Bid as regular AIIB mem­ber will not be blocked: Mao

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Pre­mier Mao Chi-kuo ( ) said yes­ter­day that or­ga­niz­ers of the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB, ) would not block Tai­wan’s en­try as a regular mem­ber. The pre­mier also de­fended Tai­wan’s bid to join the AIIB as a regular mem­ber de­spite its in­abil­ity to be­come a found­ing mem­ber of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, ac­cord­ing to re­ports on Mon­day.

“The right to choose is still in our hands,” said Mao. He made the re­marks when brief­ing law­mak­ers at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan yes­ter­day.

Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Leg­is­la­tor Yeh Yi-jin (

) ques­tioned Mao on the rea­sons for Tai­wan’s re­jec­tion to be­come a found­ing mem­ber, to which the pre­mier replied: “At the mo­ment they are un­able to ac­com­mo­date us.”

He also re­it­er­ated the “bot­tom line” of the choice of “Chi­nese Taipei” as the des­ig­na­tion Tai­wan would ac­cept as a mem­ber of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Mao stated that the Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil had al­ready ex­pressed its protest in re­ply to China’s de­ci­sion to bar Tai­wan from be­com­ing a found­ing mem­ber due to its “not be­ing a sovereign na­tion.”

“The R.O.C. is most def­i­nitely an in­de­pen­dent, sovereign na­tion,” Mao em­pha­sized.

While re­spond­ing to Kuom­intang (KMT) Leg­is­la­tor Chi Kuo-tung’s ( ) ques­tions on the bank’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing poli- cies, Mao high­lighted the im­por­tance of in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties af­forded by membership. He cited Tai­wan’s past ex­pe­ri­ence in build­ing mass rapid tran­sit sys­tems, high­ways and elec­tronic toll col­lec­tion as ex­am­ples of what it could of­fer to cen­tral Asian na­tions’ in­fras­truc­tural re­quire­ments.

Re­spond­ing to fur­ther ques­tion­ing from Chi, Mao said the like­li­hood that Tai­wan could se­cure a loan from the AIIB was low.

Ini­tial In­vest­ment may start at

US$200 mil­lion: Mao

While an­swer­ing ques­tions from KMT Leg­is­la­tor Huang Chaoshun ( ) re­gard­ing the es­ti­mated amount Tai­wan would con- trib­ute to the AIIB’s ini­tial cap­i­tal (es­ti­mated at US$10 bil­lion), Mao said that Tai­wan could begin with an in­vest­ment of US$200 mil­lion. He said that unof­fi­cial re­ports of fu­ture cap­i­tal hold­ings of the bank may reach US$100 bil­lion, and that Tai­wan could ad­just the scale of its in­vest­ment in ac­cor­dance to those fig­ures.

Leg­is­la­tors Need to As­cer­tain

Bank’s Ground Rules: Chu

KMT Chair­man and New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu ( ) weighed in on the AIIB is­sue yes­ter­day, re­mind­ing law­mak­ers that in­vest­ment rules of the bank are not yet fi­nal­ized.

Chu was re­spond­ing to spec­u­la­tion from DPP Leg­is­la­tor Huang Wei-cher ( ) that the KMT chair­man had in dis­cus­sions with Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou and Leg­isla­tive Speaker Wang Jin-pyng ( ) sug­gested an ini­tial con­tri­bu­tion of US$2 bil­lion.

In re­sponse, Chu said to “lis­ten to half of what leg­is­la­tors say,” and that the bank de­ter­mines each coun­try’s con­tri­bu­tion based upon their gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP), and not what leg­is­la­tors make out to be a suit­able fig­ure. South Korea, for ex­am­ple, will be es­ti­mated to con­trib­ute US$5.8 bil­lion.

Wang said that nu­mer­ous KMT law­mak­ers had rec­om­mended a range of NT$400-600 bil­lion (ap­prox­i­mately US$13.3-20 bil­lion) as Tai­wan’s ini­tial cap­i­tal in­vest­ment.

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