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In post-Taliban world, will Quad’s rise see Brics fall?

The Times of India logo The Times of India 15-09-2021 Chidanand Rajghatta
Narendra Modi, Joe Biden, Yoshihide Suga, Scott Morrison are posing for a picture © Provided by The Times of India

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be moving deftly from a virtual Brics summit held early September to an in-person Quad conclave late September amid rapid changes in the world's geo-strategic architecture following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Although originally conceived as a formation to counter Chinese economic and military power in the Indo-Pacific, Beijing's aggressive move into the strategic space vacated by the US in Afghanistan and Russia's ambivalent role in Kabul had imbued Quad - an in-person summit of whose leaders has been convened on September 24 by US President Joe Biden - with a new purpose.

READ ALSO: US President Joe Biden to host first in-person Quad meet for PM Modi, others

India is a member of both BRICS (including Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa) and Quad (including the US, Japan, and Australia).

A virtual Brics summit hosted by Modi on September 9 passed largely unnoticed in the West given the events in Afghanistan, where clear differences surfaced between New Delhi on the one hand and Brics principals on the other.

The Biden-Harris administration has made elevating the Quad a priority, the White House said.

Although it House said Quad leaders will be "focused on deepening our ties and advancing practical cooperation on areas such as combatting Covid-19, addressing the climate crisis, partnering on emerging technologies and cyberspace, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific", the developments in Afghanistan, where China has tried to align with Pakistan, Russia and Iran (dubbed PRIC) are certain to figure in the discussion.

The big question is whether Quad, which is underscored by democratic credentials and geo-political apprehension of China, will result in the dismantling of Brics, which is underpinned by economic interests.

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