Opinion / Opinion Line

South Korea should embrace benefits of AIIB

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-20 07:38

South Korea should embrace benefits of AIIB

China's President Xi Jinping (4th R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 24, 2014. Britain said it has sought to become a founding member of the AIIB, making it the first Western nation to embrace the China-backed institution. [Photo/Agencies]

After the United Kingdom applied to join the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Germany, France and Italy plan to follow in its footsteps, the Republic of Korea is reported to be considering participating in the project. Comments:

Joining the AIIB will bring the ROK obvious economic benefits. Having already completed negotiations with China on a bilateral FTA, it needs more advantages to compete for trade with China with Japan, which has similar industries with it. However, it faces political pressure from the United States. Therefore the ROK is still hesitating; but there is not much time left for it to consider.

Beijing News, March 19

The UK's joining the AIIB is a significant step. For one, it could lead to enormous investment opportunities tied to China's ambitious plan to create a transcontinental economic belt that would connect Asia with Europe. South Korea should no longer dither. Membership in the AIIB would deliver greater access to a region of 60 nations with 4.4 billion people. Its companies could get in on the Asian construction boom, which it is estimated will generate demand of $5 trillion through the AIIB and Chinese funding.

Korea Joongang Daily, March 16

If we are too bound to our alliance with the United States, we could lose economic opportunities. The AIIB has already lined up 27 members. Daewoo International's oil project in Myanmar is a success story. The company has sold 450 billion won ($409.9 million) worth of gasoline to China from the oil field. Myanmar is central to China's new Silk Road. We must approach China's Silk Road project purely from a business perspective. Joining the AIIB should be the starting point.

Han Woo-duk, director of the JoongAng Ilbo China Institute, March 4

Most Viewed Today's Top News