BRICS countries summit to meet

To map path to increase their roles

Chinese People's Liberation Army honor guard prepare for the arrival of Brazilian President Michel Temer at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport to attend the upcoming BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China's Fujian province, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017.   (Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP)

Chinese People's Liberation Army honor guard prepare for the arrival of Brazilian President Michel Temer at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport to attend the upcoming BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China's Fujian province, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. (Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP)

XIAMEN, China — A summit of five major developing countries will open Monday to map out their future course, after host Chinese President Xi Jinping called on them to stand up together against a growing tide of protectionism across the world.

Leaders of the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are meeting in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen through Tuesday.

Ahead of the summit, Xi gave a speech to BRICS business leaders on Sunday calling for those nations to work with others around the world to deal with problems arising from globalization.

Xi also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed North Korea’s latest nuclear test — its sixth and most powerful yet, which has cast a shadow over the summit hosted by its only major ally, China. The official Xinhua News Agency said they agreed to “appropriately deal with” it, without elaborating.

Xinhua also reported that Xi and Putin had agreed to enhance military cooperation between China and Russia.

BRICS was formed as an association of fast-growing large economies about a decade ago to advocate for better representation for developing countries and challenge the Western-dominated world order that has prevailed since the end of World War II. It soon achieved agreement to increase the share of voting rights for emerging markets in world financial bodies the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. It has also started operating its own development bank.

Xi wants BRICS to play a more important role in international affairs, even as some observers suggest its power is waning given rivalry between China and India and the economic woes of Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

“BRICS country cooperation is not a talking shop but a task force that gets things done,” Xi said in his speech Sunday.