Since the term BRIC—Brazil, Russian, India and China—was rst coined by aGoldman Sachs economist in 2001, the loose grouping has evolved rapidly froma catchy acronym to an emerging power broker with growing global aspirations.Indeed, it is now BRICS with the addition of South Africa.No BRICS nation has been more aggressive than China, the host of the group’sthird summit, in deepening the group’s inuence in global affairs. Most recently,10 countries in the 15-member United Nations Security Council voted in favorof the resolution to establish a no-y zone in Libya, but ve nations—China,Russia (which have veto power) and non-permanent members India, Germanyand Brazil—abstained from voting. China has been avocal criticof the coalition airstrikes in Libyasaying they violated international rules.The New York Times Room for Debatesection offers a goodselection of opinion pieces on China’s reaction to recent events in the Middle East.BRIC economic growth contrasts sharply with the struggling economies of the United States andEurope, and has given the emerging markets an impetus to push for greater say in issues such asglobal climate change, reform of the United Nations, and poverty alleviation.The group accounts for more than a quarterof the world’s land area and more than40% of its population, which will continueto grow proportionally. Beijing lobbiedheavily last year in favor of admitting SouthAfrica into the club, although the Africannation does not t the original model of alarge, fast growing economy. South Africa,the continent’s largest economy, producesmany raw materials coveted by China. Fulldisclosure: MSLGROUP China led the BrandSouth Africa campaign in our market, just asHanmer MSL did for the Indian market.While BRIC nations share a similar stageof economic development, they have nocommon political ideology and indeed thereare many contentious issues that separatethe four – not the least of which is China’spolicy of devaluing its currency to supportexports–a topic that my Brazilian colleaguediscusses here.
Cooperation for a New WorldOrder
There are, however, many issues they cancooperate on. The group worked in concert atthe Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 to endorse the Kyoto Protocols. BRIC nations are alllarge emitters of carbon – except for Brazil – but argue that developed nations have belched pollutionfor many decades and should therefore shoulder a heavier burden in cutting emissions.
A View from China
By Kirby Chien, head of content development and senior media strategist,MSLGROUP China
Lions in Beijing’s Forbidden City, constructed in the early 15thcentury, are in pairs. The female extends her leg to play with ababy lion, symbolizing fertility of the royal family. The male lionhas a ball under its paw, representing the imperial power.