Xi, Putin, BRICS launch message against NATO sanctions and ‘expansion’

Beijing – At the top of the BRICS Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are back together on the (virtual) stage of a major international event. At the summit bringing together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa which opens tomorrow, the Chinese president – host of the 14th edition – reaffirmed his vision of the world in his opening address at the BRICS Business Forum, the event that precedes the official start of business. The Beijing leader once again criticized the sanctions – which were imposed on his “Russian friend” – which were defined as “a backlash that will eventually harm the entire world”, and “the facts have shown once again that it is a double weapon.” “The politicization, exploitation and weaponization of the global economy, and the use of a dominant position in the global financial system to impose indiscriminate sanctions, will only do harm to others as well as themselves, causing suffering to people all over the world.”

Against the “expansion” of NATO

He returns to warn of “hegemony” and “politics of blocs” that will not lead to “peace and security” but to “wars and conflicts”. It warns, above all, of the expansion of military alliances. “The Ukraine crisis is a wake-up call to the world,” Xi says. There has been no veiled message to the US and NATO – as emphasized several times in recent months by its foreign minister as well – that in Beijing (and Moscow) they are to blame for the conflict.

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In doing so, he repeats what he already said last week during the phone call with the Kremlin leader when he secured support for Putin on issues of sovereignty and security in Moscow. The letter also said thinking above all in one’s backyard (the South China Sea, with Taiwan, and the Pacific Ocean) and those various acronyms – from Quad to Aukus – that China considers Asian NATOs to contain (today’s news South Korea will open a mission to NATO headquarters) in Brussels).

alternative to the West

In his speech, Xi proposed an alternative to Western-dominated global governance, including reducing barriers to trade, investment and technology with the World Trade Organization at the center, as well as giving emerging economies and developing countries a greater role in economic governance. A new global development to send a message indirectly to the leaders of the Group of Seven, who will meet on Sunday in Germany.

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For his part, Putin took the opportunity to announce the discussion of an increase in China’s car market share in Russia and negotiations for the opening of an Indian supermarket chain in the country. Remember that oil supplies to Beijing and New Delhi are “greatly growing” and how – after the sanctions – Moscow redirects its trade to the BRICS countries which, as the Russian leader says, “is working to create a currency for international exchanges on the basis of a basket that includes all the currencies of the countries concerned” as an alternative to the dollar and the euro. Finally, it accuses the West of creating a chronic crisis in the global economy.

Closer relations with the BRICS countries

Beijing places great emphasis on closer ties between the BRICS nations – the five countries account for 40% of the world’s population and nearly a quarter of the planet’s gross domestic product – but it also aims to expand this alliance to other countries in the so-called global south. The Chinese proposal, already presented last month, is to open the doors to “inject more positive energy into a world facing turmoil and challenges”. There were already contacts with Argentina, Senegal, Thailand, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates. Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. So Xi presents itself as a union of emerging countries. And the Global Times, the party’s English-language newspaper, has been more clear in recent days: Beijing intends to “balance the tendency of Western countries to form small cracks with the G7”. China intends to “bring fresh air to the world that includes a just global system of governance rather than one dominated by American hegemony.”

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It wouldn’t be a walk in Beijing. First of all, because of Indian resistance (also given the rivalry between the two countries over the disputed border), but above all because many countries that want China to embark on the project voted to support Ukraine in the latest UN resolutions.

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