Source Global Times

BEIJING, China:With the 2023 BRICS summit set to be held in South Africa later this month, there have recently been some voices from Western media attempting to hype that divergences among members will impact the unity and development of the organization in the future, but these noises have been refuted by the relevant countries.

Chinese analysts said on Thursday that different opinions are very normal in an organization that upholds multilateralism and democratization of international relations, but if anyone tries to exaggerate the differences between members and downplay the significance of the BRICS cooperation mechanism, it only exposes the jealousy and nervousness of some Western elites, especially those who want to preserve US hegemony and a unipolar world order, when they see the unstoppable cooperation and development among non-Western countries or emerging economies.

Some Western media outlets, including Bloomberg and Reuters, have recently released reports frequently hyping some so-called problems of disunity among the BRICS members with the summit approaching. On Wednesday, Reuters reported that "Brazil has resisted gathering momentum in the BRICS group of major emerging economies to add more member countries, but debate over admission criteria seems inevitable at this month's summit," quoting "three Brazilian government officials" without giving their names.

However, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday that he has high expectations for the 15th BRICS Summit, which will be held in South Africa at the end of the month, noting it is "extremely important" that countries like Saudi Arabia, Argentina and other large developing countries join the bloc, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday that it's very normal to see different opinions within an international organization, and "we can see many arguments and even conflicts within NATO and the G7," while the US is always trying to keep its allies obedient or at least united by "provoking new threats" and "creating new enemies," and also "sharing US troubles with US allies." To some extent, the West is much more disunited than emerging economies.

Using rumors and groundless reports to exaggerate the differences among BRICS members only shows the mindset of some Western elites who wishfully hope that BRICS becomes paralyzed and falls into dysfunction caused by internal struggles, but even this kind of expectation is far from the facts, Li said.

In addition to Reuters, Bloomberg also published an article on Wednesday saying that BRICS "isn't big enough for both India and China," as it tried to say that tensions between the two countries "will likely prevent the BRICS bloc from ever posing a coherent challenge to the West."

India's Foreign Ministry spokesman Shri Arindam Bagchi has slammed 'baseless' speculation and untrue reports in some media that the country is against BRICS expansion.

"We have seen some baseless speculations...that India has reservations against [BRICS] expansion. This is simply not true," he said at a briefing on Thursday, responding to a TASS request to comment on the issue of the association's expansion.

Lin Minwang, a professor at the Institute of International Studies of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Thursday that although China and India have some disagreements, it's unrealistic and unfair to exaggerate their differences and say that China-India competition is hindering the development of BRICS.

"China and India are two major developing countries, so in many issues on development and the cooperation within the Global South, they share common interests, and this is why the BRICS mechanism has been able to develop successfully in recent years," Lin noted.

China and India both agree to push BRICS expansion, but, the two countries do have some differences on who should be included first.

However, this doesn't mean that their differences cannot be coordinated, Lin said, stressing that cooperation is the mainstream despite the existence of competition.

More importantly, apart from China and India, BRICS also includes Russia, South Africa and Brazil, so the future of the BRICS mechanism is decided by all members, not just one or two of them, as well as the emerging economies that want to join BRICS, so when analyzing the organization, exaggerating the differences between some members won't lead to an objective and credible conclusion, experts said.

South African Ambassador to China Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele told the Global Times in an exclusive interview in July, "Right from its inception, BRICS was never conceived as an exclusive club. It was pushing for inclusiveness, reform of global governance and financial institutions, a fairer multilateral system and strengthening multilateral governance under the UN system. We believe in expediting global trade other than protectionism."

"In terms of the surge in interest, a main element is that the benefits of being BRICS members are being seen by other developing and emerging economies. For instance, trade between BRICS members has increased, which then translated to direct benefits to the people with job opportunities and economic growth," said the ambassador of the host country of the BRICS summit this year.

Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Thursday that when they see the great potential of the BRICS mechanism, some Western countries, especially the US, "are trying to divide the world into three blocs - the US and the EU, China and Russia, and the Global South including India."

"With this kind of narrative, they can incite internal problems within non-Western countries and disrupt the cooperation among emerging economies. The BRICS members should not fall into this trap and stay united to jointly build a fairer and more reasonable globalization, and to solve those problems that the West failed or were unwilling to solve under the Western-dominated or America First international order," Wang said.

Li echoed this view, saying that BRICS will never play the game of bloc confrontation with the West, and even if BRICS does include more emerging economies in the future, they are not interested in challenging the G7 or other US-led organizations, as BRICS is trying to build a new globalization with inclusiveness and is open to mutual support and integration, and won't repeat the mistake made by the Western-led or US-led globalization that has caused increasing unfairness, uneven development and even chaos and turbulence worldwide.