5 Apr 2015

Should NZ join China's Investment Bank?

1:52 pm on 5 April 2015

An international relations academic thinks New Zealand should join China's proposed Asian Investment Bank.

China's New Zealand Embassy, in Wellington

China's New Zealand Embassy, in Wellington Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Victoria University's lecturer, Jason Young, said the bank is part of China's foreign policy.

He told the Sunday Morning programme the bank will invest in infrastructure in Asia, an area estimated to need $6 trillion in infrastructure development in the next five years.

He said the countries that join the bank will be able to shape its governance and how it operates in years to come.

He said the bank was not a challenge to current Western dominated financial institutions such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund, as it is a commercial bank there to build infrastructure across Asia.

Dr Young said that Chinese media had noted that the project was generally well-received in South East Asia, and demonstrated that China can make a positive contribution globally.

Finance Minister Bill English said this week that negotiations were still in their early stages and any decision on whether New Zealand would become a founder member was still months away.

The United States has reacted negatively to the bank's instatement, and have tried to dissuade nations from joining the project, though the United Kingdom and Germany have since spoken positively about joining the Bank.

Over 40 countries have expressed interest in the project.