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BRICS Summit: Far East Bloc versus America: 'Great Game' for Global Order via Banking and Currency? - Solve et Coagula - 04-15-2009

China versus America: 'Great Game' for Global Order?

by Park Sang-seek

Global Research, April 14, 2009
The Korea Herald - 2009-04-07

The G20 summit in London ended with an optimistic note. But the final communique was a compromised document between the forces to preserve the basic architecture of the existing financial order and the forces to replace it with a new one: the first led by the Anglo-American partnership and the second by the BRICs with the support of the non-participating developing world. The Franco-German coalition took the intermediary position.

Notwithstanding this division, the most interesting phenomenon was an invisible struggle between the United States and China. From the perspective of international politics, the most serious issue in the 21st century will be whether China will challenge the U.S. dominant position in the international order, and if so, when and how it will. We can detect China's true intentions and strategy for a new international order by examining the actions and policies it has been taking in dealing with the international financial crisis.

The game in the 21st century financial crisis is actually a game between the United States and China. It is reminiscent of the Great Game between the United Kingdom and Russia in the 19th century. In that Great Game Britain staged all-out military and diplomatic moves to contain Russia's attempt to control Central Asia, particularly India.

U.S. President Obama said, shortly after the international financial crisis, that we are entering the beginning of the end of the crisis. I would say that we are entering the beginning of the end of U.S. hegemony in the world. The United States was one of the superpowers during the cold war period and has been the hegemonic power in the world since the end of the cold war.

There are similarities and differences between British hegemony and American hegemony. Both hegemonic powers were able to contain the challenger (Russia/ the Soviet Union) and other rising great powers opposed the challenger. Moreover, both hegemonic powers were in control of the international financial order and the international political and security order, both of which are two basic requirements for global hegemony. One difference is that Britain used naked military power to dominate the world, but the U.S. has alternated soft and hard power and relied on nuclear parity.

Now we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the international economic order based on the Bretton Woods financial institutions as well as the international security order sustained by American military superiority. The G20 summit signaled the beginning of a new Great Game between the United States and China. This new Great Game has started with a money game, but it will eventually develop into a full-pledged political game.

Let us read the signs indicating this. In a hierarchical international system, the hegemonic power maintains a constant watch on the rising great powers. Historically, rising great powers are divided into the powers satisfied with or tolerating the status quo and those against it. When a rising power challenges the status quo, other great powers may support or oppose it. In most cases, the challenger acts alone and is defeated.

In the United States, expert opinions are divided on the true foreign policy goals of China. Some argue that it will challenge U.S. hegemony singularly or in alliance with other great powers, and others hold that it will seek peaceful coexistence, believing that the U.S. will not be able to maintain its hegemonic position for long. Still others aver that it will seek a multipolar world, with China in control of East Asia. We can conceive of other scenarios after U.S. hegemony.

The international financial crisis has provided China with both a crisis and an opportunity: the economic recession for China and the restructuring of the unipolar international political order and economic and financial architecture. China leading the developing world and in coalition with some major powers including Russia, France and Germany, have been advocating a multipolar international political and economic order.

This time China, in league with other members of the BRICs and the Franco-German alliance, pushes for the creation of a new international reserve currency replacing the U.S. dollar. If this is realized, the U.S. will lose its hegemony in the international economic order and therefore it has rejected it.

Along with this reform proposal, China, together with major economic powers from diverse continents including Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, the euro zone, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, endorses the restructuring of the International Monetary Fund. However, it should be noted that it does not advocate the abolition of the IMF.

It is also interesting to note that France and Germany are more radical than China and other great powers on the agenda items of the G20 summit. Sarkozy demands that the rules for global capitalism be rewritten to conform to the more civilized form of the continental European model. Merkel goes further and calls for the creation of an economic body at the U.N., similar to the Security Council, to judge government policies. She actually advocates a supranational body to supervise international financial transactions.

Concerning the principles of the reform of the international financial order, China does not hesitate to lead the developing world, while on concrete measures, it hovers around the Anglo-American and Franco-German axes. Why does China take such an opportunistic and conciliatory position? The reason can be two-fold: First, it knows time has not yet arrived for China to challenge the hegemonic power, and secondly, its economy is too deeply dependent on the U.S. economy. It is evident that if the U.S. dollar goes down and the U.S. economy collapses, it will lose its investments in the U.S. treasury bonds and its exports will decline drastically, thus deepening its economic recession.

China's grand strategy was established when Deng Xiaoping adopted a new economic policy in the 1970s, and it has not changed. This strategy is to "rise in peace." The question to others is "for what purpose?" No wonder U.S. leaders and China specialists are divided on the proper U.S. China strategy. They talk about confrontation, containment, containment-engagement, engagement and appeasement. Obama seems to be leaning toward engagement.

The lessons Korea should learn from the international financial crisis are first that it is time for Korea to expand its influence in the international economic institutions and it should closely watch the development of the economic strategies of the United States and China, two major game players.

What the whole world should learn for this experience is that globalization has truly changed the nature of international trade and financial activities and international financial institutions, and new rules and mechanisms should be adopted to reflect the changes created by globalization.

Obama's recent remarks at the summit summed it up well: "The voracious U.S. economy can no longer be the sole engine of global growth."

Park Sang-seek is a professor at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University. - Ed.

Global Research Articles by Park Sang-seek

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...a&aid=13170


Is this the death of the dollar? - TriWooOx - 06-22-2009

Quote:Border guards in Chiasso see plenty of smugglers and plenty of false-bottomed suitcases, but no one in the town, which straddles the Italian-Swiss frontier, had ever seen anything like this. Trussed up in front of the police in the train station were two Japanese men, and beside them a suitcase with a booty unlike any other. Concealed at the bottom of the bag were some rather incredible sheets of paper. The documents were apparently dollar-denominated US government bonds with a face value of a staggering $134bn (£81bn).

How on earth did these two men, who at first refused to identify themselves, come to be there, trying to ride the train into Switzerland carrying bonds worth more than the gross domestic product of Singapore? If the bonds were genuine, the pair would have been America's fourth-biggest creditor, ahead of the UK and just behind Russia. No sooner had the story leaked out from the Italian lakes region last week than it sparked a panoply of conspiracy tales. But one resounded more than any other: that the men were agents of the Japanese finance ministry, in the country for the G8 meeting, making a surreptitious journey into Switzerland to sell off one small chunk of the massive mountain of US bonds stacked up in the Japanese Treasury vaults.

In the event, late last week American officials confirmed that the notes were forgeries. The men, it appeared, were nothing more than ambitious scamsters. But many remain unconvinced. And whether fake or otherwise, the story underlines one important point about the world economy at the moment: that the tension and paranoia surrounding the fate of the US dollar has hit a new high. It went to the heart of the big question: will the central bankers in Japan, China and elsewhere continue to support the greenback even in the wake of the worst financial crisis in modern history, or will they abandon it as America's economic hegemony dissipates?

