The China led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has its war chest ready for action. Bank president Jin Liqun said on Tuesday that the bank has approved a $1.2 billion lending portfolio this year and will make those projects known on June 24.
The AIIB is China’s answer to the Asian Development Bank and World Bank, with a $100 billion to put to work. It launched last year to much fanfare, except here in the U.S. Even our long-time ally in the Brits joined the bank. The U.S. remained officially on the sidelines in what is supposed to be the lending arm of China’s Silk Road revitalization project. Think of it as a way for China to develop backward, backyard neighboring states in the ‘Stans, as well as tiny frontier markets from Pakistan to the Azerbaijan.
The World Bank said it will jointly fund some of the projects this year, which is akin to defacto U.S. involvement. The U.S. holds the greatest voting power inside the Bank.