Tag: China

Huawei edges out Samsung in global smartphone shipments

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Photo- canalys

By SAT News Desk

Shanghai (China), Bengaluru (India), Singapore, Reading (UK) and Portland (US) – Thursday, 30 July 2020:

Facing the US sanctions China’s technology giant Huawei has beaten Samsung overtaking it in the worldwide smartphone sales, boosted by the domestic (China) market, reports Canalys.

Huawei shipped more smartphones worldwide than any other vendor for the first time in Q2 2020. It marks the first quarter in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market. Huawei shipped 55.8 million devices, down 5% year on year. But second-placed Samsung shipped 53.7 million smartphones, a 30% fall against Q2 2019.

Huawei is still subject to US government restrictions, which have stifled its business outside of mainland China. Its overseas shipments fell 27% in Q2. But it has grown to dominate its domestic market, boosting its Chinese shipments by 8% in Q2, and it now sells over 70% of its smartphones in mainland China. China has emerged strongest from the coronavirus pandemic, with factories reopened, economic development continuing and tight controls on new outbreaks.

“This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Ben Stanton. “If it wasn’t for COVID-19, it wouldn’t have happened. Huawei has taken full advantage of the Chinese economic recovery to reignite its smartphone business. Samsung has a very small presence in China, with less than 1% market share, and has seen its core markets, such as Brazil, India, the United States, and Europe, ravaged by outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns.”

“Taking first place is very important for Huawei,” said Canalys Analyst Mo Jia. “It is desperate to showcase its brand strength to domestic consumers, component suppliers, and developers. It needs to convince them to invest and will broadcast the message of its success far and wide in the coming months. But it will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term. Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk. Strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover.”

2029481619Additional data points_Huawei

Source- canalys.com

VIEWPOINT: Even if Joe Biden wins in a blowout, the ‘Global Economy’ Is not coming back

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By Marshall Auerback*

COVID-19 has not only presented the global economy with its greatest public health challenge in over a century, but also likely killed off the notion of America’s “unipolar moment” for good. That doesn’t mean full-on autarky or isolationism but, rather, enlightened selfishness, which allows for some limited cooperation. Donald Trump’s ongoing threats to impose additional tariffs on a range of EU exports are exacerbating this trend as the old post-World War II ties between the two regions continue to fray. Even the possibility of a Biden administration is unlikely to presage a reversion to the status quo ante. Regionalization and multipolarity will be the order of the day going forward.

Many will regard these developments as chiefly driven by geopolitical prerogatives. But over time, the driving engine of the process will be a combination of maturing technologies that are rewriting the laws of profitability in manufacturing and production for advanced economies. The various capacities that enabled a far-flung global supply chain and sent the economies of Asia into hyperdrive over the past 40 years have continued to mature. The rise of China, South Korea and Japan in this period is just a phase of a larger series of advances that are now likely to become more distributed and at the same time reshuffle the geopolitical trend lines we currently experience.

The reshuffling is coming in large part because America’s historic military dominance has less relevance in a world where the new forms of competition place greater weight on access to advanced research and technologies, rather than the projection of brute military force (especially given the increasing proliferation of nuclear technologies and the rise of asymmetric warfare). Furthermore, the lack of American manufacturing capacity has left it open to a significant loss of influence to the benefit of other regions, notably China (in Asia), and Germany (in the European Union).

China in particular will likely remain both a geopolitical and economic rival to the United States for the foreseeable future, especially as it already supersedes the United States in some areas of technology (such as 5G), and is increasingly becoming the locus of economic activity in Asia. As yet, Asia is by no means a cohesive economic or strategic bloc (such as the European Union), especially given the ongoing American influence in countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. But longer term, it is hard to believe that an independent democratic Japan would embrace a foreign policy stance that risks antagonizing a country of almost 1.4 billion people with nukes. According to some projections, by 2050 Japan will likely constitute about one-eighth of China’s GDP, South Korea much less. On the basis of that size disparity, strategic triangulation is a non-starter. Japan will no more be able to “balance” China than Canada today can “contain” the United States. It is likewise difficult to envisage Seoul continuing to have its own relations with the North being continuously subject to the vagaries of Pentagon politics in D.C. Heightening instability on the Korean peninsula is hardly in the long-term interests of either Seoul or Pyongyang.

