India, Brazil and South Africa, under the banner of IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa grouping) held a foreign minister level meet on Wednesday, and deliberated on multiple issues, ranging from COVID-19, security concerns, countering terror, climate change, sustainable development, multilateral trading systems, non-proliferation and South-South cooperation. The most important outcome of the meeting, however, was their consensus to redouble efforts and strengthen commitment for an “accelerated and comprehensive reform” of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The meeting was chaired by India’s Foreign Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar. The other delegations were led by Brazil’s vice-minister for national sovereignty Fabio Marzano and South Africa’s minister of international relations Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor.
All the three countries, in a joint statement, highlighted the need for a radical and immediate change in multinational forums, particularly raising their voice in support of an overhaul of the UNSC, where the three countries have rightfully been eyeing a permanent seat. The three countries said that they remain committed to enhancing the voice and representation of emerging and developing countries in decision-making bodies of multilateral institutions, while seeking united efforts to create a “more inclusive, responsive and participatory international governance architecture”.
This call for change at the UNSC is not what intrigues us, however. What is interesting is the meeting of these three countries under the banner of IBSA, without China. TFI had earlier explained how China’s dreams of creating a parallel world-order, dominated by itself, by means of BRICS had fragrantly failed. With India, Brazil and Russia taking an increasingly anti-China stance, Beijing today finds itself isolated at an unprecedented magnitude, with even South Africa dumbing the red-rogue Communist state.
It is already known that every big Chinese diplomatic effort is ultimately aimed at weakening the US Dollar’s hegemony as a global currency and at the same time establishing a parallel regime to the Bretton Woods Institutions – the IMF and the World Bank. One such Chinese effort is the BRICS, an intergovernmental organisation comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Ironically, the only interested participant in the said organisation which remains is China, as all other countries are standing up to its belligerence and inhumane treatment of citizens, both within its legal boundaries, and in regions which it has illegally occupied.
India, Brazil and South Africa have now come together to demand a reform of the UNSC, of which China is a member, and has accused the apex security body of failing to reform itself. “In light of the increasingly complex and inter-connected international challenges, we emphasise that the existing international governance structure is obsolete and cannot be fit-for-purpose to effectively address current peace and security challenges,” the joint statement said. Interestingly, the ministers also agreed to enhance IBSA cooperation at multilateral forums, cementing our belief that the three nations, with covert support from Russia, have finally dumped BRICS.
India is currently locked in a tense, and escalatory military standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh. As such, for India to be the first country to dump BRICS while snubbing China once again was but expected. India has, in the past few months, taken a series of measures which will have far reaching negative consequences for China and its overestimated economy. As for Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro won the Brazil Presidential polls based on his anti-Beijing agenda. Today, Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo Bolsonaro and other Brazilian lawmakers are leading the charge against China. South Africa’s economy is in a recession, and the country is in no position to call the shots on this one. Nevertheless, it seems to have realised that aligning with China can be suicidal for it in the near future, which is why it has chosen to side with India and Brazil, and as a consequence, with the democratic and free world.
What is unfolding seems to have the direct involvement of India, as historically, the country has snubbed its foes by creating alternative organisations with a multiplicity of countries, thereby alienating the enemy nation in a grand manner. Take for instance the isolation and alienation which Pakistan faced when India turned and started giving more importance to BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation), while distancing itself from SAARC. While SAARC has Pakistan as a member state, BIMSTEC does not.
Pakistan’s godfather and paymaster, China too is now facing similar Indian-induced global isolation, courtesy its heightened belligerence in the Himalayas. Russia is in any case irked by China attempting to eat into what Moscow considers its exclusive sphere of influence. Additionally, China repeatedly staking claim over the Russian far east and Vladivostok has apparently served as reason enough for Vladimir Putin to pull the plug off BRICS, and let India, Brazil and South Africa go public with their grand dumping of the organisation which China hoped will make it the new power centre of the world.