March 25, 2015

Since development seems not really mean the same for UK than for China, why should UK join AIIB?

Sir, I am from Venezuela, and the United States has at least recently criticized what is happening in my country, while China in most non-transparent ways has mostly dedicated itself to finance and take advantage of what is happening in my country. And that I confess is one subjective reason for why I find it so hard to agree with Martin Wolf’s “It is folly to rebuff China’s bank”, March 24.

But that said I also feel that in order not to lose yourself in the new globalized world, you need to be able to reassert who you really are, now more than ever. And in that respect, few are so close as the US and Britain. In April 1999, feeling that the UK could become slightly uncomfortable with EU and with the Euro, and having heard about the ideas of Conrad Black and Paul Johnson, I even speculated in an Op-Ed about “A new English language empire”.

In essence I find no good reason why the UK should lend some credibility, against what is clearly no real influence, to an organization that does not really share its values. I am certain that, at least for the time being, when Wolf and I, UK and US, speak about development, we mean something quite different than what current China does… or at least so I hope.

PS. And, sincerely, I find Martin Wolf’s “As a former staff member of the World Bank” statement, indicating that as far as not living up to the “highest global standards”, AIIB and World Bank would stand on similar ground, to be clearly out of line.

PS. And by the way, to present oneself as a development buff, while at the same time not objecting to those credit-risk-weighted equity requirements for banks that clearly stand in the way of development, is sort of silly.