Brussels too can gain from AIIB membership

Updated: 2015-03-25 09:19

By Fu Jing(China Daily)

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Brussels too can gain from AIIB membership

China's President Xi Jinping (4th R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 24, 2014 file photograph. [Photo/Agencies]

Brussels is remaining tight-lipped ahead of the looming March 31 deadline for countries to apply for founding membership of the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Despite this silence, Switzerland and European Union member countries including the UK, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Italy are supporting Beijing's initiative to mobilize resources to improve Asia's infrastructure.

The decision of these European countries, which has annoyed the United States, may see the number of would-be founding members exceed 35 when the deadline arrives.

It is to some extent understandable if Washington does not change its stance to back Beijing's initiative. The world's biggest power is intolerant of China's rise and is unwilling to accept new ideas from emerging economies.

However the EU may lose opportunities on several fronts if it does not become part of AIIB's foundation.

First, it is about having a voice.

Restructuring reforms in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are not efficiently implemented. The say of emerging economies, such as China, has not increased, though such efforts were initiated after the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the US and Europe are to blame for China forming its own development bank, after the Asian power was neglected in the structures of existing international banks.

Kristalina Georgieva, vice-president of the European Commission, says in the article that China is aggressively stepping into an area where if "we paid more attention, we would have had more normal relationships."

Georgieva has shown vision, hinting that Brussels may regret eschewing AIIB membership.

The EU is an active player in fighting the dollar's dominance of the global financial system by introducing the euro at the start of this century. And if it starts to support the efforts of emerging economies, the global financial system will become fairer.

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