Dollar obituaries are nothing new. The currency has been presumed dead more times than Shane Macgowan. But like the lead singer of The Pogues, the greenback has somehow withstood repeated knocks and scrapes over the years and lived on, battered, bruised and a couple of teeth the lighter, to fight another day. In the 1970s and 1980s there were plenty predicting its demise, although at that point the main challenger was the Japanese yen. And in the years preceding this crisis, economists and investors including Peter Schiff and George Soros were lining up to declare the dollar's demise as the world's reserve currency. In the late 1990s, the creation of the euro gave dollar sceptics another stick to beat the currency with, and no doubt the European currency has claimed some of the prominence in its first decade.

Now, following the collapse of the global financial system, those warnings have become louder still, and ever more difficult to dismiss – because this time around there are threatening noises coming from those who actually have the power to do something about it. First came a paper from Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), a couple of months ago, positing the idea of introducing the special drawing right (SDR) – a kind of internal currency at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – as an international reserve currency. These calls were then repeated, with more force, by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, who last week declared that the world needed new reserve currencies in addition to the dollar.

And this time around, the dollar is most certainly suffering. Since 2002 its trade-weighted strength – calculated against a basket of other currencies – has fallen by more than a quarter, from 112 to 81 points. In the same period, the proportion of dollars held by reserve managers in leading central banks has also taken a dive. According to figures from the IMF, confirmed holdings of dollars in government vaults, from Beijing and Tokyo to London and Paris, fell from 71pc of reserves to 64.5pc between 2002 and 2008.

However, detecting what is really happening in the world of foreign exchange reserves is notoriously closer to an art than a science. For instance, figures from April seemed to suggest a fall in China's holdings of US Treasuries – something 'dollapocalypticists' pounced on at the time. But according to Brad Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations, the country was merely rejigging its Treasury portfolio rather than liquidating parts of it. In such an opaque world it is little wonder the conspiracy theories over those two Japanese smugglers show little sign of dissipating.

Nonetheless, for US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who has inherited his predecessors' role as dollar wallah-in-chief, the currency's travails have made it all the more difficult for him to repeat the mantra that he "believes in a strong dollar" while keeping a straight face. Indeed, when he tried to insist at a university lecture in Beijing earlier this month that "Chinese financial assets are very safe," it drew floods of laughter from the audience.

He wasn't playing for laughs, but the irony of the situation is plain to see. If there were a textbook list of actions one could take to weaken a currency, the US (alongside most other developed nations) would be following it to the letter. It has cut interest rates to a whisker above zero; it has engaged in quantitative easing, pumping cash directly into the economy; it has committed to spending trillions of dollars on a fiscal stimulus package designed to pull the country out of recession; it has pledged tacitly to support its stricken banks so that no major institution is allowed to collapse. In any normal circumstances, actions like these would hammer a currency.

According to Stephen Jen of BlueGold Capital Management: "People are having second thoughts not simply because they don't like the dollar, but they are having second thoughts about whether US assets are obviously the strongest assets to own."

Like everything else, the currency's fate depends on how well the US authorities manage the crisis. The US is balanced on a knife-edge between possible Japan-style deflation as the weight of all its debts bear down on it and potential inflation as the force of all its powerful stimulus measures take root. No one knows for sure which way it will fall, but neither would be particularly good for the currency, and by extension for those who hold much in the way of dollar assets.

And China and all other major central banks which have trillions of dollars in their vaults, face something of a dilemma. Any fall in the greenback will cause the value of their investments to slide. Even if they wanted to exit, there seems no easy way of doing so without provoking some serious self-harm. Indeed, according to Olivier Accominotti, a PhD economist at Paris's Sciences Po university, the situation is not unlike that faced by France in the 1920s, as it sought to reduce its massive sterling reserves. The Bank of France found itself in a "sterling trap" in which it "could not continue selling pounds without precipitating a sterling collapse and a huge exchange loss for itself".

Neil Mellor, of Bank of New York Mellon, said: "We've got a situation where Geithner is smiling and has no choice but to stress the credibility and stability of the US financial and economic system, while the creditors [such as the Chinese] smile back and say they believe him, while at the same time giving hand signals to their reserve managers to get rid of these things."

Rather like the brinksmanship on display throughout the Cold War, it is a dilemma which applies itself to game theory. Both sides know that the dollar is set to weaken, but both could be set to suffer if they both allowed it to collapse at the same time. "If you are the Chinese it is in your interest to play the game – you've got a lot of dollars at stake – but in the long run you surely want to reduce your holdings and diversify them at the margins," says Mellor.

Still, with every passing week, the conjunction of different warning signals for the US currency seems to evolve and intensify. Recently, the alarm bell ringing most loudly has been the increase in yields on US Treasuries – a sign, some fear, of acute nervousness among institutional investors about the sheer scale of the cash the Obama administration is planning to borrow in coming years. The Federal Reserve's meeting next week is likely to be watched attentively by everyone with a stake in the game, as the central bank indicates whether it is planning to plough more dollars of newly-created cash into the economy.

But while the debate fixates on the greenback, the issues at heart here go far deeper. The dollar's fate is intertwined with that of the global economy. America is on the brink of losing its economic superpower status, which it will have to share with China at least, if not others, in the coming years. Holding such a position confers important responsibilities, none of which is more symbolic than providing the world's reserve currency – the currency against which all major commodities are denominated, and the de facto international unit of exchange in trade and finance.

It was a position enjoyed by UK sterling during the first waves of globalisation in the Victorian era and the final decades of the British Empire. Eventually, around the time of the Second World War, the dollar inherited the mantle. At first this was something enshrined in the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944, which fixed world currencies to the dollar, but although that system broke down in the 1960s and 1970s, it has remained the de facto currency of choice.

In a globalised world, with trade being carried out between hundreds of different nations by thousands of different companies, having an international standard makes sense: it enables traders to exchange goods more quickly and efficiently than they would have done otherwise. It may be invisible to us, but the vast majority of foreign exchange transactions – particularly those between smaller nations – involve the dollar. Exchange your sterling for Thai baht and you're actually swapping pounds for dollars for baht, whatever the exchange booth says. Even the much-vaunted exchange arrangements by the Brazilian and Chinese are designed not to disrupt these foundations, but merely to smooth things over for importers and exporters.

But a by-product of the dollar's dominance has been the skewing of the world's monetary system. By dint of having this blessed position, the US has been able to finance ever-larger current account and fiscal deficits, with both the government and the public borrowing from overseas, at cheap rates of interest. It has been able to sell US Treasuries at interest rates that other countries can only dream of because of this position as reserve currency. It has had a captive consumer – both because its government bonds are something of a safe haven and because those wishing to peg their currencies against the dollar and enhance their trade flows have little choice but to buy US Treasuries.

