Former World Bank President Criticizes U.S. Handling of New China-Led Infrastructure Bank

WSJ.com, March 19, 2015

–Commentary by Ying Ma

In the past week, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy have all announced plans to join the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). European participation in the new financial institution has materialized despite strong objections from the Obama administration, which sees the AIIB as China’s vehicle for creating a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank.

Is the AIIB merely a thinly veiled Chinese attack on the international financial architecture created by the United States and its allies after World War II? What does European enthusiasm for the AIIB signify for the global strategic competition shaping up between the U.S. and China?

Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank and former U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy Secretary of State under George W. Bush, says there is certainly a risk that the new bank could end up being a vehicle for Chinese influence but also calls the Obama administration’s approach “mistaken both on policy and on execution.”

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