The Undersecretariat of the Treasury has applied to become a member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is being established with the efforts of China. "The Republic of Turkey has informed the Interim Secretariat of the AIIB, regarding its intention to become a member of the AIIB, on March 25th, 2015. It is expected to finalize the negotiations to establish the Bank at the end of 2015," it said in a statement on the Treasury website. Last year China initiated the foundation of the bank, which aims to expedite and support transportation, energy, telecommunication and other major infrastructure investments in Asia. China had announced that the partnership agreement of the bank will be completed by the end of this year. The AIIB is regarded as a competitor to the World Bank and Asia Development Bank, which are under the control of Western countries. Besides Asian countries, the U.K., Germany, France and Italy have applied to become founding members of the bank. Also, South Korea said on Thursday it has decided to seek a founding membership of the AIIB, another key U.S. ally in spite of Washington's misgivings. The U.S. objected to the establishment of the bank and made it clear that it is not comfortable with the moves. In March, the White House criticized the project for lacking the necessary standards.