The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: Contributing to An Alternative Order for the 21st Century?

Stream: Panel 92 - International Relations: Assessing Change in Multilateral and Bilateral Developing Financing
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm


The AIIB was proposed by China in 2013 and progressed rapidly - its Articles of Agreement (AoA) were opened for signature in June 2015. The Chinese presented the AIIB as both simply contributing to the major gap in financing for infrastructure in Asia and, as a challenge Western dominance of the global financial infrastructure. The hostile response of the US to the institution indicates they see it as a challenge. They unsuccessfully discouraged allies from participating in the institution and even claimed that the international community is dangerously accommodating a rising China. Yet, contra US doubts, it appears that the international community has had some success in shaping the institution through the five Chief Negotiators Meetings on the AoA. There have been changes in membership, capital contributions, veto power and on standards. Many of these changes mirror debates at Bretton Woods, which established the first multilateral development bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), known as the World Bank. This paper will evaluate the AoA of the AIIB through a historical lens, comparing them to IBRD in order to evaluate claims about the likely counter-hegemonic potential of the AIIB.


Susan Engel (Presenter), University of Wollongong
Dr Susan Engel is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the University of Wollongong. Her research interests are in the areas of international political economy, development and aid, development banks, south-south cooperation, southeast asia, and the politics of sanitaiton.