The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) newly revised environmental and social framework appears to tick all the boxes, but it includes too many loopholes and caveats that undermine accountability and public access to information.
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The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) response to Covid-19 may determine its emerging role in development finance, for good or ill. While it has responded quickly and substantially to the pressing needs of its members, these actions risk contributing to debt risks, institutional overreach, and perceived favoritism towards Beijing.
After the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, a number of observers, including within Japan and the United States, questioned its underlying motivations. The intensity with which the bank was both attacked and defended in the period before it opened its doors has thrown a spotlight on debates that existed long before Xi’s 2013 announcement. Chief among them are fundamental questions about who should dictate the rules of global governance and what role multilateral development banks (MDBs) should play in carrying them out. The AIIB concluded its second annual meeting in Jeju Island, South Korea on June 16, yet many of those questions remain open.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Questions of economic development, military power projection, political influence, and global economic suzerainty form the backdrop for what is emerging as a global competition centered on the most economically dynamic region of the world—Asia. And infrastructure development is at the center of that contest.