AIIB chief: Trump may re­think stand

> New US ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sup­port or in­ter­est to join as mem­ber not ruled out, says bank’s pres­i­dent

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

BEI­JING: The head of the Asian In­fras­truc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) said the US could re­think its re­luc­tance to be­come a part­ner in the Chin­abacked mul­ti­lat­eral lender fol­low­ing Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as pres­i­dent, the Peo­ple’s Daily re­ported yes­ter­day.

“I have heard a cer­tain se­nior of­fi­cial of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama speaks good of the AIIB and af­ter Don­ald Trump won, I was told that many in his team have an opin­ion that Obama was not right not to join the AIIB,” AIIB pres­i­dent Jin Liqin said in an in­ter­veiw with the of­fi­cial news­pa­per.

“So we can’t rule out the new govern­ment in (the) US en­dors­ing the AIIB or in­di­cat­ing in­ter­est to join as mem­ber.”

A top ad­viser of US Pres­i­dent-elect Trump on Thurs­day said the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s opposition to the AIIB was “a strate­gic mis­take”, sug­gest­ing a pos­si­ble pol­icy shift when Trump takes of­fice in Jan­uary.

Jin said the bank is will­ing to wel­come new mem­bers, but cau­tioned that af­ter the next batch of mem­bers are ad­mit­ted, there would be few shares left for new join­ers, ac­cord­ing to the Peo­ple’s Daily re­port.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pro­posed the bank two years ago and it be­gan op­er­a­tions in Jan­uary, with 57 found­ing mem­ber coun­tries and US$100 bil­lion in com­mit­ted cap­i­tal, which it plans to in­vest in projects across the re­gion.

The next batch of mem­bers, in­clud­ing key US ally Canada, will be for­mally in­tro­duced in Jan­uary 2017. The cut­off for the lat­est group of new mem­bers was Sept 30.

Ja­pan and the US are the most prom­i­nent coun­tries not rep­re­sented in the bank.

“At the for­ma­tion of the AIIB, the US ... saw the new body as a threat to its dom­i­nance and im­por­tance in the world eco­nomic or­der, .. .(but) we be­lieve there is enough space in the global eco­nomic theatre for sev­eral bod­ies to op­er­ate,” the re­port quoted Jin as say­ing. – Reuters

... A no­tice is dis­played on an ATM which is no longer dis­pens­ing cash in Chandi­garh, In­dia, yes­ter­day, about a week af­ter 500- ru­pee and 1,000-ru­pee notes were taken out of cir­cu­la­tion.

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