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“This is a historical moment”: Xi at launch of new China-led Bank
January 16, 2016, 5:47 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) unveils a symbol sculpture of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the opening ceremony in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 16, 2016 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) unveils a symbol sculpture of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the opening ceremony in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 16, 2016 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday attended the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing.

“This is a historical moment,” Xi said.

The AIIB will extend China’s financial reach and compete not only with the World Bank, but also with the Asian Development Bank, which is heavily dominated by Japan. China, however, has repeatedly stressed that the new bank is willing to work with other development lenders.

“The demand for infrastructure development in Asia is enormous. Institutions for infrastructure investment, old or new, have much to offer each other, and may well work together through joint financing, knowledge sharing and capacity building. They may engage each other in benign competition, learn from and reinforce each other, and move forward in tandem,” Xi reiterated on Saturday.

Xi also announced that in addition to subscribing capital to the new lender, China will contribute $50 million to a soon-to-be-launched special fund “to support the preparation for infrastructure development projects in less developed member states”.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will address the founding conference of the AIIB council on Saturday afternoon. The series of opening activities will last till Monday.

These include maiden meetings of the board of the mammoth China-led lender, a $100 billion multilateral development bank. The bank’s president will be officially appointed and the management team will be instituted during the meetings.

The China-led development bank was formally established in Beijing on 25 December.

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei was elected as the first Chairman of the AIIB council. Jin Liqun was elected the first AIIB president.

“The opening of the AIIB marked a milestone in the reform of the global economic governance system,” Lou said in a recent interview.

Despite the opposition of Washington, Philippines, a major US ally in the region, has joined the new lender.

The US and Japan have not applied for the membership in the AIIB.

The bank, headquartered in Beijing, now has 57 members, that includes Germany, France, Italy, and the UK.

The new lender is expected to name its first lending projects in mid-2016.

The China-backed multilateral development institution is tasked with financing infrastructure development across Asia.

With an authorized capital of $100 billion, the AIIB will finance infrastructure projects like the construction of roads, railways, and airports in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The ADB has estimated that in the next decade Asian countries will need $8 trillion in infrastructure investments to maintain the current economic growth rate.

BRICS members, China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, taking a 30.34 per cent, 8.52 per cent, 6.66 per cent stake, respectively. Their voting shares are calculated at 26.06 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 5.92 per cent.

TBP and Agencies

4 Responses to “This is a historical moment”: Xi at launch of new China-led Bank

  1. Tom Cooney Reply

    January 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Lets see what unfolds, its good the Philippines has joined as i now live here and they have upcoming presidential election within a couple of months…..

  2. Ilias Sourdis Reply

    January 17, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Welcome to the AIIB to the global financial system with best wishes to break the monopoly and provide reasonable and humane services to the finalcially weak nations of this planet.
    Let’s hope that this big financial compatitor will weaken the stiff and subjugating terms and conditions for borrowing imposed by the Western financial dictatorship on economies in distress.

  3. Love1 Reply

    January 17, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    the western powers that we’re will pull out all the tricks they have up their sleeves to infiltrate, double speak, deceive and manipulate to weaken the efforts of the benefits this new system will bring to humanity. As long as China plays its cards right and other members of this transparent global venture do the same then prosperity will spread to all people fast. The western cabal has already lost power. They’re just trying right now to create all kinds of disturbances on the planet to dislodge the liberation efforts that already putting the resources for humanity in place.

  4. debbie richmond Reply

    January 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    My gratitude for the win-win philosophy that is BRICS. The west’s hegemons will likely never be willing to choose this path of virtue that requires true maturity and its responsibilities. Perhaps BRICS must be like a parent managing the west’s spoiled rotten children…who need limitations imposed on them. Maybe only then will they find self-respect and grow up. The earth’s next generations deserve a better world. BRICS is leading the way for them. Blessings to you all at BRICS.

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