Time for In­dia to push past anger and strengthen BRICS co­op­er­a­tion

Global Times - - Asian Review - By Liu Zhiqin

The 9th BRICS sum­mit will be held in Xi­a­men, East China’s Fu­jian Prov­ince, from Septem­ber 3 to 5. This sum­mit is sig­nif­i­cant since it will not only sum­ma­rize the achieve­ments of BRICS in the com­pli­cated in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment, but also put for­ward an ac­tion plan for the op­er­at­ing sys­tem and prospects of the bloc.

In Septem­ber of last year, the suc­cess­ful G20 sum­mit in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Prov­ince, showed the world China’s pas­sion­ate in­volve­ment in the global econ­omy dur­ing a time when global eco­nomic growth is fal­ter­ing, pro­tec­tion­ism is ris­ing and the US has with­drawn from the Paris cli­mate agree­ment. In par­tic­u­lar, China’s Belt and Road ini­tia­tive re­ceived gen­er­ous sup­port from B& R coun­tries and their en­ter­prises.

How­ever, there are still voices of dis­con­tent in some BRICS coun­tries. When it comes to eco­nomic and trade ac­tiv­i­ties, var­i­ous kinds of pro­tec­tion­ism and ego­ism have been un­der­min­ing the mu­tual trust and re­spect among mem­ber coun­tries, as well as the bloc’s foun- da­tion for height­ened co­op­er­a­tion and mu­tual ben­e­fits. This goes against the de­vel­op­ment prin­ci­ple of BRICS and is sure to harm the eco­nomic growth of the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, es­pe­cially the mar­kets of BRICS mem­bers.

For the co­op­er­a­tion and fu­ture of BRICS, Sino- In­dian re­la­tions is a topic that can­not be ig­nored due to what a healthy and sta­ble re­la­tion­ship be­tween these two pop­u­lous coun­tries means to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

China and In­dia share many sim­i­lar­i­ties: They both seek to im­prove the stan­dards of liv­ing for their peo­ple and play an in­dis­pens­able role in the world. The healthy de­vel­op­ment of BRICS in the past has re­lied a great deal on close co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and In­dia, es­pe­cially their con­sul­ta­tion and di­a­logue in solv­ing im­por­tant prob­lems re­lated to eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion.

How­ever, re­cently, In­dia’s at­ti­tude to­ward China has changed a lot. In­dia has be­come ag­gres­sive and bel­li­cose. In Au­gust, In­dia launched anti- dump­ing and coun­ter­vail­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into more than 90 Chi­nese prod­ucts. This more or less demon­strated In­dia’s un­friendly at­ti­tude to­ward China. Ad­di­tion­ally, af­ter In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s visit to the US, the Modi ad­min­is­tra­tion strength­ened its op­po­si­tion against China. These changes were mu­sic to the ears of West­ern coun­tries since they feel that In­dia’s ac­tions will be able to sup­press China at low costs to them­selves.

There are three rea­sons that In­dia has started dis­putes with China.

First, In­dia har­bors ill feel­ings to­ward China’s de­vel­op­ment, which is dif­fer­ent from the West’s prej­u­dice and ar­ro­gance to­ward China.

When In­dia saw de­vel­oped coun­tries such as the US and Japan blame China for their slow eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, it re­al­ized stir­ring up dis­putes against China was the most con­ve­nient way to al­le­vi­ate do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal pres­sures, while also woo­ing the US to its side.

Yet, in the end this will end up harm­ing In­dia.

Sim­i­lar to China’s ex­pe­ri­ences, the West has never truly pro­moted In­dia’s de­vel­op­ment, but in­stead has acted as a back­seat driver while let­ting In­dia de­velop all on its own. In­dia should learn from the lessons of his­tory.

Sec­ond, In­dia may think that China has no counter ca­pa­bil­ity and there­fore will have lit­tle im­pact on In­dia. Be­cause of this, it has cho­sen to make some risky moves. How­ever, the de­vel­op­ment of In­dia has ben­e­fited much from China’s rapid de­vel­op­ment due to glob­al­iza­tion. China re­gards In­dia as its most im­por­tant raw ma­te­rial sup­plier. The com­ple­men­tary ad­van­tages of the two economies have been given full play, mak­ing China and In­dia gain ben­e­fits from bi­lat­eral trade.

Third, In­dia is be­set with con­tra­dic­tions. The struc­tural con­flicts be­tween trade and in­dus­try have es­pe­cially re­stricted In­dia’s mar­ket com­pet­i­tive­ness. What both­ers politi­cians in In­dia is that they have no so­lu­tions for these con­tra­dic­tions. They once thought that the mar­ket would cor­rect it­self, but the re­al­ity has proven dis­ap­point­ing.

Ad­di­tion­ally, In­dia’s na­tional gov­er­nance has al­ways been crit­i­cized by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, but now the In­dian gov­ern­ment thinks that fol­low­ing the West’s sug­ges­tions will end up help­ing In­dia’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and im­prove peo­ple’s liveli­hood.

This most likely will not hap­pen as ex­pected.

The BRICS coun­tries should stand fast when fac­ing the chal­lenges of the com­plex in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment so that BRICS can con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of the global econ­omy.

Only by main­tain­ing co­op­er­a­tion and unity can BRICS push their de­vel­op­ment to a new stage.

Only through equal co­op­er­a­tion can BRICS coun­tries max­i­mize their ben­e­fits and main­tain the smooth and healthy de­vel­op­ment of their economies.

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