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EU gov'ts give China vote of confidence by joining AIIB: European expert

(Xinhua)    09:01, March 18, 2015

BRUSSELS, March 17-- European governments are giving a vote of confidence to China by deciding to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a European expert said on Tuesday.

France, Italy and Germany announced on Tuesday that they would apply to join and be founding members of the AIIB. The move comes after Britain announced last week that it would join the 50 billion U.S. dollars initiative.

"There are several factors behind the decisions to join the AIIB, but I think that the most important one is that these governments are giving a vote of confidence to the Chinese government," Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Erixon said Beijing has signaled its capacity and determination to create the AIIB, and that has motivated European governments, who feel it is natural to take part in an initiative from China that will lead to greater investments in the region.

"Some of these governments may also think that participation can create positive reactions from China, leading to favors to come in their direction as well in the future," Erixon added.

However, Erixon felt the new investment bank would complement existing institutions, not replace them.

He said the AIIB is neither an attempt to erode multilateral institutions such as the World Bank nor a call to re-create world power structures along the lines of China's interests. China is "creating a development bank to fund infrastructural investments,"

"I don't buy the grand geopolitical rhetoric about emerging rivalry between a Chinese AIIB and a U.S.-based World Bank. If the United States were so keen on the World Bank and development assistance, why has successive governments and Congressional majorities been so reluctant to fund the World Bank?" Erixon told Xinhua.

"I think the United States should join (the initiative), too," he added.

With an expected initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars, the AIIB will be an international financial institution to fund infrastructure projects in Asia and is expected to be formally established by the end of this year.

Twenty-one countries including China, India and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing in October last year to found the bank.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Yao Chun)

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