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China's Xi inaugurates AIIB

Chinese President Xi Jinping officially inaugurated the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Saturday, pledging to make the AIIB a "truly rules-based" regional lender.

The inauguration of the AIIB is "historic" event and the new regional lender will become a "truly international, rules-based, high-standard" regional lender, Xi said in his speech at the opening ceremony of the AIIB in Beijing.

Xi said the AIIB will become a "professional and efficient platform to promote infrastructure development" in Asia.

"The founding and inauguration of the AIIB will effectively boost investment to support infrastructure development in Asia," Xi said. "It will serve to channel more resources, particularly private investment, into infrastructure projects."

With a paid-in capital of US$100 billion and 57 members, including South Korea, the AIIB has been seen as a potential counterbalance to U.S.-led multilateral lenders such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.

The United States and Japan did not join the AIIB, while calling for transparency and higher governance in the new bank.

Along with concerns over transparency in the AIIB, there are worries that China could exploit the new lender as a means to increase its own economic and geopolitical influence.

(Yonhap)

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