France, Germany and Italy have joined the UK as members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia region.
Italy's Ministry of Economy and Finance released a statement saying, "France, Italy and Germany, in close coordination with international and European partners, are keen to work with the AIIB founding members to establish an institution that follows the best standards and practices in terms of governance, safeguards, debt and procurement policies".
Press in China has responded with enthusiasm. The People's Daily noted that China's strong development inspires confidence in Western countries. .
Image: John 'K' / Flickr
The decision is a signal of global economic shift away from Western hegemonies. The US has responded with concern, perceiving the AIIB as a rival to the Western-dominated World Bank and an attempt to spread China's "soft power". As new trade relations, governance structures and markets emerge, what welcome will they receive from other global factions?
BBC (2015, March 18). China media: Asian bank
Xinhua Net (2015, March 17). Italy confirms intention to become founding member of China-proposed investment bank: finance ministry