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China to abstain from veto power at Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Bank president Jin Liqun said the practice would be a departure from policies at other institutions.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Jan. 26, 2016 at 11:14 PM
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BEIJING, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- China doesn't plan to exercise veto power at the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a departure from practices at institutions like the World Bank, where the United States has presiding influence on major policy decisions.

AIIB president Jin Liqun said the power of the vote would be shared among the 57-member countries, state-owned China Daily reported Wednesday, local time.

"There are still many countries on the waiting list, and when the new members join, China's voting power will be reduced. Such de facto veto power will be lost gradually," Jin said at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.

The bank would instead retain a "fixed" special majority that are two-thirds of the number of members and equal to 75 percent of the voting power.

China currently holds less than 30 percent of voting or veto power.

Beijing has been trying to build financial credibility as an economic powerhouse, but the AIIB, which was signed into agreement last June, has been met with skepticism from rivals United States and Japan.

The two economies have declined to join the bank that plans to focus on building infrastructure that could bridge Europe and Asia, and provide financial support for projects in developing countries.

CNBC reported AIIB expects to lend $10-15 billion annually.

Russia, a bank member, is expected to lend $1 billion for various projects.

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