Law­mak­ers agree to sub­mit let­ter of in­tent to join Bei­jing-led AIIB

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Leg­is­la­tors agreed Tues­day that the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan should sub­mit a let­ter of in­tent to join the Chi­naled Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank ( ) on con­di­tion that the coun­try’s dig­nity is not com­pro­mised and its in­ter­ests are up­held.

In an­nounc­ing the con­sen­sus reached by rul­ing and op­po­si­tion party law­mak­ers, Vice Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu chu ( ) re­quested gov­ern­ment agen­cies to sub­mit a com­pre­hen­sive plan and as­sess­ment of AIIB membership to the Leg­is­la­ture and brief the Fi­nance Com­mit­tee on ef­forts to join.

The leg­isla­tive con­sen­sus came a day af­ter Pres­i­dent Ma Ying­jeou de­cided at a na­tional se­cu­rity meet­ing to send a let­ter of in­tent on join­ing the new bank to the In­terim Sec­re­tariat for Es­tab­lish­ing the AIIB.

The Min­istry of Fi­nance was given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of draft­ing the let­ter and then sub­mit­ting it to the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan for ap­proval.

Once ap­proved, it will be sub­mit­ted by the Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil ( MAC, ) to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s in­terim sec­re­tariat through the Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice un­der China’s State Coun­cil.

Law­mak­ers reached their con­sen­sus af­ter sev­eral rounds of clashes and scuf­fles.

Mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion Tai­wan Sol­i­dar­ity Union (TSU,

) oc­cu­pied the podium at 8:40 a.m. to protest China’s open­ing of a con­tro­ver­sial flight route in the Tai­wan Strait and also what they de­scribed as un­der-the-ta­ble ma­neu­vers re­lated to Tai­wan’s bid to join the AIIB. Leg­is­la­tor Kao Chin Su-mei (

) of the Non-Par­ti­san Sol­i­dar­ity Union first con­fronted TSU Leg­is­la­tor Chou Ni-an ( ) said the gov­ern­ment will join the AIIB based on the prin­ci­ple of dig­nity.

He also pledged that the ap­pli­ca­tion process will be trans­par­ent and will pur­sue max­i­mum benefits for the coun­try and fair treat­ment as a mem­ber.

“If the above con­di­tions can­not be met, we would rather not join,” the pre­mier said.

The Min­istry of Fi­nance said it be­gan to study po­ten­tial membership in the AIIB at the re­quest of the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan in Novem­ber 2014 when it learned of China’s plan and gath­ered in­for­ma­tion about it at the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

The MOF then started to ask other gov­ern­ment agen­cies, in­clud­ing the min­istries of For­eign Af­fairs and Eco­nomic Af­fairs, the Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil and the cen­tral bank for their views on Tai­wan’s bid, and it com­pleted its as­sess­ment on March 4.

Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese fig­ures, 44 coun­ties have ap­plied to be­come found­ing mem­bers of the AIIB with the Tues­day night dead­line fast ap­proach­ing.

Coun­tries that do not meet the dead­line will have to take part as or­di­nary mem­bers.

The sign­ing of AIIB char­ters will be com­pleted by the end of June, and the bank’s of­fi­cial op­er­a­tions will begin by the end of the year.

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