Na­tion to join AIIB only if treated equally: Mao

Pre­mier says join­ing un­der name ‘China Taipei’ is ‘un­ac­cept­able’ Main­land cold on prospect of Tai­wan join­ing the AIIB

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY KATHER­INE WEI

Pre­mier Mao Chi-kuo ( ) said yes­ter­day that should Tai­wan ap­ply to join the Bei­jing-led Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) in the fu­ture, it should be striv­ing to re­ceive equal treat­ment and to be re­spected as a coun­try.

Mao made the re­marks dur­ing an in­ter­pel­la­tion ses­sion at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan yes­ter­day, when he an­swered an op­po­si­tion law­maker’s ques­tion on the is­sue of Tai­wan’s prospec­tive join­ing.

“If we are not treated re­spect­fully, re­ceive treat­ment equal to other mem­bers, then we may as well not join. There is a bot­tom line on the name Tai­wan is reg­is­tered un­der when we do join, and this will be sub­jected to scru­tiny by the peo­ple of Tai­wan,” said Mao.

Kuom­intang Leg­is­la­tor Lin Te-fu ( ) pro­ceeded to ask whether the United States and Ja­pan’s join­ing of the AIIB would af­fect Tai­wan’s hopes to join, to which Mao an­swered that the U.S. was seen to be pos­i­tive about the out­come. “So I don’t think this will be­come a chal­lenge,” said Mao.

“Join­ing the AIIB will be an im­por­tant step for Tai­wan as it is merg­ing into the trend that is global eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion; this would bring busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and pre­vent Tai­wan from be­ing iso­lated,” said Mao.

Hope­fully Join­ing as ROC

The tim­ing for which Tai­wan may join the AIIB would be crit­i­cal as well, the pre­mier said. “If we be­come one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers, then the need to ob­tain our rights is nec­es­sary and help­ful. Only orig­i­nal mem­bers may dis­cuss the ground rules, ground rules that will af­fect mem­bers’ rights, obligations and their qual­i­fi­ca­tions ... if Tai­wan is not in­cluded in th­ese dis­cus­sions, then there prob­a­bly won’t be a chance to talk about all th­ese,” said Mao.

Lin brought up the pos­si­bil­ity that China may in­sist for Tai­wan to join un­der the name “China Taipei,” to which Mao said was “un­ac­cept­able.”

Should the name be changed to “Chi­nese Taipei?” Lin asked. “This is the in­ter­na­tional prac­tice so far, but we will see if there are bet­ter chances,” said Mao. “The best pos­si­ble so­lu­tion would be for Tai­wan to join as the Repub­lic of China.”

In­vest­ing US$200 Mil­lion

in AIIB: Mao

The ap­pli­ca­tion to join AIIB has been sent out yes­ter­day, but not to the Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice, said Mao, who also an­nounced that the gov­ern­ment will be in­vest­ing US$200 mil­lion in the AIIB project should the na­tion suc­cess­fully snag a po­si­tion in the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

In join­ing the AIIB, Tai­wan’s benefits as a coun­try will not be ne­glected, said Mao.

The AIIB, for­mally launched by Xi in 2014, is part of China’s ef­forts to cre­ate new fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic in­sti­tu­tions to boost its in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence. The bank was ini­tially cap­i­tal­ized at US$50 bil­lion, with 50 per­cent com­ing from China.

So far, more than 30 coun­tries have ap­plied to join the AIIB.

China con­firmed this week that Bri­tain and Switzer­land have been for­mally ac­cepted as found­ing mem­bers of AIIB, fol­low­ing the ac­cep­tance of Brazil the pre­vi­ous day.

China sig­naled on Tues­day that Tai­wan would not be al­lowed to join the Bei­jing­backed Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB), which is seen as a coun­ter­weight to the U.S.-based World Bank.

“As for Tai­wan join­ing (the AIIB), we main­tain that we should avoid the ‘ two Chi­nas’ and ‘one China, one Tai­wan’ sit­u­a­tion,” for­eign min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing told a regular brief­ing.

Tai­wan will present a let­ter of in­tent to the AIIB prepara­tory com­mit­tee, the pres­i­den­tial of­fice in Taipei said Mon­day fol­low­ing a na­tional se­cu­rity meet­ing chaired by Tai­wanese Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou.

But Bei­jing reg­u­larly pro­claims the im­por­tance of its “One China” pol­icy, see­ing the is­land as part of its ter­ri­tory await­ing re­uni­fi­ca­tion, and of­ten cur­tails Tai­wan’s in­volve­ment in in­ter­na­tional agree­ments. The two split in 1949 at the end of the Chi­nese Civil War.

Tai­wan

is

not a mem­ber of the United Na­tions, World Bank or In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund.

But it has joined some in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions un­der dif­fer­ent names. The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee refers to it as “Chi­nese Taipei,” and it is known as the Sep­a­rate Cus­toms Ter­ri­tory of Tai­wan, Penghu, Kin­men and Matsu at the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

As the dead­line to ap­ply to be­come one of the US$50 bil­lion bank’s found­ing mem­bers ap­proached on Tues­day more than 40 coun­tries around the world had sought to do so, in­clud­ing the UK, Ger­many, France and Italy, de­spite skep­ti­cism about the AIIB in Wash­ing­ton and Tokyo.

Last week Bei­jing’s vice fi­nance min­is­ter Shi Yaobin said it “wel­comes all coun­tries” to join the bank, which it has touted as a tool for fi­nanc­ing re­gional devel­op­ment along­side other lenders such as the U.S.-led World Bank and the Ja­pan-led Asian Devel­op­ment Bank.

CNA

Pre­mier Mao Chi-kuo ( ), left, speaks dur­ing an in­ter­pel­la­tion ses­sion at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan, yes­ter­day. Mao said yes­ter­day that should Tai­wan ap­ply to join the Bei­jing-led Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) in the fu­ture, it should be striv­ing to re­ceive equal treat­ment and to be re­spected as a coun­try.

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