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Obama on the Beijing-Led AIIB: All Just a Misunderstanding

Apr 30 , 2015

No, America isn’t opposed to the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

News reports and editorials to that effect – which have been legion in recent weeks — are the result of a misunderstanding based on a single story quoting unnamed sources, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday in his Rose Garden news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In fact, if the AIIB ends up upholding high lending standards “then we’re all for it,” Mr. Obama said. Some of the U.S.’s closest allies might have hoped for this clarification to come a little earlier. American ties with the U.K. and South Korea, among others, have been strained by their decisions to join the bank. Explaining the situation earlier might also have saved Washington the lashing it took its from former officials as well as from a triumphant Chinese media, which portrayed the U.S. as a spoiler engaged in a spiteful effort to scuttle a good Chinese idea to build much needed infrastructure in Asia.

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