(Abridged from  an article by M K Bhadrakumar, a career diplomat and supplied by Prof Sam Noumoff)


There can be no two opinions that Beijing made a smart move. Its decision to anoint South Africa as a new member of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will be projected as based on economic grounds, but there are any number of other dimensions.


The decision was hugely significant politically, and its announcement showed delightful timing – Christmas Eve. It also has vast geopolitical potential and it is undoubtedly based on strategic considerations. The choice of South Africa can even be spotted as a gutsy move to disprove a prediction from Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and guru of the BRIC concept, that Nigeria was better placed to make the grade.


The next BRIC summit – or BRICS as it will now be known – is scheduled for April in Beijing, where for the first time South Africa will participate as a member of the group. 

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