Former prime minister questions Belgium's reluctance to join AIIB
Updated: 2015-04-03 17:46
By Fu Jing in Mons, Belgium(chinadaily.com.cn)
Former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, now mayor of Mons, receives an exclusive interview with China Daily in Mons, Belgium April 2, 2015.[Photo by Fu Jing/chinadaily.com.cn]
In contrast with the enthusiastic responses by other Western Europe powers, the Belgian government's reluctance in joining the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has sparked criticism from former Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.
In an exclusive interview with China Daily on Thursday, Di Rupo said that Belgium should apply to become a founding member of this initiative and he will ask the government why it didn't follow the steps of other Western European countries.
"We have to be partners (with China). It's very important: important for the investment bank but also for us," said Di Rupo, now mayor of Mons in Belgium.
When asked why Belgium didn't respond until the end of March, the deadline to become founding members of AIIB, he replied, "I don't know why, maybe it's only a question of time and not a question of caution. So I'm going to ask the government and current prime minister but I'm quite sure that it's not a problem."
With UK taking the lead, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, which are surrounding Belgium, have all applied to become part of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Gao Shuang has contributed to the story.