And this mutated international monetary system that has evolved since the 1960s is largely responsible for the crisis into which the world has tipped. Because it was able to borrow off other countries at such low rates without enduring the market punishment – in other words higher interest rates – America was able to build up massive current account deficits which poured a record amount of debt throughout its economy, which manifested itself in the financial crisis.

Indeed, as Mervyn King said in a speech earlier this year: "At the heart of the crisis was the problem identified but not solved at Bretton Woods – the need to impose symmetric obligations on countries that run persistent current account surpluses and not just on countries that run deficits. From that failure stemmed a chain of events, no one of which alone appeared to threaten stability, but which taken together led to the worst financial crisis any of us can recall."

When the PBoC's Zhou referred to the SDRs he was not merely questioning the dollar's pre-eminence. He was indicating something far more radical – that China supports plans for a new Bretton Woods-style agreement to manage the flows of cash around the world. At that seminal conference in 1944, John Maynard Keynes's original idea, which was watered down by Harry Dexter White of the US Treasury, was for an international reserve currency, Bancor, fixed against a basket of 30 currencies, and that countries would be penalised if their current accounts swung too far into surplus or deficit. It is an idea which is now being dusted off from history books by officials in finance ministries around the world, including in China.

Such a radical shake-up would cause earthquakes in the currency markets, a prospect which perhaps makes it unlikely. So in the absence of such a deal, how is the dollar's role likely to evolve in the coming years? The short answer is that no one should expect it to lose its reserve currency status any time soon. It took around half a century for Britain to cede this position to the US, even after being overtaken in true economic might.

One possibility is that the SDR may be used increasingly as a means of denominating assets in accounts, but this is something which would take place gradually, over a course of some years. But even if that is a bridge towards a multi-polar world, in which other currencies vie with the dollar for influence, it will take some time – perhaps 30 years or more, according to Stephen Jen. "People should look at history," he said, referring to sterling's pre-eminence in the first part of the 20th century. "There's a real incumbency advantage."

Jim O'Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, sees the next few years as something of a "vacuum period".

"The BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India and China] are becoming so much more important, while the G7, including the US declines, which raises issues about the degree of dominance of the dollar. The problem is that the currencies of the BRICS are the ones that matter, but they won't let you export or use their currencies.

"Until we see another five years' of evidence over whether China is a more consumer-driven economy, becoming bigger and bigger, and whether the euro can have a successful second decade, the dollar looks set to remain dominant."

China has made some hints about loosening its hold over the yuan in recent months, but these are only early manoeuvres. A second step would be to allow the yuan to become a part of the SDR – whose own value is determined by those of a basket of currencies including the dollar, pound and euro. As Jen adds, there are certain prerequisites any contender to the crown of world reserve currency needs in its pocket.

"We have to ask this question: is Russia going to provide asset market that will be as liquid, reliable property rights, the rule of law, currency convertibility and so on? Will we see the same from the likes of China? Their task is very daunting."

Referring to the forged Treasury bonds picked up on the Japanese smugglers on the Swiss border, he adds: "There is a message here: we haven't heard much about anyone counterfeiting roubles. That is probably telling you something."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economi...the-dollar.html


The Countdown To The Implosion Of The Dollar - Solve et Coagula - 08-23-2009

The Countdown To The Implosion Of The Dollar

Posted: Aug 19 2009
By: Jim Sinclair

My Dear Friends,
You can take your waves, percentages, algorithms, quants and quarks and throw them directly into the basket. The time for lines and squiggles are behind us. The common shares of the US dollar are and have been in a long term downtrend. That downtrend is 81 days from implosion. The selling of the US dollar and US dollar instruments is increasing in international markets, making it ever more difficult to manipulate the popular US dollar index, the USDX.

The price of gold is all in the dollar, times 100.
The manipulators have built a fundamental spring into gold by their capping activities.

COT has cooked its own goose.
Where the price of gold is concerned, there is no other focus of interest as all points of interest have but one common denominator.
That entity is the US dollar.

The Fundamental illustration below is dollar flow momentum.
China holds in its hands the future of the category, “Foreign Purchasers of US bonds.”

China wishes the annihilation of the Fed policy of “Quantitative Easing.”
The Fed wishes to accommodate China.

The US Treasury is absolutely opposed to any such consideration as it would cement the present Administration into a one term wonder.

The US Treasury must win this battle because the boss of this opposition has the power to appoint the new Chairman of the Fed, either Summers or Geithner.

Political control of the US Fed and therefore of monetary policy is in the cards.

China as spokesman for the BRICs has publicly stated their desire for the institutions of a Super Sovereign Currency. This is not an intended as an immediate substitute for the dollar as a reserve currency but rather an alternative in new commitments.

Only the misinformed assume the desire for an SSCI is a desire for a total exchange of dollar reserves.

The desire of the BRICs and in truth all other major trading nations is for dollar diversification in order to break away from the dollar dictating their futures. It means a significant decrease in purchases of US dollar denominated instruments.

Selling is not required for substantial depreciation in a major currency.
Momentum collapse in buying is all that is required for a severe depreciation in any major currency.

The USA in all probability will not be able politically to deliver support for the SSCI, however political control of monetary policy is CERTAIN as the Fed cannot win this contest against the Administration in the form of the US Treasury.

Bernanke becomes a team player or a team player will replace him.
The later is becoming a probability as it is hard to trust a prior adversary.
The depreciating dollar was a tool of Roosevelt’s failed anti-deflation program that like monetary stimulation is believed to have been abandoned too soon in the 30s by Administration intellectuals. Because of this, the US dollar is out of the picture for serious Administration consideration other than as a sales issue on US treasuries.

It is my understanding that the BRIC countries, not China alone, have given the US until early November to deliver.

As a result of the above I see 81 days left for the US dollar.
The gold price has but one criteria and that is the US dollar. Armstrong and Alf are correct on the levels awaiting the gold price.
I know $1224 and $1650 are certain.
Note: Eric’s humility is the sign of his maturity and genus. Well done eric.
Respectfully yours,

Jim
Guys,

I know that Dan’s TIC work is far superior to mine, but I find this simple chart so ominous I had to send it. Decelerating year-over-year inflows and outflows across the board. Stick your head in the sand if you like, but string this trend out a little longer and you’re going to have flight from the dollar.
CIGA Eric


Pimco Says Dollar to Weaken as Reserve Status Erodes

By Garfield Reynolds and Wes Goodman

Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) — Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s biggest manager of bond funds, said the dollar will weaken as the U.S. pumps “massive” amounts of money into the economy.

