Trump's concern over the shrinking gap between US and Chinese GDP has him accusing China of currency manipulation.The success and acceptance of the AIIB has also played a role in Trump's continuous efforts to incite fear in the American public.
Second Batch of Lending Approved by AIIB
The AIIB approved two projects which will issue loans in the amount of 320 million USD.
The first project is for the hydropower station extension project in Pakistan, which will require a loan of 300 million USD. This project is also being joint-financed with the World Bank.
The next project is for 225 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plants in Myanmar. The total amount will require a loan of 20 million USD and is a joint-financing project with other multilateral development banks in addition to several merchant banks.
AIIB President, Jin Liqun , claimed that the two new projects will not only help ease the electric power shortage problem within these two areas, but will also serve to assist the AIIB achieve its goal of providing 1.2 billion USD in loans during 2016.
The AIIB started processing loans in 2016, and will focus on many initial priority funding areas such as electric power, transportation, agricultural infrastructure, water service, the environment, and urban logistics.
All of the projects must satisfy three hard standards: financial sustainability, be friendly for the environment, and achieve acceptance by the local society.
Border Project in Central Asia
The government of Tajikistan published a decree Monday ordering the State National Committee to sign an agreement with China providing for the construction of various outposts and a training center for border guards. The goal of this AIIB project is to improve a 5 km section of road connecting Dushanbe to the Uzbek border. This $105.9 million project is co-financed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development shows the increasing interest China has on Afghanistan.
Belt and Road Initiative: Three Years Later
Since of the unveiling of the Belt and Road Initiative, there have been significant achievements which prove the initiatives effectiveness and favor for common development. The AIIB's priorities are in line with those of the Belt and Road Initiative. All of the investments in the first four projects have been to countries along the belt and road and have totaled $509 million.
Reviving the Silk Road
The One Belt One Road (OBOR) aims at mainly improving a region's economy and in turn helping to stabilize Central Asia and the Middle East. This project will receive funding from various sources including the AIIB and BRICS New Development Bank to name a couple. China has chosen to begin the OBOR implementation with Pakistan.
As a key US ally, Australia may be able to convince American politicians that US Policy should accommodate China's new development bank, the AIIB. The EU's High Representative, Nathalie Tocci, implied that the US should make room for rising powers, as the EU is doing just that.
Philippine Senate Expected to Approve AIIB Membership
The Philippines' decided to join the AIIB one day before the deadline to decide on the 31st of December last year. The decision is still waiting to be approved by the Senate, but ratification is expected.
Check back with our blog next week for another weekly update.
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