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China says US joining AIIB would be ‘good’

Updated: Nov 16,2016 9:44 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China on Nov 15 said it would be “good” if the United States could join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the comments in response to a question about whether China welcomes the United States to join the Beijing-based multilateral development bank.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post said that US President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser, James Woolsey, called the Obama’s administration’s opposition to the formation of the AIIB “a strategic mistake” in a letter to the newspaper, according to Reuters.

The AIIB aims to promote infrastructure construction in Asia and meet relevant investment demand. It is an open and inclusive multilateral development institution, Geng said.

“It would be a good thing if the United States, the world’s largest economy, were to join the AIIB. We have held this attitude since the very beginning,” he noted.

The China-initiated AIIB, formally established on Dec 25, 2015, started operations in January this year. It now has 57 members and authorized capital amounting to $100 billion.

Geng added that, nevertheless, the AIIB is an independent multilateral institution with its own rules and procedures about new membership approval.

“China cannot take a stand on behalf of other AIIB members,” he said.