China infrastructure bank will uphold standards: Minister

China infrastructure bank will uphold standards: Minister
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shake hands prior to meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on May 16, 2015.

BEIJING - China's foreign minister worked on Saturday to allay concerns that Beijing's new regional infrastructure bank would not meet international standards as he met with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The US declined to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) amid doubts over how it would be managed, but several of Washington's closest allies signed up, including Britain, France and Germany.

The concerns include transparency of the AIIB, which will fund infrastructure in Asia, as well as Beijing using it to push its own geopolitical and economic interests as a rising power.

"The United States welcomes new multilateral institutions, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank provided they share the international community's strong commitment to high quality standards," Kerry said at a press conference with Wang in Beijing.

Those standards include "including genuine multilateral decision-making, ever improving lending requirements and environmental and social safeguards", he added.

A total of 57 nations have applied for founding membership, including China, and Wang rebuffed Kerry's concerns, saying: "The AIIB is a multilateral institution, so naturally its operation will observe international rules."

"The AIIB is also ready to carry out co-operation with other multilateral institutions, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank," he added.

Under President Xi Jinping, China is pushing to build on the ancient Silk Road trade routes on land and sea, through its "One Belt, One Road" initiative expected to be partly funded by the AIIB.

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