China & Russia-led BRICS bloc: Challenge for US

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At least 19 countries have submitted membership applications to the China and Russia-led BRICS economic bloc ahead of a conference in June.

The move has caused a potential threat to the US as the Russia-China bloc influence is increasing in the Middle East and Africa.

According to a Bloomberg report, “What will be discussed is the expansion of BRICS and the modalities of how this will happen. Thirteen countries have formally asked to join and another six have asked informally. We are getting applications to join every day.”

Brazil, Russia, India, and China were the original members of the group, which Goldman Sachs first referred to as BRIC in 2001. South Africa was later added in 2010. The countries have been identified by an economist as having the fastest-growing economies, and they are aiming to expand to take advantage of their potential to dominate world trade by 2050.

To challenge the “dominance” of industrialized nations at the United Nations, China originally proposed the notion of enlargement last year while serving as the bloc’s chair.

The concept was initially resisted by other bloc members, who were worried that China wanted to include its close allies and thereby lessen the influence of other members, a daunting prospect given that China’s present GDP already outpaces the others by about twice their combined worth.

Finally deciding to review candidates, the bloc sparked applications from all over the Middle East and Africa. Due to the continent’s abundance of resources, Russia and China made influence within it one of their top priorities.