Chinese scholar accuses India of using BRICS to outmanoeuvre Pakistan

New Delhi [India], Oct. 19 : An article published in China's Global Times, writer Shi Lancha, a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, has accused India of "using the eighth BRICS platform to outmanoeuvre Pakistan and of taking advantage of its agenda-setting powers for the summits".

While the rest of the BRICS members- Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa - would never openly endorse either side in the Indo-Pakistan tension, India in a way secured its stance vis-a-vis Pakistan by taking advantages of its agenda-setting powers for the summits," wrote Lancha in the article published under the heading 'India uses BRICS to outmanoeuvre Pakistan'.

India, which assumed BRICS Chairmanship on February 15, hosted the Summit on the theme 'Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions'.

The collapse of the SAARC summit, in the wake of a cross-border strike killing 19 Indian soldiers, "presented India with a rare opportunity to get rid of any constraints Islamabad may have over the regional group".

Besides, India's inclusion of BIMSTEC bore even thicker geostrategic connotations, as India invited all countries in the region except Pakistan - it in effect consigned Pakistan to be a regional pariah, he argued.

By bringing regional countries - Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan - together with the major emerging economies of the BRICS, India breathed legitimacy and substance into an otherwise hallow and moribund acronym organisation, he said.

Asserting while the prospect of BIMSTEC as a more effective alternative to SAARC remains ambiguous, the author claimed that "a subcontinent grouping without Pakistan balancing and checking a dominant India may well raise suspicions and fear for smaller countries".

The article observed that the BRICS Summit brought India an ideal mechanism to articulate and push for its reformist demands together with like-minded countries.

"This common front became particularly valuable for New Delhi, especially its 'arduous bids' for the Nuclear Suppliers Group's (NSG) membership as well as for a permanent seat on an enlarged United Nation Security Council have both met frustration." The article opined, "During the summit, India presented itself as a bright spot in a bloc whose other members have been buffeted by economic headwinds to varying degrees.

With a GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent in 2015 against a rather gloomy global backdrop, India has replaced China as the world's fastest-growing large economy.

Noting that the setbacks undergone by its fellow countries made India's recent economic achievements shine even brighter in comparison, the writer argued, "Only three years ago, India was still labelled as one of the 'RIBS', whose feeble and volatile growth contrasted sharply to China's robust performance.

Nowadays, the Russian and Brazilian economies have deteriorated into recession, South Africa struggles to avoid the same fate, and China's decades-long economic boom has geared down.

But, India finds confidence in talking about economic matters." Although India's domestic reforms have only made limited inroads in key areas such as land acquisition and labor regulation, an aspirant Modi equipped with newly gained confidence on India's growth prospects has clearly made the country more proactive, the writer said, adding that for India, this BRICS summit has been a wonderful platform to coordinate efforts in reforming current global economic and finance governance.

"This effect becomes more visible as the operationalisation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) have put pressures on the current international finance system, giving India tangible leverage in demanding relevant reforms.

For example, the Goa Declaration urges advanced European economies to cede two chairs on the Executive Board of the IMF, to which India may have an upper hand to claim thanks to its huge potential and robust growth recently," the article added.

Source: ANI