Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said yesterday that Taiwan would no longer apply to participate in the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) because the nation is not being treated with dignity and equality.
“The matter will be left for the new administration to decide,” Chang said in a telephone interview with reporters, referring to the administration of president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), which is to take office on May 20.
Chang said the ministry sent a letter to the Interim Secretariat for Establishing the AIIB in March last year expressing Taiwan’s wish to become a founding member of the bank, but the bid was rejected.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) later said several times that China welcomed Taiwan’s participation in the AIIB under an appropriate name, but he never specified what Beijing considered “appropriate.”
After the AIIB was formally inaugurated in January, Chang sent a congratulatory message to AIIB president Jin Liqun (金立群) and asked whether Taiwan needed to apply again, but he received no response.
Since Tsai was elected on Jan. 16, Jin has repeatedly described Taiwan’s AIIB bid as a “family matter” and has insisted that Taiwan is not a sovereign state, so should follow the Hong Kong model and ask the Chinese Ministry of Finance to apply for Taiwan’s membership on its behalf in accordance with the AIIB charter.
“We cannot accept such a model,” Chang said, adding that the ministry would no longer apply for membership because Taiwan cannot join the AIIB under conditions of dignity and equality.
However, this does not mean the “end of the AIIB bid,” which hinges on the attitude of China going forward, he said.
Asked if Jin’s attitude was related to the Democratic Progressive Party winning power in Taiwan, Chang did not comment, but he stressed that Taiwan would not accept participation in the AIIB based on the Hong Kong model.
A Ministry of Finance official yesterday said that Taiwan’s bottom line is to join the AIIB under the name “Chinese Taipei” — under the terms of a bipartisan agreement reached last year — and Jin’s demand that the nation musty apply through the Chinese Ministry of Finance had hurt Taiwan’s dignity.
However, the official also said that if China was willing to let Taiwan apply to join in its capacity as an Asian Development Bank member, then it would be able to discuss the possibility of joining the bank.
“The designation is important. We cannot be denigrated,” the official said.
Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, 中華經濟研究) president Wu Chung-shu (吳中書) said AIIB membership is intended to expand investment channels for local firms, but must not be used to downgrade the nation’s sovereignty.
There is still room for cooperation if the two sides can work out differences over AIIB accession requirements, Wu said.
Richard Watanabe (吳偉臺), financial service leader at PricewaterhoueCoopers Taiwan, said AIIB membership has little bearing on Taiwan, as local firms are not ready for international construction projects.
Additional reporting by Crystal Hsu
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to