Article 43


Thursday, May 09, 2024

Bad Moon Rising Part 100 - BRICS-11

image: 11 members of brics 2024
China is a large buyer of Saudi oil and maintains close relations with Iran… Conversely, the U.S. has had strained relations with Iran for decades and a similar normalization agreement would have been next to impossible for Washington to mediate… Some experts have cautioned that China is beginning a new era of diplomatic engagement in the Middle East, where it before mostly had economic ties.
-Bad Moon Rising Part 88


BRICS expands from 5 to 11, Modi says its a message to all global bodies
There are about 23 countries which have formally applied so far for membership of the grouping.

By Shubhajit Roy, New Delhi
Indian Express
August 25, 2023

Leaders of the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - decided Thursday to expand the grouping and admit six new members. Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Egypt, Ethiopia and Argentina will become part of BRICS with effect from January 1, 2024.

At a joint media briefing in Johannesburg, South African President and Summit host Cyril Ramaphosa, along with Prime Minister NARENDA MODI, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said, “We have consensus on the first phase of this BRICS expansion process… We have decided to invite Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS.”

"We value the interests of other countries in building partnership with BRICS and have tasked our Foreign Ministers to further develop the BRICS partnership model and list of prospective countries (which want to join the grouping),” Ramaphosa said.

He said the decision on the new members was agreed upon after firming up the guiding principles, criteria and procedure for the expansion process. There are about 23 countries which have formally applied so far for membership of the grouping.

Prime Minister Modi, in a tweet, said, “On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of BRICS, we have taken the decision to expand this forum. INDIA HAS ALWAYS SUPPORTED THIS EXPANSION. Such an expansion will make BRICS stronger and more effective. In that spirit, India welcomes Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE into the BRICS family.”

“India has always fully supported the expansion of the BRICS membership. India has been of the view that the addition of new members will further strengthen BRICS as an organisation, and give a new impetus to all our common endeavours,” he said.

Modi said the decision to expand the bloc will further strengthen the faith of many countries in the multipolar world order.

The BRICS, in its declaration, said, “We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS from 1 January 2024.”

The grouping was formed in September 2006 and it originally comprised Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). It was renamed as BRICS after South Africa was accepted as a full member in September 2010.

At present, the BRICS represents 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.

Chinese President Xi described the expansion of BRICS as a “new starting point” for cooperation in the grouping. “It will bring new vigour to the BRICS cooperation mechanism, further strengthening a force for world peace and development,” he said.

Speaking via virtual mode, Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the expansion.

Ramaphosa said, “Through this Summit, BRICS has embarked on a new chapter in its effort to build a world that is fair, a world that is just, a world that is also inclusive and prosperous.”

He said the BRICS is ready to explore opportunities for improving the “stability, reliability and fairness of the global financial architecture”.

He said the Summit agreed to task the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to consider the issues of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms, and report back to the leaders by the next Summit.

Modi said the decision to expand the bloc will further strengthen the faith of many countries in the multipolar world order.

He said the BRICS is ready to explore opportunities for improving the stability, reliability and fairness of the global financial architectureӔ.

He said the Summit agreed to task the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to consider the issues of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms, and report back to the leaders by the next Summit.

“We are concerned about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and inclusive consultation,” Ramaphosa said.

“We addressed our expectations for the BRICS economic partnership to generate tangible benefits for our communities and deliver viable solutions for common challenges faced by the Global South,” he said.



China search for a new global security order

While the collective west is in the grips of an existential legitimacy crisis, the RIC is devising its own security order to protect the rest of the world from the genocidals.ђ

By Pepe Escobar
The Cradle
May 3, 3024

The Hegemon has no idea what awaits the Exceptionalist mindset: China has started to decisively stir the civilizational cauldron without bothering about an inevitable array of sanctions coming by early 2025 and/or a possible collapse of the international financial system.

Last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his list of delusional US demands was welcomed in Beijing by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping as little more than an annoying gnat. Wang, on the record, stressed that Tehran was justified in defending itself against Israel’s shredding of the Vienna Convention when it attacked the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

At the UN Security Council, China now openly questions not only the state terror attack on the Nord Streams but also the US-Israel combo’s blocking of Palestinian statehood. Moreover, Beijing, just like Moscow recently, hosts Palestine’s political factions together in a conference aiming to unify their positions.

Next Tuesday, only two days before Moscow celebrates Victory Day, the end of the Great Patriotic War, Xi will land in Belgrade to remind the whole world about the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Chinese embassy by the US, UK, and NATO.

