In August, the bloc rolled out the welcome mat for six additional nations: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Argentina, Iran, and Ethiopia.
However, it’s glaringly apparent that China – the Asian colossus – played puppet master, swaying the alliance’s decision towards this aggressive expansion. China’s overwhelming enthusiasm for the BRICS enlargement is as clear as daylight.
The Middle Kingdom sees the BRICS entity as a pivotal chess piece in its grand strategy to engage more intimately with the Global South, simultaneously throwing a counterpunch at the United States’ global dominance.
China, it seems, is playing a masterful game, wielding the BRICS platform as a tool of influence and strategic positioning.
Unraveling China’s True Motives
Leading up to the BRICS summit, China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, unabashedly touted the alliance as “the most paramount platform for collaboration among emerging markets and developing nations.”
Brian Hart from Oxford University Politics astutely points out the cunning behind China’s moves, emphasizing how the Chinese officials artfully manipulated the idea of expansion as a Trojan horse to initiate dialogues and set the stage for new initiatives with other nations.
China managed to infiltrate high-level interactions, with diplomat Yi securing private audiences with leaders from a diverse array of countries including Bangladesh, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Iran, all under the guise of the BRICS congregation.
This move was strategic, placing China at the epicenter of international dialogue and influence. Furthermore, Beijing’s eyes are firmly set on diminishing the global clout of the G7 – a congregation of the world’s largest and most affluent democratic economies.
By pushing the BRICS agenda, China aims to challenge the trade and market dominance of these powerhouse nations, while simultaneously promoting de-dollarization, a core tenet of the BRICS mission statement.
A Long-Term Play for Dominance
The expansion of BRICS is not just a momentary power grab; it’s a meticulously calculated long-term strategy.
With the inclusion of the new members, the alliance has seen its collective GDP swell by over 10%, inching closer to the economic prowess of the G7, albeit still a few trillion shy.
The strategic inclusion of energy behemoths Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannot be overlooked, as it significantly bolsters the bloc’s sway over global energy supplies.
China, as the world’s most voracious energy consumer, stands to gain immeasurably from this particular expansion.
Hart candidly points out the undeniable gravitational pull of China within the BRICS constellation, asserting that the nation’s sheer size and influence render it impossible to ignore.
He predicts that Beijing will only tighten its grip and amplify its gains within the alliance as it continues to usher in allies that align with its agenda.
With every new member that gets absorbed into the BRICS fold, China’s influence magnifies, and its ability to steer the bloc’s trajectory strengthens.
This expansion, under the veneer of global cooperation and emerging market solidarity, is essentially a chess move by China, setting the stage for an era where its dominance is unchallenged and its influence, unparalleled.
The real question remains: is the world ready for a BRICS bloc that is overwhelmingly swayed by the dragon’s whisper? Only time will unveil the true ramifications of this expansion, but one thing is certain – China is playing a high-stakes game on the global chessboard, and the BRICS alliance is its pawn.