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Canada halts activity at Asian development bank, looks to review its membership

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada will halt all government-led activity at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank after a Canadian citizen tendered his resignation from the financial institution.

Bob Pickard said in a tweet today that he resigned as the bank’s global communications chief because the bank is “dominated” by members of the Chinese Communist Party.

The bank called the allegations “categorically false” in a statement and said “no one state or political party has any say over the strategic or operational direction of the bank.”

Canada joined the bank in 2017 and holds less than one per cent of the voting power, in contrast with China, which holds more than a quarter of the voting power.

Freeland says she’s instructed the Finance Department to lead an “immediate review” of the allegations and Canada’s involvement in the bank.

The finance minister says the review will be conducted “expeditiously” and that she’s not ruling out any outcome following its completion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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