It would be hard to say the multilateral development banks that were set up after World War II are accomplishing their high-minded mission of fostering development and alleviating poverty. Almost all are facing some kind of financial challenge, while client states complain they are too slow, bureaucratic and lack the technical skills to do their jobs.
Now come the Chinese with a new institution, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. On the one hand, we should be pleased the Chinese have opened up such an institution in the traditional mold. At a time when the world is wondering what to make of the rise of China, the adoption of a traditional approach suggests they are intent on being a member of the current global order rather than challenging the status quo.