Almost 2 weeks ago, the United Kingdom applied for the membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, commonly called AIIB, a financial institution that is proposed by China and is designed to finance the large-scale infrastructure and construction projects in Asia region. The decision propelled a scornful and oddly public rebuke from Atlantic ally of London, the United States that had lobbied hard in opposition to the bank. Driven by the decision of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Korea, and Italy followed suit quickly, with Australia and probably Japan following soon.
The AIIB stands for the recent most focal point in a continuing contest between China and the United States for the control of the institutional order that exists in Asia. At the bet are the wealth, power, and the influence that assent to states, which can exercise huge swing over the activities and the agenda of these multilateral firms. Predictably, Washington favors the rules and institutions similar to the World Bank, the IMF, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which it established and has headed for decades.
For its part, Beijing favors an order, which acknowledges and augments its increasing regional influence. China has won the recent most round of this competition, in part as the United States failed to apply its institutional preponderance to outsmart China and preserve a dominant influence over multilateral bodies in Asia.
To be sure, no one concerned in the AIIB mess wants to make off with to real politics, and so every participant has matted for fig leaves. This clash is part of the power struggle among the United States and China, in which each works to create or retain institutions, which can serve as channels for their power in the most populous part of the world.