Development banking in Asia has been in the news lately. Last year, China proposed creation of a development bank called the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Chinese officials say the institution would help finance infrastructure projects throughout Asia.

    The area has a need for better roads and other infrastructure, including ports and power supplies. The Asian Development Bank, another organization, was set up to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific. It estimated last May that the Asia-Pacific area needs about $800 billion a year in infrastructure development.
    该地区存在改善道路和包括港口以及电力供应在内的其它基础设施的需求。而另一家组织 -- 亚洲开发银行的建立是为了在亚太地区消除贫困。据亚洲开发银行去年5月份估计,亚太地区每年在基础设施上需要8千亿美元。

    China reports that more than 20 countries have agreed to be founding members of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB. Recently, some European powers added themselves to the list. U.S. allies Britain, Germany, France and Italy have joined up. So has South Korea. And Australia has agreed to move forward with negotiations.

    The United States, however, has said it is concerned about the governance of the AIIB. It has urged countries to consider the bank's standards, its social and environmental policies, before joining.

    Some observers say the United States should join the bank as a founding member. Asia expert Alejandro Reyes said the way the U.S. has dealt with the bank shows outdated thinking.
    一些观察家表示,美国应该加入该行成为创办成员国。亚洲问题专家亚历杭德罗·雷耶斯(Alejandro Reyes)表示,美国处理该银行的方式显示出过时的思维。

    Yet other observers have said it is unlikely the U.S. will do so. The last day to become a founding member is March 31st.

    Robert Kahn is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He said U.S. officials are concerned that the AIIB may be seeking to replace existing institutions, such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
    罗伯特·卡恩(Robert Kahn)是外交关系委员会的高级研究员。他说美国官员担心亚投行可能会需求取代现有机构,例如世界银行和亚洲开发银行。

    "In a world with the better politics, the United States would be joining this institution, but because of the environment on the Hill (in Washington), the United States is not only not in position where it could join this institution and get it approved by Congress, it cannot get even basic reform in the IMF through in a way that would make the existing institutions more attractive to the rising powers."

    The U.S. Congress has failed to approve reforms of voting rights for the International Monetary Fund. The delay has led China and other countries to consider setting up their own institutions as a way to gain more influence in world economic governance.

    Still, officials at the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank say they are looking for ways to cooperate with the AIIB.

    U.S. officials say they welcome new multi-lateral institutions that would observe high standards that the international community has built. China says it will uphold high standards. But most details will not become clear until the new bank is operational.

    The bank is expected to start with $100 billion in capital, mostly from China.

    Experts say it remains to be seen how China will take on a leadership position in the AIIB or whether it will work with existing organizations. Tom Wright is director of the Project of International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
    专家们表示,中国在亚投行将会如何担当领导地位,以及是否会和现有机构合作尚有待观察。汤姆·赖特(Tom Wright)是华盛顿布鲁金斯学会国际秩序与战略项目负责人。

    "This is not the end. It really is just [the] beginning and especially the beginning of a new chapter for China. It set up this bank, it said it is going to take a leadership position, but huge questions still hang over how it is going to behave."

    China considers itself in a good position to carry out infrastructure projects in Asia. However, it has depended on state-owned companies and labor when working overseas.

    Using international labor standards rather than Chinese labor rules would be a step forward, says economist Liu Li-gang of the ANZ Banking Group. He says China should open up competition for bank-supported projects. He said this will reduce criticism from often linked to Chinese foreign investment.

    I'm Mario Ritter.
    我是马里奥·理特(Mario Ritter)。(51VOA.COM对本文翻译保留全部权利,未经授权请勿转载,违者必究!)