China reiterates openness of AIIB after shift in US attitude

Updated: 2015-03-23 19:54


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BEIJING - China upholds an open and inclusive attitude in the building and operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

"China welcomes interested countries to join the bank," spokesperson Hong Lei said at a routine press conference.

Hong made the remarks when asked whether China would still be willing to cooperate with the US on the AIIB since the US has been urging its allies not to join the bank.

The China-proposed AIIB, with an expected initial subscribed capital of 50 billion US dollars, will be an international financial institution to fund infrastructure projects in Asia. It is expected to be formally established by the end of 2015.

China proposed the AIIB in order to meet the huge funding demand for Asia infrastructure, said Jin Liqun, secretary general of the interim multilateral secretariat of the AIIB.

The US President Barack Obama's administration is proposing a formal partnership between the AIIB and Western development institutions like the World Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Hong said the US shift in tone shows the AIIB's mission of funding infrastructure projects in Asian countries has gained wide recognition.

The AIIB will draw upon good practices of existing multilateral development banks (MDBs) and set up high-standard and feasible safeguard policies, said Hong.

Twenty-one countries including China, India and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last October in Beijing to build the bank, to improve lagging infrastructure in emerging Asian economies.

The bank has had 27 prospective founding members. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland have recently applied to join the AIIB as founding members.

Jin expected the number of prospective members to reach 35 by the end of this month, when applications are due.