By the same token, the idea of a broad but shallow trilateral United States-EU-Japan bloc against China is also a fantasy because the European Union, like Japan, increasingly finds its own interests clashing with those of the U.S. These tensions have manifested themselves fully in the current dispute over Huawei, China’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer. The Europeans, especially Germany, may well be too invested in China to side with the United States in this particular dispute given its strong pre-existing commercial ties with the former, as Wolfgang Munchau’s Eurointelligence highlights:

“China is Germany’s biggest trading partner. Merkel continues to seek dialogue with China and insisted that ties with the country are of strategic importance to the EU. If this can be called a strategy it is clearly motivated by economic interests. These days, German car makers are dependent on the Chinese market, where record sales in Q2 compensated for the fallout from the pandemic in other markets, the FAZ reports.”

This also applies in the specific case of Huawei, where the U.S. is spearheading an attempt to limit the Chinese company’s global reach on national security grounds. Berlin in particular is seeking to balance the tensions of preserving an increasingly fraying relationship with the U.S. versus safeguarding emerging German commercial interests in China. The Merkel government is expected to make a definitive decision on Huawei by the autumn when the German parliament reconvenes; this will have significant implications for Europe as a whole, as an increasing number of EU member states are moving away from the firm’s 5G wares.

German political opinion remains sharply divided on the issue of Huawei. The decision is also complicated by the fact that “Deutsche Telekom, a 32%-state-owned company, is the country’s largest mobile provider and already relies heavily on Huawei equipment. It has lobbied strongly against any action that would make it harder for it to roll out 5G,” according to the Economist. If the Berlin government fails to follow the lead of the United Kingdom (which recently reversed an earlier decision to incorporate Huawei equipment in its growing 5G infrastructure), it will send a very powerful political signal in terms of how Germany prioritizes its long-term interests, which are no longer axiomatically tied to the U.S.

However Germany decides on Huawei, Atlanticism as a concept is largely dead in Europe. Even before the onset of the pandemic, for example, Italy had already become the first European country to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in response to ongoing economic stagnation. COVID-19 has, if anything, accelerated this Sinification of the Italian economy, given the ham-handed response of Brussels to the country’s plight (and which is still governed by old prevailing austerity biases). Although the tangible economic benefits of the BRI have likely been overstated, Rome-based journalist Eric Reguly has written:

“The Italian government rolled out the welcome mat to Chinese President Xi Jinping in part because it is desperate for foreign investment. Italy suffers from crushing youth unemployment and never fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. It felt it was more or less abandoned by the U.S. and the rest of the EU on the investment front. The anti-EU sentiment among Italians rose during the migrant crisis, when other countries of the bloc refused to relieve Italy’s migrant burden, and rose again earlier this year, when Brussels ignored Italy’s initial pleas for help to fight COVID-19.”

It is important to note that Huawei is but a symptom of a broader EU disengagement from the U.S. Even if Huawei’s role in Europe’s future 5G networks is minimized, the big winners will be European companies, Nokia and Ericsson, not American ones. The 5G deficiency is but one illustration of how America’s failure to prioritize a robust manufacturing sector has contributed to a loss of influence and leverage in Europe.

That in turn explains the relatively tepid response to American pressure in many European capitals. Many EU member states have made the calculation that their interests are no longer inextricably tied to those of the U.S. One also sees this in response to American threats over new Russian natural gas pipelines, which the EU is largely ignoring. Europe has outgrown the suffocating embrace of Cold War exigencies.

