Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 24.2020
2020.06.08 — 2020.06.14
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
UT Ladakh, no leverage behind China tough talk (Ладакх, без жестких рычагов поддержки Китая) / India, June, 2020
Keywords: expert_opinion

New Delhi's hopes for an early resolution to the crisis in Ladakh through diplomatic channels, as happened during the earlier crises, have been hampered by lack of any immediate leverage with Beijing.

Moreover, the creation of Ladakh as a Union Territory, after the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, is being used by the Chinese as a pretext for the breakdown of existing border agreements.

The Chinese intransigence on not engaging on Pangong Tso, after having altered the status quo there, has led to fears that it is working on a 'two-step forward, one-step backward' strategy to make net gains in border areas.

The Sunday Express spoke to three diplomats – all former Indian ambassadors to China – who were involved in diplomatic negotiations with Beijing during the crisis at Depsang in 2013, Chumar in 2014 and Doklam in 2017. They said that in each of these cases, there was an event or a visit, the success of which was important to Beijing, and this provided India immediate leverage during negotiations with the Chinese to resolve the crisis. Unlike then, the current negotiations are likely to be lengthy, leading to a protracted standoff along the Line of Actual Control.

During the 2014 Chumar crisis, it was the first visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to India after the election of a new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, lending the event great significance.

In the 2017 Doklam crisis, resolution was aided by the BRICS summit to be hosted by the Chinese government which did not want it happening under the shadow of a border standoff between the two largest BRICS members.

In 2013, India was to be the first foreign stop for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after taking office.

In October 2017, the then Foreign Secretary, now External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar had told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs: "Both sides were obviously conscious of the importance of de-escalating the situation and ending the face-off before the BRICS Summit in Xiamen which was scheduled for 4-5 September 2017.

BRICS is a forum where India and China work closely together and obviously, neither side wish to see their leaders meeting at Xiamen under the cloud of Doklam incident."

This time, the Indian side, an official familiar with the ongoing diplomatic talks in Beijing said, has been surprised by the breakdown of agreements and protocols signed between the two countries since 1993 for the management of the border – the 1993 agreement between Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and Chinese Premier Li Peng, in which India accepted the concept of the LAC, forms the basis of all further negotiations and agreements between the two countries.

This is seen to be linked to the Chinese reaction to the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K and creation of Ladakh as a separate Union Territory in August last year. Beijing argued that New Delhi had violated border agreements. It now seems to be using it as a pretext for unilaterally altering the status quo on the Ladakh border.

In its statement last August, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, referring to border agreements, stated, "We urge India to be cautious in its words and deeds on the border issue, strictly abide by the relevant agreements reached between the two sides, and avoid taking actions that further complicate the border issue."

In a closed-door informal session of the UN Security Council on August 16 on the issue, the Chinese Permanent Representative in the UN argued that India's decision to abrogate Article 370 challenged China's sovereign interests and violated bilateral agreements on maintaining peace and stability in the border area.

On October 31, when Ladakh formally became a Union Territory, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had referred to the bilateral treaties and the boundary dispute in his press briefing: "China urges the Indian side to earnestly respect Chinese territorial sovereignty, abide by our treaties and uphold peace and tranquility in the border areas and create favourable conditions for the proper settlement of boundary question".

The matter got a new lease of life last Friday when Wang Xianfeng, press officer at the Chinese mission in Islamabad, tweeted an article by an influential Chinese scholar, Wang Shida of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR). CICIR is a Beijing­-based think-tank, affiliated to the Ministry of State Security.

In his article, Wang said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had conveyed his country's position on the Ladakh issue to Jaishankar when he visited Beijing after abrogation of Article 370 last year. "India's moves challenged China's sovereign rights and interests and violated the agreement on maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas between the two countries," the article quoted the Foreign Minister as having said, specifically mentioning the violation of the 1993 border agreement.

China's refusal to talk about the Pangong Tso area after having altered the status quo there – it is engaging with the Indian side on the situation in the Hot Spring and Galwan Valley sectors — has led to fears that Beijing may be following its "two-step forward and one-step backward" strategy which would leave it with the net gain of one-step while sounding reasonable.

In Pangong Tso, the Chinese soldiers have come in eight kilometres, moving their usual deployment from Finger 8 to Finger 4 on the northern bank of the lake. This has curtailed the patrolling limits of Indian soldiers who used to go up to Finger 8 which India says denotes the LAC.

"The status quo has been altered by the Chinese in Pangong Tso unilaterally. Our NSA also spoke to his SR (Special Representative) counterpart in Beijing after the clashes in early May for restoration of status quo ante. That is our aim, but the Chinese side has not engaged so far," an official familiar with the ongoing diplomatic talks in Beijing said.

Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Financial crises and the dynamics of the spillovers between the U.S. and BRICS stock markets (Финансовые кризисы и динамика распространения между фондовыми рынками США и БРИКС) / Australia, June, 2020
Keywords: research, economic_challenges


  • The dynamics of spillovers between the BRICS and US stock markets are examined.
  • Analysis uses the DECO model and forecast-error variance decomposition frameworks.
  • Pure 'recipients' and 'transmitters' of spillovers are identified.
  • The impact of uncertainty on spillovers has increased following recent crises.
  • Brazil and China have become net transmitters in the post-crisis period.


We examine the spillover dynamics between the U.S. and BRICS stock markets using the multivariate DECO-GJR-GARCH model and spillover index method. We identify time variations in volatility equicorrelation and significant dynamic spillovers between these stock markets, as well as an increased impact of uncertainty on spillovers. Spillovers between markets intensify after the inception of the global financial crisis and subsequent European sovereign debt crisis. We also find, following the commencement of the crisis periods, that the U.S., Brazilian, and Chinese markets are net volatility transmitters, whereas the Russian, Indian, and South African markets are net recipients. These results shed new light on the information transmission channels between the U.S. and BRICS stock markets.
Brazil economy expected to contract by 6.5% this year (Экономика Бразилии, как ожидается, сократится на 6,5% в этом году) / Brazil, June, 2020
Keywords: economic_challenges

Brazil's economy in the past 4 months has seen a considerable decline and is now expected to contract by 6.5% this year. This forecast was made by the central bank after it conducted a survey of economists. Brazil is Latin America's largest economy and doesn't bold well for Brazil and the region.

The Survey also showed 2020 inflation expected to decline for the 13th consecutive week from 1.55% to 1.53%. The Brazil central bank also outlined it's in inflation goal for 2020 is 4.0%. The global banks of JP Morgan, UBS, HSBC and Goldman Sachs also estimated a contraction of the Brazil economy of 7% or more.

The government though has forecasted the economy to decline by 4.7% which would still be seen as the biggest annual decline in economic output since they started recording in 1900. Another finding of the survey indicated that Brazil current account deficit was significantly revised and foreign direct investment for this year will also decrease.
Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS
Fighting Covid-19: China in Action (Борьба с COVID-19: Китай в действии) / China, June, 2020
Keywords: covid-19


1. China Appreciates Support from the International Community

At the time when the situation in China was at its most difficult, the international community provided valuable support and assistance to our country and our people. Leaders of more than 170 countries, heads of 50 international and regional organizations, and more than 300 foreign political parties and organizations expressed solidarity and support for China through phone calls, letters, and statements. Seventy-seven countries and 12 international organizations donated emergency medical supplies, including masks, protective suits, goggles, and ventilators. Donations of materials were also made by local governments, enterprises, non-governmental organizations and people from 84 countries. The BRICS New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank provided emergency loans of RMB7 billion and RMB2.485 billion, while the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank offered loans for the building of China's public health emergency management system. China appreciates the understanding and support of the international community, which our people will always cherish. The Chinese nation never forgets the help and generosity it receives, and always reciprocates with the same goodwill. We are now doing all we can to support the international community in the fight against the coronavirus.


3. International Solidarity and Cooperation in Fighting the Pandemic

The global spread of Covid-19 is causing great concern. Both the fight to rein in the virus and the endeavor to fend off a deepening global recession call for the international community to stand in unity and engage in cooperation. They also call for multilateralism, and commitment to building a global community of shared future. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons available to the international community in the war against the pandemic. What we do today determines how we will fare in the future. China calls on all countries to act promptly, demonstrate solidarity, strengthen cooperation on all fronts, and fight the pandemic together.

Conducting effective international cooperation on joint prevention and control. In responding to a pandemic, all countries must act in coordination to establish an impermeable network for joint prevention and control. Since Covid-19 struck, the WHO has diligently performed its duties, adopted an objective and impartial stance, and taken a slew of professional, science-based, and effective measures. It has made a significant contribution to the fight against the pandemic by leading and advancing global cooperation. China firmly supports the WHO in playing the leading role in this global battle, and calls on the international community to give it more political and financial support, so that we can mobilize the necessary resources worldwide to defeat this virus.

China maintains that all countries should implement their response under the guidance and coordination of the WHO. This includes adopting science-based, rational, and well-coordinated prevention and control measures, appropriately allocating medical resources and key supplies, adopting effective methods in key areas such as prevention, isolation, testing, treatment and case tracing, stepping up information sharing and experience exchanges, engaging in international cooperation on the research and development of testing methods, clinical treatments, drugs and vaccines, and supporting scientists around the world in studying the origin and transmission routes of the virus.

