China's finance minister says new bank to complement, not compete with, existing institutions

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China's finance minister says a proposed Chinese-led Asian regional bank that has raised concerns in Washington will complement rather than compete with established lenders such as the World Bank.

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The official Xinhua News Agency cites Lou Jiwei as saying that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's establishment, expected by the end of 2015, would enable China to shoulder more responsibility for global development.

Lou's comments published Saturday appeared aimed at assuaging U.S. worries after Germany, France and Italy followed Britain on Tuesday in announcing plans to join the AIIB.

Washington has expressed concern the new bank will allow looser lending standards for transparency, the environment and labor, and undercut the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Lou said other countries would be welcome to join even after a March 31 deadline.