What Is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)?

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a new international development bank that provides financing for infrastructure projects in Asia. It began operations in January 2016.

Understanding Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank headquartered in Beijing. Like other development banks, its mission is to improve social and economic outcomes in its region, Asia, and beyond. The bank opened in January 2016 and now has 86 approved members worldwide. 

The History of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

  • China’s leader Xi Jinping first proposed an Asian infrastructure bank at an APECsummit in Bali in 2013. Many observers have interpreted the bank as a way challenge to international lending bodies that some consider reflect American foreign policy interests such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
  • In this bank’s case, China controls half of the bank’s voting shares, which gives the perception that the AIIB will function in the interests of the Chinese government. The U.S. has questioned the bank’s governing standards and its social and environmental safeguards, perhaps pressuring allies not to apply for membership. However, despite American objections, approximately half of NATO has signed on, as has nearly every large Asian country, with the exception of Japan. The result is widely considered in an indicator of China’s growing international influence at the expense of the United States.

The Structure of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

  • The bank is headed by a Board of Governors composed of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each of the 86 member countries. A non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction and management of the Bank such as the Bank’s strategy, annual plan and budget and establishing policies and oversight procedures.
  • The bank staff is headed by a President who is elected by AIIB shareholders for a five-year term and is eligible for re-election once. The President is supported by Senior Management including five Vice Presidents for policy and strategy, investment operations, finance, administration and the corporate secretariat and the General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer. Mr. Jin Liqun is the current President.