The dollar will drop the most against emerging-market counterparts, Curtis A. Mewbourne, a Pimco portfolio manager, wrote in a report on the company’s Web site. The greenback is losing its status as the world’s reserve currency, he said.

“Investors should consider whether it makes sense to take advantage of any periods of U.S. dollar strength to diversify their currency exposure,” Mewbourne wrote in his August Emerging Markets Watch report. “The massive amounts of U.S. dollar liquidity produced in response to the crisis” have helped reduce demand for the currency, he wrote.
More…

Guys,
PCE as %GDP reaches all time high Q209 @70.6%. Nothing has changed!
For analysis of other GDP components archived in the photo section, see http://home.rr.com/supreed
CIGA Eric

http://jsmineset.com/2009/08/19/the-countd...-of-the-dollar/


BRICS Summit: Local currencies to replace dollar - Solve et Coagula - 04-14-2011

BRICS Summit: Local currencies to replace dollar

Sanya (China), April 14 (IANS) Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the BRICS group of fastest growing economies – Thursday signed an agreement to use their own currencies instead of the predominant US dollar in issuing credit or grants to each other.

The agreement, the first-of-its-kind, was signed at the 3rd BRICS summit here attended by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, China’s Hu Jintao, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.

‘Our designated banks have signed a framework agreement on financial cooperation which envisages grant of credit in local currencies and cooperation in capital markets and other financial services,’ Manmohan Singh told reporters at a news conference with other BRICS leaders.

But the agreement is confined to credit and not trade. BRICS economies hold 40 percent of the world’s currency reserves, the majority of which is still in US dollars.

The BRICS summit is being held in the coastal city of Sanya in China’s Hainan island.

The joint presser was held after the leaders held deliberations on the international situation, and financial, development, climate and security issues.

Manmohan Singh said: ‘We have had very fruitful discussions. We have reviewed the international situation, discussed international economic, financial and trade issues, the challenges of sustainable development, food security, energy security and climate change.’

The grouping is significant because it is expected to have a healthy global presence in the future as the member-countries are the fastest growing economies and are projected to contribute 48 percent to the global economy in the next decade.

At present they account for 40 percent of the world’s population and 20 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

http://www.inewsone.com/2011/04/14/brics-credit-local-currencies-to-replace-dollar/43223


RE: BRICS Summit: Local currencies to replace dollar - FastTadpole - 04-21-2011

This may go beyond just the dollar. It could be followed by a hinged deal in resource and trade, brokerage deals like the deal that was signed in November of last year.

China and Russia Sign 12 Documents in Trade and Economic Unification Deal
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=35661

USD Surpluses Converted into Gold - China, Russia, Iran are dumping the Dollar
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=35634

Interesting angle in Brazil being involved in this deal. Canada and the US are (were?) really lobbying for the Brazilian market and has deals, both existing and pending for tighter trade relations with Brazil. It seems China has first slice of the pie maybe more.

If North America wants to play in the globalist trade bloc game Brazil relations is a major piece in remaining strong relative to the Chinese, India South and East Africa and Russia power bloc.

Ribeiro G. - Brazil and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
http://www.saycocorporativo.com/saycoUK/BIJ/journal/Vol1No1/article_1.pdf

China is unloading US Dollars on Brazil, entrenching a Chinese cultural footprint, getting cheap labour for Apple products and access to food resources in a mammoth soybean deal. A sweetheart deal for China that takes advantage of the political economic climate in Brazil.

Quote:Brazil Doubles Down on China Trade
By Eric Ehrmann
Posted: 04/20/11 01:28 PM ET

With food and fuel prices causing inflation and strikes, President Dilma Rousseff has returned from China with over $30 billion in deals that will create some high value jobs and help steady the economy. But while the BRIC nations want to do business in local currencies, most of the government and private sector deals linked to the Dilma visit are dollar plays. Further declines in the US currency will require new intervention, complicating efforts to shift the image of Dilma's government from the left to the center, a move that is key to attracting global capital in today's currency war environment.

The Dilma in China show was low-fi in contrast with the media circus orchestrated for President Obama's stopover in Brazil last month. But while American consumer culture drives Brazil's young, wired and affluent, the China deals -- a mix of high tech ventures, defense and security moves and agricultural exports -- are reminders of why Beijing has pulled ahead of Washington as Brazil's top trade partner.

To help solidify the foundation of the new Sino-Brazilian relationship, the governments have agreed to increase cultural programs and create what will become Brazil's largest Chinese language training facility under the aegis of the Federal University of Porto Alegre.

...

Offering China the opportunity to lock in price stability that helps avoid food inflation, the $10 billion soybean deal does not create the value added jobs Brazil needs, masking a low-wage peasant economy stuffed in an agribusiness wrapper. And the $12 billion deal to produce and assemble components for Apple and other mobile items is heavily concentrated in the Amazon high tech free trade zone where unions have little leverage to help workers get higher wages; to help win this deal Dilma recently extended by decree the law establishing the zone for 50 years, citing strategic reasons.

Foxconn, the company behind the Apple deal, while the largest exporter of mobile components and devices from the Peoples Republic of China..
http://digg.com/news/world_news/brazil_doubles_down_on_china_in_a_30_billion_trade_deal
Full Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-ehrmann/brazil-doubles-down-on-ch_b_851481.html

More on China and Brazil Sign 13 Cooperation and Trade Deals on Food, Defense, Labour, Tech, Airlines and Energy. Huffington post left out / glossed over some major points in the Defense and Energy contracts.

Quote:China vows new Brazil trade ties
By Li Xiaokun, Ai Yang and Bao Chang (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-13 08:01

China pledged to diversify its trade with Brazil and boost imports from South America's biggest economy. Chinese and Brazilian companies signed 13 deals and cooperation documents on the heels of the BRICS summit. Brazil's national electric company, Eletrobras, and state-run energy giant Petrobras signed deals with Chinese partners. Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer also signed contracts with Chinese airlines. Terms were met on beef, pork, gelatin, corn, tobacco leaf, bovine embryos and semen and fruit from Brazil as well as fruit from China. Cooperation documents defense were signed by the Chinese defense minister and Brazil's foreign minister. China has moved past the US as Brazil's biggest trading partner.
http://digg.com/news/world_news/china_and_brazil_sign_13_cooperation_and_trade_deals_on_food_defense_labour_tech_airlines_and_energy
Full Article: http://www2.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-04/13/content_12315170.htm


BRICS: Push for Fair World Order - Solve et Coagula - 06-08-2011

BRICS: Push for Fair World Order

BY INDER MALHOTRA

DURING its short existence, BRICS, an association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has made an impressive showing. Initially consisting of the first four countries and known as BRIC, the association had held its first summit at Yekaterinburg in Russia in the summer of 2009.

