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Former VP expresses Taiwan's wish to join AIIB in meeting with Xi

Former VP expresses Taiwan's wish to join AIIB in meeting with Xi

Boao, China, March 28 (CNA) Former Vice President Vincent Siew (???) expressed Taiwan's intent to participate in regional economic integration and join the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) during a brief meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) on Saturday. Siew, the head of Taiwan's delegation at the Boao Forum as honorary chairman of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, met Xi for about five minutes prior to the opening of the forum in Hainan province. He later attended a luncheon given by Xi in honor of leaders attending the forum. Defending the length of the meeting, which had been previewed as a 30-minute encounter, foundation CEO Chen Der-sheng (???) said Xi's time with each delegation was limited because of the many leaders attending the forum. Taiwan followed the arrangements of the host, and what is important is not the length of the encounter but trust. China responded to Taiwan's interest in membership in the AIIB by saying it was a possibility. Zhang Zhijun (???), head of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council who was present when Siew met Xi, said that Taiwan "certainly has the chance" to join the AIIB but added that China had yet to receive a formal request. As to what name Taiwan might use to join the AIIB, Zhang said, "we are willing to listen to Taiwan's views in an appropriate way and channel." In a statement release later Saturday, the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation said the government's policy goal is to join regional economic blocs still under negotiation such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The foundation also sees the development of the AIIB and China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative in a positive light as they will help Taiwan become more integrated into the region, tap world markets and promote deeper cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, the statement said. "One Belt" is short for the "Silk Road Economic Belt," which will link China with Europe through Central and Western Asia. The "One Road," short for "21st Century Maritime Silk Road," represents a maritime route through the Strait of Malacca to India, the Middle East and East Africa. Siew was scheduled to leave the forum for Singapore on Saturday evening to attend Sunday's state funeral for Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of the city state. (By Eva Feng and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-17 06:57 GMT+08:00