Germany, France, Italy follow Britain with plans to join Chinese-led Asian bank

Germany, France and Italy have followed Britain in announcing that they plan to join a proposed Chinese-led Asian regional bank viewed with concern by Washington.

A German finance ministry statement Tuesday said that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank "could play an important role to provide funds for addressing the large infrastructure needs in Asia," helping contribute to global growth.

It says that Germany, France and Italy — like Britain, members of both the European Union and the Group of Seven industrial powers — want to work with the founding members to build a bank "that follows the best standards and practices in terms of governance, safeguards, debt and procurement policies."

China proposed the bank in 2013. Washington worries that it will undercut institutions such as the World Bank.