NT$2.2 bil. in­vest­ment won’t go to waste in AIIB: min­is­ter

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ENRU LIN

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Chang Sheng­ford ( ) reached to put out a prover­bial fire yes­ter­day by say­ing Tai­wan’s NT$2.2 bil­lion in­vest­ment in the China-led Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) won’t go to waste.

In a live in­ter­view that aired on­line late Wed­nes­day, Chang said Tai­wan has to in­vest a min­i­mum of NT$2.2 bil­lion in the AIIB, in or­der for par­tic­i­pa­tion to trans­late to mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“The worst that could hap­pen is that our cap­i­tal turns into wall­pa­per, that is all,” Chang said, in a re­mark that in­flamed ne­ti­zen ire.

At the Leg­isla­tive Yuan’s Fi­nance Com­mit­tee yes­ter­day, Chang said the com­ment was “only a metaphor.”

The NT$2.2 bil­lion will not be­come a wasted in­vest­ment even in the worst-case sce­nario, Chang said.

Like the Asian Devel­op­ment Bank, the AIIB will be struc­tured as an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion with op­er­a­tional sus­tain­abil­ity. Both have high visibility on the global stage and will not col­lapse, he said.

If Tai­wan wishes to exit the AIIB, the cap­i­tal will be re­turned, he con­tin­ued.

On Ap­pro­pri­ate Names

Dur­ing an hour-long in­ter­view the day be­fore, Chang spoke with Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan spokesman Sun Lichyun ( ) about Tai­wan’s bid to be­come a found­ing mem­ber of China’s nascent ven­ture.

China has stated that it wel­comes Tai­wan in the AIIB un­der “an ap­pro­pri­ate name.” In the in­ter­view, the Cabi­net spokesman said Tai­wan also hopes to join un­der an ap­pro­pri­ate name.

“Our re­sponse is that we also hope we join un­der an ap­pro­pri­ate name. When the time comes, we will look at their ap­pro­pri­ate names and our ap­pro­pri­ate names and see how ap­pro­pri­ate we can get to­gether,” he said.

“Per­haps we will be able to reach a point where both par­ties can agree that the name is very ap­pro­pri­ate.”

The fi­nance min­is­ter said it’s im­prob­a­ble that Tai­wan will ac­cept AIIB membership un­der “Taipei, China.”

“That name would most likely un­ac­cept­able (for Tai­wan),” he said.

The Repub­lic of China was al­lowed to re­tain membership in the Asian Devel­op­ment Bank (ADB) as Taipei,China (space de­lib­er­ately omit­ted af­ter comma), af­ter the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China en­tered in 1986.

“Our des­ig­na­tion in the ADB is still un­der protest,” Chang said.

The Leg­isla­tive Yuan has the right of fi­nal de­ci­sion on Tai­wan’s des­ig­na­tion, Sun said.

Not the Ser­vices Pact

In the in­ter­view, Chang also re­sponded to op­po­si­tion party crit­i­cism that the Cabi­net’s pol­icy for­ma­tion over the AIIB is a “black-box op­er­a­tion” — a re­peat of con­tro­ver­sial pro­ce­dures on the Cross-Strait Ser­vices Trade Agree­ment.

“They are very dif­fer­ent. The ser­vices pact was al­ready ne­go­ti­ated and signed be­fore law­mak­ers were asked to ap­prove it. That’s why there was a re­ac­tion,” he said.

“With the AIIB, the rules and reg­u­la­tions have not been formed. We have signed noth­ing. We have only ex­pressed that we are will­ing to par­tic­i­pate.”

Chang also re­sponded to a ques­tion on why his min­istry aimed at sub­mit­ting Tai­wan’s state­ment of in­tent by March 31, Bei­jing’s dead­line for found­ing mem­bers.

“Why did we want to rush to ap­ply to be­come a found­ing mem­ber? It’s be­cause only found­ing mem­bers have the right to work with them to form the rules and reg­u­la­tions and to strive for our rights. As only a regular mem­ber, Tai­wan would need to abide by al­ready es­tab­lished rules and reg­u­la­tions,” Chang said.

Cap­tured from the In­ter­net

This photo taken from Tai­wanese celebrity Janet Lee’s ( ) Face­book page shows pho­tos posted by Lee of her visit to the Long­tan Base in Taoyuan where she can be seen with an AH-64E Apache. The pho­tos in­cluded Lee pos­ing in front of the AH-64E, sit­ting in the cock­pit, and wear­ing the US$2 mil­lion in­te­grated sys­tem hel­met.

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