China calls on multilateral organizations, including the G20, APEC, BRICS, and SCO, to increase dialogue, exchanges and policy coordination within their respective frameworks. G20 members should act on the consensus reached at the G20 Extraordinary Leaders' Summit on Covid-19 held in late March 2020.

In international cooperation on joint prevention and control, it is essential that major countries take the initiative, fulfill their responsibilities and do their share of the work. China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries including the US to jointly tackle this pandemic, especially in the fields of research, development, production and distribution of vaccines and drugs.

Managing the pandemic's impact on the world economy through cooperation. The global spread of the pandemic has impeded the flow of people, cross-border trade, and other economic activities, triggered fluctuations on the financial market, and delivered a blow to both the industrial and supply chains, making a severe global economic recession unavoidable. It is imperative that the international community work together to stabilize and rehabilitate the world economy. While continuing to heighten epidemic control, China is ready to join forces with other countries to address the deepening global recession, stepping up international coordination on macroeconomic policies, and jointly safeguarding the stable, secure and smooth operation of international industrial and supply chains.

Covid-19 is changing the form but not the general trend of economic globalization. Decoupling, erecting walls and deglobalization may divide the world, but will not do any good to those who themselves are engaged in these acts. China believes that the international community should proceed with globalization, safeguard the multilateral trading system based on the WTO, cut tariffs, remove barriers, facilitate the flow of trade, and keep international industrial and supply chains secure and smooth. Countries also need to implement strong and effective fiscal and monetary policies, better coordinate financial regulation to keep global financial markets stable, and thus prevent a global financial crisis that may consequently plunge the world economy into a massive, protracted recession. China will continue to supply the international market with anti-epidemic materials, pharmaceutical ingredients, daily necessities, and other supplies. At the same time, China will continue to advance reform and opening up, expand imports and outbound investment, and thereby contribute further to other countries' fight against the virus and to a stable world economy.

Assisting weaker countries and regions. Without assistance, developing countries with weaker public health systems in Asia, Africa and Latin America-especially Africa-will struggle to handle the daunting challenges posed by this pandemic. Helping them improve their capacity and performance in epidemic prevention and control should be a top priority in the global response. China calls on multilateral organizations including the UN, the WHO, the IMF and the World Bank to provide emergency aid to African countries, and calls on developed countries to take on more responsibilities, to play a bigger role in the global battle, and to provide more material, technological and personnel support to their developing counterparts, especially those in Africa.

China has actively participated in and acted upon the Debt Service Suspension Initiative of the G20. It has so far announced the suspension of debt repayments from 77 developing countries. In addition to the medical supplies sent to over 50 African countries and the AU, and the seven medical expert teams dispatched to the continent, China will offer more assistance to African countries, and continue to do all in its power to offer support. This includes sending the most urgent medical supplies, conducting cooperation on medical technologies, and dispatching more medical expert teams and task forces. China will also provide support to the Covid-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan of the UN.

Firmly opposing stigmatization and politicization of the virus. In the face of a novel coronavirus that poses a worldwide threat to human lives and health, the most urgent task is to defeat it through solidarity and cooperation. The common enemy of humanity is this virus, not any particular country or any particular race. China calls on the international community to come together, abandon prejudice and arrogance, resist scapegoating and other such self-serving artifices, and stand against stigmatization and politicization of the virus. In doing so we will see that the spirit of solidarity, cooperation, responsibility and dedication leads people around the world towards victory in our fight against the pandemic.

China has suffered tremendously but has contributed generously to the global efforts to combat the virus. Its efforts should be duly recognized, and it should not be criticized groundlessly. Since the early days of the outbreak China has informed the rest of the world of every development in clear and unambiguous terms. Certain countries ignored this information, and now blame China for their own failure to respond to the epidemic and protect their people's lives. Those who are intent on maligning others will easily find a pretext. China has always acted with openness, transparency and responsibility, and informed the international community of developments of the epidemic in a timely manner. The baseless accusation that China concealed epidemic information and death figures is a calculated slur on the 1.4 billion Chinese people, including those killed by the virus, and on millions of Chinese medical workers. China categorically rejects any such accusation.

The novel coronavirus is a previously unknown virus. Determining its origin is a scientific issue that requires research by scientists and doctors. The conclusion must be based on facts and evidence. It is both irresponsible and immoral to play the blame game in an attempt to cover up one's own shortcomings. China will never accept any frivolous lawsuits or compensation claims.

In the face of a virus that is spreading worldwide, China has offered help to other countries to the best of its ability. It is doing so out of the kindness of its people, the empathy they have with people of other countries suffering from the pandemic, the humanitarian spirit of helping each other amid disasters, and its sense of responsibility as a major country. China is not exporting its model, nor is it pursuing selfish geopolitical interests.

