Path to new international order paved with BRICS? – China’s latest political and current affairs news


A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for September 6, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Combination of satellite photos shows Chinese-controlled North Island, part of the Paracel Islands group in the South China Sea, on February 15, 2017 (top) and on March 6, 2017. Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS

Can the largest emerging economies really work together cohesively? China sure hopes they could. President Xi gave a big speech at the BRICS summit on September 5 in which he “urged BRICS nations to deepen coordination on global matters,” Reuters reports. If the emerging economies fight for and win enough “representation power,” he argued, they can build a “more just and reasonable international order.”

There are first just a couple of tiny obstacles to overcome, however.

  • BRICS nations have very little in common interests, AFP reports. Due to the group’s vastly different political and economic systems and incentives, what it has achieved during its existence has largely been “low-hanging fruit on institutional cooperation,” experts say. Furthermore, trade within the group is heavily dominated by China, ironically mirroring the way that the U.S. and Western Europe influence many international organizations.
  • China and India just resolved their worst border spat in many generations, but as M. Taylor Fravel writes in War on the Rocks, it is not at all clear that either side made any real compromises or learned any real lessons to apply to future conflicts.