Time Magazine (2024)

With trouble brewing in Mandalika, the AIIB’s first financing of a tourism infrastructure development project anywhere in the world and its most scrutinized project to date, the China-founded multilateral development bank has found itself at a crossroads: having already been plagued with political skepticism surrounding its origins in Beijing, the perceived success or failure of the bank’s work in Mandalika could weigh heavily on its reputation. And beyond Mandalika, human rights advocates and experts are increasingly concerned about the project’s implications for ethical standards in global development financing going forward.

“How the AIIB implements its standards in this project—or not—will show what kind of bank it actually intends to become,” Wawa Wang, the director of Just Finance International, a nongovernmental organization that has been monitoring the Mandalika project, tells TIME. So far, she says, AIIB’s standards for consultation and rectification for social and environmental harm reflect “a very dangerous trend in a race to the lowest for all future projects.”

Read the article in full: Time Magazine