New Kids on the Block: AIIB und NDB
Development Policy Monitor
Two new multilateral development banks were launched in the mid-2010s with massive participation on the part of China, the BRICS countries' New Development Bank (NDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). With the help of both banks, China is openly challenging the dominance of the USA. By founding new multilateral development banks (MDBs) with global support, China is thrusting itself into a role that seemed to be reserved for the US at least since the end of the Cold War, thereby underpinning its claims to a global leadership role.
The analysis makes it clear how, in the span of a few short years, Beijing has succeeded in establishing a recognised global institution with the AIIB, whose credit standing is equivalent to that of the World Bank in the view of the rating agencies. Moreover, by successfully co-founding or initiating two MDBs, China is expanding its relative influence in the field of multilateral finance – much to the displeasure of the US, which has not joined the AIIB so far.
China's engagement in multilateral development finance is also inevitably part and parcel of global competition between different systems. In addition to expanding its latitude for action, China's involvement in the newly established MDBs may also enhance its soft power, its allure and attractiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.