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People's Daily Online

More EU members to join China-led AIIB bank

People's Daily Online

By Gao Yinan (People's Daily Online) 15:16, March 18, 2015

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, on Tuesday welcomed the planned participation of a number of EU nations in Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

'I think participation is good; the more countries take part, the better,' says Martin Schulz at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

On March 12, the UK submitted to China the confirmation letter of joining the AIIB, becoming the first big Western economy to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

France has confirmed its intention to become one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said French government spokesman Romain Nadal on Tuesday. And on the same day, the Italian Economy Ministry announced that Italy intends to become prospective founding member of AIIB, reported by Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday.

For the chain effect after the UK announced last week that it would join the $50bn AIIB, Schultz says that EU member states' participation in AIIB will play an important role in China-EU cooperation in future, but such new organizations must comply with international standards.

Schultz adds that some European countries seem to delay the discussion to join the AIIB. According to Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, the chance to be an AIIB founding member is available for all Asian countries by March 31.

Lou also said that the current founding members agree that AIIB will consider Asian countries first and the membership of countries outside the region will be the next step.

After the UK confirmed its intention to join in AIIB, the White House issued a statement saying, 'This is the UK's sovereign decision. We hope and expect that the UK will use its voice to push for adoption of high standards.'

In response to U.S. concerns about the standards of the AIIB, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that the AIIB will design its governance structure and operation policy following the principles of openness, inclusiveness, transparency, responsibility and fairness at a regular press conference on March 13, 2015.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution proposed by China. The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to financing infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region. The authorized capital of AIIB is $100 billion and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around $50 billion. So far, 28 countries have confirmed their participation in the AIIB.

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