China blocking North Korea entry to int’l bankChina is not allowing North Korea to become a member of the newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), sources told the financial news site Emerging Markets.
The new bank, proposed by the government of China, aims to provide finance for infrastructure projects in Asia. It currently has 45 founding members, including numerous Western countries.According to Emerging Markets, North Korea approached AIIB President Jin Liqun asking for membership, however was rebuffed on the grounds it would not provide detailed information on its finances.
“When I met Jin (Liqun) in December, he told me that North Korea had come to him, and that he had given them a clear indication that the AIIB would need to disclose sufficient information … but the North Koreans were not willing to provide that information,” Masahiro Kawai, former chief executive officer of the Asian Development Bank Institute in Manila told the site.
China’s answer may well have surprised the DPRK, who have long leaned on their neighbor for financial, energy and food aid.
Emerging Markets claims that North Korea was hoping for membership on the grounds that in exchange for aid, it provides China with uranium and other mineral resources.
However, this was not enough to satisfy China, who also required further details on the DPRK economy, including information on taxes and economic activity across different sectors.
North Korea was also asked to provide details on which infrastructure projects loans from AIIB would be used, and to make a formal pledge on repayments.
“(North Korea) stopped publishing economic statistics in 1967, so it isn’t something they’re used to. But as their businesses and economic policymakers begin interacting with more foreign partners it is something that they will simply have to address,” Andray Abrahamian at Choson Exchange told NK News.
“This is a constant message at Choson Exchange workshops – more information is necessary to woo investors and to build trust that the DPRK really is prioritizing the economy.”
The AIIB is potentially a competitor to other large international financial institutions like the World Bank. The U.S. has not become a founding member, citing concerns over governance safeguards and environmental and social safeguards.
According to experts, North Korea may have fallen victim to these international concerns about how the AIIB will be run.
“The West is worried about the AIIB’s transparency, and China has no reason to risk the safety of forming of the AIIB by giving (North Korea) an exception to the transparent procedure,” Rhee Yoojin, a research fellow at the Korea Development Bank told NK News.
The UK was the first Western economy to announce it would help fund the AIIB. It was followed by Germany, France and Italy. Last month, the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance also announced their interest in joining the AIIB.Heavy fighting between Myanmar government forces and the Arakan ethnic army has occurred near Myanmar Rakhine-Bangladesh border, the ruling party’s Union Daily reported Monday.
The battle came one day ahead of the resumption of the 7th day of the 7th round peace talks between peace negotiators of Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups in Yangon after recess for a week.
During the clashes between the government forces and the Arakan Army on Sunday, shells fell on the government’s military camp, forcing the government troops to abandon the camp and retreat, the Arakan Army’s press release was quoted as saying.
One army officer was arrested, while one soldier of the government side was killed with weapons seized by the ethnic army, the release said.
The Arakan Army is described as one of the few ethnic armies which helped in alliance with the Kokang ethnic army in its recent fight with the government forces.
During peace talks in Yangon, fighting also erupted in some more areas in the northernmost Kachin state with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and in Ta’ang or Palaung area with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
Meanwhile, the Myanmar military claimed total control of Kokang region in northeastern Shan state in series of heavy fighting which erupted since Feb. 9, according to an earlier report of the daily. – NK News