Business / Economy

China-proposed AIIB is a gift to world

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-20 09:53

BEIJING -- As countries continue filing applications to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the eagerness for participation indicates an unmet niche for such a service.

Decision by nations outside of Asia, including Britain, Germany, France and Italy, to join the program is evidence of the huge financial demand in Asian infrastructure.

Statistics from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) say that between 2010 and 2020, around $8 trillion of investment will be needed in the Asia-Pacific region to improve its infrastructure. However, the ADB is only able to provide about $10 billion annually in the category.

The AIIB, with an expected initial subscribed capital of $50 billion, is therefore complementary to the ADB and other multilateral financial institutions including the World Bank.

The world needs the AIIB and the AIIB also wants to embrace the world.

The applications from the four European nations, which are all G7 members, are welcome because their participation means more diversified shareholders and advanced management that is key to enhancing the AIIB's structure and international image.

But such a bank, designed to bring about a win-win situation, has drawn concern from the United States that the new institution should incorporate the high standards. When Britain announced the decision to join, the US knitted its brows and remarked that the long-time partner has been constantly accommodating China.

The act perplexes China because the US government has been urging China to exercise leadership compatible with its growing strength by providing more resources for development and other global goals.

Given the existing global financial system, which is being driven by Asian economies, one of the most valuable gifts that a rising China can offer to the Asian community, as well as the world, is its expertise and experience in infrastructure accumulated over the past decades.

At a news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei called on all countries interested in joining the regional investment bank to make their decisions before the deadline on March 31.

According to Hong, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea will exchange views on issues of mutual interest during the three-way foreign ministers' meeting on March 21, with the possibility of discussing (AIIB-)related issue.

Rather than standing outside frowning, the US might as well consider the choice of getting on the boat to share its rich experience in managing international banks.

This will be a blessing not only for Asia, but also for the US and the world as a whole.

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