Following Britain’s unilateral decision to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the United States has reacted by accusing Britain of “constant accommodation” with Beijing.
The UK recently became the first big Western economy to apply for membership of the bank, which 21 nations, including Singapore, India and Thailand, came together last year to sign a memorandum for its establishment.
In a statement, UK Chancellor George Osborne said the UK had “actively promoted closer political and economic engagement with the Asia-Pacific region” and that joining the AIIB at the founding stage would create “an unrivaled opportunity for the UK and Asia to invest and grow together.”
The US, however, sees the bank as a Chinese ploy to undermine US leadership in the global banking system, exerting pressure to keep its regional allies such as Australia, South Korea and Japan out of joining the bank. The Financial Times reported yesterday that US officials were “wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China.”
While as of yet there has been no official Chinese reaction to the spat between the two Western allies, we can imagine what officials in Beijing are thinking. Last year a Chinese general claimed that US Foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region has “erectile dysfunction.”
By Dominic Jackson
[Image via Xinhua News]