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Reconfiguring money matters

With the launch of the 50-billion-dollar Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China has upped the ante posing a formidable challenge to US-driven World Bank and Asian Development Bank, the multilateral lenders primarily fed with American financial heavyweights. Along with the BRICS-fostered New Development Bank with its 100-billion-dollar corpus, these financial institutions are expected to overturn US hegemony on monetary transactions and tilt the economic balance in Asia’s, chiefly China’s, favour.

AIIB and NDB will not only expand Chinese footprints in the financial circuit, but will also improve its clout, which is still grossly disproportional as far as the established banks are concerned. AIIB has on its board India, Thailand and Malaysia, thereby substantially complementing the 50 per cent stake that China already has. It is important to underscore here that AIIB and NDB have a foundational thrust towards lending money to developing nations without crippling them with staggering debts or extracting unsustainably high interest rates. Naturally, Western press has overdone the ‘ambiguous’ nature of AIIB, given that significant US allies such as Australia and South Korea have been arm-twisted to stay out of the fray, while Indonesia too has been coaxed to not join the bandwagon.
     
Western grievances notwithstanding, NDB and AIIB have in them to suitably reconfigure the flows and gradients of international monetary circuits. Strengthening regional blocs, such as SAARC, BRICS, Latin America, is paramount to economic self-determination and coming out of the shadows of predatory American lending, using debt to strangulate many a thriving economy, obviously when not making do with ‘humanitarian intervention’ to export or save democracy. In fact, BRICS represents 42 per cent of world’s population and a quarter of global economy, indicating its primary role in transforming the face of monetary sector and international trade laws to make them more equitable and fair. While Russia and China are interested in speeding up the process, powers like Japan must be brought on board to effectively redo the global financial status quo. Mutual investment and sharing of technology will be crucial to achieve this, while legal hurdles too must be crossed to check the dollar reign.        

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