The one outlier might well be the United Kingdom in its post-Brexit incarnation. Via the Five Eyes intelligence coordination among the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it is possible that there will be a further tightening of the Anglosphere countries. Their current convergence on Huawei is one illustration of this, although Huawei’s Chief Digital Officer, Michael MacDonald, concedes that the battle over 5G dominance is small fry compared to “the total Digital Economy, which is generally accepted to contribute as much as 25% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025-26, [and] will be worth approximately $20 trillion, with 5G contributing just 0.2%.” And here the U.S. has everything to play for, given its ongoing dominance through American Big Tech behemoths such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

As far as the U.S. itself goes, that also means a narrow but deep North America strategy (United States/Mexico/Canada), especially given the American government’s increasing proclivity to view economic warfare through the prism of national security considerations (as it did during the original Cold War). Those national security calculations have changed somewhat: In a reversal of old Cold War norms, whereby the strategic importance of Japan via America’s offshore naval presence was paramount, Mexico is now being prioritized, at least in regard to manufacturing and investment flows via the new North American trade agreement. As U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer writes in Foreign Affairs, the newly reconfigured United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement reinforces this trend by “overhaul[ing] the ‘rules of origin’ that govern trade in the… [automobile] sector,” increasing the threshold from 62.5 percent under the old NAFTA to 75 percent under the new USMCA.

These concerns are becoming bipartisan, as both parties are now tacking increasingly toward an overt form of economic nationalism.

Multipolarity need not usher in a Hobbesian-style world of eternal conflict. But as it becomes more of a reality, it signals the increasing eclipse of America as a preeminent superpower of one. Asia’s rise in particular simply returns the distribution of economic activity to what it was before the first industrial revolution. That’s not a bad thing, except for those rooted toward an embrace of American hegemony that must be retained at all costs, peacefully or by war. If anything, one could argue that America’s status as the world’s sole global superpower ushered in considerably greater global instability, given the absence of any restraining counterweight, as Washington went from one unilateral war of choice to another. A Joe Biden victory in November may temporarily arrest these trends, but the die has been cast.

*Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator.

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Source- newsclick.in

The world agreed to a coronavirus inquiry. Just when and how, though, are still in dispute

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By Adam Kamradt-Scott*

Only once before has the World Health Organisation held its annual World Health Assembly during a pandemic. The last time it happened, in 2009, the influenza pandemic was only in its first weeks – with far fewer deaths than the world has seen this year.

And never before has the meeting of world leaders, health diplomats, and public health experts been held entirely virtually over a condensed two days instead of the normal eight-to-nine-day affair.

As expected, the assembly proved to be a high stakes game of bare-knuckled diplomacy – with a victory (of sorts) for the western countries that had been advocating for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

China had pushed back hard against such an inquiry, first proposed by Australia last month, but eventually agreed after other countries signed on.

Even though the resolution was adopted, there are still many unanswered questions about what happens next, specifically, when and how an investigation will actually occur.

Harsh critiques from the US

While country after country praised the WHO for its efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus, US Health Secretary Alex Azar predictably accused the global health body of mishandling the crisis.

In a Trumpian-esque attempt at re-writing history, Azar even went so far as to suggest the WHO failed to alert countries early enough to the COVID-19 threat, despite the fact the organization issued its first warnings on January 4.

China, meanwhile, quickly sensed it had lost the diplomatic battle to prevent an inquiry into the origins of the virus after more than 100 countries supported a draft resolution put forth by Australia and its European and African allies.

President Xi Jinping agreed China would support a WHO-led investigation, but there were two major stipulations – that it happens after the pandemic was over and would focus on more than just looking at China’s actions.

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Chinese President Xi addressing the World Health Assembly in Geneva. Photo: WHO Live

Concerns were also voiced during the gathering about the need for ensuring any COVID-19 vaccine would be made available freely and widely, as opposed to suggested scenarios in which Western countries might gain priority access.

World leaders from UN Secretary-General António Guterres to French President Emmanuel Macron stressed the need for any vaccine to be made widely available as a global public good, and health ministers outlined various efforts to support vital research and development into a vaccine.

So what happens now?

China made it clear it will only support an investigation into the origins of the virus after the pandemic has ended. That could be years away, and the longer it takes, the less likely it will be the source will be accurately identified.

