The Canadian government said on Friday (December 8) that it was expanding its investigation into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and freezing Canada’s participation in this multilateral organization indefinitely.
Ottawa suspended its participation in the AIIB in June after a Canadian whistleblower alleged that the Chinese Communist Party controlled the bank.
The AIIB is a project promoted by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, launched in 2016 to counter Western dominance of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The AIIB has 106 international members, including Australia, Canada, France and Germany.
“Canada, in consultation with some of our closest international partners, is expanding its deliberations on the AIIB,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement, adding Canada’s participation in the bank will be suspended indefinitely.
The investigation includes an analysis of the AIIB’s investments and governance and management structures, and an assessment of management’s response to concerns raised by a former executive.
Bob Pickard, a Canadian who served as director of global communications for the AIIB, resigned in June this year, alleging that the institution was dominated by members of the Chinese Communist Party and mainly funded projects of interest to Beijing.
Ottawa said Canada recently raised these concerns with Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden on the sidelines of an International Monetary Fund meeting.
The AIIB and China’s Foreign Ministry refuted Picasso’s revelations, saying the bank operates in an “open, merit-based and transparent” manner.
(This article is based on an AFP report.)