The Furor and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

A Sinica Podcast

A total of 57 countries have now joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China’s newly-launched competitor to the Asian Development Bank (AIIB) that has sparked a flurry of objections from the United States, even culminating in a failed diplomatic campaign by the superpower to lobby allies including the United Kingdom and Australia to abandon the organization, whose stated mission is funding infrastructure projects in underdeveloped parts of Asia.

Although the news has passed mostly unnoticed in the American media, the political furor has raised questions about the future of the Bretton Woods system and China’s place in it: What are the American concerns over the AIIB and is there any validity to them? Why is China attempting to set up a development bank outside the Bretton Woods framework, and what actions may have triggered the Chinese move? And, quite specifically, how does the AIIB compare to its competitors both in capitalization as well as its power in the region?

Joining Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn for this discussion are two guests who are plugged into the financial gossip mill. They are Trey McArver, creator of China Politics Weekly, a newsletter which aims to keep business leaders, diplomats, and scholars abreast of developments in Chinese politics, and Simon Rabinovitch, former Financial Times correspondent now working for The Economist out of Shanghai.