China has also insisted the investigation must be led by the WHO. It could be conducted under the auspices of WHO, but if it is led by WHO staff, this is unlikely to sit well with other governments such as Australia and the United States. Both have argued for an independent inquiry.

Investigations into what went wrong during health crises have occurred before.

In 2009, three independent probes were conducted after the WHO was accused of being unduly influenced by an advisory committee into declaring H1N1 “swine flu” a pandemic. And a series of investigations was also launched after the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak, during which the WHO was criticized for being too slow to declare an emergency.

In each instance, the members of the investigation teams were appointed by WHO after being recommended by governments and were made up of prominent, independent public health experts and former WHO staff. Notably, these inquiries were also launched before the crises had abated.

These previous investigations focused exclusively on the WHO’s role in responding to the crises and the functioning of the International Health Regulations – a framework that was significantly revised in 2005 to guide government and WHO behavior during disease outbreaks.

China has insisted, however, the COVID-19 investigation be “comprehensive”, which has been interpreted to mean it must look not only at China’s actions but also how other governments responded to the WHO’s warnings.

This is unlikely to be well received by a number of governments, such as the US, which traditionally view such matters as internal and sovereign.

Ultimately though, an investigation will require China’s cooperation, so it’s likely to hold some sway over how, when, and who conducts the probe.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thus faces a difficult task ahead in trying to reconcile the geopolitical tensions between the world’s two superpowers, China and the United States.

Immediate next steps

While the details of an investigation are being finalized, the focus must return to containing COVID-19.

To date, countries have understandably prioritized halting the spread of the coronavirus within their borders to save the lives of their citizens. But as Guterres said at the WHA, the virus will continue to pose a threat to every country unless the international community stands together.

For that to occur, more attention has to be given to supporting low-income countries to contain the virus.

And resources need to be mobilized and deployed. Now.

Research on a vaccine, diagnostics, and treatments must also continue. Realizing the call to ensure the vaccine is freely available to everyone will be critical to ending the pandemic.

While scientific research is underway, governments must also increase their manufacturing capacity and address the legal issues around indemnity and liability, which unhelpfully delayed deployment of the H1N1 influenza pandemic vaccine throughout 2009 and 2010.

For this to occur, we have to heal, or at least put aside, the harmful politics that have prevented effective multilateral cooperation to date. It will be a challenge, but one we must overcome.

*Adam Kamradt-Scott receives funding from the Australian Research Council to investigate military assistance during health emergencies, and from the Canadian Institute for Health Research on the travel and trade restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a director of the Global Health Security Network, and co-convenor of the Global Health Security conferences.

Source: The Conversation, Under Creative Commons Licence.May 20, 2020.

Coronavirus: Why China’s strategy to contain the virus might work

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Wuhan City has a population of over 11 million. Credit: Tauno Tõhk/CC by 2.0

By Fei Chen

Jan 30, 2020 (IPS) – On January 23, the authorities of Wuhan City, China, sealed off the motorways and shut down all public transport to stop the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. Shortly afterward, at least ten other cities in China were under quarantine orders, most of them located in the areas surrounding Wuhan.

It sounds unbelievable to quarantine a city of 11 million people, but it may work because movement within and between cities in China relies heavily on public transport infrastructure. Major cities in China are well connected by airports, express railways, motorways, and long-distance buses. Once the entry points of these transport routes are controlled and patrolled, people cannot easily get out.

The transport infrastructure is built by the state and over 90% funded by public money, so control remains in the hands of the authorities. The one-party government in China also helps to effectively implement such a strategy.

Another reason this containment strategy may work is that major Chinese cities are large and dense. Wuhan has an urban area of 1,528km2, which makes it extremely difficult for people to walk out of the city if they are not able to take public transport or travel on the motorways using private cars.

People who live on the periphery of the city may still be able to get out through small local road networks that mainly lead to villages or the countryside. As long as the major roads are closed off, they are not able to reach other major cities with a large, concentrated population and the quarantine remains effective.

