BRICS Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion: A Ways to Go

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Lin Min­wang The au­thor is a re­search fel­low at the In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies at Fu­dan Univer­sity.

The BRICS co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism, which can be traced back to 2006, has be­come a shin­ing sym­bol of co­op­er­a­tion among emerg­ing mar­ket and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries as well as an im­por­tant force fu­el­ing the world econ­omy. Along­side eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, peo­ple-to-peo­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion and mech­a­nism con­struc­tion, BRICS coun­tries have also car­ried out a good deal of se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion over the last decade.

BRICS se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion is cen­tered on main­tain­ing a unan­i­mous opin­ion on ma­jor in­ter­na­tional mat­ters. “Dec­la­ra­tions” reached by suc­ces­sive BRICS lead­ers ex­press the bloc’s at­ti­tude on ma­jor global is­sues. In­ter­nal changes could lead to dif­fer­ences on re­gional is­sues, but the bloc’s stance on the Mid­dle East, North Africa and Afghanistan has re­mained con­sis­tent.

The most solid foun­da­tion for se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS coun­tries is the five coun­tries’ sim­i­lar stance on global gover­nance and or­der. They are all com­mit­ted to a fair and just in­ter­na­tional or­der based on the prin­ci­ples of the UN Char­ter and push­ing the in­ter­na­tional or­der in a more just and rea­son­able di­rec­tion. BRICS pro­motes eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion to be more fair, mu­tu­ally-ben­e­fi­cial and in­clu­sive. Es­pe­cially since Don­ald Trump took of­fice, BRICS coun­tries’ com­mon ground on in­ter­na­tional trade has be­comes more pro­nounced. All five coun­tries sup­port a rule-based, trans­par­ent, non-dis­crim­i­na­tory, open and in­clu­sive mul­ti­lat­eral trading sys­tem. They all fol­low the ex­ist­ing rules and obli­ga­tions re­quired by the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion and op­pose trade pro­tec­tion­ism. They call for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to im­ple­ment the Paris Agree­ment in ac­cor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of the United Nations Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change and to ful­fill its com­mit­ment to the pro­vi­sion of fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal sup­port to de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to ad­dress cli­mate change.

At the same time, BRICS coun­tries have all ex­pressed sim­i­lar ap­peal to re­form the ex­ist­ing in­ter­na­tional sys­tem. For ex­am­ple, BRICS coun­tries called for com­pre­hen­sive re­form of the United Nations in­clud­ing its Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, to make it more rep­re­sen­ta­tive, ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient, and to in­crease rep­re­sen­ta­tion of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. They pro­mote the IMF’S re­form to strengthen the voices of emerg­ing mar­kets and de­vel­op­ing economies. They re­quire de­vel­oped Euro­pean economies to ful­fill their prom­ise to give up two IMF ex­ec­u­tive board seats to en­hance the voice and rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the poor­est mem­bers of sub-sa­ha­ran Africa. The coun­tries ap­peal to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to make greater ef­forts to im­ple­ment the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment.

As for spe­cific se­cu­rity is­sues, BRICS coun­tries have started co­op­er­a­tion and achieved some progress in fields like the fight against ter­ror­ism, space ex­plo­ration, net­work se­cu­rity and en­ergy se­cu­rity. In 2016, dur­ing In­dia’s pres­i­dency of the BRICS Sum-

mit, mem­ber coun­tries set up the first co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism on counter-ter­ror­ism and in Septem­ber 2016 or­ga­nized the first meet­ing of the Work­ing Group on Counter-ter­ror­ism in New Delhi. On May 18, 2017, the sec­ond meet­ing of the BRICS Work­ing Group on Counter-ter­ror­ism was held in Bei­jing. BRICS coun­tries found ex­ten­sive com­mon in­ter­ests and broad co­op­er­a­tion space in fields in­clud­ing ter­ror­ism sup­pres­sion, and they should make full use of the BRICS anti-ter­ror­ism mech­a­nism to grad­u­ally ex­pand prag­matic co­op­er­a­tion in anti-ter­ror­ism in­for­ma­tion ex­change, law en­force­ment, ca­pac­ity build­ing and pro­tec­tion of over­seas in­ter­ests, as well as to strengthen mul­ti­lat­eral com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­or­di­na­tion to make BRICS’ con­tri­bu­tion a greater fac­tor in the global fight against ter­ror­ism.

In the Ufa and Goa Dec­la­ra­tions, BRICS’ co­op­er­a­tion in space ex­plo­ration re­ceived con­sid­er­able at­ten­tion. The dec­la­ra­tions doc­u­mented their com­mon po­si­tion that in­ter­na­tional law gives all nations the right to peace­fully ex­plore outer space and uti­lize its re­sources. And no arms or force should ever be used in outer space to en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of outer space ac­tiv­i­ties. To pro­mote space co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS coun­tries, the first meet­ing of the heads of the BRICS space au­thor­i­ties was held in Zhuhai, Guang­dong Prov­ince, China, on Oc­to­ber 31, 2016. All par­ties agreed that space co­op­er­a­tion would in­ject new vi­tal­ity into BRICS strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion and con­firmed that BRICS coun­tries would jointly build a BRICS shar­ing mech­a­nism for re­mote sens­ing satel­lite data to help with chal­lenges such as cli­mate change, nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, and the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of BRICS coun­tries.

In cy­ber­se­cu­rity, BRICS coun­tries have plenty of com­mon ground. Based on in­ter­na­tional law such as the UN Char­ter and how it out­lines po­lit­i­cal in­de­pen­dence, ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, equal state sovereignty, set­tle­ment of dis­putes by peace­ful means, non­in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of other coun­tries, re­spect for hu­man rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms and pri­vacy, all BRICS coun­tries have deep in­ter­est in de­vel­op­ing in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy and ad­vo­cate an open, uni­fied and se­cure in­ter­net. As for the realm of en­ergy se­cu­rity, in Novem­ber 2015, the first BRICS en­ergy min­is­te­rial meet­ing was held in Moscow, which laid a frame­work and foun­da­tion for en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the five coun­tries. On June 7, 2017, the sec­ond BRICS en­ergy min­is­te­rial meet­ing was held in Bei­jing. Par­tic­i­pants of that meet­ing dis­cussed is­sues like en­ergy se­cu­rity, en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion and a plat­form for BRICS coun­tries’ en­ergy re­search co­op­er­a­tion, cul­mi­nat­ing in the pub­li­ca­tion of a joint state­ment.

In gen­eral, com­pared to co­op­er­a­tion in eco­nomic and trade sec­tors, se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS coun­tries still has many lim­its. Al­though BRICS coun­tries can reach con­sen­sus on global is­sues and poli­cies, co­op­er­a­tion in spe­cific ar­eas of­ten re­quires more work and is ex­pected to ex­pe­ri­ence fur­ther growth. BRICS se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion has a long way to go. For­tu­nately, at the Sev­enth BRICS Se­cu­rity Meet­ing, all par­ties rec­og­nized that only by con­tin­u­ously strength­en­ing the role of the BRICS Se­cu­rity Meet­ing mech­a­nism will in-depth de­vel­op­ment of se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS coun­tries be pro­moted.

The Long March fam­ily of Chi­nese car­rier rock­ets de­buted at a Rio de Janeiro air show in 2015. The China- Brazil earth re­source satel­lite project, a model of South-south co­op­er­a­tion, has pro­vided tremen­dous data for the two coun­tries’ eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. VCG

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