The Rise of Chinese TNCs, BRICS, and Current Global Challenges -Focus on the Global South
Does BRICS still offer an alternative model of development that can address the current global crisis? Is this grouping of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa actually challenging the hegemony of the old powers for the benefit of the rest?
These were the main questions raised in the recently held two-day “People’s Forum on BRICS,” held in Goa on October 13 and 14, attended by more than 500 representatives of various mass organizations, people’s movements, community-based, and social justice groups from 10 countries and around 25 states in India.
There was a strong interest to understand China’s new role in the global political economy and in how to engage and confront the growing operations of Chinese and BRICS transnational corporations or TNCs. People in Goa were also particularly concerned about the impacts on their livelihoods of the growing number of Chinese TNCs in their state and in India in general. There were questions too on whether China as the most economically powerful BRICS country has become a new imperialist or a sub-imperialist country that is actually supporting the status quo of elite dominance.
The environmental footprints and social impacts of Chinese TNCs are increasing due to the growing expansion of their operations in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as in old centers of capitalism Europe and the US. For many countries, the Chinese have been making more affordable goods available. However, Chinese investments and finance capital are also carving out territories for oil, coal, minerals, and other important resources. Representatives from the National Hawkers Federation who attended the forum share the perspective that the flooding of cheap Chinese products in markets are killing or bringing down small and local businesses and producers.
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