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Are the BRICS a Bloc? A Group? A Threat? It All Depends on Where You Sit.

File image of the leaders from the five BRICS countries meetings in Brasilia, Brazil on November 14, 2019. Pavel Golovkin / POOL / AFP

If you haven’t watched Netflix’s popular TV show, the Diplomat, do not worry. In 2023, international diplomacy in the real world seems more thrilling and dramatic. With the approaching of this year’s BRICS (i.e., Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and Russia) Summit to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2023, it was recently reported that French President, Emmanuel Macron, wants an invitation to attend this summit, as the first Western leader attendee.

Russia immediately opposed this idea, while the South African foreign minister Naledi Pandor said that an invitation is not off the table and it would be an innovation to broaden BRICS’s global outreach within its current participation model. Meanwhile, a yoga class at the White House has grabbed international attention during Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States as both the Republican and Democratic parties would like to deepen the partnership with India to counter its competitor, China.

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