Xiamen — China will give $80m in funding for Brics co-operation plans, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday, while the bloc of five emerging countries pledged to oppose protectionism. Xi offered 500-million yuan ($76.4m) for a Brics economic and technology co-operation plan, and another $4m for projects at the group’s New Development Bank (NDB) during a three-day leadership summit in the south-eastern city of Xiamen. China’s new contributions to Brics pale in comparison to its $124bn pledge earlier in May for Xi’s own Belt and Road initiative, which aims to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond as a new way to boost global development. The announcement came amid questions over the relevance of Brics and China’s commitment to the NDB in light of the Belt and Road initiative and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, both key efforts by Beijing to bolster its global influence. Xi said during a plenary session at the Brics leaders’ summit that the fiv...

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