The Inter-American Development Bank cancels its big bash in China

FAMOUS FOR its hotpot and pandas, Chengdu, in China’s inland Sichuan province, is not an obvious venue for a conference about Latin America. But it was looking forward to hosting this year’s meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which provides aid, advice and cheap loans to 26 developing countries in Latin America.

The meeting was intended to mark ten years since China joined the bank in 2009, acquiring 0.004% of its shares. South Korea had similarly played host in 2005 to mark its tenth anniversary. At last year’s gathering in Argentina, the bank’s choice of Chengdu was celebrated by a Chinese dance troupe—and someone in a panda suit.

Now the suit must go back in the closet. The bank has said it will hold its meeting elsewhere, because China has refused a visa to Ricardo Hausmann (pictured), an economist at Harvard University who was recently approved as Venezuela’s representative at the bank. Mr Hausmann was nominated by Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s legislature, who has been recognised as the country’s president by many of the IDB’s members (a notable exception is Mexico).

China, however, still recognises the presidency of Nicolás Maduro, the political heir to Hugo Chávez, who began a second term in January after rigging last year’s election. China was happy to hold the meeting without...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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