Fi­nance Min­istry ex­plains AIIB pol­icy for­ma­tion

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS - BY ENRU LIN

The Fi­nance Min­istry ( ) re­leased its first for­mal state­ment yes­ter­day on Tai­wan’s ap­proach to the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB, ), in the wake of op­po­si­tion party claims that Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou made a uni­lat­eral de­ci­sion to ap­ply for membership.

Since last Novem­ber, sev­eral gov­ern­ment min­istries have pro­vided in­put to form Tai­wan’s pol­icy on the China-backed fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment signed by the Fi­nance Min­istry’s Na­tional Trea­sury Ad­min­is­tra­tion ( ).

The Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan con­vened last Novem­ber to de­lib­er­ate on the AIIB, prompted by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s ( ) talks over the fi­nan­cial ven­ture at the APEC sum­mit, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment.

On Nov. 6, the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan tasked the Fi­nance Min­istry with form­ing the Repub­lic of China’s re- sponse, and the Fi­nance Min­istry is­sued in­for­ma­tion re­quests to sev­eral gov­ern­ment min­istries on Dec. 30, the state­ment con­tin­ued.

Min­istries that have pro­vided in­put are the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, the Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil, the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs, the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Coun­cil, the Public Con­struc­tion Com­mis­sion and the Cen­tral Bank.

Th­ese min­istries filed their re­ports by mid-Jan­uary of this year, ac­cord- ing to the state­ment.

Af­ter col­la­tion and as­sess­ment, the Fi­nance Min­istry ruled on March 4 that join­ing the AIIB is in line with Tai­wan’s na­tional in­ter­est, un­der the pre­con­di­tion that the terms of membership main­tain the dig­nity of the coun­try.

March 31 Dead­line

Late yes­ter­day, Tai­wan’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment sub­mit­ted its state­ment of in­ter­est in the AIIB, as drafted by the Fi­nance Min­istry.

Be­cause there is no di­rect com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the cross-Strait fi­nance min­istries, MAC faxed the let­ter to the China’s Tai­wan Af­fairs Coun­cil ( ) for for­ward­ing to the AIIB’s sec­re­tariat. The let­ter was filed yes­ter­day in or­der to meet Bei­jing’s dead­line for found­ing mem­bers, said the Fi­nance Min­istry.

So far, In­done­sia, New Zealand, the UK, France, Ger­many, Italy, Switzer­land, Turkey, South Korea, Aus­tria and over 40 other coun­tries have an­nounced their in­tent to be­come found­ing mem­bers in China’s nascent fi­nan­cial ven­ture.

Sign­ing for found­ing mem­bers is ex­pected by the end of June and the start of op­er­a­tions by year’s end, ac­cord­ing to the Fi­nance Min­istry.

The AIIB is set to be­come a mul­ti­lat­eral lend­ing bank that funds in­fra­struc­ture projects in Asia. Au­tho­rized cap­i­tal is US$100 bil­lion, with roughly US$50 bil­lion as China’s ini­tial con­tri­bu­tion.

Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party law­mak­ers have charged Ma with mak­ing a uni­lat­eral de­ci­sion to pro­mote Tai­wan’s membership in the AIIB.

Ma sent for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Vin­cent Siew ( ) to pro­mote membership at the Boao Fo­rum last week — be­fore the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan reached a con­sen­sus on the bid, said Tuan Yi-kang ( ), who called for greater trans­parency in the de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.

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