Building an efficient and sustainable global public health system for the benefit of all humanity. Human history is a history of grappling with viruses. There are multiple deficiencies in current global health governance, including the absence of an international mechanism for joint prevention and control of infectious diseases and a dire shortage of international public health resources. On top of these, the upsurge in deglobalization has rendered the global public health system even more vulnerable.

Humanity will prevail over the pandemic, but it will certainly not be the last major public health emergency we will encounter. China therefore calls on the international community to draw lessons from this pandemic, reflect carefully, and turn crises into opportunities. Countries should show extraordinary political vision and a strong sense of responsibility by doing the following:

・embrace a philosophy that puts life above everything else, regards the world as a whole, and stresses equality, mutual respect, cooperation and mutual assistance;

・establish sound mechanisms for international cooperation, including a long-term financing mechanism, a monitoring, early warning and joint response mechanism for threats to public health, and a mechanism for reserving and allocating resources;

・create an efficient, sustainable global public health system for all;

・fortify defenses for the lives and health of all; and

・build a global community of health for all.

China supports efforts to make a full, objective, impartial, scientific, and professional assessment of the global response once the pandemic has been brought under control. This will enable us to learn lessons and remedy weaknesses. China proposes that countries take immediate action and adopt decisive measures to minimize both the imminent and potential threats of the virus. This is in the interest of future generations and the wellbeing of all humanity.

As a responsible country, China stands for the vision of a global community of shared future, and has actively participated in and advanced international cooperation in public health. It will put into action the six proposals and five measures put forward by President Xi Jinping in his speech at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, and contribute more to securing regional and international public health and building a global community of health for all.

World of Work
International webinar "The challenges for BRICS cooperation in the post-COVID19 world" (Международный вебинар "Проблемы сотрудничества БРИКС в мире после COVID19") / Russia, June, 2020
Keywords: social_issues, cooperation

Organizers: BRICS Russia Expert Council, National Committee on BRICS Research (Russia), Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA)

Date: June 18, 2020

Time: 10 am (Brasilia time) | 16 am (Moscow time)

Cisco Webex room to be indicated soon.

Working language: English

Opening remarks by:
- Norberto Moretti, Brazilian BRICS Sherpa.
- Pavel Knyazev, Russian BRICS Sous-sherpa.

Panel - The challenges for BRICS cooperation in the post-COVID19 world
- Ivan Oliveira, Director, Department of International Studies, IPEA.
- Victoria Panova, Managing Director, National Committee on BRICS
- HHS Viswanathan, Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research
- Renato Baumann, Coordinator of Investment and Development
Cooperation Studies, IPEA.
- Chen Huaqiao, Associate Professor, Sichuan International Studies
- Karin Vazquez, Fudan Scholar, Fudan University.


Launch of the special edition on BRICS of the journal: Perspective of the
World Review (Revista Tempo do Mundo – RTM)

- Ivan Oliveira (IPEA), co-editor of the special edition on BRICS.
- Victoria Panova (NKIBRICS), co-editor of the special edition on BRICS.
- Pedro Silva Barros, Editor-in-chief of the journal.

Contact information:
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail

Bridging Gaps Between ICC and ROL Discourse with BRICS (Преодоление разрыва дискурса между ICC и ROL с БРИКС) / Netherlands, June, 2020
Keywords: research, social_issues

The rule of law has increasingly become a germane concept in current legal and political debates on international and national platforms alike. Critics opine that the BRICS member states are afflicted by rampant corruption, in the main catalysed by the lack of transparent and democratically accountable elected governments. The resultant weak rule of law undermines the efforts of the BRICS member states to achieve sustainable global economic growth or attract foreign investment. The International Criminal Court contributes to the fight against impunity and the establishment of the rule of law by ensuring that the most severe crimes do not go unpunished and by promoting respect for international law. Thus, this article interrogates the correlation between the rule of law and criminal justice mechanisms; the adherence to the principles of the rule of law by BRICS member states; the role of the International Criminal Court vis-à-vis the rule of law as well as the relationship between the BRICS member states and the ICC. Of course, most desirable is a balanced outcome of political reciprocity without compromising the cardinal rule of law doctrine.
Role of Innovation and E-Commerce in BRICS – An Exploratory Analysis (Роль инноваций и электронной коммерции в БРИКС - исследовательский анализ) / India, June, 2020
Keywords: research, innovation, trade_relations

Purpose: The objective of this study is to review the challenges, opportunities and the e-commerce ecosystem within the BRICS grouping and to examine how Innovation and Technology can help the BRICS group, develop and enhance the cross-border trade through e-commerce. An attempt has been made through this paper for a comprehensive review and analysis of performance of the BRICS countries in cross border trade, with reference to ease of doing business, e-governance and logistic performance index.
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