The recent spat between the U.S. administration and the British government over the UK’s decision to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)–despite U.S. opposition–has triggered much public noise.

Initial reactions on the U.S. side went from surprise to outrage, with Washington accusing British cousins of jeopardizing the global order and the “special relationship” in the name of short sighted commercial interests. U.S. officials conceded that the lack of progress in implementing the long overdue reform of the governance structure of the big Washington-based international organizations–the World Bank and, primarily, the International Monetary Fund–had complicated matters. However, Washington’s reaction to London’s decision to ignore U.S. concerns was one of ill-concealed anger. When Germany, France, and Italy chose to join ranks with the UK, the failure of the U.S. approach, centered around a strategy of increasing containment, was complete.

The original text of this article was published by The European Institute on March 24, 2015. Read more here.