April 30, 2015
Koreans perceive themselves to be stuck between the Bretton Woods financial system the United States created after the Second World War and an emerging new financial order centered on the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), led by China and joined by a host of major countries.
On the one hand, Korea has benefited greatly from the global trade system that developed thanks to the Bretton Woods system and a close alliance with the United States. Yong Kim, a Korean, is president of the World Bank. At the same time, China has become the dominant economic power in Asia and Korea’s most important trading partner.
The attraction of the AIIB, as a possible source for funding infrastructure projects of value to Korean companies, is simply irresistible.
But could it be that what Koreans see as a tragic choice between the U.S. and Chinese camps is really more a lack of imagination than a true dilemma? Could it be that Korea, rather than being a passive player in a geopolitical shakedown, can serve as a key nation in defining what exactly the AIIB will be and keep it on a positive track as it develops? Read more of this post