The next year the second summit took place at Brasilia, and the latest and the third at Sanya in the Chinese island of Hainan. It was here that South Africa was added to the association, and the five emerging powers issued a clear call for a world order that is “equitable, democratic and multi-polar”. The “unipolar world order”, dominated by the sole surviving superpower after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, had become a thing of the past anyhow long enough ago. There is no question of its resurrection.

Indeed, by the dawn of the new millennium it had become clear that the fast growing economies of China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa collectively would overtake the present Western dominance of the global economy. This is what has led to the G-20 replacing the G-7 as the instrument of global economic governance. BRICS is now destined to take the process further. However, the consensus among the ‘Emerging Five’ does not mean that there are no differences among them. There surely are and some are important.

Growing Chinese Influence
For instance, shortly before the Sanya Summit, the governor of China’s central bank, Mr Zhou Xiaochuan, spoke of creating a “super sovereign currency” to replace the dollar as the currency of global trade. China’s “Chiang Mai Initiative” is calculated to develop an “alternative” to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Quite clearly, with a three trillion foreign reserves and its foreign aid exceeding the outflow of funds from the World Bank, China wants to flex its economic muscle. But this is no part of the agendas of the association as a whole. On the contrary, India and some others have a problem with China’s under-valued currency that is causing huge trade deficit to this country at a time when India-China commerce has risen to the record figure of $ 61 billion.

That is where the meeting between Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Chinese President, Mr Hu Jintao on the edges of the Sanya Summit proved useful. As Dr Singh told the media persons accompanying him, Mr Hu acknowledged that it was for China to bridge the trade gap.

Even more important is the sudden change in China’s general approach towards this country. Over the last two years, the northern neighbour had been over-assertive. Not content with issuing stapled visas to Indians living in Jammu Kashmir (which amounted to questioning Indian sovereignty over this state) Beijing refused a visa to Lieutenant-General Jamwal, who was to lead a delegation for talks with China, because he headed the Northern Army Command that includes J&K in its jurisdiction. No wonder, India suspended military exchanges with China on which the latter is now keen. Consequently, the two countries have agreed to resume military contacts. An officer of the Northern Command of the rank of a Major-General would lead the Indian delegation. There are indications that the problem of stapled visas may also be out of the way.

No ‘America Bashing’
No less significant is the recognition by both sides that peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that has some “gray areas” leaves much to be desired. President Hu has undertaken to strengthen the existing machinery to deal with this problem. How far this assurance would be translated into reality remains to be seen. However, both sides should do all they can to produce the desired result. After all, the two neighbours with huge trade between them cannot afford to exchange blows.

Understandably, there is some speculation about the causes of this sudden change from Chinese over-assertiveness to relative conciliation. One view is that perhaps the middle-level leaders took the earlier confrontational decisions without clearance from the top leadership, which is now trying to control the damage. An impression exists that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tends to be more aggressive and act autonomously which is perhaps encouraged by the impending change in the party leadership next year when the 10-year tenure of Mr Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao ends.

Reverting to the broader economic issues before the Sanya Summit, the point must be made that China is fully conscious that whatever its complex equation with the United States, “America bashing” is not, and cannot be, any part of policy of other four members of BRICS. Indeed, they consider cooperation with the US necessary, if only because the gargantuan American market is vital for all emerging economies, including China’s. Pursuit of clean nuclear energy, especially after the grievous crisis at Fukushima is another crucial area where close cooperation among major powers is vital. A joint strategy on the transfer of technology and the flow of financial funds to developing countries is also called. That is where the five emerging powers have agreed to use their own currencies rather than the dollar.

Increased Say on Security
A welcome decision taken at Sanya was that in addition to close economic cooperation and shared policies on global economic issues BRICS must have full consultations on security. The National Security Advisers of member countries would be meeting in China soon and this would become a regular feature, covering also economic strategies in a milieu involving brisk competition across the globe, especially for acquiring raw materials.

One message from the Sanya Summit is loud and clear: While the US would remain the mightiest country and cooperation with it would go on, it cannot be dominant in the multi-polar or rather multi-centric world. It is in this context that the summit’s observations on the situation in West Asia, particularly the stalemate in Libya, assume significance. The summit did not name NATO or its bellicose members such as France and Britain, but made it clear that military intervention for regime change is not acceptable. Instead, the summit offered full support to the high initiative of the African Union to settle the Libyan problem through negotiations.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain are virtually screaming against their NATO partners for “not doing enough” to save Libyans, which is a euphemism for getting rid of Colonel Gaddafi. Libya’s ruler for the last 42 years is a tyrant and deserves no sympathy. But his overthrow should be brought about by the Libyan people, not by foreign military intervention.

http://www.navhindtimes.in/opinion/brics-push-fair-world-order


RE: BRICS Summit: Far East Bloc versus America: 'Great Game' for Global Order via Banking and Currency? - FastTadpole - 06-08-2011

Merged some BRICS Threads.

But this one is a must read (and watch) as well.

Obama's speech to Parliament in India 2010.11.08
Lots of satellite aggregated threads that document that it's playing one side against the other for stronger Globalist Entrenchment, if it wasn't painfully obvious already.
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=39981&highlight=BRICS


RE: BRICS Summit: Far East Bloc versus America: 'Great Game' for Global Order via Banking and Currency? - FastTadpole - 06-20-2011

Seems these Free Trade Tech Zones like in Brazil are already being set up in the USA but likely unbeknownst to the average citizen since they mainly deal with migrant workers. Introducing Special Economic Zones and the Project 60 project in Idaho

Quote:The Chinese Government Is Buying Up Economic Assets And Huge Tracts Of Land All Over The United States

....

Of course one of the most insane projects was the one that Sinomach proposed to do in Idaho. The following is a description of that project from an article in the Idaho Statesman....

A Chinese national company is interested in developing a 10,000- to 30,000-acre technology zone for industry, retail centers and homes south of the Boise Airport.

30,000 acres is close to 50 square miles.

That is a huge chunk of territory.

Fortunately, it appears that the deal is stalled at least for the moment.

But that could change at any time, especially considering the fact that the governor of Idaho is pushing hard for Chinese "investment"....

The following is a quote from Boise lobbyist Pat Sullivan....

“One thing these Chinese see is we have a governor here who has a great big open-door policy"

Doesn't that just sound wonderful?

A "great big open-door policy".

That just sounds so warm and fuzzy.

All of this is a part of "Project 60" - a huge initiative to revitalize the economy of Idaho.

The following is an excerpt from an open letter from Idaho Governor Butch Otter about Project 60....

Project 60 is just a name. But it stands for a goal, and a way of getting there.

It means more than some abstract concept for increasing our gross domestic product. It means jobs and opportunity, hope and independence for the people of Idaho. That’s what I want you to think about when you hear about Project 60. This is an initiative in which we all need to be involved, to build Idaho’s economy together in a way that strengthens our businesses, people and communities.


