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A Peak at BRICS Security Meeting
Pepe Escobar’s latest about the upcoming BRICS Summit in August carries the curios title, “BRICS Problems, BRI Solutions,” while Global Times wrote more directly to the main points at issue now, “Chinese senior diplomat calls to resist Cold War mentality at BRICS security meetings,” as the “Global South urged to defend national security, promote building of multipolar world.” Global Times focus on national security is quite curious as China’s been attacking the Outlaw US Empire for cloaking its anti-China trade policy with the term national security going back to Trump’s antics at the WTO prior to Covid. For reasons as yet unexplained, Wang Yi found himself again at the head of China’s Foreign Ministry and his opening statement was direct as usual:
Tuesday, senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said that after more than 10 years of development, the BRICS has become an important platform for emerging market countries and developing countries to unite and self-development.
Under the new situation, we must grasp the future development direction of the BRICS countries, further strengthen political mutual trust and strategic coordination, continue to provide international public goods that meet the requirements of the times, and strive to translate the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation into practical actions, and polish the "golden brand" of BRICS cooperation, Wang said.
To deal with the current global security challenges and solve the security dilemma, Wang also called for countries to resist unilateralism, hegemony and oppose "decoupling" and "double standards" and oppose Cold War mentality and zero-sum game.
The prime topic for Monday was cyber security.:
The issue of cyber security has been discussed at length at the ongoing BRICS meeting as some Western countries have intensified using the internet to conduct destructive activities in other countries, including inciting domestic riots, fooling the public or organizing cyber attacks on governmental departments, which have posed threats to developing countries' stability and development, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The meeting on security, together with other meetings in various fields, will lay the groundwork for the leaders' summit in August, as the BRICS mechanism is a cooperative mechanism beyond economic and security fields, and whether it is regarding traditional or non-traditional fields, it would safeguard development and cooperation in other areas, Song said.
What we’re seeing is the merging of the SCO and BRICS on the rather broad issue of security, which makes sense since the RIC are in SCO. The awareness that the emerging new multilateral organizations are becoming targets for Western Cold War treatment and related illegal sanctions is clearly heightened. That ought to be anticipated given what the Global South organizations are trying to attain with the establishment of a new international financial system that circumvents that controlled by the West and serves as the basis for its global hegemony, an oppression also targeted for elimination. So, we should expect to see a greater focus on security as well as a further gathering together of nations as both BRICS and SCO continue to expand. “Security is the core concern for the financial cooperation of BRICS countries and other developing countries. This is also why BRICS countries are studying the potential use of alternative currencies to the US dollar, analysts said.”
Escobar’s report begins by talking down the hype surrounding the possible announcement of a new trading currency:
What is in progress, as confirmed by BRICS sherpas, is the R5: a new common payment system. The sherpas are only in the preliminary stages of discussing a new reserve currency which could be gold or commodities-based. The discussions within the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), led by Sergey Glazyev, by comparison, are way more advanced.
The order of priorities is to get R5 rolling. All current BRICS currencies start with an “R”: renminbi (yuan), ruble, real, rupee, and rand. R5 will allow current members to increase mutual trade by bypassing the US dollar and reducing their US dollar reserves. This is only the first of many practical steps in the long and winding road of de-dollarization.
An expanded role for the New Development Bank (NDB) – the BRICS bank – is still being discussed. The NDB may, for instance, grant loans denominated in BRICS gold – making it a global unit of account in trade and financial transactions. BRICS exporters will then have to sell their goods against BRICS gold, instead of US dollars, as much as importers from the collective west would have to be willing to pay in BRICS gold.
That’s a long way away, to put it mildly.
Frequent discussions with sherpas from Russia and also independent financial operators in the EU and the Persian Gulf always touch on the key problem: imbalances and weak nodes inside the BRICS, which will tend to serially proliferate with the imminent BRICS+ expansion.
Deeply exploring the dedollarization process over the last two years has shown how complex the process is as it's not just the seemingly simple matter of using another currency; instead, it's the highly complex construction of an entirely new support system completely divorced from anything Western if the system is to be sovereign. Many have written about the craziness of decoupling from China. Well, dedollarization is similar except instead of supply chains there're money transfer chains. The initial Post-WW2 system was somewhat easy to assemble because a base already existed and there were only 65 or so nations and even fewer banks to integrate. Our problem is we want it to happen now to further beat the bully and end its reign of terror. We just need to be patient and ease our minds by knowing it will occur.
In similar manner, we’d like to see all the transport corridors agreed to commence construction. As usual, Pepe’s report has a detailed account of what’s new on that front. There’re currently well over 10,000KMs of transit/rail projects agreed to, getting financed and in the process of being built along with other infrastructure nodes and high tech development regions. Pepe links to an excellent discussion of China’s Greater Bay Area and RT has several documentaries about the construction feats being accomplished there (I found this one fascinating). What’s lacking is discussion about India’s issues. Many see South Africa as BRICS’s weak link, but India is vulnerable too, although no Western nation wants to try and recolonize it.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about Europe’s economic woes but failed to admit their cause, which is its norm, and also made some claims that were questionable at best. However, there're two economic claims the WSJ could make about the Outlaw US Empire's economy and be 100% correct: First, it's the world's most corrupt economy; second, that it has the highest level of overhead of any economy. Combining just those two factors leads to a genuine GDP of about $12 Trillion and a debt to GDP ratio of almost 3:1. The biggest muted issue is the inability of the Empire to rely on foreign buyers of US debt to finance all the Empire's overseas military establishments as Hudson explained in Super Imperialism; thus, the initial affects of dedollarization are beginning to be felt, which is why the debt to genuine GDP ratio matters. If the Empire wants to continue having those establishments, it will need to pay for them--something it's never really had to do before. Monies to pay for those bases isn't within the existing or proposed pentagon budget, and that's a huge sum of money. And that’s the #1 reason why dedollarization is such a huge deal despite Team Biden downplaying it, and why the efforts of BRICS, SCO, EAEU, ASEAN, and other multilateral organizations to dedollarize and establish a new system are so important.
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