Actually, I should ask, “Who let the poodles out?”
According to the Guardian, the US has reacted with anger that the UK “stabbed them in the back” — or words to that effect.
The US administration made clear in no uncertain terms its displeasure about Osborne’s decision to join the AIIB. A US official told the Financial Times: “We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power.”
Britain was unsurprised by the decision of the US administration to air its concerns in public after the formal announcement that the UK would join the new investment bank.
[Upon hearing about the US whining over the blatant independence of the United Kingdom, Guardian Readers dragged out their tiniest violins to express their sympathy. A few of their comments are pasted below.]
In its statement to the Guardian, the White House national security council said: “Our position on the AIIB remains clear and consistent. The United States and many major global economies all agree there is a pressing need to enhance infrastructure investment around the world. We believe any new multilateral institution should incorporate the high standards of the World Bank and the regional development banks.
“Based on many discussions, we have concerns about whether the AIIB will meet these high standards, particularly related to governance, and environmental and social safeguards. The international community has a stake in seeing the AIIB complement the existing architecture, and to work effectively alongside the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.”
“High standards of the World Bank”? :::snort:::
Anyway, listen up, you Brits: You don’t mingle with the Chinese unless we say so. We don’t want no stinkin’ competition or free markets that we haven’t already rigged.
Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, immediately slammed back at the US in a Guardian editorial:
We Britons don’t normally arbitrate these things in public and I’m a little unsure as to why the US has chosen to pick a fight with the UK on this bank at this time, because I thought it had somewhat softened its posture on the bank. It’s a bit surprising to me.
Notwithstanding that, I think the US should have been more willing to engage in discussion with China and others about the institution. There’s a big infrastructure gap in Asia, existing institutions are not filling it and China has the wherewithal to contribute on the right terms.
The US did reach out to Australia, Koreans and others to consult about questions and concerns, and that’s been interpreted as leaning on allies not to join the bank.
I admire their fierce but dry humor about the absurd US hubris as the dying empire stumbles across the global stage. More than a couple of their well-informed comments cracked me up:
I’d say the poodles have finally grown a pair. What say you?