‘Sovereignty’ be­hind fail­ure to join AIIB: MAC

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Tai­wan’s orig­i­nal bid to join the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank ( AIIB, ) was re­jected on the grounds that main­land China does not view it as a sovereign na­tion, Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil (MAC) chief An­drew Hsia ( ) re­vealed while brief­ing leg­is­la­tors yes­ter­day. Mem­bers of the in­vited min­istries in­clud­ing the MAC, the Min­istry of Fi­nance and the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs were sharply crit­i­cized by leg­is­la­tors of the Demo­cratic Progress Party ( DPP) cau­cus at a meet­ing of the Leg­isla­tive Yuan’s In­ter­nal Af­fairs com­mit­tee, which was seek­ing to as­cer­tain the rea­sons be­hind Tai­wan’s failed bid to join the AIIB as a found­ing mem­ber.

“You and I are very clear on the rea­son,” Hsia said in re­ply to DPP Leg­is­la­tor Chen Chi-mai ( ) on why the coun­try’s last-minute at­tempt to join the bank ul­ti­mately failed. “I don’t see any rea­son for me to jump out and say this,” he added, un­til pressed fur­ther by DPP leg­is­la­tors to ad­dress the is­sue. Hsia ad­mit­ted in an­swer­ing DPP leg­is­la­tor Chen Yi-chieh (

) that “po­lit­i­cal considerations and not eco­nomic considerations” were at hand in China’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.

The ses­sion was in­ter­rupted briefly when tremors of the earth­quake that struck the eastern coast of the is­land yes­ter­day morn­ing were also felt in the cap­i­tal. DPP Leg­is­la­tor Tuan Yikang ( ) quipped that the tremors were anal­o­gous to the AIIB, say­ing that one could feel the ef­fects with­out be­ing aware of the cause.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s be­cause of the move­ment of tec­tonic plates,” Hsia an­swered, re­fer­ring to the earth­quake.

DPP law­mak­ers blasted the writ­ten brief­ings pro­vided by the in­vited min­istries, ac­cus­ing them of dodg­ing the rea­son­ing be­hind Tai­wan’s re­jected AIIB bid. Tuan also ac­cused the MAC of mak­ing a 180-de­gree pol­icy U-turn from March 30 to March 31, im­ply­ing that the bid for membership sta­tus was un­ex­pected. Hsia flatly de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions.

Tai­wan No­ti­fied of March AIIB Bid Fail­ure Via Tele­phone: MAC

Dur­ing

Hsia’s ex­change with Chen, it was re­vealed that main­land China’s Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice ( TAO, ) no­ti­fied the MAC via tele­phone on the evening of April 12 that “neg­a­tive news” was to be an­nounced pub­licly the fol­low­ing day. Hsia stated that regular con­tact be­tween the MAC and TAO took place via tele­phone, and that no writ­ten record of Tai­wan’s membership re­jec­tion was sent.

ROC-PRC Sum­mit Planned For

First Half of 2015

Briefly ad­dress­ing ques­tions from the me­dia be­fore the ses- sion, Hsia said that a planned meet­ing be­tween the Tai­wan MAC and the main­land TAO at Kin­men was still be­ing planned for the first half of the year. He said it was likely that the meet­ing would oc­cur af­ter the Cross-Strait Eco­nomic, Trade and Cul­ture Fo­rum ( ) be­tween the R.O.C.’s Kuom­intang and the PRC’s Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party, sched­uled for May 3.

An ear­lier meet­ing be­tween the two gov­ern­ment bod­ies was post­poned af­ter main­land China es­tab­lished the M503 flight route uni­lat­er­ally.

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