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Officials: AIIB membership for Taiwan needs more discussion

Officials: AIIB membership for Taiwan needs more discussion

The Minister of Finance and the chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) told legislators Thursday that they are open to the idea of Taiwan joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) but there are still many aspects of such a move that need to be discussed and decided before taking formal action. Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford and FSC Chairman Cheng Ming-tsung both expressed positive attitudes toward taking part in the AIIB but declined to make a firm commitment at this point.

The deadline for applying for membership in the bank is approaching quickly, with organizers saying that signing up for the first wave of membership will conclude on March 31. A total of 35 countries from Asia, the Middle East and Europe have so far said they want to join the group. Funding for the bank was originally set at US$50 billion but has been increased to US$100 billion. Chang and Cheng both noted that the size of the fund and the growing number of applicants both represent excellent opportunities for people interested in the Asian market.

Chang noted that there are established procedures that Taiwan can follow in applying to participate in international organizations. He said that as long as officials act in accordance with way things have been done in the past, joining AIIB should not be a problem for the island.

Former Vice President Vincent Siew was scheduled to leave later in the day for Hainan Island to attend the Boao Forum. AIIB is expected to be one of the hot topics in the forum, and Siew should be discussing the pros and cons for Taiwan in joining the group with participants in the event.

Cheng told legislators that the FSC is in favor of joining the bank, but this is a strategic matter that the commission cannot make on its own. He said it will be necessary to confer with the Mainland Affairs Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on what conditions Taiwan would have to meet, under what name it should apply for membership and other details. Vincent Siew should have many things to report when he returns from the Boao Forum.
Asked whether it was too late to be a founding member of the bank, Cheng played down the urgency of being in the first wave. He stressed that relevant ministries and departments in the government will be assessing the matter to confirm that membership would be to Taiwan’s advantage before making a decision on whether to apply.

Updated : 2021-09-26 15:45 GMT+08:00