After months of hesitation, Australia confirmed it would join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), The Wall Street Journal reported.
Canberra said intense negotiations with China and other partners had eased its concerns over how the bank, initially funded with US$100 billion, will be run.
Defying pressure from Washington not to join the AIIB, Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said his country will become a member together with other US allies, such as Britain and Germany, after receiving assurances the bank would be a truly multilateral institution rather than a geopolitical tool of China.
“We are absolutely satisfied that the governance arrangements now in place will ensure that there is appropriate transparency and accountability in the bank,” Hockey was quoted as saying Wednesday.
Better infrastructure across Asia will make it easier for Australia, a major producer of everything from coal and gold to beef and wheat, to ship its produce to buyers in developing economies, he said.
Australia will fund the bank to the tune of roughly A$930 million (US$719 million) over five years, although its total commitment is for as much as A$3.7 billion.
The country’s commitment will make it the sixth-largest shareholder of the AIIB, which has been seen as a potential rival to the US-led World Bank.
China, India and Russia will be the largest shareholders.
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