The View from Beijing: Chinese media slams West’s critique of BRICS

ChinaMore than 100 Chinese journalists, cutting across print and electronic media, descended on the Brazilian port city of Fortaleza to track the sixth BRICS summit. People’s Daily, the state-owned Chinese daily, brought out a special BRICS edition and circulated it to delegates and media persons of other countries.

The BRICS’ creation of a new $100 billion development bank and emergency reserve fund on July 15, triggered waves of jubilation among Chinese media. The bank is to be headquartered in Shanghai. The declaration was made at the sixth BRICS summit held in Brazil.

The Chinese media has commented on a range of issues, and has been quite upbeat that BRICS, as a unique grouping of five diverse emerging economies, will help reform the global financial structures. Sections of Chinese media argued for greater collaboration among media outlets of BRICS countries to counter the Western media’s negative portrayals of the grouping.

While some media outlets have hailed the creation of the New Development Bank as a victory for the developing world, others have cautioned that much work remains to be done.

Xu Yili, a commentator with China Central Television, said China’s massive foreign reserves and stable political environment aided in the selection.

Many media outlets in China, including the popular Chinese edition of The Global Times, have noted the negative reactions of some Western media to the creation of the bank. They argue that it was the West’s reluctance to reform global financial institutions that compelled BRICS to set up a bank.

However, the People’s Daily tried to play down the debate over the role of the new bank in challenging the West-led international financial system.

It argued that the New Development Bank and the contingent reserve arrangement would supplement rather than compete with the current global financial system:

“Loans from the World Bank are not able to meet the demands of the developing nations, and only a slice of the direly needed funding on infrastructure, is from the World Bank. The IMF also failed to play an active role in stabilizing turbulent emerging financial markets during the global financial crisis.”

Miffed at certain Western media outlets for undermining the progress made by the BRICS, the Chinese edition of The Global Times referred to such reports as a case of “sour grapes.”

The sentiment was echoed by the Xinhua news agency, which was critical about the manner in which some Western media “joyfully drum up the differences and disagreements    between   BRICS countries.” The news agency added that “it is this very diversity that can motivate rather than impede cooperation. BRICS is a new development model, one that is conducive to improving global economic governance.”

“BRICS, only formed in 2009, is still far from dominating global trade and investment, but nonetheless, combining emerging economies to benefit  peoples from five countries contributes to democratic international relations. While the group grows into a force for a more just and democratic world, it deserves support and applause.”BRICS

Xinhua has also published an article by its president Li Congjun, arguing that even two decades since the end of the cold war, the flow of global information remains unbalanced and in favour of the West. Congjun calls on media organisations of the BRICS countries to increase collaborative efforts to propel support and political influence for BRICS in international communication.

Voices of developing   countries are often drowned out by the much louder media of the West. What we wanted to tell the world was hardly heard,” the article said.

Reprinted by several media outlets in BRICS countries, the article labels the BRICS as “representatives of the world’s emerging economies.” It states that while BRICS countries have laid a solid foundation for economic cooperation, much needs to be done to increase their political influence in the international community.

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