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.

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Belt and Road may establish China as genuine superpower

Following a trip to Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia in early May, President Xi Jinping of China received the visiting Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. Beijing is stepping up efforts to push its “Belt and Road” initiatives, as these countries are all key players in China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road plans and have signed economic cooperation deals involving huge sums.

Through its Silk Road Fund and the planned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China has also established a mechanism similar to the Marshall Plan and the Bretton Woods system that helped the United States build a dominant position after World War II. Continue reading