Megacity regions

The urbanization process facilitated by the Chinese state results in big cities surrounded by smaller cities, towns, and counties. This form of city cluster, known as megacity regions, is a recent phenomenon in China and their development
has been driven by both political and economic factors. The Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta are the most well-known megacity regions, holding enormous economic power and attracting laborers regionally and nationally.

Wuhan and its surrounding cities, towns, and counties hold similar status in central China thanks to its strategic location on the Yangtze River and national railway network. The local authority’s Great Wuhan Economic Region plan is intended to promote Wuhan in efforts to become comparable to the aforementioned megacity regions.

Megacity regions are connected by transport routes and mostly developed around transport nodes, at both the regional and neighborhood scales. This so-called transit-oriented development means that if the entry points of public transport are closed off in cities of the whole region, to a large extent, people are controlled in the region.

Chinese New Year

For more than three decades, Chinese urbanization has seen large scale domestic migration. People from the countryside and smaller cities and towns move to big cities for more work opportunities and better education and healthcare. Chinese New Year is the most important occasion when people return to their home towns to celebrate the festival with their families.

The coronavirus containment measures coincided with the national movement for the New Year celebration. This massive movement of people, if not controlled, would be a serious threat to containing the virus. People were advised against long-distance travel and the New Year holiday has been extended into February. These measures are to make sure movement within the country is restricted as much as possible. Workers will stay in their home cities as their returns are suspended.

The containment measures in Wuhan and other cities are likely to continue until further studies of the virus suggest other effective solutions. At the current moment, international travelers from China have all been checked at airports and some flights have been canceled.

Cities nowadays rely on complex systems to operate. The concentration of labor and resources may enable efficiency but leaves them vulnerable to attacks. The outbreak put enormous pressure on Wuhan’s healthcare system as people can only seek treatment in the city. A few high-ranked hospitals in Wuhan possess the best resources, but they cannot cope with the healthcare demand from large groups at the same time. Two new hospitals are being built in Wuhan to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. They are expected to be completed on February 3rd and 5th respectively and provide 2,300 beds in total.

In the foreseeable future, digital technologies and smart city measures may also play a role in dealing with pressure on health infrastructure by, for instance, reporting cases and coordinating the allocation of resources. Wuhan has a reputation for the active integration of smart technologies in urban management.

Although effective, sealing off an entire city or region should always be a last resort. It will surely have a negative social impact and damage the economy. The Conversation
Fei Chen is a senior lecturer of architecture, University of Liverpool

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

BRICS power drivers – India and China

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Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi with the President of Brazil, Ms. Dilma Rousseff, the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin and the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Jacob Zuma, during BRICS official photo, at the Sixth BRICS Summit, at Ceara Events Centre, in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 15, 2014.Photo: PIB.

Analysis By Shastri Ramachandaran

NEW DELHI, Jul 17 2014 (IPS) – The Sixth BRICS Summit which ended Wednesday in Fortaleza, Brazil, attracted more attention than any other such gathering in the alliance’s short history, and not just from its own members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Two external groups defined by divergent interests closely watched proceedings: on the one hand, emerging economies and developing countries, and on the other, a group comprising the United States, Japan and other Western countries thriving on the Washington Consensus and the Bretton Woods twins (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund).

The first group wanted BRICS to succeed in taking its first big steps towards a more democratic global order where international institutions can be reshaped to become more equitable and representative of the world’s majority. The second group has routinely inspired obituaries of BRICS and gambled on the hope that India-China rivalry would stall the BRICS alliance from turning words into deeds.

In the event, the outcome of the three-day BRICS Summit must be a disappointment to the latter group. First, the obituaries were belied as being premature, if not unwarranted. Second, as its more sophisticated opponents have been “advising”, BRICS did not stick to an economic agenda; instead, there emerged a ringing political declaration that would resonate in the world’s trouble spots from Gaza and Syria to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Third, and importantly, far from so-called Indian-China rivalry stalling decisions on the New Development Bank (NDB) and the emergency fund, the Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA), the Asian giants grasped the nettle to add a strategic dimension to BRICS.

