As the deadline approaches for joining China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank by March 31st, American allies appear to be flocking to sign up for membership.
France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom — Are confirmed to join the AIIB as founder members. Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland have agreed to become non-regional members. In the Asian Pacific region major US allies have indicated they were joining including Australia and South Korea. Japan is very tight-lipped on its action, but reports say it could sign on as an US proxy.
The finger-pointing in Washington is well underway over who is to blame for this creation of an Asian World Bank/IMF competitor.
The Obama Administration is charged with being soft of our allies by not putting pressure on them to sit out. Conversely the Republicans have mud on them for not voting on reforms in the World Bank charter allowing BRICS countries greater say within the organization.
On a different topic — but probably initiated by the creation of the AIIB — SWIFT, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, reported that the use of the yuan slipped to seventh place as the world’s most-used currency for international payments in Feb. The yuan was gaining ground in late 2014 to be in the top 5 currencies.
China is pushing to have the yuan be included in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies.
The SDRs consist of the euro, Japanese yen, English pound sterling, and US dollar.