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US urged to join China-led investment bank
November 15, 2016, 10:02 am

The AIIB now has 57 members, including Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and Italy [Xinhua]

The AIIB now has 57 members, including Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and Italy [Xinhua]

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters he welcomed the prospect of the US joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

“It would be a good thing if the United States, the world’s largest economy, were to join the AIIB. We have held this attitude since the very beginning,” he said in response to a question about the new White House administration reversing its opposition to the bank now that a Republican has been elected.

The question came a day after AIIB chief Jin Liqun said that he doesn’t rule out the possibility of the US joining the bank now that Republican candidate Donald Trump has been elected president.

Jin said he had been hearing statements made by some Trump advisors that the president-elect could shift pollicy on the AIIB, which had been seen as a treat by the Obama administration.

Trump national security adviser James Woolsey said in an editorial in a Chinese newspaper that opposition to the AIIB was a “strategic mistake”.

Initially, “at the formation of the AIIB, the US, the base of the Bretton Wood Institutes that manage the world economy including the World Bank and the IMF, saw the new body as a threat to its dominance and importance in the world economic order,” Jin said.

The multilateral investment bank, which has authorised capital of $100 billion, plans to join global clean-energy initiatives and fund eco-friendly investment projects.

The bank was formally established in Beijing in December last year and started operation in January.

The AIIB is one of three entities China is promoting, along with a joint $100 billion BRICS Development Bank and a $40 billion Silk Road Fund.

The AIIB will extend China’s financial reach and compete not only with the World Bank, but also with the Asian Development Bank, which is heavily dominated by Japan. China, however, has repeatedly stressed that the new bank is willing to work with other development lenders.

There are more than 30 countries waiting to join the China-led AIIB, in addition to its 57 founding members, the bank’s president Jin Liqun said earlier this year. Canada recently joined.

The US and Japan have not applied for the membership in the AIIB. The China-backed lender has 57 members including major allies of the US such as the UK, Australia, Germany, France and Italy.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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