No state or local agency, no government of any kind can successfully tackle this kind of goal alone. Project 60 belongs to all of us and it needs all of us to be champions of this effort. Today, I invite you to be a Project 60 Partner.

It all sounds so great until you learn that one of the primary pillars of Project 60 is "Inward Foreign Direct Investment".

So how do you promote "Inward Foreign Direct Investment"?

Well, you do things like offer massive tax breaks to Chinese state-owned companies and you actively encourage immigration from China.

The following is a quote from an article on the New American website and it explains how a visa program known as EB-5 would help facilitate Project 60....

Specifically, “The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service administers an immigrant investor visa program called EB-5. The program grants foreigners permanent U.S. residency in exchange for helping create U.S. jobs.” This prong will facilitate the immigration of Chinese nationals into the United States for the purpose of establishing a Chinese industrial beachhead in Idaho, under the guise of creating U.S. jobs.

In fact, the state of Idaho is actually touting the EB-5 program on their website that promotes Project 60.

Yes, Chinese state-owned companies would probably hire a small number of Idaho citizens. But as I have written about previously, the idea would be for "special economic zones" to be set up inside the United States that would be very similar to the "special economic zones" inside China.

The following is how Wikipedia defines special economic zones....

A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a geographical region that has economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented than a country's typical or national laws. "Nationwide" laws may be suspended inside a special economic zone.

Apparently the government of Idaho believes that allowing the Chinese to set up a 50 square mile "special economic zone" just south of Boise would be a grand idea.

But others are not so sure. Barbara H. Peterson recently posted the following on Farm Wars....

This is not a boom to Idaho, but a death knell for those who are rapidly losing jobs to overseas outsourcing, only this will be so much more convenient for the mega-corporations.

Today, the cost of transportation is rapidly going up. If state-owned Chinese companies can set up shop inside the United States and get massive tax breaks from state and local governments at the same time why wouldn't they want to do it?

The truth is that the Chinese can't believe how stupid we are.

...
http://twitter.com/FastTadpole/status/82777473573601281
Full Article (with links): http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-chinese-government-is-buying-up-economic-assets-and-huge-tracts-of-land-all-over-the-united-states



Executive summary - What agenda for a Euro-BRICS summit by 2015? - Solve et Coagula - 06-28-2011

Executive summary - What agenda for a Euro-BRICS summit by 2015?

Executive summary* - 5th GlobalEurope EU-Russia Seminar (Moscow, May 23-24, 2011)

28/06/2011

During two days, academics, experts and diplomats from Russia, EU, India, China, Brazil and South-Africa [1] were gathered in the framework of the 5th GlobalEurope EU-Russia on the theme « Which agenda for a Euro-Brics Summit by 2015? » organized jointly by the Laboratoire Européen d’Anticipation Politique (LEAP), “Russkiy Mir” Foundation and the European Studies Institute of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in partnership with the Europe 2020 network and in cooperation with the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Association of European Studies and Department of Oriental Studies of the MGIMO-University.

Programme and participants

The priorities of the May 2011 seminar involved three strategic areas:

1. Presentation of the convergence points in terms of Euro-Russian global governance

2. Identification of Euro-BRICS strategic themes in monetary, financial and economic fields

3. Initiation of a Euro-BRICS scheme as regards global governance adapted to the requirements of the XXIst century

Why a Euro-Brics Summit by 2015?

The world continues to pass through a historical crisis which marks the end of the systems and power relationships that have dominated the world since the end of the Second World War. The dynamic at the heart of these events of quickening globalization and unbridled market expansion of these last twenty years have just collapsed. International relations in all areas (finance, the economy, currencies, strategy, diplomacy...) have been subjected to an unprecedented rebalancing for several decades.

This new global context puts the EU-Russia partnership in an entirely new perspective. Whether for peaceful management of the tensions that are bound to exist between two groups of such geopolitical importance, or to help rebuild a system of global governance adapted to the requirements of the XXIst century, the European Union and Russia now know that they are two of the key players counted on not only by their own people, but also by many other regions of the world, to instil new stabilizing prospects into the present world’s increasing anarchy.

It was in discussing this topic at the 4th GlobalEurope EU-Russia seminar held in Nice in September 2010 (see the executive summary) that gave birth to the idea to further explore the likely content of a possible Euro-BRICS summit, which would at least bring together the core of the EU, namely the Euroland countries, and countries grouped around the BRICS concept, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa from 2011. With 2011 likely marking a sharp increase in the global crisis and a G20 which is now trying to address the central issue of a new international monetary system, Russia and Euroland (and beyond the EU) are in a unique strategic position to think, without preconceived ideas, of the forms that the global architecture of the XXIst century could take, and integrate emerging world powers in this thought. This first seminar on a future Euro-Brics Summit provided the opportunity for this.

What « Euro » are we talking about in « Euro-Brics »?

First of all, let’s clarify what’s covered at this stage by the term "Euro" in the Euro-BRICS dialog. In the beginning (at least during the preparation of the first Euro-BRICS summit: 2011-2013), it is likely that this won’t be the EU but rather Euroland. It is around the Franco-German core (of which the German-French-Russian summits of these last two years is a forerunner, knowing that with the current idea of involving Poland - a future Euroland member -, these could easily serve as a matrix for the future Euro-BRICS summit), and more generally Euroland which knows that the BRICS constitute the most important external support for the Euro, that the European axis of Euro-BRICS dynamics will be built. Then, between 2012 and 2016, once the process has got under way, the Euro candidate countries, that’s to say almost everyone except the United Kingdom, will join the Euroland heart of the Euro-BRICS talks.

The EU institutions in Brussels, in particular the European Commission, will be divided on the subject and will try to slow the process down without daring to oppose it publicly. But within the European institutions themselves and especially in their immediate environment (economic lobbies in particular), the pressure is rising in the opposite direction: businesses as well as major European investors want to get closer to BRICS as quickly as possible. As a powerful Euroland institutional investor recently pointed out: with an average of 8% to 10% growth over the next decade in the BRICS and 1% to 2% in the US at best, the discussion is already over for European economic and financial circles. We should never forget that, when one wants to anticipate European choices, it’s very often commercial choices: the five hundred year period which we are now leaving, that of European global expansion, was first conditioned by commercial choices. Politics, religion, civilization were always far behind this decisive motivation. The historical period which is beginning will follow the European’s same basic impulse, especially as commercial expectations are turning into crucial economic and social security issues.

Teachings promoting optimism about the relevance of the Euro-Brics concept: Towards a Euro-Brics Summit in 2014 rather than 2015?

