Weekend Long Read: Why China Still Needs the Asian Development Bank
Editor’s note: In his book, “The Rise of Asia: Perspectives and Beyond” (an English translation of the Japanese edition published in June 2020), Takehiko Nakao shares his experience leading the Asian Development Bank (ADB) from 2013 to 2020. In the excerpt below, he reflects on ADB’s relations with China, a member of the bank since 1986.
Masao Fujioka, who served as the fourth ADB president from 1981 to 1989, believed that working with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) would greatly benefit ADB in its efforts to establish itself as an Asian development organization. The PRC, on the other hand, believed that, by joining the ADB, it would gain access to scarce foreign currency financing and expertise in large infrastructure projects. The PRC also hoped to demonstrate its willingness to open itself up and cooperate with the international community in general and especially with other countries in Asia. Now, the PRC does not lack foreign currency funds, and the ADB’s projects no longer involve large-scale infrastructure. Still, I believe the relationship between the ADB and the PRC continues to have significance for international cooperation in Asia.
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