The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): A Multilateral Bank Where China Sets the Rules

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): A Multilateral Bank Where China Sets the Rules

Cover: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): A Multilateral Bank Where China Sets the Rules
Mar 15, 2019 by Korinna Horta
Heinrich Böll Foundation in cooperation with urgewald
For free
Place of Publication: Berlin
Date of Publication: April 2019
Number of Pages: 40
License: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
Language of Publication: English
ISBN: 978-3-86928-196-4 / https://doi.org/10.25530/03552.6

In the last years, a number of countries decided to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which has developed into a major player in the global financial architecture in record time. The AIIB promises to be “lean, clean and green.” The truth seems to be that the AIIB is an instrument with the potential to better advance Chinese interests than pursuing a unilateral course.

Korinna Horta's analysis of the situation regarding the respective standards after three years of AIIB in operation is very sobering. What can be done now? Is it time to admit a complete failure and leave the Bank? What influence do shareholders still exert, and what should they press for?

In the last years, a number of countries who pride themselves in their commitment to democracy and human rights – among them Germany – decided to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which has developed into a major player in the global financial architecture in record time. The AIIB promises to be “lean, clean and green.” The truth is that the AIIB will only be faster in approving their loans and not meddle in their internal affairs by talking about good public governance, mandatory standards and accountability. With the establishment of the AIIB, China has created an instrument with the potential to better advance Chinese interests than pursuing a unilateral course. But the infrastructure we build today decisively shapes our lives tomorrow. A public infrastructure bank must live up to the highest standards regarding the environment, human rights and governance.

Korinna Horta's analysis of the situation regarding the respective standards after three years of AIIB in operation is very sobering. What can be done now? Is it time to admit a complete failure and leave the Bank? What influence do shareholders still exert, and what should they press for?

 

Table of contents:

Foreword

Executive Summary

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): A Multilateral Bank where China sets the Rules

  • The Establishment of the AIIB – A Diplomatic Victory for Beijing
  • AIIB Governance – Concentrating Power at the Top
  • The AIIB and China's Belt and Road Initiative
  • The Misnamed «Accountability Framework»
  • Public Access to Information: Principles versus Specific Requirements 
  • The Environmental and Social Framework
  • The Project-Affected People's Mechanism: A Bureaucratic Obstacle Course
  • The Risk of Contagion and a Downward Spiral
  • How Did We Get Here?
  • A Reform Agenda

Appendix

Selected AIIB Policy Papers

Abbreviations