2 Responses

  1. Lauchlan T. Munro
    Lauchlan T. Munro September 21, 2015 at 12:46 am

    What is really astonishing about this article is how the author gets all the facts rights but still misses the point. He says in passing that “the Chinese would like to play a bigger role on the Asian and world stage, and they feel rebuffed from doing so at the IMF and the World Bank by the U.S. Congress”. After similar remarks about China and the ADB, he says that “But it is hard to see this as the true story” and that what the “Chinese are merely putting down a “marker” with the AIIB”.

    The issue is not that the Chinese are “merely” putting down a marker. They are putting down a very big, multi-billion dollar marker and telling the whole world about it. They are peeved about being told for decades that their nationals can have any job at the World Bank except the most important job. They are peeved that China is the number three shareholder in ADB, though they have the biggest population and the biggest economy in Asia by far. And so, while not abandoning those older organisations, the Chinese have decided to build their own one, one where they set the rules. In diplomacy, putting down such a marker can never be dismissed with the word “merely”.

    I am further surprised that the author seems to think that the AIIB is the only strand of China’s strategy. (“It is most interesting that the Chinese have chosen the vehicle of a development bank as their instrument.”). The AIIB is far from being China’s only instrument in their effort “to play a bigger role on the Asian and world stage”. But so is the other New Development Bank (formerly ‘the BRICS Bank’), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, along with Chinese bilateral diplomacy and investment. These all have to be seen as part of the same Chinese strategy.

    The real fact of the matter is that China is now a top-flight world power who feels that it has long been treated as a second- (or even third-) class world citizen. And they are determined to change that. That is “the true story”; pity that Bestani cannot see that.

    KARORI SINGH August 10, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    MDB’s are important component of the global financial system. They might not be significant in bridging the ‘funding gap’ but politico-strategically very important in determining the world order. It is generally believed that US hegemony and dominance has been sustained by Britton Woods Institutions. China is aspiring and have potential to provide world leadership in the ‘Asian Century’ . The establishment of AIIB and BDB (BRICS Development Bank) are steps in this direction on the pretext of the ‘community of shared interest’ . China is most likely to replace the US in providing world leadership and thus US concerns are important. China’s economic strength and strategic culture may play an important role in restructuring UN agencies. China is aspiring that the international institutional structure and financial system must commensurate with its potentials of world leadership. AIIB is a strategic move in this direction……

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