Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a new international development bank seen as a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank at a lavish ceremony on Saturday, as Beijing seeks to change the unwritten rules of global development finance.
Despite opposition from Washington, U.S. allies including Australia, Britain, German, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea have agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in recognition of China’s growing economic clout.
“Asia’s financing needs for basic infrastructure are absolutely enormous,” Xi said in a speech at the launch, adding the bank would aim to invest in projects that were “high-quality, low-cost”.
In order for Asia to continue to be the most dynamic region for global growth, it needs to invest in infrastructure and connectivity, Premier Li Keqiang said, during the afternoon session of the opening ceremony.
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