Canada has frozen all activity at the multilateral lender AIIB, known as “China’s World Bank,” after a top official resigned alleging the institution is run by Communist party members, reports the Financial Times. Bob Pickard, the Canadian director-general for communications of the Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, said he flew to Tokyo on Wednesday because he feared for his safety after raising concerns about what he claimed was the party’s involvement in the lender.
The controversy, which underlines the tensions in multilateral institutions trying to bridge the growing divide between China and the west, triggered an immediate response from Ottawa.
“The government of Canada will immediately halt all government led activity at the bank,” said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s finance minister and deputy prime minister. Freeland added she was launching a review of both the allegations and Canada’s “involvement” with the AIIB.