The news about China the last few days is about how it is scoring a diplomatic coup d’état against the U.S. vis-a-vis Europe. On March 12, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the U.K. had applied to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member. If accepted, Britain would have been the first major Western country to become a member.
A few days later, Germany, France and Italy also announced that they too would join. South Korea and Australia soon also switched their stance and are now on the verge of joining.
Japan appears to be the odd-power out in Asia now. Given its history of deference to the U.S. (e.g. Plaza Accord) and its current diplomatic row with China, my money is on Japan not joining at this stage. But even nationalistic and deferential Japan has not has not ruled out the possibility of joining at the founding stage.
The editorial board of the NYT today penned an editorial titled “U.S. Allies, Lured by China’s Bank.” The notion that China is “luring” U.S. allies seems to me … err … funny – even laughable. Continue reading The Tussle over AIIB – So Much ado about Influence?
Most people probably don’t know him but I believe he is one of the most influential people from Taiwan. Here is a World Policy Institute interview of Justin Yifu Lin, the current Senior Vice President of World Bank. He was appointed on 2008. On another note Zhu Min was appointed deputy managing director at IMF. Continue reading Ever heard of Justin Yifu Lin?
Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, wrote an Op-Ed in the China Daily, titled, “A constructive role with China.” Here is his concluding remarks, and the “extraordinary partner” he referred to is China:
China has already accomplished a great deal and earned the world’s respect. The World Bank Group will be proud to play a constructive and supportive role with our extraordinary partner.
It is interesting to follow though. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have traditionally served as partly Western political instruments. Sure, “global” institutions expand and accommodate as players come and go. So, it will be interesting to see how the World Bank shifts to accommodate China in the coming years.