The new Asian Fund

The name is AIIB: where Chinese diplomacymeets its enviable cash flow.

Nepal really needs money. In April, a violent earthquake struck the tiny Asian country, killing more than 7,000 people and destroying countless buildings, roads and infrastructure. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) all pledged their support for reconstruction. But Nepal, according to Asian press reports, explicitly asked only one agency: the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB.

For the uninitiated to the plethora of supranational lenders, the AIIB is a brand new, not yet operational development bank, launched China. Tired of being shunned by the other international organizations, long dominated by the United States, in 2013 China came forward and decided to create its own. Twenty-one Asian countries took part in its foundation, signed in October 2014. Subsequently, the invitation was extended to the rest of the world. 

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