China is aggressively expanding plans to establish a new global financial institution to rival the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which Beijing fears are too influenced by the US and its allies.
In meetings with other countries in recent weeks, Beijing has proposed doubling the size of registered capital for the proposed bank from an earlier $50bn to $100bn, according to two people close to the matter.
So far, 22 countries across the region, including several wealthy states in the Middle East – which China refers to as “West Asia” – have shown interest in the multilateral lender, which would be known as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It would initially focus on building a new version of the “silk road”, the ancient trade route that once connected Europe to China.
Most of the funding for the new lender would come from China and would be spent on regional infrastructure such as a direct railway link from Beijing to Baghdad.
For years, Chinese leaders have demanded a greater say in institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank, but reforms to reflect China’s new economic importance have been slow.
“China feels it can’t get anything done in the World Bank or the IMF, so it wants to set up its own World Bank that it can control itself,” said one person directly involved in discussions to establish the AIIB.
The moves come as a new UN report predicts outward investments from China will overtake inward ones as soon as this year, as confident Chinese companies move overseas.
The AIIB would directly challenge the Manila-based ADB, which China feels is too influenced by its increasingly bitter rival Japan. If it is set up with $100bn as planned, the AIIB would be about two-thirds the size of the $165bn ADB.
中国正积极推进计划，建立一家可与世界银行(World Bank)和亚洲开发银行(Asian Development Bank)分庭抗礼的全球金融机构。中国政府担心，世行和亚开行过于受到美国及其盟国的影响。
迄今为止，包括中东（中国称为“西亚”）几个富国在内的亚洲22国对这家将命名为“亚洲基础设施投资银行”(Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB)的多边银行表现出兴趣。它最初将专注于建设新版“丝绸之路”——后者是古代连接欧洲和中国的贸易通道。