U.S. still cold on China-led infrastructure bank

(BVO) – Growing competition for political influence in Asia, as the U.S. pivot to the region hits a hiccup.

A long list of countries ranging from Denmark to Australia signing up to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – leaving the U.S. and key ally Japan out in the cold.

Washington has asked allies to think twice about joining.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who is visiting Beijing this week, earlier said America’s “international credibility and influence is under threat” with the establishment of the bank.

The U.S. is working to expand its political influence in Asia, a region where new roads and transport hubs are badly needed.

It’s also a region where the U.S. and China are vying for influence – especially in the strategically important South China Sea.

America’s allies haven’t been shy about piling on the bandwagon.

Australia saying good progress has been made on the bank’s design, governance and transparency.

China says the founding members for the AIIB will be confirmed on April 15.

Questions now also surround the future of the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank — two U.S-led institutions long active in the region that risk being upstaged by the new venture.