AIIB will invigorate China’s opening-up

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-19 23:43:01

Luxembourg has confirmed it will apply to become a prospective founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). So far, 32 countries have made an application to join the China-led financial institution. Even more countries are expected to follow suit.

China has made key achievements in the initial stages of the AIIB. It will carry out down-to-earth work such as rule-making. As an initiator, China faces multiple challenges, such as how to play its leading role and how to develop this bank into a world-class multinational financial mechanism.

The establishment and operation of the AIIB will inevitably lead China to become more open to the world. The AIIB is an opportunity for China to raise its international financing capability and will push China to integrate more with the world.

China will become more involved in such international multi-national financial organizations, which requires more financial talents. This will inject a reform momentum to China in embracing more talents.

China is already a major power, but the AIIB grants it for the first time a leadership role in the world's financial affairs. Among the countries that have applied, there are big European powers as well as those that China has territorial disputes with. It tests China's wisdom and flexibility in handling different opinions and demands.

We have witnessed how Britain, a main US ally, turned its back and applied to the AIIB. We will experience more uncertainties in international relations in the future.

The relationship between the AIIB and the US-led World Bank will be both competitive and cooperative. It will add new elements to Beijing-Washington ties as well. China will have diverse options in its opening-up, which requires higher design and implementation abilities.

When we have a more open mind-set when handling economic and political interests, we will hold different perceptions about "enemies" and "friends." We will also adopt different approaches in dealing with confrontational forces.

The AIIB needs to draw on experience from international financial institutions like the World Bank so as to avoid their past mistakes.

China, as the AIIB's initiator and site of its headquarters, will support it through a spectrum of self-improvement measures. The whole of Chinese society should participate in this process.

China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and analysts have been applauding its positive impact on China's reform and opening-up. China's establishment of the AIIB may not have a wide implication for Chinese society, but it will make high demands of China's comprehensive abilities. If the AIIB can be a widely acclaimed international financial organization under China's lead, the AIIB will be respected and China will become a true world power.

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