China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in October of 2014 and has met with nothing but opposition from the United States. Officially, the objection cited by the United States is a lack of clarity about AIIB’s governance, as well as concerns about whether the AIIB will adhere to strict environmental and labor standards in its operations. It is clear, however, that U.S. opposition also derives from fears that the AIIB — spearheaded by China and part of China’s “New Silk Road” strategy — will diminish U.S. leadership in the region.
But if the AIIB jeopardizes U.S. leadership in Asia, it will be a result of the manner in which American authorities have responded to the organization. Through its intransigence, the United States continues to push Asian countries — including certain key allies — away. By refusing to participate in...
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