News / Economy

    AIIB Ready to Admit New Members but Taiwan May Not Qualify

    President of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun greets to journalists as he arrives at a news conference in Beijing, Jan. 17, 2016.
    President of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun greets to journalists as he arrives at a news conference in Beijing, Jan. 17, 2016.

    The newly created Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) is open to the idea of admitting new members from countries that have not joined it. But it is unlikely to accept Taiwan as a new member.
    This was evident in remarks made by Jin Liqun, president of the AIIB, which was launched Saturday in Beijing. This is the first major multilateral bank in which the United States and Japan are not members.
    “AIIB door has been flung open and the door will stay open,” Jin said replying to a reporter’s question on whether it was ready to accept the United States and Japan as members.

    On the question of Taiwan, Jin read out two clauses from AIIB rules, which indicate that membership is only available to sovereign states. Another rule indicates that AIIB membership is only available to countries that are existing members of other multinational development banks (MDBs) like the Asian Development Bank.

    Slim chance for Taiwan

    On both counts, Taiwan stands a slim chance of being accepted as an AIIB member. China regards Taiwan as part of its own territory, and does not allow any country to regard it as a sovereign nation. It is also is not a member of MDBs.
    Analysts think Taipei might now try to assert itself as a sovereign nation and seek membership in international forums. The country recently went through elections, which swept out the earlier pro-China government and replaced it with a party that believes in greater independence for Taiwan.
    US concerns

    The United States had earlier expressed concern about the new bank accepting looser lending standards compared to the World Bank. Some Western critics have said the AIIB may not be as strict as the World Bank in implementing environmental standards during loan approvals.
    Jin countered the criticism on Sunday saying the AIIB is formulating a set of standards that would be in some ways superior compared to the ones used in existing multilateral institutions.
    “We are finalizing our environment and social framework. The paper we have drawn up for ESF is as good as the other institutions, and in some respects better than them,” Jin, who earlier worked at the Asian Development Bank, said at a press conference.

    The logo of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is seen at its headquarter building in Beijing, Jan. 17, 2016.
    The logo of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is seen at its headquarter building in Beijing, Jan. 17, 2016.

    Prudent management pledged

    AIIB will have a strong compliance and integrity department to make sure there are no irregularities in the approval of loans, he said.
    “The bank management will be very careful. It will put the last cent to use,” Jin said.
    The new bank will lend in U.S. dollars but it will raise funds in different currencies, which include the euro and the yuan besides the dollar, the AIIB president said. This clarification follows suspicion expressed in some quarters the China backed AIIB might put its energies to promote the Chinese yuan as a stronger international currency.
    Jin revealed that South Korea has offered to come up with additional funds to support AIIB’s activities besides its contribution in the share capital. This follows an announcement by Chinese president Xi Jinping on Saturday that China would provide an additional $50 million for infrastructure development in the less developed countries.


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    Comment Sorting
    by: I wonder from: Canada
    January 19, 2016 10:19 PM
    I wonder why a few individuals think they are smarter the all the experts in the 57 AIIB founding countries combined.

    by: peter wysong from: usa
    January 17, 2016 6:53 PM
    Half of China's population does not have a pot to pex in or window to throw it out of, China's GDP per capita is about one-third of South Korea's and one-quarter of Japan's. China is poorer than Mexico, Russia, or Brazil. wrap your heads around that. How long are they going to be able to pledge money to countries far and wide while their own citizens remain so poor? I am thinking not much longer.
    In Response

    by: Ray from: Sydney
    January 18, 2016 9:06 PM
    I wonder why UK, Germany, Australia and etc., joined such a "shaky" investment bank. China's economy is going to put in the grave yard, and that means the entire world is going to come into a panic.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 18, 2016 9:06 AM
    let's see :)

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