With a shift in the global economic balance of power towards Asia, the failure of the Washington Consensus and the Bretton Woods twins in spite of conditionalities, structural adjustment programmes and “reforms”, financial meltdown and the collapse of leading banks and financial institutions in the West, there had been an urgent need for new thinking and new instruments for the building of a new order.

Despite the felt need and multilateral meetings that involved developing countries, including China and India which bucked the financial downturn, there had been no sign of alternatives being formed.

It is against this backdrop – of the compelling case for firm and feasible steps towards a new global architecture of financial institutions – that BRICS, after much deliberation, succeeded in agreeing on a bank and an emergency fund.

From India’s viewpoint, this summit of BRICS – which represents one-quarter of the world’s land mass across four continents and 40 percent of the world population with a combined GDP of 24 trillion dollars – was an unqualified success. The success is sweeter for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) because the BRICS summit was new Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first multilateral engagement.

For a debutant, Modi acquitted himself creditably by steering clear of pitfalls in the multilateral forum as well as in bilateral exchanges – particularly in his talks with Chinese President Xi Jiping, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff – and by delivering a strong political statement calling for reform of the U.N. Security Council and the IMF.

In fact, the intensification and scaling up of India-China relations by their respective powerful leaders is an important outcome of the meeting in Brazil, even though the dialogue between the Asian giants was on the summit’s side-lines. Nevertheless, Modi and Xi spoke in almost in one voice on global politics and conflict, and on the case for reform of international institutions.

The new leaders of India and China, with the power of their recently-acquired mandates, sent out an unmistakable signal that they have more interests in common that unite them than differences that separate them.

Against this backdrop, Indian Prime Minister Modi’s outing was significant for other reasons, not least because of the rapport he was able to strike up, in his first meeting, with Chinese President Xi. The stature, power, force and credibility of BRICS depend on its internal cohesion and harmony and this, in turn, revolves almost wholly on the state of relations between India and China. If India and China join hands, speak in one voice and march together, then BRICS has a greater chance of its agenda succeeding in the international system.

As it happened, Modi and Xi hit it off, much to the consternation of both the United States and Japan. They spoke of shared interests and common concerns, their resolve to press ahead with the agenda of BRICS and the two went so far as to agree on the need for an early resolution of their boundary issue. They invited each other for a state visit, and Xi went one better by inviting Modi to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in China in November and asking India to deepen its involvement in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Modi’s “fruitful” 80-minute meeting with Xi highlights that the two are inclined to seize the opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships towards larger economic, political and strategic objectives. This meeting has set the tone for Xi’s visit to India in September.

Although strengthening India-China relationship, opening up new tracks and widening and deepening engagement had been one of former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s biggest achievements in 10 years of government (2004-2014), after a certain point there was no new trigger or momentum to the ties. Now Xi and Modi are investing effort to infuse new vitality into the relationship which will have an impact in the region and beyond.

As is the wont when it comes to foreign affairs and national security, Modi’s new government has not deviated from the path charted out by the previous government. BRICS as a foreign policy priority represents both continuity and consistency. Even so, the BJP deserves full marks because it did not treat BRICS and the Brazil summit as something it had to go through with for the sake of form or as a chore handed down by the previous government of Manmohan Singh.

Before leaving for Brazil, Modi stressed the “high importance” he attached to BRICS and left no one in doubt that global politics would be high on its agenda.

He pointed attention to the political dimension of the BRICS Summit as a highly political event taking place “at a time of political turmoil, conflict and humanitarian crises in several parts of the world.”

“I look at the BRICS Summit as an opportunity to discuss with my BRICS partners how we can contribute to international efforts to address regional crises, address security threats and restore a climate of peace and stability in the world,” Modi had said on eve of the summit.

Having struck the right notes that would endear him to the Chinese leadership, Modi hailed Russia as “India’s greatest friend” after he met President Vladimir Putin on the side-lines of the summit.

India belongs to BRICS, and if BRICS is the way to move forward in the world, then BRICS can look to India, along with China, for leading the way, regardless of political change at home. That would appear to be the point made by Modi in his first multilateral appearance.