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Why was the U.S. so upset about the AIIB initially?

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China has achieved impressive success in changing minds around the world and recruiting allies over a proposed international infrastructure investment bank.

中国不仅成功地改变了世界的想法,而且成功招募到了多国盟友一同建立基础设施多边投资银行。


The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a new multilateral development bank first proposed by President Xi Jinping in October 2013. At the time, Xi explained that “to support the process of interconnection and integration of the economic development in the region, China has proposed to build the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and provide financial support to infrastructure development in developing countries in the region.”
亚洲基础设施投资银行(以下简称亚投行)是一个新型的多边开发银行。它首先由中国国家主席习近平于2013年10月提出。当时,习近平表示“为促进本地区互联互通建设和经济一体化进程,中方倡议筹建亚洲基础设施投资银行,愿向(包括东盟国家在内的)本地区发展中国家基础设施建设提供资金支持。”


China will provide the bulk of the capital, estimated at $50 billion (310 billion yuan), and other founding members include India, the second largest shareholder, as well as two Gulf Arab states, Kuwait and Qatar. A number of non-regional countries were invited to be founding members.
中国将会成为(亚投行)最大出资国,出资金额约500亿美元(合3100亿人民币),其他创始成员国还有“第二大股东”印度以及两个海湾阿拉伯国家科威特和卡塔尔等。还有一些非亚洲国家也受邀成为创始成员国。


The US rejected the offer and then lobbied its allies, including Australia, South Korea, the UK and other European states, not to join.
不过,美国拒绝了加入亚投行的邀请,并且游说其同盟国如澳大利亚、韩国、英国及其他欧洲国家不要加入亚投行。


But much to the US’ chagrin, in recent weeks, developed nations including the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, have agreed to participate. Australia and Denmark have filed their applications. South Korea also announced its decision to apply before the deadline and expects to be a founding member of the bank, Reuters reported.
令美国大为失望的是,最近几周,包括英国、法国、德国、意大利、瑞典在内的许多发达国家都表示愿意加入亚投行。澳大利亚和丹麦已经提交了申请。而据路透社消息,韩国也在截止日期前宣布提交申请,并希望能够成为亚投行创始成员国。


Facing defiance from its allies, the US has since somewhat softened its stance. The Obama administration is proposing that the AIIB work in a partnership with US-backed development institutions, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, The Wall Street Journal reported on March 23.
遭到同盟国的公然对抗,美国的立场也开始有所松动。据《华尔街日报》3月23日的报道,奥巴马政府正提议亚投行与美国支持的发展机构建立合作关系,如世界银行以及亚洲开发银行。


Stiff competition
激烈竞争


Why was the US so upset about the AIIB initially?
美国最初为何对亚投行如此耿耿于怀?


According to the Financial Times, the US and other AIIB critics have questioned whether the new bank will have high standards of governance and environmental and social safeguards. They say the bank will play fast and loose with conditionality and other restrictions on the behavior of borrowers, allowing corruption to flourish.
据《金融时报》报道,美国以及其他对亚投行颇有微词的国家一直在质疑这家“新银行”能否在管理、环保以及社会保障方面达到“高标准”。他们认为,亚投行可能在对借款者条件审核和行为规范的限制标准松紧不一,而这将滋生腐败。


More significant, however, are strategic considerations, says the Financial Times. The US and China are increasingly engaged in a competition for regional influence, while the bank is seen as contributing to the spread of China’s “soft power” in the region, possibly at the expense of the US.
当然,更重要的还是出于战略考量,《金融时报》如是写道。中美两国在区域影响力上的竞争日益激烈,而亚投行将大大提升中国在区域内的“软实力”,并很可能削弱美国在亚洲的影响力。


In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei stressed that the AIIB, rather than being a competitor, will be compatible with established international lenders.
接受新华社采访时,中国财务部部长楼继伟强调:“亚投行与现有多边(开发)银行是互补而非竞争关系。”


He described the bank’s founding as a “constructive move” that will complement the current international economic order and enable China to shoulder more global responsibility.
他形容设立亚投行是“建设性地”,它将会完善现有国际经济秩序,使中国肩负起更多国际责任。


Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, says the UK’s decision to join the new bank is sensible. The US criticized the UK for its “constant accommodation” of the rising superpower, Wolf says, “but the alternative to accommodation is conflict. China’s economic rise is beneficial and inevitable. What is needed is intelligent accommodation.”
《金融时报》的首席经济评论员马丁•沃尔夫则评价英国加入亚投行的决定是明智的。美国批评英国“一直迁就”中国这个日益崛起的超级大国,他撰文写道“不迁就则意味着要对抗。而中国经济崛起既是有益的,也是必然的。因此,现在需要考虑的应是如何聪明地‘迁就’中国。”


“Where China offers proposals that make sense for itself and for the world, engagement is more sensible than carping from the sidelines. An erstwhile US policy maker once asked China to be a ‘responsible stakeholder’. With the creation of the AIIB, it is doing just that,” Wolf writes in the Financial Times.
“中国提出的建议既考虑了自身利益,又顾及了世界各国,因此,参与其中比在一旁吹毛求疵更为明智。某位美国前高级官员曾经要求中国成为一个‘负责任的利益攸关方’。亚投行的创立正是中国履行责任的明证。”

2016-06-23

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