(Bree Feng – NYT)
China and 20 other countries signed a memorandum Friday agreeing to start an international development bank that Beijing hopes will rival organizations like the World Bank. But some important Asian economies refrained from joining the project, which the United States has been quietly lobbying against.
Japan, Australia, South Korea and Indonesia were not represented at the signing ceremony in Beijing for the bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. India did join the bank, as did Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, news agencies reported.
The development bank, proposed a year ago by President Xi Jinping of China, is to offer financing for infrastructure projects in underdeveloped countries across Asia. China, which has promised to contribute much of the initial $50 billion in capital, sees it as a way to increase its influence in the region after years of fruitless lobbying for more say in other multinational lending organizations. Read more here.