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President stresses importance of proper title in Taiwan's AIIB bid

President stresses importance of proper title in Taiwan's AIIB bid

Taipei, July 3 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (???) reiterated on Friday that the name Taiwan can use to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is at the heart of whether it will participate in the financial institution or not. "The name used to join is very, very critical, and the mainland knows that," Ma said in an interview on the program CTS News Square aired Friday. "If we cannot use 'Chinese Taipei' to join, then we would prefer not to participate," the president said, referring to the name Taiwan used to participate in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1991. The recently unveiled AIIB charter said that members of the World Bank or Asian Development Bank (ADB) were eligible to join the AIIB, which leaves the door open to Taiwan because it is a member of the ADB. But the problem, the president said, is that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is not willing to use the name "Taipei, China" it has been stuck with at the Asian Development Bank. Taiwan cannot accept that name and has made its stance clear to Beijing, Ma said. Though the AIIB charter has been finalized, there remain certain procedures before the bank accepts applications for new members early next year, Ma said, so the final phase of the process is likely to come then. Also during the interview, Ma said he has not ruled out the possibility of visiting Taiping Island, the biggest Taiwan-controlled island in the contested South China Sea. With an area of 0.49 square kilometers, Taiping, also known as Itu Aba, is the largest natural land mass in the Spratlys, which lie about 1,600 kilometers southwest of Taiwan in the South China Sea. The South China Sea region, thought to be rich in oil deposits and marine biodiversity, is claimed either entirely or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Amid simmering tensions in the region, Ma proposed a South China Sea Peace Initiative in May, calling on the parties concerned to put aside their differences and jointly develop the resources in the area. Tensions in the region have risen in recent months as China has been unilaterally reclaiming land in the South China Sea to establish military facilities. (By Kelvin Huang and Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-26 02:38 GMT+08:00