Chinese president launches new AIIB development bank as power balance shifts

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Jin Liqun, the first president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, speaks during the bank’s opening ceremony in Beijing on Jan. 16. (AP Photo)

 

 

BEIJING–Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a new international development bank seen as a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank at a lavish ceremony on Jan. 16, as Beijing seeks to change the unwritten rules of global development finance.

Despite opposition from Washington, U.S. allies including Australia, Britain, German, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea have agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in recognition of China’s growing economic clout.

“Asia’s financing needs for basic infrastructure are absolutely enormous,” Xi said in a speech at the launch, adding the bank would aim to invest in projects that were “high-quality, low-cost.”

DIPLOMATIC COUP

Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna said the establishment of the AIIB was “further proof of the rebalancing of the world economy.”

A successful AIIB that sets itself apart from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund would be a diplomatic triumph for China, which opposes a global financial order it says is dominated by the United States and does not adequately represent developing nations.

Full article: Chinese president launches new AIIB development bank as power balance shifts (The Asahi Shimbun)

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