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China has no problem with Taiwan joining AIIB: official (update)

Boao, China, March 29 (CNA) China's top negotiator with Taiwan said Sunday that the mainland does not feel there should be a problem with Taiwan's application for membership in the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Asked whether Taiwan will face any obstacles in joining the AIIB, Chen Deming (???), the president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, said at the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan Province that negotiations will be primarily conducted by China's Ministry of Finance. But Chen said that generally speaking, Zhang Zhijun (???), director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (??) and he did not think Taiwan would have trouble joining the AIIB. In Taiwan, Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (???) and Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (???) told lawmakers earlier this month that they both felt participating in the AIIB might benefit Taiwan's economic and financial development. Perng Fai-nan (???), the governor of Taiwan's central bank, also backed the idea of seeking membership in the AIIB. China proposed establishing the AIIB to finance major infrastructure projects across Asia launched by China and dubbed the "One Belt, One Road" initiative. It is expected to be set up by the end of this year. The AIIB is regarded by some as a potential rival to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), all of which are institutions dominated by developed countries such as the United States. Taiwan, known officially as the Republic of China, often has trouble joining international organizations because of opposition from Beijing, which considers sovereign Taiwan a renegade province. When Taiwan does participate in international organizations, it almost invariably cannot use its official name.
Asked whether Taiwan should join the AIIB using the title "Chinese Taipei," which is Taiwan's name in such international bodies as the International Olympic Committee, Chen replied that he has not yet considered the problem but said that the two sides could discuss related issues based on past practices. Wang also said Taiwan's application to join the AIIB should be dealt with in accordance with international practices. A recent inter-ministerial meeting held by Taiwan's government has agreed on several principles for Taiwan's participation in the AIIB, including the capacity in which it should join and its relationships with other members once it becomes part of the organization, an Executive Yuan official familiar with the matter said Sunday. A senior Mainland Affairs Council official was of the opinion that if Taiwan could join the AIIB in an appropriate capacity with the same rights and duties as other members, then it would be a good thing for Taiwan.
It would create more business opportunites from China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative for Taiwanese businesses operating in China, the official said. Taiwan has yet to receive, however, an invitation from China to join the AIIB, the official said. Taiwan currently competes as "Chinese Taipei" at the Olympic Games, and it joined the World Trade Organization under the name of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. (By Eva Feng and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-09-23 01:40 GMT+08:00