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World Bank lifts China’s role

Associated Press / April 26, 2010

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WASHINGTON — The World Bank recognized China’s growing economic influence and agreed yesterday to elevate Beijing’s voting power to behind only the United States and Japan in the 186-nation lending organization.

Lifting China above a number of Western powers, including Germany, France, and Britain, also gives other nations with emerging economies more voice in how the bank operates and lends money.

Bank members also decided to increase the institution’s capital by $3.5 billion; it was the first increase in more than 20 years.

China’s stake at the bank, in terms of voting power, climbs from 2.78 percent to 4.42 percent. The United States, the world’s largest economy, remains in the number one spot at 15.85 percent, effectively giving it veto power, followed by Japan at 6.84 percent.

Robert Zoellick, the bank’s president, said the shift in voting power “recognizes that we need to consign outdated concepts like ‘Third World’ to history. Today the world is moving toward a new, fast evolving multipolar economy.’’