'BRICS a force but cannot challenge US due to disputes'
Beijing: Though BRICS has emerged as dynamic emerging economic group with its plan to set up a development bank, it would be "unrealistic" to expect the grouping to challenge US hegemony as the member nations face many hurdles, including territorial disputes, preventing them from deeper cooperation, according to a Chinese scholar.
It is unrealistic to expect Brazil Russia India China South Africa (BRICS) to become a centre of power that can break the existing world order, which is marked by Western dominance and US hegemony, Chu Zhaogen, a Chinese scholar specialising in China's public policy and international issues, wrote in state-run China Daily on Tuesday.
BRICS member states lack a common direction, common interest and a centripetal force that would facilitate total cooperation, he said in the article titled, "BRICS a force despite ifs and buts".
"All the five countries are regional powers, but history has left almost all of them to deal with territorial disputes and/or internal problems. For example, Russia is battling with the Chechnya problem and trying to find ways to deal with its pro-US neighbours,"
"China has territorial disputes with Japan, India and some Southeast Asian countries; India has territorial disputes with China and Pakistan; and Brazil is wary of Argentina. These energy-sapping disputes and problems can easily be used by their regional rivals and the US to contain their rise," he said.
"Moreover, China shares its borders with Russia and India both, which is matter of constant concern for it. Tensions rose on both sides of the China-India recently, and China has opposed India's nuclear programmme."
"Also, Brazil and India have joined hands with the US to call for the yuan's revaluation. These problems are not favourable for BRICS to make a concerted effort to counterbalance the West's supremacy and reform the world order," he said.
More importantly, in the short term BRICS cannot provide all the products that the world needs.
As the sole superpower, the US is the founder of numerous international mechanisms and the largest exporter of many important products and services including UN, GAAT, WTO, IMF and World Bank, he said.
"Besides, BRICS member states owe their rise and cooperation to the existing global order. Therefore, the idea that BRICS can become a strong force to end the US hegemony is unrealistic under the current circumstances. Plus, the cooperation among the five countries is limited to investment and trade," Chu said.
On March 27, BRICS nations had decided to establish a new development bank to finance infrastructure projects.