Russia, meanwhile, provided a platform for the UNRWA the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, which Israel has sought to defund ֖ to explain to high representatives of BRICS-10 the cataclysmic humanitarian situation in Gaza, as described by UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

In short, serious political business is already being conducted outside of the corrupted UN system, as the United Nations disintegrates into a corporate shell with the US dictating all terms as the largest shareholder.

Yet another key example of BRICS as the new UN: Russian Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev met in St. Petersburg with his Chinese counterpart Chen Wenqing on the sidelines of the 12th International Security Summit, congregating over 100 nations, including the security heads of BRICS-10 members Iran, India, Brazil, and South Africa, as well as Iraq.

The SCO security show

But the key crossroads these past few days was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. For the first time, the new Chinese Defense Minister, Dong Jun, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, to emphasize their comprehensive strategic partnership.

Dong, significantly, stressed the “dynamic” nature of ChinaRussia military interaction, while Shoigu doubled down, saying it “sets a model for interstate relations” based on mutual respect and shared strategic interests.

Addressing the full SCO assembly, Shoigu emphatically refuted the massive western propaganda drive about a Russian “threat” to NATO.

Everybody was at the SCO defense ministers֒ meeting including, at the same table, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Belarus as an observer. Minsk is eager to join the SCO.

The interlocking Russia֖IranChina strategic partnerships were totally in sync. Apart from Dong meeting Shoigu, he also met Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, who lavishly praised Beijing֒s condemnation of the Israeli terror air strike in Damascus.

What is happening now between Beijing and Tehran is a replay of what started last year between Moscow and Tehran, when a member of the Iranian delegation on a visit to Russia remarked that both parties had agreed on a mutual, high-level “anything you need” relationship.

In Astana, Dongs support for Iran was unmistakable. Not only did he invite Ashtiani to a security conference in Beijing, mirroring the Iranian position, he also called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the delivery of humanitarian aid. 

Shoigu, meeting with Ashtiani, provided extra context when he recalled that “the joint fight against international terrorism in Syria is a vivid example of our long-standing friendly relations.” The Russian defense minister then delivered his clincher:

The current military-political situation and threats to our states oblige us ... to common approaches to building a just world order based on equality for all participants in the international community.

A new global security order

Establishing a new global security order is right at the heart of BRICS-10 planning =on par with the de-dollarization debate. All of this is anathema to the collective west, which is incapable of understanding the multifaceted, intertwined Russia, Iran, and China partnerships. 

And the interaction goes on in person. Russian President Vladimir Putin will be visiting Beijing later this month. On Gaza, the Russia֖IranChina position is in complete sync: Israel is committing genocide. For the EU - and NATOstan as a whole - this is not genocide: the bloc supports Israel no matter what.

After Iran, on 13 April, changed the game in West Asia for good, without even using their finest hypersonic missiles, the key question for the Global Majority is stark: in the end, who will restrain the genocidals, and how? Diplomatic sources hint this will be discussed face-to-face by Putin and Xi.

As one Chinese scholar, with unique aplomb, remarks:

This time, the barbarians are facing a 5,000-year continuing written civilization, armed with Sun Tzu’s Art of War, Mao thought, Xi’s dual circulation strategy, Belt and Road, BRICS, renminbi digitalization, Russia and China unlimited, the world’s most powerful manufacturing industry, tech supremacy, economic powerhouse, and the backing of the Global South.

All that against a polarized Hegemon in turmoil, with its genocidal aircraft carrier in West Asia totally spinning out of control.

US threats of a ֓clear choice between ending several key strands of the RussiaԖChina strategic partnership or facing a sanctions tsunami dont cut it in Beijing. The same applies to WashingtonҒs wishful attempts at preventing BRICS members from ditching the US dollar.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has made it quite clear that Moscow and Beijing have nearly reached the point of abandoning the US dollar in bilateral trade. And the outright theft of Russian assets by the collective west is the ultimate red line for BRICS and all other nations watching with horror ֖ as a whole: this is definitely a non-agreement capableӔ Empire, as Lavrov has been emphasizing since late 2021.

Yaroslav Lisovolik, founder of BRICS+ Analytics, dismisses the Hegemons threats against BRICS as the road map toward an alternative payment system is still in its infancy. As for RussiaҖChina trade, the non-dollar high-speed train has already left the station.

Yet the key question remains: how will RussiaIran֖China (RIC), as BRICS leaders, SCO members, and simultaneously top three existential threatsӔ to the Hegemon, be able to start implementing a new global security architecture without staring down the genocidals.

About the author: Pepe Escobar is a columnist at The Cradle, editor-at-large at Asia Times and an independent geopolitical analyst focused on Eurasia. Since the mid-1980s he has lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Singapore and Bangkok. He is the author of countless books; his latest one is Raging Twenties.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.


Posted by Elvis on 05/09/24 •
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