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In Its Third Year, AIIB Will Expand Lending to African and South American Nations

Jan. 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—As the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) enters its third year of operations, its President Jin Liqun explained in an interview with the South China Morning Post that in the coming year, it intends to expand lending and operations to South American and African nations, as well as further into the Middle East as soon as that is possible. Jin observed that with “quite a number” of South American nations joining the bank, it will be a good idea to finance some middle-income projects in South America to “bring South America and Asia together,” and reduce transaction and shipping costs.

But, he stated,

“I would also pay attention to supporting African member countries. Asia is developing quickly, but it cannot sustain itself well without collaborating closely with African countries.”

Jin emphasized that the geographical scope of the bank’s activities makes clear its role “in pushing broader-based social and economic development in the member countries in which we invest.”

Responding to the allegations from some quarters that the bank is merely an instrument of China, Jin said quite the contrary is true. China “is committed to building the bank into a multilateral development institution with 21st Century governance.” The AIIB is separate from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), he said, but it is inescapable that some projects in which the AIIB is involved would be connected to the BRI, simply because of its scale of as a global development project, which covers 60 countries across multiple overland and maritime corridors.

Jin Liqun was emphatic that China strictly adheres to the bank’s principle of multilateralism and internationalism. “There has never been any interference by the Chinese government in the decision-making process,” said Jin.