AIIB approves 7 new members ahead of Silk Road summit

BEIJING: The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said on Saturday it had approved seven new members to join the bank, a day before China’s biggest diplomatic event of the year kicks off. Leaders from 29 countries will attend China’s new Silk Road forum in Beijing on Sunday and Monday, an event orchestrated to promote President Xi Jinping’s vision of expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment. Delegations from around the world will attend including the United States and North Korea. The new members are Bahrain, Bolivia, Chile, Cyprus, Greece, Romania and Samoa, bringing the bank’s total membership to 77 countries. The bank’s president Jin Liqun held a joint press conference with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to announce the new members. “Better infrastructure across Asia will allow Chilean goods to access new markets, more investment in Chilean infrastructure in turn will further bind together the two great continents of Asia and Latin America,” said Jin. — Reuters