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BRICS Is Not that Worrying

BRICS as a whole has been viewed by United States citizens with fear, who see it as a danger to America and its position in the global economy. An alliance with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa would create a very powerful entity. BRICS, however, is not as dangerous or united as most news organizations would have you believe. 

BRICS is not a formal agreement between nations like NATO or the EU, meaning that while they have agreed to enter into diplomatic relations, there is no official grouping. One example of this is how Russia, despite being a member of BRICS, has not seen unified support from the other member states in its invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, the member states of BRICS have very different political systems and ideologies, which can lead to difficulties in making unified decisions. A potentially major issue in unifying the agreement was the continuous border conflict between India and China, the most powerful member states of BRICS.

The projects the BRICS members have worked on have not been spared from this lack of unity. The New Development Bank, which was made to be a BRICS development bank, announced that it was pausing transactions with Russia after it invaded Ukraine

The prospect of BRICS becoming a competitor to the United States in the global economy shouldn’t be so worrying either. The current global economic landscape arguably is already multipolar, with the competitors being The United States, China and many other countries like India and Australia creating more competition worldwide. 

Recently, BRICS has announced a strategy to promote an international currency that would “dethrone” the U.S. dollar. This currency will be used among BRICS member states and is expected to launch this year. The most likely candidate for this common currency would be the Chinese Yuan. This announcement seems like it would rock the global economic world; however, the issue of BRICS’s disunity, mentioned above, may cause some significant issues for this plan. There is a large reason that this currency may not play out as intended—China’s government is not very enthusiastic about the Yuan becoming a global currency. The Yuan is very heavily controlled by the People’s Bank of China, and opening the Yuan internationally as the BRICS announcement intends would disrupt a balancing act China has been pursuing. In addition, the Chinese economy is suffering from a large real estate bubble bursting, making the prospective strength of an international Yuan less convincing.

The existence of BRICS should push the United States to pursue similar relations with its own allies. The United States should look to strengthen economic ties with their long-standing allies, then try to operate under a Cold War dichotomy, where they only focus on trying to contain BRICS like with the USSR. A priority on increased economic and political relations between the United States and its allies would ensure stable markets.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.

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Great piece Max! It is true that BRICS is perceived like a significant threat by the media. However, I feel like it still becomes an economic threat if the United States and its allies have to cooperate like in a Cold War dichotomy, even if BRICS is not unified on all points. Maybe it will be less threatening if the Chinese economy gets so affected by the aging population and the decreasing number of birth of the country that it cannot grow as fast as the last decades.

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