‘Tai­wan, China’ un­ac­cept­able con­di­tion to join AIIB: Lin


Tai­wan will not ac­cept the des­ig­na­tion of “Tai­wan, China” in or­der to be­come a mem­ber of the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB,

), ac­cord­ing to com­ments made by For­eign Min­is­ter David Lin ( ) yes­ter­day at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan. Lin was in­vited along with Cen­tral Bank of the Repub­lic of China Deputy Gover­nor Yang Chin-long ( ), Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wu Tang-chieh ( ) and Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil Deputy Chair­man Lin Chu-chia ( ) to the Leg­isla­tive Yuan’s Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on For­eign Af­fairs and Na­tional De­fense to brief leg­is­la­tors and re­spond to ques­tions on the po­ten­tial im­pacts of join­ing the Bei­jing-led mul­ti­lat­eral body.

Rep­re­sent­ing the Fi­nance Min­istry, Wu re­marked that ap­ply­ing to the bank would al­low Tai­wan the pos­si­bil­ity of mold­ing the in­sti­tu­tion in the be­gin­ning (“only by rais­ing our hands now, will we have the right to speak”).

Name Is­sue Still Un­re­solved

Law­mak­ers from both the rul­ing and op­po­si­tion par­ties voiced con­cerns over what name Tai­wan would use as a mem­ber of the AIIB. Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion lodged by Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Leg­is­la­tor Chen Chi-mai (

) on whether Tai­wan would join as “Tai­wan, China,” the for­eign min­is­ter replied: “(this) is un­ac­cept­able.” Mean­while, Kuom­intang (KMT) leg­is­la­tors ac­cused the DPP of hypocrisy Lai Shyh-bao ( ), ar­gu­ing that the DPP did not protest Tai­wan’s “Taipei,China” des­ig­na­tion in the Asian Devel­op­ment Bank.

March 12 a Turn­ing Point

In his brief­ing and re­sponses to ques­tions about the gov­ern­ment’s re­search into pos­si­ble par­tic­i­pa­tion in the AIIB, Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wu in­di­cated that the United King­dom’s de­ci­sion to join the bank on March 12 was a cru­cial turn­ing point, as it trig­gered other Euro­pean coun­tries such as France, Ger­many and Italy to fol­low suit in the com­ing days. Wu said that the Min­istry of Fi­nance had be­gun ex­plor­ing op­tions and col­lect­ing view­points from other gov­ern­ment min­istries and de­part­ments start­ing mid-Jan­uary.

Lin ac­knowl­edged that ini­tial U.S. con­cerns over Tai­wan’s membership to the AIIB were voiced through the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan, but that the U.S. now re­spects Tai­wan’s de­ci­sion to seek membership. He also ex­pressed op­ti­mism that the par­tic­i­pa­tion of West­ern economies would bring in­ter­na­tional stan­dards that would en­hance the AIIB’s op­er­a­tions.

Eco­nomic Op­por­tu­ni­ties Touted

The cen­tral bank deputy gover- nor in­di­cated that sav­ings of ap­prox­i­mately US$370 bil­lion in the Asia re­gion made the area ripe for in­fras­truc­tural in­vest­ment. He said the AIIB’s cap­i­tal limit would not be able to meet up with the US$800 bil­lion in pro­jected de­mand for in­fra­struc­ture in the re­gion an­nu­ally. Coun­tries with large for­eign re­serves such as Tai­wan could play an im­por­tant role in pro­vid­ing in­vest­ment and dis­perse fi­nan­cial risk.

In­ter-min­is­te­rial Com­mit­tee to

be Formed

Wu said that an in­ter-min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee made up of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, the Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil, the cen­tral bank, the Fi­nan­cial Su­per­vi­sory Com­mis­sion ( ) would be cre­ated and di­rected by the Min­istry of Fi­nance to han­dle mat­ters per­tain­ing to the AIIB. Lin re­it­er­ated that the process would be sub­ject to leg­isla­tive over­sight.

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