U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the United States didn't oppose other countries to join the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and that it looks forward to collaborating with the new multilateral institution.
"Let me be very clear and dispel this notion that we were opposed or are opposed to other countries participating in the Asia Infrastructure Bank. That is simply not true," Obama said at a joint news conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"What we have said and what we said to all the other countries involved is ... if we're going to have a multilateral lending institution, then you have to have some guidelines by which it's going to operate," Obama said.
If the AIIB is being set up with some kind of safeguards and running in a way that leads to good infrastructure and benefits the borrowing countries, "then we're all for it," Obama said, adding that the United States looks forward to collaborating with the new bank, "just like we do with the Asia Development Bank and with the World Bank."
Obama also said China's investment for improving Asian infrastructure could be good for the regional and global economy.
"To the extent that China wants to put capital into development projects around the region, that's a positive. That's a good thing, " Obama said, noting that a lot of Asian countries have difficulty financing infrastructure.
Abe said through a translator that he saw "eye to eye" with China on the need for infrastructure financing in Asia, but Japan has not yet made a decision on joining the AIIB, which has already have 57 founding countries from Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
The AIIB, expected to be formally established by the end of 2015, will be an international financial institution to fund infrastructure projects in Asia with initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars and planned authorized capital of 100 billion dollars.
China has said the AIIB is intended to play a complementary role alongside existing multilateral development banks and it will draw experiences from these banks to operate in a more cost- effective and efficient way.