Chinese media see international bank as diplomatic coup


Beijing (AFP) – The creation of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a bigger coup for Beijing than its hosting of the 2008 Olympics, state-run media said Tuesday after 50 countries signed its legal framework.

China was spurred to create the AIIB after “unfair treatment” by Washington-led institutions, the Global Times said in an editorial, apparently referring to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The AIIB has been viewed by some as a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, and the United States and Japan — the world’s largest and third-largest economies respectively — have notably declined to join.

Under the articles of association, China will initially have 26 percent of the votes in the bank, giving it a veto over some key decisions which require a 75 percent majority — including the choice of the bank’s president, suspensions of members, and changes to the rules.

India will have the second-largest voting percentage at 7.5 percent and Russia is third with 5.9 percent.

China’s leadership means its “influence is prominent and far-reaching, and it carries more profound significance than successfully hosting an Olympic Games,” said the Global Times, which is affiliated with the official Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily.

Major US allies — including the UK, France and Germany — have all signed on to the bank.

“US allies that have joined the AIIB do not mean to flatter China, but they see the benefits will outweigh their relations with Washington,” the editorial added.

“China’s attempt to lead the international financial institution may have been forced by unfair treatment in other institutions,” it said.

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