The Financial Times reports China’s newest development bank is poised to extend its lending activities beyond Asia to Africa and Latin America, underscoring the Chinese government’s international ambitions at a time when globalization is fuelling a populist backlash in the west. The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank held its first annual meeting over the weekend for 57 founding shareholders, the vast majority of them being countries from Asia and western Europe. But, according to an internal list of “potential new members” circulated to delegates, the bank’s complexion is set to change with a surge in applicants from Africa and Latin America. That would allow the AIIB to rapidly expand its presence in both regions as western governments wrestle with the consequences of the UK’s vote to withdraw from the EU.
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