AIIB struggles for lack of investment
China is pushing it as a way for Asia to free itself from the institutions of the west. But can it force through its formation when so many other countries in the region seem reluctant to add to the balance sheet and to China’s dominance?
|The AIIB will provide too vital to China's prestige, and to the authority of the Xi Jinping's administration, to be allowed to wither or to be kicked into the tall grass, as the AIF was.|
On the surface at least, China’s efforts to create a $50 billion, Asia-focused development bank to compete with the likes of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are going swimmingly. Beijing has spent much of the year courting around 20 nations in the hopes of launching its much-hyped Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank sometime, it hopes, in 2015 or early 2016.
In May, at the ADB’s annual conference in the Kazakh capital, finance minister Lou Jiwei entertained delegates from 16 countries. Waiters at the Great Wall restaurant in Astana bustled and scurried, serving up a dinner of Peking duck and tofu, washed down with a hearty red from Shandong province. A respected figure at the apex of Chinese politics, Lou was there to do more than wine and dine. He was vested with a delicate task: to convince as many senior government officials as possible at one sitting that Beijing’s ambitious new venture was workable, realistic and, perhaps most crucially, in Asia’s best interests.