Acer founder calls for optimism on Taiwan’s bid to join China’s AIIB
Major Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc. ( ) founder Stan Shih ( ) said Monday that the Republic of China (R.O.C.) should think positively about a new regional development bank proposed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), despite having had its bid to become a founding member rejected.
“Taiwan does not need to think badly of itself,” Shih told a press briefing on an innovation incubator project organized by the National Culture and Arts Foundation, of which he serves as chairman.
Taiwan should be “realistic” about its failure to become a founding member of the PRC-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ( AIIB) due to concerns over the title it would use to join, given that the other founding members are accepted as sovereign nations rather than as economies, Shih pointed out. The PRC does not recognize R.O.C. sovereignty.
But the 70-year-old still urged Taiwan to seek membership in the AIIB in order that it can contribute to Asia’s development.
“As a member of the global community, Taiwan certainly needs to do its duty,” Shih said, citing the country’s solid development in the semiconductor and PC industries.
The Taiwan Affairs Office under China’s State Council confirmed earlier in the day that Taiwan’s application to become a founding member of the AIIB had been rejected by the bank’s Multilateral Interim Secretariat.
Following the rejection, the government said it will seek to become an ordinary member of the AIIB.
On the name to be used by Taiwan in the AIIB, the government said its bottom line on the issue is that the name “Chinese Taipei” must be used, with nothing else acceptable.
China views Taiwan as part of its territory and has repeatedly blocked self-governed Taiwan’s attempts to take part in international organizations under the name of either “Taiwan” or its official name, “Republic of China.”
In recent years, Taiwan has used “Chinese Taipei” to participate in international events such as the Olympic Games and the World Health Assembly.
By applying to become an AIIB member, Taiwan wants to avoid losing out on regional economic activities. The country is also seeking to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ( RCEP), two proposed trade blocs.
Initiated by China, the AIIB is regarded by some as a potential rival to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, all of which are institutions dominated by developed countries such as the United States.