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BRICS warning for West

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By Andrew Hammond

The meeting of presidents and prime ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) finished up Thursday night with warnings about trade protectionism and unilateralism from developed countries.

The bloc was originally formed for its economic potential, yet it has also seen political cooperation rise to the fore amid concerns that it could become an anti-Western bloc standing up to what Chinese President Xi Jinping called "bullying."

This growing political bent is exemplified by several key initiatives. Firstly, the creation of the New Development Bank, an alternative to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which will finance infrastructure and other projects in the BRICS, and a related $100 billion special currency reserve fund. One driver for the new bank is the perception that it will allow BRICS to better promote their political interests abroad.

Another initiative, perceived to challenge U.S. preponderance in information technology, was most recently discussed in August when BRICS communications ministers signed a letter of intent to cooperate in the sector. This builds on plans, first mooted in 2012, for a potential optical fiber cable system to carry telecommunications between the BRICS, partly as means to try to evade the purview of Western intelligence agencies, including the U.S. National Security Agency.

These examples........

© The Korea Times