Leaders of the Brics nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA — struck an assertive tone in their first public remarks on the eve of the 15th summit in Johannesburg where they will debate adding new members to the emerging-market bloc as a counterbalance to the US-led international order.

The summit, held under the theme “Brics in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, takes place amid rising tensions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and geopolitical competition between the US and China over issues such as trade and human rights...

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