China and Russia have described BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as the core of a new international order, defined by a multipolar world.
Far from being rival organisations, the three groupings should be looking at their ties from a “strategic and long-term perspective,” Xinhua quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying. Briefing leaders of the three organisations on China’s Belt and Road initiatives, the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the $ 40 billion Silk Road Fund, Mr. Xi underscored the convergence in the development strategies of the three groupings.
China’s Belt and Road initiative is meant to integrate the economies of Eurasia through physical and cyber-connectivity, energy pipelines, industrial parks and smart-cities. The EAEU is primarily a Russian initiative, but in May, Beijing and Moscow commenced talks to harmonise the two initiatives. On Wednesday, Mr. Xi also proposed a similar exercise with India that has launched its own “Act East” policy, which includes establishing connectivity with countries belonging to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Echoing Mr. Xi’s perceptions, Russian President Vladimir Putin, also said at Ufa — the site of the BRICS and SCO summits — that the three grouping can premise an “a powerful economic breakthrough.”
“There is no doubt — we have all necessary premises to expand the horizons of mutually beneficial cooperation, to join together our raw material resources, human capital and huge consumer markets for a powerful economic spurt,” Mr. Putin observed.
Russia’s Tass news agency also quoted Mr. Putin as saying that the Eurasian continent had vast transit potential. He pointed to “the construction of new efficient transport and logistics chains, in particular, the implementation of the initiative of the Silk Road economic belt and the development of transportation in the eastern part of Russia and Siberia. This may link the rapidly growing markets in Asia and Europe’s economies, mature, rich in industrial and technological achievements. At the same time, this will allow our countries to become more commercially viable in the competition for investors, for creating new jobs, for advanced enterprises,” he observed.
The Russian President also referred to the growth of world population and said that this required “enhanced cooperation in food security, intensification of agriculture, prudent use of water resources and, of course, taking care of the Earth’s biosphere.”
Mr. Putin also strongly advocated “humanitarian cooperation” among the three groupings. “That is why Russia is seeking to deepen contacts in culture, science, education and tourism with all its partners in BRICS, the SCO and the EAEU and in other formats,” he observed.
The BRICS summit also slammed the United States for blocking reforms of the international financial architecture — a move, which analysts say, helped persuade China to form the AIIB. “We remain deeply disappointed with the prolonged failure by the United States to ratify the IMF 2010 reform package, which continues to undermine the credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness of the IMF,” says the Ufa declaration, which was released on Thursday at the end of the summit.
The summit also acknowledged “the potential for expanding the use of our national currencies in transactions between the BRICS countries.”
“We ask the relevant authorities of the BRICS countries to continue discussion on the feasibility of a wider use of national currencies in mutual trade,” the declaration said.