The lessons of this first Euro-BRICS working session on the issue of the agenda for a future summit bringing together the leaders involved are remarkably rich. Four of them in particular deserve the full attention of European and BRICS policy makers and players:

1. The richness, variety and novelty of the Euro-BRICS exchanges initiated on this occasion contrast with the poverty, uniformity and triviality of traditional exchanges between Europeans and each of the BRICS countries individually, or even between Europeans and Americans within the framework of the transatlantic relationship of the last twenty years

2. The absence at the core of current international organisations of an equivalent dialogue between the European network, multi-national, structured and institutionalized (and even semi-state like at Euroland level) and the rapidly developing multi-national BRICS network

3. The shared sentiment of an unmatched potential power of influence in world affairs with a Euro-BRICS dialogue directly representing half the planet’s inhabitants, 3.5 billion people; and four continents indirectly (Asia, South America, Africa, Europe)

4. The striking convergence on many key issues concerning global governance and the major global challenges of the coming decades.  

These findings allow being optimistic as to the relevance of the Euro-Brics concept. Indeed it’s something to identify a strong trend, to anticipate that it leads to a crossroads that can steer the world towards a better or, on the contrary a catastrophic, post-crisis situation according to the choices made, and it’s something else to see in practice that those involved in this potential trend are able to interact constructively, or are even positively surprised by the advantage of such a dialogue once begun.

This is so true that a first conclusion to these general remarks could be that the holding of the first Euro-Brics Summit seems more likely to take place in 2014 than in 2015. In fact, in such a promising environment for dialogue, the deepening of the crisis by the end of 2011 and the election of leaders in a number of countries involved, particularly in the Eurozone, will speed up the process.

Since 2006 the BRICS have established a real system of meetings at different levels on a growing number of subjects: Ambassadors to the Security Council, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and, since the Sanya BRICS summit, also regular meetings of Health, Agriculture and Finance ministers, and officials in charge of National Security, ... not to mention the launching of a twinning towns programme; and finally, the creation of new study centres specialized in the BRICS in several universities.

Then on, we can anticipate an increase in informal, high-level meetings between senior civil servants and economic and financial policymakers from Euroland on the one hand and from BRICS individually on the other about a possible Euro-BRICS summit. On the BRICS side, the subject could be addressed simultaneously in discussions between diplomats and economic and political leaders. Then, under the blow of the deepening crisis and the change in political leadership, especially in Euroland, from the second half of 2012, we could see the first informal diplomatic discussions on a possible summit, supported by individual or joint messages from European and BRICS economic and financial leaders. In 2013, a date and venue could be proposed and adopted so that the first Euro-BRICS summit can be held in 2014.

Richness, variety and novelty of Euro-BRICS exchanges

All the participants in this first Euro-BRICS meeting were struck by the richness of the exchanges, contrary to many international meetings which are just an opportunity to repeat speeches, analyses or proposals which have already been heard a thousand times. Undeniably, the BRICS countries bring projects, demands and views of the world that Europeans don’t usually hear.

Barely four or five years ago, the Europeans were only holding bilateral discussions with each of the BRICS, and generally did so unilaterally laying down the limits of the debate even imposing the subject matter, at least on large global issues (global governance, climate, trade, economics, finance, ...). Today, after three years of crisis that has left the West in tatters and plunged Europe into a serious crisis, whilst the BRICS are stepping out economically, a discussion with all five BRICS requires from the Europeans humbleness openness, an ability to listen and, consequently, discovery.

This reality is reinforced by the extreme diversity of the BRICS countries, just as much internally for each of them, as externally between them. It is a "multilogue" as much as a dialogue and it rests, paradoxically, on the historical and linguistic ease of Europeans to speak with most of the BRICS. Europeans share large swathes of history with each of the BRIC countries (China being a separate case). And at the core of the BRICS Russia has, of course, a special place in the rationale of Euro-BRICS cooperation. It is both European (even if outside the EU) and BRICS, its strategic priorities putting the development of the BRICS network in second place ... after Euro-Russian cooperation.  

The Euro’s multinational network and the Brics’ multinational network: A balanced dialogue

If Europe, whether in EU or Euroland format, can often seem discordant it is, nevertheless, organized. Compared to the diversity of the BRICS and the youth of their network, the Europeans are a homogeneous pivot, especially Euroland. Regarding the BRICS network, the discussions revealed that there is both a huge need for mutual discovery between its members and a tremendous dynamic aimed at multiplying the points of contact, the processes of linking beyond the diplomatic-political origin of the BRICS. The participants agreed on the idea that 2011/2012 will be transition years at the core of the BRICS network, significantly increasing the critical mass of economic, financial, academic, and political players involved in the BRICS networks.

A network being essentially a tool, the BRICS are in the process of forging this tool in two key areas requiring this expansion of the "social" base of the BRICS network:

. a tool for transforming global governance and rebalancing it in their favor;

. an instrument to grow the direct links between them, which should no longer be dependent on Western intermediaries as it used to be for some BRICS in the past decades.

This duality explains the initial feeling of uncertainty ahead of the BRICS concept. This feeling has been largely fueled by the western press which first sought to doubt any geopolitical relevance in the BRICS concept before having to admit in recent months that it’s now an inescapable reality (the Sanya Summit of April 2011 was the first BRICS summit to enjoy substancial media coverage in the West). But it is undeniable that everyone, including players from the BRICs themselves, wondered at first how such a harnessing, as gigantic as it’s heterogeneous, would be able to "go the distance".

Then, the growing practical experience of these BRICS meetings established this dual nature of the "BRICS phenomenon":

. a deliberate medium-term (less than a decade) policy making the BRICS the instrument of crucial change in the major balances and mechanisms of global governance invented by Goldman Sachs for its own benefit,

. an underlying long term (a generation: twenty years) operation also involving the other sectors of society of each BRICS country, aiming to directly reconnect the key parts of the world-after-the-crisis on patterns which are no longer “Western-centred”.

The tool thus serves two purposes, with two different deadlines and will be used by two different types of players. Moreover the second objective can collide with the policy makers’ will at the origin of the first objective. Indeed to establish programmes of regular contact between NGOs, civil society and students from different BRICS countries is not necessarily to the taste of all BRICS leaders. But the coherence of a political-historical instrument is built with time and action. It is not given in advance. Just look at European unification...  

However, like in the case of European unification, one can identify an existential pressure for the BRICS network: it is necessary for it to be constructive, possibly in a daring manner (that’s to say, pushing forcefully an item on the international agenda if necessary to be heard), but it cannot be destructive or aggressive. Beyond their common claim about a moral responsibility over world’s development and peace, this is simply due to the disparate nature of the strategic interests and motivations of the five countries involved. Their relations with the "West", master of the world in full decline, are not the same: some like Brazil, South Africa and India have complex relations with the West, while Russia and China have a long history of strategic confrontation with this West [2] . The Euro-BRICS rationale can serve as an intermediary to these two BRICS internal trends since Europe has been, for the last sixty years, nothing else more than the eastern march of this primarily American West, while offering a unique ability, that of being able to be heard by Washington.



