China’s reputation for getting things done quickly was further enhanced toward the end of June when numerous backers of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) gathered to sign the new organisation’s formal charter.
After all, the idea for the Beijing-based multilateral development bank was first floated just a couple of years ago. Since then, would-be members have been swarming to sign up to the bank, which has an initial subscribed capital base of $50 billion and is seen as a potential rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
Among those to have climbed aboard the AIIB bandwagon are key US allies including the UK, France, Germany, South Korea and Australia. However, in a rare case of the elephants being outside the room, the US and Japan have declined to join the party.
That said, China has clearly not given up hope that the most fashionable club in town may yet attract a couple more members. “We have opened the door for the two countries [US and Japan] to join this bank,” insisted China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei as he arrived in Washington DC for the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue.