We’re watching America being abandoned by a German-led Europe in real time.
European officials tell the Financial Times their countries will join the institution, ignoring reservations expressed by the United States about how the new lender will be run
France, Germany and Italy have agreed to follow Britain’s lead and join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a major setback for Washington, the Financial Times reported.
The state-run Xinhua news agency in China said South Korea, Switzerland and Luxembourg were also considering joining.
The Financial Times, quoting European officials, said the decision by the four countries to become members of the bank was a blow for Washington, which has questioned if the new institution would have high standards of governance and environmental and social safeguards.
The bank is also seen as contributing to the spread of China’s soft power in the region, possibly at the expense of the United States.
China said earlier this year a total of 26 countries had been included as founder members, mostly from Asia and the Middle East. It plans to finalise the articles of agreement by the end of the year.
Japan, Australia and South Korea remain notable absentees in the region, although Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at the weekend he would make a final decision on bank membership soon.
Full article: ‘France, Germany, Italy to join China-led development bank’: report (South China Morning Post)