An unrivalled potential of influence over global affairs (3.5 bn people and 4 continents directly or indirectly represented)

If the BRICS directly represent three billion people, already 50% of world oil consumption, 75% of the expected economic growth in the next ten years, huge energy, mineral and agricultural reserves, 35% of global GDP (probably 50% within 10 years) and world trade, 53% of direct foreign investment, etc ..., the participants notices that they are actually even more important than that because several of them are actually the key players of regional and/or continental integration processes, in fact privileged representatives of whole regions or continents: China with the East and South-East Asia, Brazil with South America, South Africa with the whole of the African continent and Russia with a part of Central Asia.

Meanwhile Europe continues to be the world’s leading economic and trade group, the region having both the largest savings and the greatest political stability, the economic and trade group with the most multilateral experience and aspiring to global polycentrism for many years. Finally, thanks to Euroland, it’s the entity that has the only international reserve currency as an alternative to the dollar. Should there be a single link that legitimizes Euro-BRICS dialogue at the highest level, it’s the Euro. Not only does its international success owe much to the BRICS’ enthusiasm, headed by China, to diversify their reserves out of the US dollar, but one can say that the BRICs have also been able to appear as a "geopolitical force" because the Euro’s existed. It is de facto the Euro, which opened a breach in the "Dollar Wall", a breach that the BRICS have been able to quickly enlarge using their new wealth to stimulate the European alternative to the US currency.

This unintended convergence of destinies, which merely reflects the overlap of the ends of two epochs, that of the post-1945 American world and the world of the European-centered world since the XVIth century, is undoubtedly one of the historical advantages of the future Euro-BRICS summit: Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians and South Africans really are the required and sufficient forces to rebuild a global governance adapted to the XXIst century.

The big question is, of course, whether they will be able to do it before the world starts fragmenting into opposing regional blocs, driving an emergent multipolar structure into a state of an unstable and dangerous balance-of-power conundrum.

We shouldn’t forget that many of the BRICS countries have strategic interests that can become controversial depending on the global context, more or less confrontational: Russia and China have a major geopolitical issue over Siberia and its riches, India and China experience chronic border tensions; Brazil and Russia, producer countries on the one hand, China and India consumer countries on the other can have very different objectives in terms of commodity prices,… The BRICS concept thus has a basic need of a global context of cooperation in order to develop. Another factor which militates in favor of a strong Euro-BRICS cooperation; Europe being a player which traditionally fosters international cooperation.

At the same time the BRICS rationale is one that overcomes the East-West divide of ideological and civilizational dichotomy and emerges as an embodiment of the interests of all humanity as far as the development, poverty erradication, environmental protection, education and health reforms are concerned.

A promotion of human rights in the BRICS countries will serve as a stimulus for a better and more just world governance of the XXIst century.

Nine themes for the agenda of a future Euro-Brics Summit

In the framework of this first Euro-Brics seminar, the last session consisted of a general brain-storming panel aimed at identifying themes of common interest, therefore likely to provide the basis to the agenda of a first Euro-Brics Summit. The following nine key points were identified:

1. Reforms of world governance (IMF, Security Council [3] , WTO, World Bank,…) in order to adapt these institutions (their methods as well as their management structures) to the XXIst century

2. Reform of the international monetary system (putting in place a system managing several reserve currencies, global cohesion for the monetary and financial system, better analysis of global systemic risk…)

3. Reform of the global management of the « Trade and investment » duo (rebalancing of the rules protecting national markets)

4. Initiatives for a world social balance (determined integration of the social dimension, domestically and externally, in major international agreements)

5. Initiatives to reinforce « Human security » (protection from natural disasters, trafficking in human beings, assuring humans’ basic needs, food chain security…)

6. Initiatives to reign in world finance (limitation on pay and bonuses for financial activities, control of international financial flows…)

7. Creation of Euro-BRICS university exchange programmes

8. Scientific and technological cooperation, especially in the fight against global warming, the conquest and management of outer space, the sources of new and alternative energy

9. Improvement in the global management of people’s migration and mobility

These issues are all undeniably important in order to organize the world in a sustainable fashion after the crisis. However, several of them would be immediately discarded or emptied of their substance via the framework of summits like the G20 because their effective treatment (that’s to say, leading to real solutions and not statements of intent) requires:

1°/ the ability to analyze them without taking into account the conflicting interests of some countries that benefit in a way from the current malfunctioning: This is the familiar problem of the impossibility of implementing serious reform of global financial and monetary system as long as the US and the UK block any attempt to revise the assumptions on which the current system is based which, however, date from an era which is in the process of coming to a close

2°/ to be able to overcome some systematic vetoes on certain issues: The social theme is typical of this category since the United States consistently opposes considering the social issue as anything other than collateral damage of an economic and financial rationale. On this subject, the BRICS undeniably have a growing convergence with the European model that attempts to address the social question as the other side of the economic coin.

The discussions which took place during the seminar showed that many topics can engender strong opposition between Europeans and BRICS; but it is also why they should be discussed, bearing in mind that to solve a problem one must first agree on its existence.

To conclude, the Euro-BRICS’ potential would be sufficient to generate an irresistible momentum at the heart of the G20, an institution now sinking in impotence through the inability to "call a spade a spade" and unable to put the key issues of global world governance after the crisis on the summits’ agenda.

* LEAP/E2020 takes full responsibility for this document


[1] The latter were only observers via their diplomats.

[2] Indeed BRICS countries cannot go under the category of formerly dependent countries: neither one served as a satellite to the West. Russia in the form of the USSR constituted the whole pole, China being communist never was subject to the Soviet ‘brother’, India was one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. Probably apart from apartheid South Africa, which was sponsored by the USA and UK, the rest of the states presented independent centers of power. On the other hand, none of the BRICS interests are identical and having Western countries as their important economic, trading and political partners, it makes it impossible, for the time being at least, to take major decisions without any consideration of the Western views. But that is what in turn makes the EU even more important as a partner, since it is seen as relatively neutral, not intrusive and open to dialog.

[3] A Euro-BRICS cooperation could help the world community to understand that it can no longer avoid reforming the Security Council by increasing the number of permanent members and by adding to them Brazil and India. Meanwhile, Euro-BRICS cooperation could help Europe finally understand that it can no longer avoid getting one common seat at the Security Council. That’s also what the “world after the crisis” is about.

http://www.europe2020.org/spip.php?article697&lang=en


RE: BRICS Summit: Far East Bloc versus America: 'Great Game' for Global Order via Bank... - FastTadpole - 01-13-2014

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