Beijing-backed AIIB Approves USD$750 Million COVID-19 Loan to India Amidst Border Fracas
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has given the green light to a USD$750 million loan to India to help mitigate the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, just following an outbreak of violence on the Himalayan border between China and India.
The move brings total sovereign loans approved by the Beijing-based AIIB for India to USD$3.06 billion, including a recent $500 million loan for COVID-19 emergency response measures.
The loan arrives just following Himalayan border clashes on 15 June which reportedly resulted in the deaths of dozens of Indian and Chinese soldiers.
The clashes prompted Chinese and Indian foreign ministers to speak by telephone on 17 June to ease tensions, with an Indian spokesperson subsequently stating that “neither side would take any action to escalate matters.”
The AIIB is a multilateral development bank that was established at Beijing’s behest with the goal of funding infrastructure development across the Asia-Pacific.
The bank commenced operation on 16 January 2016 with capital of $100 billion, equal to half that of the World Bank.
By January 2018 India has become the AIIB’s biggest borrower, with lending to India reaching USD$1.074 billion, equal to nearly 28% of all credit extended at the time.