Comprising of Brazil, Russia, India and South African, it shows that the emerging economies desire a larger share in global governance in terms of greater voice representation, leadership positions with the inter-government institutions.
The first BRICS summit was hosted by Russia in 2009, and India was represented by Dr. Manmohan Singh. It underlined the need to promote a more democratic and just multi-polar world order seeking a greater role for Brazil and India in the United Nations.
The fourth summit which was held in New Delhi, in March 2012, had the theme "BRICS Partnership for Global Security and Prosperity "and focused on a new international political and security order and for the first time emphasized on the financial aspect and made some concrete proposals. India will again host a summit in Goa this week-end on 15th and 16th.
The BRICS countries encompass 30 percent of the world's area and about 42 percent of the total population and by 2015 they accounted for a total nominal GDP of USD 16.92 trillion, equivalent to 23.1 percent world GDP as the book points out in order of rising global influence and also within BRICS, India comes second after China.
The book points out, that presently, when the global economy is emerging from the sluggish performance, India finds an opportunity in the global manufacturing market, especially with the costs of manufacturing going up in China.
Srikant Kondapalli, in his contribution, has discussed China's role in the BRICS meetings, the various proposals it has made since its inception. His assessment is that China which has identified itself as 'the major developing country' would promote the interest of other developing countries in the international system.
Amrita Jash in her contribution on the perception and reality of China's role concludes that BRICS for China is an international strategy to practice its multi-laterism with other emerging economies.
Tilak Jha in his contribution on the "Role and Representations of the media "in BRICS countries, presents how the media in different countries function and how different countries are projected in each of them.
As stated by the first BRICS Media Summit held in Beijing last December, it was decided to 'strengthen ties among our five countries, whether in the economic, social or political sphere, with objective , impartial comprehensive and timely media reports to help the nations learn more about each other and find a way of receiving directly rather an from other sources.
Hu Xiaoweem in his contribution has studied the role of think tanks in BRICS countries and comes to the conclusion that most think tanks have not done enough for the increasing demand to come up with a perspective on issues related to BRICS, in operation and governance. The book also contains a study of the energy and cyber security issues in BRICS countries.
The last section of the book contains studies of China's relations with other BRICS countries.
Suparna Pathak in her study of India China relations, says that beyond the boundary dispute, imbalance in trade is a persistent irritant in bilateral relations. While the boundary dispute is a left over from history, trade deficit has become a relatively newer yet constant feature of Sino-Indian relations - particularly in the past decade.
Talks have been held about the border dispute at many levels, by different Prime Ministers.
The 19th round of border talks between the two sides was held in 2016 by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. China has also not been helpful in India's bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the latest being the effort to ban Masood Azhar. Earlier, in 2015, China had put the India request to question Pakistan on the release of 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rahaman Nakhvi .
However, Suparna argues that for both India and China the BRICS grouping definitely is a valuable forum to hammer out thorny issues in order to move at least step closer to a win-win outcome.
A useful publication which will be useful as a source of information to all BRICS summit participants and those who would be reporting about the event and studying it.
Book review: China and the BRICS. Setting up a different Kitchen, edited by Srikant Kondapalli and Priyanka Pandit, pages 303, Pentagon Publishers, price Rs 1205/-
Mr. I. Ramamohan Rao is a former Principal Information Officer of the Government of India. He can be reached on his e-mail raoramamohan@hotmail.
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