13:48 GMT +314 October 2019
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    China's President Xi Jinping (4th R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 24, 2014

    AIIB Puts G7 Team Spirit to the Test

    © REUTERS / Takaki Yajima
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    Participants of the upcoming G7 summit could find themselves in a state of perfect disunity while discussing global economic development and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in particular.

    The AIIB is an international financial institution designed to provide financial support to infrastructure projects in Asia.

    Together with the BRICS New Development Bank, the AIIB is seen as an alternative to the Western-led financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    China's initiative was largely welcomed with open arms but not everyone was and remains happy.

    The United States and Japan are among the few countries, which decided not to join. Washington tried to pressure several other states, allegedly including Australia and South Korea, to avoid the development bank.

    Much to the dismay of the US, fifty-seven countries have stated their intention to join the AIIB as founding members, including Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom. Even countries wary of China, like India and Vietnam, see the opportunity in joining the AIIB and they simply cannot afford to miss it.

    Poll

    Do you think Russia should be invited to rejoin a summit of the G7?
    • Yes. There are many issues of international politics that can’t be handled without Russia
      27.9% (779)
    • No. Russia has demonstrated that it doesn’t share the values of this community of nations
      9.3% (260)
    • Doesn't matter. G7 format has long since lost its relevance for the world
      62.8% (1756)
    Voted: 2795
    The G7 summit in Bavaria will bring together leaders of the countries supporting the Chinese initiative, those who are firmly opposed to the idea and Canadian officials who remain undecided on the issue. This seems to be as far from unity as one can get.

    "Germany and the United Kingdom decided to join the AIIB since global economic development shifted to Asia. GDP growth in the G7 countries amounts to less than 2 percent, while some countries in Asia are developing at nearly 7 percent rate," Japan's Mainichi newspaper noted.

    In 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that combined GDP of China and India would exceed that of all OECD member states by 2060. "Evidently, Asian countries will play the leading part in the world," the media outlet stated.

    The United Kingdom joined the AIIB, for the move is in the UK's national interest. "Thus, Britain chose to strengthen economic ties with China instead of promoting G7 unity," Mainichi emphasized.

    Then again, this unity was shattered long before AIIB became an issue, namely when Russia was not invited to participate.

    Asia's imminent rise and Russia's international clout bring another question to the fore, what can G7 really achieve without Russia and China taking part in the forum, which hopes to bring about a real change in the world?

    Related:

    G7 Summit Without Russia: Problem for the West, But Not for the Kremlin
    Anti-TTIP, G7 Protests in Munich: "Russia's Absence? Not Good"
    Japan Announces $110 Bln for New Challenger to China's AIIB
    Governments Agree on AIIB Charter, Signing Due in June
    Tags:
    economic development, economic growth, economic cooperation, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), G7, China, Japan, United States, Russia
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