Interest growing in Asian bank

The UK, France, Germany and Italy have all signed on to China’s latest investment banking initiative.

Since March 12, one major developed country after another has gone against Washington’s express wishes by deciding to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, a US$50-billion initiative launched by China a year ago, reports the Financial Times.

The first country to break rank was the UK, prompting the US to accuse it of a "constant accommodation" of China. Such a reprimand "is a rare breach in the 'special relationship' that has been a backbone of western policy for decades," says the Times.

By signing on before other G7 countries, the UK hoped to gain "first mover advantage," says the Times. Also, Britain would like to become the primary destination for Chinese investments.

Only four days after the British decision, three other G7 members — Germany, France and Italy — announced that they were also joining the AIIB. Now, Australia and South Korea, which had previously refused to join, are reconsidering their position.