HKS Authors

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus


Last month, the new president of China, Xi Jinping, chose to travel to Moscow for his first foreign visit. He and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a number of agreements and then together traveled to Durban, South Africa, for the fifth “BRICS” summit. There they joined with the leaders of India, Brazil, and South Africa to announce the creation of a new development bank that could challenge the dominance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The five leaders’ speeches referred to a shifting world order, and Xi said “the potential of BRICS development is infinite.” It looked as if the BRICS had finally come of age. Three years ago, I was skeptical about the BRICS. And, despite the apparent success of the recent Durban summit, I still am skeptical.


Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "Despite All the Confidence, the BRICS are Without Mortar." Daily Star, April 10, 2013.