New Chinese Bank Becomes Major Headache for U.S.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Another day, it seems, brings another new member to China’s latest big international initiative: a new development bank for Asia.

Russia became the latest country to announce it would join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to be based in Beijing.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov made the announcement on March 28 at an international forum in China, saying President Vladimir Putin himself had made the decision for Russia to participate, according to RIA Novosti.

Russia is the latest in a string of countries, including many of the United States’ closest allies in Europe and Asia, to announce plans to join the bank ahead of a March 31 deadline to become a charter member.

In recent days, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and South Korea have all said they intend to join the $50 billion bank, which would be used to fund infrastructure improvements, like new roads and rail lines, in Asia.

Diplomatic Tug Of War

On its face, a country’s decision to join a global development bank wouldn’t normally make headlines, but this time around membership is seen as a clear rebuke to the wishes of Washington. The United States has reportedly spent weeks quietly trying to convince friends around the world to decline or at least delay joining the bank.

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (link opens in a new window)

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