Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 1.2022
2022.01.03 — 2022.01.09
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Deputy director of Tsinghua's center: "The Cooperation between Members of BRICS is Very Essential" (Заместитель директора центра Цинхуа: «Сотрудничество между членами БРИКС очень важно») / Turkey, January, 2022
Keywords: expert_opinion, cooperation

The emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa-BRICS-have been touted as the leaders of the developing world. This organization may be the alternative of the global financial system dominated by the West. But what do these initiatives signal about members' intentions?

Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies (ANKASAM) provides the interview of Zhao Keji. He is deputy director of Tsinghua's center for U.S.-China relations and an expert on China's foreign policy and diplomacy. He says that the future of the multilateral framework will in large part be shaped by China's choices and capabilities.

Mr. Keji, what role does the BRICS group play in internatıonal affairs?

Economically, China is the largest country in the BRICS and enjoys the highest credit rating and share of global GDP, which puts it in a strong position. Indeed, as China's economy has grown, the country has started to play a constructive leadership role in the BRICS.

The BRICS group will also play an increasingly important role in assisting developing countries in gaining an advantage in trade and climate change negotiations, as well as on issues related to the export of manufacturing products. Developing countries on the periphery of the group will be able to leverage the NDB and the CRA to increase their bargaining power. The group will maintain a low profile on security issues. But as regional powers, the BRICS nations will likely support member states' prominent positions within each country's area of influence.

How important is China to the BRICS group and its new initiatives?

China sees the group as a way to enhance the discursive power of developing nations within the international development infrastructure—a goal that is difficult to realize when working through the IMF and the World Bank. In addition, China hopes to find a new outlet for its foreign currency reserves, providing an alternative to its investments in U.S. government bonds. The new bank could also hasten reform of China's own financial system, allowing the country's commercial banks to expand their activities overseas. If China continues to deliver strong support to the group, the BRICS could be an important economic actor with significant lending power. But if China is reluctant, the group's prospects are less bright

Will the BRICS countries deepen cooperation?

Each BRICS country has its own agenda. For instance, Russia has significant security-related interests. Meanwhile, India is looking to attract Chinese investment and reduce climate-change-related pressures. It is very difficult to achieve consensus, particularly regarding nontraditional security issues. The BRICS countries are trying to balance between these commonalities and differences. Although there is competition, strategic coordination is possible. The BRICS countries have similar interests and trajectories when it comes to economics and have proven that they can collaborate in this area.

Cooperation may also deepen through university and think tank networks. Universities in BRICS nations, for instance, want to set up programs to promote internationalization, specifically a university league among institutions in BRICS countries that will be formulated in the coming years. In addition, a new BRICS think tank that covers issues related to finance and economics is likely to be established.

An interview on our website is the personal opinion of the expert and may not reflect the institutional view of Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Research (ANKASAM).

The original version of this interview was published on The International Asia Today on 04.01.2022.
Click to access the full text of the article:
Putin Calls for Stronger Solidarity in New Year Greetings to BRICS leaders (Путин призвал к большей солидарности в новогоднем поздравлении лидеров БРИКС) / Greece, January, 2022
Keywords: vladimir_putin, quotation, expert_opinion, speech

In a new year message to leaders of BRICS – Brazil, India, China and South Africa – President Vladimir Putin has called for a stronger unity among the group's members, strengthen political dialogue and forge common approach to emerging challenging global problems especially issues relating economic stability and security.

In his message to President of the Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Putin stressed that the strategic partnership between Moscow and Brasilia in the outgoing year was quite successful. He expressed hope for continued constructive dialogue and joint activities bilaterally and within BRICS, the G20, the UN and other multilateral associations and organizations.

Moscow, together with other four members, has made appreciable efforts in developing the BRICS. It always intends to work effectively for the sake of enhancing the organization's authority and promoting common approaches to pressing problems on the international agenda.
In the messages of greetings addressed to the leaders of the Republic of India, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Russian leader noted the high level of Russia-India relations of special privileged strategic partnership, as fully demonstrated by the results of recent talks held in New Delhi.

"The implementation of the agreements reached will help further expand productive Russia-India cooperation in various areas," Putin noted.

He further expressed hope that in the coming year, the two countries would continue their constructive dialogue both via bilateral ties and within BRICS, the SCO, the G20, the UN and other multilateral organizations. These would benefit the friendly peoples of both Russia and India and in the interests of enhancing security and stability in Eurasia and across the world.
In his message of greetings to President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping on the occasion of the New Year and the upcoming Spring Festival, Putin noted that 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Russian-Chinese Treaty on Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, which is a solid basis underlying bilateral relations.

Despite the pandemic-related challenges, the Russian leader noted that Russia and China's interaction was exceedingly productive. "A dynamic political dialogue continued at all levels, trade was up at an all-time high, and cross years of Scientific, Technological and Innovative Cooperation led to good practical results," the message says.
The effective coordination of efforts in addressing key items on the regional and international agenda was noted in the message, and confidence was expressed that the two countries would be able to expand the entire range of bilateral ties, and a new joint project between the two countries – the Year of Cooperation in Physical Fitness and Sports – would be implemented in full.

"I have no doubt that our Chinese friends will make sure that the Winter Olympic Games are a success. I look forward to our meeting at the opening ceremony of this sports festival," according to his message of greetings.

Russia and South Africa, in particular, have been attempting to scale up their bilateral relations. "I hope that in 2022 we will continue to work closely to strengthen the multifaceted interaction between Russia and South Africa – both bilaterally and within BRICS, the G20, the UN and other multilateral organizations. This fully meets the interests of our peoples and helps strengthen international stability and security," Putin wrote in his message to the President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.
The BRICS member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) collectively represent about 26% of the world's geographic area and are home to 3.6 billion people, about 42% of the world's population. The five commands a combined nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$16.6 trillion.
World of Work
Meet BRICS Art Contemporary International Project (Знакомьтесь, международный проект по современному искусству БРИКС) / Russia, January, 2022
Keywords: social_issues

The international project Meet BRICS Art starts in mid-January 2022. Ural painters and their colleagues from different regions of Brazil, India and China are going to take part in the project. The project is held with the grant support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives.

It is planned to hold a series of online meetings between art professionals from the BRICS countries, artists and organize a 3D exhibition of their work. More than 100 artworks will be exhibited during the project.

The events will play an important role in expanding and deepening cooperation in the field of culture and art, in the development of intercultural dialogue, and contribute to the strengthening of mutual respect and rapprochement of the peoples of the BRICS countries.

The events will run until April 2022.
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