Bid as regular AIIB member will not be blocked: Mao
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.