Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release Friday, 13 March 2015
Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Even UK applies to join Asian Infrastructure Bank—where’s Australia?
China’s Ministry of Finance announced yesterday that the UK has applied to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member; China welcomes its application, and is seeking the opinion of the other founding member countries.
Twenty-one nations signed up as founding members of the AIIB in October, followed soon after by Indonesia and New Zealand. Now Britain wants to get in.
Why on earth is Australia holding back?
The AIIB is the initiative of China, intended to be a multilateral bank to invest in badly-needed infrastructure in the Asian region.
The existing multilateral investment institutions, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, are controlled by the US and Japan, and have been woefully inadequate at meeting Asia’s infrastructure needs, estimated at $800 billion per year. The ADB currently invests a paltry $20 billion per year, and that under typical conditionalities; the AIIB is intended to invest $50-100 billion per year.
China has its own development bank, but prefers to collaborate with other nations in a multilateral institution in which all member nations have a say; it is the same reason China is a mainstay of the BRICS alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which is launching a New Development Bank to give nations needing credit for development an alternative to the World Bank. The AIIB is intended to concentrate on developing and upgrading ports and other trade infrastructure in Asia. This focus on trade infrastructure is expected to deliver concrete benefits from improved trade efficiencies etc. that will be far superior to the promoted benefits of any trade agreements.
Everyone knows why Australia, like Japan, hasn’t joined—Obama pressured our government not to.
The Obama administration is enforcing the demands of Wall Street and the City of London, to which the rise of China and Eurasia in general is a threat to the hegemony of their Anglo-American financial empire. The USA is pursuing a confrontational policy of containment that will end in war, but true to form the British seem to be trying to play both sides.
However, whatever Britain’s intentions, the nations of Asia that are joining the AIIB are fiercely sovereign, and will not be inclined to let the AIIB turn into a front for enforcing City of London-Wall Street diktats on nations, as the IMF and World Bank have.
The CEC is campaigning for Australia to join the AIIB; last November the CEC instigated the following petition:
Australia must act independently in its national interest and join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
TO THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
This petition of the Citizens Electoral Council draws to the attention of the House the opportunity, which the Australian government is squandering, to participate in a grand vision for infrastructure development in the Asia-Pacific region, through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
China, Australia’s largest and most important trading partner, initiated the AIIB to direct $50-100 billion per year into building the productive infrastructure of the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road. This infrastructure will boost physical trade between nations and benefit the entire world. Twenty other Asian nations, including emerging superpower India, have joined the new institution. The AIIB is one of a number of new multilateral financial institutions associated with the BRICS alliance—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa—which are intended to promote collaboration on economic development among sovereign nations.
It is an outrage that Australia is presently squandering this opportunity, because our national foreign policy is not independent, but is subservient to the militaristic, neo-conservative outlook of the City of London and Wall Street interests who control our strategic allies, the United States and United Kingdom, to whom the rise of China and the BRICS is viewed as a threat to Anglo-American world hegemony.
We the undersigned therefore petition the House to assert Australia’s national independence, and ensure that Australia does join the AIIB, so that our nation collaborates with our regional neighbours on economic development that will benefit all of our nations and give to our future generations economic prosperity.
Click to add your name to the petition.
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