Leaders of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – met in New Delhi at the end ofMarch. BRICS is a relatively new grouping of countries (South Africa is the most recent entrant) on the world stage. Together, these countries represent 43% of the world’s population and about 40% of the world GDP. In recent years these countries have all, separately or together, expressed a desire for greater say in global forums such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the United Nations, and for a restructuring of global financial institutions. The deepening economic crisis of the US and European Union, and the fact that these five economies continue to grow relatively rapidly at this time, taken together with changes in their economic clout internationally, has created a climate where in the bourgeoisie of these countries want to extend their clout in the international arena. The imperialist bourgeoisie of each of these countries is an active proponent of a “multi polar world” which will facilitate the expansion of their domination and plunder of the land, resources and labour of other countries and peoples. While each of the member states of BRICS colludes with the US when it serves their interests, they also contend with the US over various issues where their interests are threatened. These states are all wary of the US’ drive to establish a uni polar world under its domination. The declaration of the BRICS summit of March 2012 in New Delhi reflects all these features.
The governments of the five countries jointly demanded reform of the IMF and the World Bank to ensure a greater say for themselves, commensurate with their present economic clout. It is know that the IMF and World Bank are at present dominated by the US and the European Union. The BRICS countries see an opportunity in the present world-wide economic crisis which has hit the European Union particularly hard, to push for a greater say in these international financial institutions to advance their own interests. Simultaneously, they announced that they would explore the possibility of forming a new development bank among themselves – on the lines of the World Bank – to pool credit and resources for their own development.
The joint declaration highlighted the concern of the bourgeoisie of these five countries that the US and European Union should not use the concept of a “green economy” to target the bourgeoisie of these countries. It must be noted that in the international summits on “Climate Change” and all summits dealing with protection of the environment, the US and EU have consistently tried to force standards on all other countries, which would give an advantage to their capitalists at the expense of the capitalists of other countries. In this context, the BRICS declaration resolved to “resist the introduction of trade and investment barriers in any form on the grounds of developing green economy”.
The Joint Declaration expressed concern over the developments in North Africa and West Asia. It is known that Russia, China and India, to different degrees, have their interests in this region, which is amongst other things rich in oil and gas. The bourgeoisie of these countries know that the US imperialists together with their allies are trying to establish complete domination over this region, to get a control of the energy lifeline of China, India, and other energy starved countries. The joint declaration however did not defend the sovereign right of peoples and nations to determine their own destiny free from any imperialist pressure, blackmail or military invasions. There was no mention of the brutal war waged by US led NATO forces to re-colonise Libya. There was no mention or condemnation of the open US-NATO arming of the Syrian Opposition in the current civil war in that country. There was no condemnation of the US-EU pressure and blackmail of Iran, including threats of invasion. What was there was a vague appeal for “peaceful resolution” of conflicts under UN auspices. That is, what the BRICS declaration expressed was the desire of China, Russia and India to be “not left out” by unilateral US led actions. The imperialist stand of these five countries was thoroughly brought out over the question of Afghanistan. Far from any condemnation of the US-NATO devastation of Afghanistan, the BRICS declaration called for continued occupation of that country till 2024! In other words, the governments of India, China and Russia look at Afghanistan, not from the perspective of the right of the people of that country to determine their own destiny free from all foreign dictate, but as a pawn in their geopolitical games.
The BRICS grouping, just like other imperialist groupings, is wrought with contradictions between the member states. India and China for example have contradictions over unequal trade relations; they are competing for energy and other resources in Myanmar, South Sudan and other countries of Africa. They are contending with each other in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and South East Asia. China does not support India’s striving for becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and is wary of the strategic alliance of US and India, which it sees as a step in its encirclement.
What the emergence of BRICS reflects is that there is an acute struggle developing between the states that have already established their colonial or neo-colonial territories, their spheres of influence, and new imperialist powers which are now growing rapidly and claiming their “rightful share”. Among the BRICS countries are China, India and Russia, whose imperialist bourgeoisie are rapidly trying to expand their sphere of influence. The bourgeoisie of each of these countries want to use the increased bargaining power they get by striking deals amongst themselves, to advance in their contention with the US and EU.
Both US imperialism which is fighting for a “uni polar world”, and those fighting for a “multi polar world” are contributing to the sharpening of inter imperialist contradictions. The danger of imperialist wars engulfing more and more regions of the world is increasing. The situation demands that our party educates the working class and toiling masses about the dangerous imperialist course pursued by the Indian bourgeoisie.