Britain applies to join Chinese-led Asian bank

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — Britain has applied to join a proposed Chinese-led Asian regional bank that Washington worries will undercut institutions such as the World Bank.

The British Treasury said Thursday it will join talks this month on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's structure and governance arrangements.

China proposed the bank in 2013 and has pledged to put up most of its initial $50 billion in capital. Twenty-one other governments including the Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand and Vietnam have said they want to join.

The United States has expressed concern the bank will allow looser lending standards for the environment, labor rights and financial transparency, undercutting the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The British Treasury said it would try to ensure the Asian bank "embodies the best standards."