‘Sovereignty’ behind failure to join AIIB: MAC
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
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.