South Korea has been accepted as a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China's finance ministry said Saturday.
The approval was made by existing members, including China, Britain and France, the Chinese ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
Austria and Spain were also accepted as founding members of the AIIB on Saturday, according to the statement, bringing the number of founding members to 41 nations.
On March 27, South Korea applied to join the Chinese-led development bank to fund infrastructure projects in Asia, widely viewed as a potential counterbalance to U.S.-led multilateral lenders, such as the Asian Development Bank.
The U.S. has expressed concerns about the AIIB's governance structure and decision-making process.
China has offered $50 billion to the bank, which is expected to start operations by the end of this year, with other member nations expecting to increase the total funding to $100 billion. (Yonhap)