Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, December 11, 2015

Organizing for Eurasia

First China was instrumental in organizing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which looks like an Asian alternative to NATO. Now comes the Chinese "World Bank."

China Creates a World Bank of Its Own, and the U.S. Balks
As top leaders met at a lush Bali resort in October 2013, President Xi Jinping of China described his vision for a new multinational, multibillion-dollar bank to finance roads, rails and power grids across Asia. Under Chinese stewardship, the bank would tackle the slow development in poor countries that was holding the region back from becoming the wealth center of the world.

[T]he Obama administration began a rear-guard battle to minimize the bank’s influence.

The United States worries that China will use the bank to set the global economic agenda on its own terms, forgoing the environmental protections, human rights, anticorruption measures and other governance standards long promoted by its Western counterparts…

But the administration suffered a humiliating diplomatic defeat last spring when most of its closest allies signed up for the bank, including Britain, Germany, Australia and South Korea. Altogether 57 countries have joined, leaving the United States and Japan on the outside…

The calculation for joining is simple. China, with its vast wealth and resources, now rivals the United States at the global economic table. That was confirmed this week when the International Monetary Fund blessed the Chinese renminbi as one of the world’s elite currencies, alongside the dollar, euro, pound and yen…

The Chinese-led institution, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, is now in the process of picking its first projects. The choices, expected to be announced in coming months, will provide insight into how China plans to wield its power…

China is taking direct aim at the current development regime, the Bretton Woods system established under the leadership of the United States after World War II to help stabilize currencies and promote growth…

A newly assertive Beijing felt that it had been unfairly treated for years by the United States. President Obama did not invite China to join the American-driven Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, insisting that Beijing should not be allowed to write the rules for 21st-century commerce.

During the 2008 financial crisis, China’s economy had continued to perform well, serving as a stabilizing force for the world when the United States was on the verge of a collapse…

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