Handelsblatt Exclusive

The Global Face of Chinese Banking

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AIIB President Jin Liqun says he wants European members to provide assistance and oversight.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The AIIB, a project initiated by China and rejected by the United States, is hoping to establish itself as a bona fide development bank that can improve the economies of Asia-Pacific nations.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank became operational in December 2015, with 57 countries signing its founding charter.
    • China holds veto power and the United States and Japan are not members. Germany is its fourth-largest shareholder.
    • AIIB president Jin Liqun says that the institution will approve its first three to four projects in June.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The cufflinks of his blue and white striped shirt prominently show the name of his new employer, AIIB, the development bank that marks China’s most ambitious effort yet to inject itself into the global debate.

But Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, has a tough hill to climb if he wants to prove to western nations that he will not be doing China’s bidding.

The AIIB, a project initiated by China, opened its doors in December 2015 with 57 members having signed its initial charter. The bank plans to spend up to $15 billion a year in its first five years.

Conspicuously absent from its membership list are the United States and Japan, which play a lead role in the rival Asian Development Bank. Both have viewed the new AIIB and China’s founding role in it with some skepticism.

Many European countries, however, chose to back the institution against the express wishes of their transatlantic ally. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the AIIB’s fourth-largest shareholder.

Mr. Jin knows he still has some convincing to do. In an exclusive interview with Handelsblatt, he said that European countries will play a key role in enforcing high standards at the development bank and stressed that China would not be able to “dictate” the bank’s strategy.

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