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Glosny, Michael A. (2010) China and the BRICs: A Real (but Limited) Partnership in a Unipolar World. Polity 42: 100-129.

Although Chinese leaders and analysts believe it is too early to judge the U.S. to be in fundamental decline, they do recognize that ‘‘newly emerging powers’’ (xinxing daguo) are an increasingly important force in international politics. In the past couple of years, the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) have transformed themselves from an abstract notion into a more formal political grouping. For China, besides helping to minimize dependence on the U.S. and possibly to constrain American unilateralism, BRIC cooperation serves several other functions. China also benefits from this cooperation by stabilizing its international environment, helping other developing countries, strengthening its identity as a developing country, coordinating its position with other BRICs to maximize leverage, and hiding in a group to avoid negative attention. This recent cooperation and interaction with the BRICs has been important, but the space for future BRIC cooperation is limited by fundamental differences among the BRICs, the continued importance of the U.S. for each of the BRICs, and intra-BRIC competition. To date, there is little evidence that China and the BRICs are trying to overthrow the existing international order. Instead, China has accepted and joined the existing order, and has been working together with other powers to reform its shortcomings. Although this negotiation is in its early stages and will likely be difficult, the willingness of China and the BRICs to work within the system and the openness of western countries to meet some of their demands makes it much less likely that China and other rising powers will try to overthrow the order.

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