China, Europe clash over representation

China, Europe clash over representation

BEIJING - China and the European powers that have backed its proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are engaged in a tug of war over how much say they will have in running it.

Negotiators from the AIIB's 57 founding members will gather in Singapore on Wednesday for talks on the bank's articles of association, which China hopes to sign next month.

European members, including the UK, Germany and France, number nearly 20. Emboldened by their numerical strength, they are demanding that non-Asian members' share of capital contributions be raised from 25 per cent to 30 per cent, according to sources in international finance. They also want more than three seats on the bank's board of directors, these people say.

China envisions a 75-25 split in the bank's capital; either way, the Asian contingent will get the lion's share. As for the board, which will be modeled on the Asian Development Bank's 12-member body, China is looking to reserve nine-odd seats for Asian countries.

The 21 nations that agreed last fall to establish the AIIB were all Asian. Then the Europeans came rushing in, swelling the founders' club. They take pride in having made the AIIB a truly "international" institution.

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