It’s been a long time since India and China were on the same page on many issues. China’s irrational thinking to treat India and Pakistan in the same vein is not going to help the matters. But now the rivalry has started to hurt the global prospects of their common interests. Currently, Xi Jinping is the biggest obstacle to the emergence of BRICS as the most powerful international group.
Argentina, Iran to join BRICS
According to news reports, Iran and Argentina have officially applied for joining the BRICS forum. The news first came into the limelight after Russian News agency TASS published a report regarding the same. In its report, it cited Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s confirmation of the application. Later the news was confirmed by the Iranian and Argentinian governments as well.
Iranian Diplomat Saeed Kahtibzadeh expressed hope that including his country in the organization will benefit it. Meanwhile, putting what his country brings on the table, Alberto Fernandez, Argentina’s president said, “We want to be full members of this group of countries [BRICS] that already represent 42% of the world’s population and 24% of the world’s gross product. We are reliable and responsible food suppliers who have achieved recognition in biotechnology and applied technologies in logistics. This means we can not only produce and export food, we can also supply services and train specialists,”
What do Iran and Argentina bring to the BRICS table?
If due diligence is followed and the process is not carried out in a hurried manner, then including both countries in the grouping could drastically alter the geopolitics equation. Iran has the second-largest gas reserve in the world. Interestingly, it is second only to Russia, the key member of the BRICS forum. Their total share in the world’s gas reserve oscillates between 40-43 per cent, depending on the year in which it is measured.
Additionally, there are also chances that Iran might become a Nuclear-armed state. Moreover, like Russia, it is also fed up with US sanctions and is looking for a way out. Russia is continuously assisted by its BRICS allies and Iran can become another beneficiary. India won’t have any problems with it, since it does not have a particular disliking with the Shia majority nation. Needless to say, China stands behind any country against the USA.
Similarly, Argentina and BRICS have also a lot to gain from the symbiotic setup. 54 per cent of its exports are comprised of crops, while 31 per cent comprises industrial goods. It can provide greater market access, provided its South American rival Brazil, an already existing member of BRICS does not create many hindrances.
India-China tussle is hampering BRICS
However, there is another big issue that is out of the control of these countries. And that is the intra-BRICS rivalry between India and China. It is not hidden from the world that both big boys of the Indian subcontinent are not on the same page on most of the issues. India led by a proactive initiative by PM Modi did extend a friendship hand with China, especially during his first term. PM Modi visited China and the same was reciprocated by Xi Jinping.
It all felt well until one day Jinping’s territorial ambitions got over his pragmatism.
The communist state took India’s courtesy as its weakness and launched the Galwan valley offensive. PLA was sent back, but the rift caused by China’s Galwan adventure has not been eliminated. Even after 15 rounds of negotiations, China is not willing to accept the common ground of border negotiations. On the backchannel, it keeps betraying common interests. But when it comes to media communication, it keeps hinting to the world that India is the one hindering the development.
China needs to follow the rulebooks
This duality is not acceptable to the Modi government. Time and again our EAM has stated that China needs to oblige to a mutual understanding about the sovereignty issue, only then any formal engagement with them on big issues is possible. China supporting Pakistan is another thorn in India-China bonhomie. Xi Jinping is nurturing a Frankenstein Monster in Pakistan through CPEC. Repeated assaults on the Chinese in Pakistan’s territory have not dissuaded it from investing in Pakistan. China is so hell-bent on its anti-India stand that it is effectively fostering terrorism in the region.
All China needs to do is to resolve its border disputes with India and remove Pakistan from its list of vassal states. Their unnecessary insistence is now hurting other countries as well, including Russia. Surely, China won’t want Russia completely siding with India. It would want BRICS supremacy on the global stage. But it needs to stick to the rulebooks for that.
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