Backgrounder: The AIIB

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The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new development bank proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, started operation on Saturday, with a launch ceremony in Beijing.

"This is a moment that will be recorded in history," Xi said when addressing the event.

Finance Minister Lou Jiwei was elected as the first chairman of the AIIB board of governors, and Jin Liqun the first AIIB president.

The new global multilateral financial institution, which aims to support infrastructure projects in Asia, was formally established in Beijing on Dec. 25, 2015. Headquartered in Beijing, it now has 57 members.

With authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, the AIIB will initially prioritize investment in energy, power generation, transportation, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics.

The AIIB's opening came through more than two years of joint work from China and other founding members since Xi publicly proposed the initiative.

The following is a chronology of significant events and remarks about the AIIB.


October -- President Xi proposes the AIIB as an institution that will finance infrastructure construction and promote regional connections and economic integration in his speech at the Indonesian House of Representatives in Jakarta.


Oct. 24 -- Twenty-one Asian countries ink a memorandum of understanding in Beijing on establishing the AIIB.


March 12 -- Britain applies to join the AIIB as a prospective founding member.

March 24 -- Premier Li Keqiang stresses that the AIIB will cooperate with and be complementary to existing financial institutions. The AIIB will take an open and inclusive attitude, he says at a meeting with Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao.

March 28 -- In his keynote speech at the Boao conference, Xi says, "We will vigorously promote a system of regional financial cooperation, explore a platform for exchanges and cooperation among Asian financial institutions, and advance complementary and coordinated development between the AIIB and such multilateral financial institutions as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank."

March 31 -- The deadline for founding member applications. Countries and regions are still able to join after this, but only as common members.

April 1 -- Germany becomes the first prospective founding member of the AIIB.

April 15 -- The number of AIIB prospective founding members is finalized at 57.

May 22 -- Negotiators from the 57 countries agree on a key framework for the bank, with the signing scheduled for the end of June in Beijing.

June 29 -- Delegates of the 57 countries attend the signing ceremony of the articles of agreement. Xi says there that China will make its due contribution to the world by building a professional, efficient and clean multilateral bank with the founding members.

Oct. 18 -- In a written interview with Reuters in advance of a state visit to Britain, Xi says the AIIB has taken best practice from existing financial institutions and also made its own breakthroughs. The AIIB is an international financial institution whose rules of operation are decided by its members through consultation, not by China alone, he stresses.

Dec. 25 -- The AIIB is formally established in Beijing after its Articles of Agreement come into effect.


Jan. 16 -- The inaugurating ceremony of the AIIB is held in Beijing. Endi

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