The green light by the Bank's governors was expected and gave China a token but symbolic 0.1% stake in the EBRD and a new way of extending its global influence after its steps to boost trade links with Europe and Asia.

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti welcomed the decision.

"China's membership of the EBRD will open up significant further opportunities for sustainable investment by Chinese groups in the regions where the EBRD works," he said.

In a letter applying for membership of the EBRD, People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the activities of the EBRD complemented efforts to support investment and economic connectivity in the regions which China is promoting as part of the One Belt and One Road Initiative, according to the statement.

For its part, the EBRD sees a lot of scope for working with Chinese companies on projects in its regions that meet the Bank's criteria for investment. There is scope for cooperation throughout the EBRD's regions of operation, ranging from central Asia to eastern Europe and North Africa, the statement reads.