China is expanding plans to establish a global financial institution to rival the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which Beijing fears are too influenced by the US and its allies.
In meetings with other countries, Beijing has proposed doubling the size of registered capital for the proposed bank to $100bn, according to two people familiar with the matter.
So far, 22 countries across the region, including several wealthy states in the Middle East, which China refers to as “West Asia,” have shown interest in the multilateral lender, which would be known as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It would initially focus on building a new version of the “silk road,” the ancient trade route that once connected Europe to China.
Most of the funding for the lender would come from China and be spent on infrastructure projects across the region, including a direct rail link from Beijing to Baghdad….
The AIIB would provide a direct challenge to the Manila-based ADB, which China feels is too influenced by its rival Japan. If it was established with $100bn, as proposed by Beijing, the AIIB would already be about two-thirds the size of the $165bn ADB.