Cabinet regrets AIIB rejection of Taiwan as founding member

Cabinet regrets AIIB rejection of Taiwan as founding member
China's President Xi posing with guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony in Beijing.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Cabinet yesterday expressed its regret through spokesman Sun Lih-chyun that Taiwan was not able to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member, and stated that Taiwan should be joining the organisation with respect and dignity.

"It is regrettable that Taiwan is not able to join the AIIB as one of the founding members, falling short of the people's expectations. In the following weeks, Taiwan will be discussing an acceptable way to join the AIIB with member countries that are in an amicable relationship with Taiwan," said Sun.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) confirmed yesterday that Taiwan was unable to become one of the AIIB's original members, which the Executive Yuan said that it had received news of late Sunday night.

After being notified of the news, Premier Mao Chi-kuo has arranged for a Cabinet-Legislature meeting, and is grateful that Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng once again invited all party caucuses to the meeting, said Sun. "Both the executive and legislative departments feel that Taiwan should be a member of the AIIB, yet only if its participation is fair and equal," said Sun.

As for the name Taiwan will be entering under, Sun said that the Cabinet and the Legislative Yuan both agreed that "Chinese Taipei" will be the bottom line; if the AIIB does not recognise the name, then Taiwan will not be joining, said Sun.

"Taiwan sent out its application to join the AIIB at the end of March in order to buy time, hence the regret (about not becoming a founding member)," said Sun. "But the AIIB authority has advised for those who were not chosen as original members to join in the future, and will be looking out for Taiwan in the establishment of regulations ... China said it will do its best as well," said Sun.

"Based on what we have heard, the Cabinet will be keeping an eye on the AIIB's activities in the future, and will report the most recent news to the Legislative Yuan and the people," said Sun.

Taiwan Ensured Seat with Application: Cabinet

The choice of whether or not Taiwan will join the AIIB will be based on the country's biggest advantages, and the Legislature will be on the watch to see if Taiwan's rights are eroded in the procedure, said Sun.

Mao led ranking officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance to the Legislature yesterday for a meeting with Speaker Wang.

In a statement released by the Executive Yuan, Mao pointed out that although Taiwan was not granted the position of an original AIIB member, the organisation's remark that "the decision would not affect Taiwan's future participation in the AIIB" indicated that the strategy of "raising one's hand first for the right to talk" is effective. "They are considering firsthand Taiwan's application to join," the press release stated.

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