Support
of Ukraine and the ensuing economic war against Russia, Washington and its allies began
threatening China over Taiwan. Many provocative statements, as well as military maneuvers and high-level visits by US politicians to Taipei, were intended to underscore US dominance in the Pacific.
Two main reasons have prompted the West to invest more in the current confrontational approach against China, at a time when, arguably, it would have been more beneficial to exercise a certain degree of diplomacy and compromise. First, the West’s fear that Beijing may misinterpret its action as weakness and a form of appeasement; and, second, because the West’s historical relationship with China has always been based on intimidation, if not outright humiliation. From Portuguese Occupation
of Macau in the 16th century, until the British Opium Wars from the mid-19th century, to Trump trade war on China, the West has always seen China as a subject, not as a partner.
This is precisely why Beijing has not joined in the chorus of Western condemnations of Russia. Although the current war in Ukraine does not directly benefit China, the geopolitical results of the war could be critical for China’s future as a global power.
While NATO continues to insist on its expansion in order to illustrate its durability and unity, it is the alternative world order led by Russia and China that deserves serious attention. According to the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Beijing and Moscow are work
further develop the BRICS club of major emerging economies to act as a counterweight to the G7. The German paper is correct. The latest BRICS summit on June 23 was designed as a message to the G7 that the West is no longer in charge and that Russia, China and the Global South are preparing for a long fight against domination. western.
In his address to the BRICS summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin offers
the creation of an “international reserve currency based on the basket of currencies of our countries”. The fact that the ruble alone has managed to survive, in fact thrive, under recent Western sanctions gives hope that the combined BRICS currencies may eventually succeed in ousting the US dollar as the dominant currency in the world.
Apparently it was Chinese President Xi Jinping who demand
that the date of the BRICS summit be changed from July 4 to June 23, so that it does not appear to be a response to the G7 summit in Germany. This further highlights how the BRICS are beginning to see themselves as a direct competitor to the G7. The fact that Argentina and Iran are applying for BRICS membership also illustrates that the economic alliance is turning into a political, indeed geopolitical, entity.
The coming global struggle may be the most consequential since World War II. While NATO will continue to fight for its relevance, Russia, China and others will invest in various economic, political and even military infrastructures, in the hope of creating a permanent and lasting counterweight to Western domination. The outcome of this conflict is likely to shape the future of humanity.
– Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our vision of liberation: Committed Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out”. Baroud is a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net
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