Millennium Post

Taiwan can join our bank if it takes a proper name: China

China has rejected Taiwan’s bid to become a founding member of AIIB over concerns that it goes against its one China policy under which it consider Taipei to be a part of it, even as it maintained that the island can join the bank with an “appropriate” identity.

China’s Taiwan affairs authority on Monday confirmed a report by Hong Kong-based China Review News which said that Taiwan had failed to become a founding member of the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in which India and 45 others have joined so far.

However, it said that Taiwan could still become a member in the future if it meets a key naming condition. “Chinese mainland welcomes Taiwan joining the AIIB with an appropriate name,” Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said. Ma said the mainland will consider opinions from all sides so that to properly address the issue of Taiwan’s membership in AIIB. “The related organs will consider Taiwan’s membership when making the constitution for AIIB,” he said. Ever since Taiwan slipped in its application in the last minute before the closure of the March 31 deadline, China has been maintaining that it would be admitted with an “appropriate name”.

Reacting to the blocking of its membership, Charles Chen, spokesman for Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, in a statement said, “Joining AIIB would be good for Taiwan, but Taiwan would rather not attend if we are not treated under the principle of ‘dignity and equality.”

Taiwan, which split from mainland China in 1949 after a long civil war and is still not recognised by China, had issued an letter of intent to join the Beijing-led AIIB, seen by many as a counterweight to Washington-backed World Bank, IMF, and the Japanese-led Asian Development Bank (ADB). Taiwan is not a member of the UN, World Bank or IMF but it has joined some international organisations under different names. The AIIB which will have $50 billion investment aims to provide support to infrastructure projects in Asia.

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