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Countries rushing to join AIIB

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-30 03:07

Countries rushing to join AIIB

The signing ceremony of memorandum of understanding on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is held in Beijing, Oct 24 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

Observers say US, now increasingly isolated, should rethink its negative position on bank

Countries are rushing to join the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as the application deadline draws near, but the United States remains conspicuously absent.

Experts attending the annual Boao Forum for Asia in Boao, Hainan province, said the United States should reconsider its stance.

On Saturday alone, Russia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Denmark said they want to join AIIB as founding members. A day earlier, Georgia, Turkey and South Korea filed their applications.

Swedish officials at the Boao Forum also expressed interest, while the possibility grew that other northern European nations would follow.

As of Sunday, 42 countries had joined or applied to join the AIIB as founding members. They must wait two weeks before a final decision is made on April 12, the Finance Ministry said.

Of the world's major economies, only the United States, Japan and Canada have not declared their intention to join the AIIB, though they could apply at the last minute or join later as ordinary members.

As interest in the bank grew in the past week, debate in Boao focused on the chilly reception to the idea by the administration of US President Barack Obama and whether the emerging multilateral lending institution proposed by China amounts to a challenge to the US-led international financial order.

During a panel discussion at the forum, Martin Jacques, a senior fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, called the founding of AIIB an "exciting moment" in history.

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