China-led Asian Infrastructure Bank Opens for Business
BEIJING – China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank officially opened for business on Saturday in Beijing after a formal ceremony led by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Representatives from 57 member countries attended the opening ceremony, where China announced it would pledge $50 million to a special fund to prepare less developed countries for infrastructure projects.
The United States and Japan are not members of AIIB, saying it is a rival to already existing multilateral banks such as the World Bank, but Beijing says the AIIB supplements existing institutions and will boost investments for infrastructure projects in Asia.
The bank, intended to finance railways, cargo ports and other trade links, is a key part of Beijing’s “One Belt One Road” outreach to extend China’s economic influence in the region.
Beijing has pledged to put up most of the bank’s initial $50 billion in capital and says that total will rise to $100 billion.
Chinese official Jin Liqun has been named the bank’s first president.