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    Australia has revised its decision and is now ready to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

    Australia Joins Team Asia: Now Applies For Chinese-Backed Development Bank

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    Australia has revised its decision and is now ready to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); earlier Canberra was under pressure from the US to stay out of the new bank.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Sunday that his country intends to sign up for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

    “The government is today announcing it intends to sign a memorandum of understanding on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which would allow Australia to participate as a prospective founding member in negotiations to set up the bank,” he said in a statement.

    Signing on before the March 31 deadline allows Australia to participate as a prospective founding member in negotiations to set up the bank.

    Tony Abbott, however, said that some key matters are yet to be resolved, including its board of directors having authority over major investment decisions; no one country controls the bank.

    Earlier on Saturday, Russia announced that it is ready to take part in the bank.

    "I would like to inform you that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision on Russia’s participation in the capital of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank", Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov  said  at a forum in Boao on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

    On the same day, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on his official Facebook page, after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, that the Netherlands also plans to join.

    The move brings the number of countries and regions which are applying as founding members of Chinese-proposed international lending institute to 37.

    The idea of the AIIB is opposed by the US, which sees it as a competitor to the Asian Development Bank, an English-American financial agent, which in tandem with the World Bank has set the tone in Asia for decades.

    Despite the US concerns, many of its European allies, including Britain, France, Germany and Italy, have already announced they would join the bank.

    Other countries such as Turkey and South Korea have also said they would join. Brazil, China's top trading partner, said on Friday it would sign up and that there were no conditions set.

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    China's World Bank: Opportunity or Threat? (57)

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    membership, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Tony Abbott, Australia, China
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