China contributed US$350 billion to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Monday at a ceremony where it also became a member, the Wall Street Journal reported. The money is expected to be used to help Latin American countries cope with the global financial crisis. Approximately 36% of China’s contribution will go to IDB’s Special Operations fund, which is used to help the region’s poorest countries. China is the third member of the IDB from East Asia after South Korea and Japan. The country has become Latin America’s second-biggest trading partner in an effort to secure access to commodities. Chinese trade with the region reached US$8.4 billion in 2007.