China’s President Xi Jinping (4th R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 24, 2014 file photograph. [Photo/Agencies]
That the planned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is winning wider support in the world arena underscores the international community’s common desire for development and strong willingness to cooperate.
Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland recently applied to join the ranks of the 27 prospective founding members already signed up. Australia’s federal Cabinet also gave the green light to apply on Monday.
The number of prospective members is expected to reach 35 by the end of this month, which is the deadline for applications, according to Jin Liqun, secretary-general of the interim multilateral secretariat of the AIIB.
The strong interest in joining the China-proposed initiative shows the AIIB is increasingly being viewed as a reciprocal, efficient and inclusive platform where member states will be able to seek mutually beneficial cooperation.
In his latest meetings with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and President of the Asian Development Bank Takehiko Nakao, Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed that the AIIB will adopt an open and inclusive attitude and be complementary to the existing development banks.
Li’s remarks should help dispel any unwarranted concerns that the AIIB will be a rival to the established international lenders.
The establishment of regional investment banks, including the ADB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, did not weaken established institutions, but rather reinforced the multilateral financial organizations.
The AIIB is not meant to be a political instrument competing with existing world financial institutions. Instead, the AIIB will contribute to global economic development, and blow a breath of fresh air into global financial governance and complement the current international economic order.
Unlike existing global lending bodies such as the World Bank, in which the United States has a dominant role and also the power to veto, all AIIB members will participate in the decision-making process so as to achieve win-win results.
The US, which had emerged as an opponent to the novel design, now seems to be giving it a second thought by signaling that it is adopting a cooperative attitude toward the AIIB.
A U-turn by the US, though overdue, would be welcome; it is to be hoped this is not merely a change of tactic.
China proposed the AIIB in order to meet the huge funding demand for infrastructure in Asia. Having achieved three decades of economic success, it is now ready to make greater contributions to global development. There is no reason to question China’s sincerity and effort in shouldering more international responsibilities.