IMF, ADB add to supporters for China-led bank

China received critical support from the International Monetary Forum and Asian Development Bank on Sunday for its goal of establishing a new Chinese-led multilateral lender, adding to a growing wave of endorsements that has worried the United States. Leaders of the IMF and ADB, speaking at a conference in Beijing, said they were in talks with or happy to cooperate with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a $50 billion lender to be majority funded by Ch

China received critical support from the International Monetary Forum and Asian Development Bank on Sunday for its goal of establishing a new Chinese-led multilateral lender, adding to a growing wave of endorsements that has worried the United States.

Leaders of the IMF and ADB, speaking at a conference in Beijing, said they were in talks with or happy to cooperate with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a $50 billion lender to be majority funded by China that is seen by some as a rival to these established international financial institutions. The United States, concerned about Chinaand#39s growing diplomatic clout, has urged countries to think twice about signing up and questioned whether the AIIB will have sufficient standards of governance and environmental and social safeguards.

Some 27 countries have already signed up to participate in the AIIB, Chinaand#39s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei told China National Radio on Saturday. It will provide project loans to developing countries and is slated to begin operations at the end of 2015.

The United Statesand#39 key strategic allies in the region, Australia, Japan and South Korea, are also considering joining the proposed Beijing-based bank.

Early opposition to the AIIB from Western countries partially dissolved after Britain said this month it would join, with France, Germany and Italy swiftly following suit.

Canberra could formally decide to sign up to the AIIB when the full cabinet meets on Monday, Australian media have said. At least eight more countries may join the lender by the March 31 deadline, Jin Liqun, secretary-general of the interim secretariat that is establishing the AIIB, told a panel at the conference on Sunday.

The fund will have approval from its shareholders at the start to double its capitalization to $100 billion, he said. andquotChina will follow the rules of the international community and will not bully other members but work together with them and try to reach consensus in all the decisions we make without brandishing the majority shareholder status,andquot he said.

In an editorial published on the same day, Chinaand#39s official Xinhua news agency suggested that the United States might be embarrassed that many of its allies had not heeded its warnings. andquotFor decision-makers in the United States, they really have to be reminded that if they do not jump on the bandwagon of change in time, they will soon be overrun by the bandwagon itself,andquot it said.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Sunday that the fund would be andquotdelightedandquot to cooperate with the AIIB.

Chinaand#39s Lou and ADB President Takehiko Nakao said at the conference they had held discussions on possible cooperation, with the Chinese finance minister adding that topics discussed included safeguard standards.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman