China says proposed Asian bank might have branches abroad in new move to mollify concerns

Associated Press

China says its proposed Asian bank might have regional offices in other countries in a new move to mollify concern it will be a Chinese political tool.

A deputy finance minister, Shi Yaobin, said Wednesday on his ministry's website the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will be based in Beijing but its members will discuss whether to open branch offices.

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China proposed the bank in 2013 to finance construction of roads and other infrastructure.

Washington has expressed unease it might undercut the World Bank and other institutions. Britain, France and Germany have joined India, New Zealand and other Asia-Pacific governments in saying they want to become members.

Beijing has pledged most of the initial $50 billion in capital but Shi said its ownership stake would decline as others contribute.