Britain applies to join Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank
Britain will be the first ‘major western country’ to be the member of the China-backed institution
If everything goes smoothly, Britain will be the founding member of the AIIB by the end of March. As the proposer and main leader of the multinational financial institution, China says it welcomes Britain and will ask for some outside opinions from other founding countries.
AIIB is aiming at help infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region. It has an authorized capital of $100 billion and the initial subscribed capital is around $50 billion.
Britain emphasizes that they made the decision based on “national interest”. “By getting in early, the UK has a chance to influence the way the bank is run”, Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.
U.S officials show concerns about whether AIIB could be able to meet the governance requirement, as well as environmental and social safeguards. They also argued that there is no need for a new development lender, given the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. However, China, as a major capital provider, only has a tiny share of voting power of 5.47% in the ADB, compared to Japan and the US who has 15.7% and 15.6% respectively. The same Same situation has happened in the World Bank and IMF. AIIB, along with newly established BRICS bank, will undoubtedly give China greater global influence.
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