France, Germany and Italy are to join Great Britain in becoming members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a China-backed development bank for Asia. “The decision of the three European countries is the final blow for the American efforts to persuade its Western and Asian allies not to the join” the AIIB, writes De Volkskrant.

The Americans consider the bank, 49% owned by the Chinese, to be a rival to the World Bank and to be “insufficiently transparent”. They fear it will “increase the risk of dubious credit facilities”. Germany, France and Italy have declared in a press statement they want the development bank to work according to “the best standards and practices”.