China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated today that Taiwan may not be admitted as a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), saying that China wanted to avoid any perception of two Chinas or one China and one Taiwan.
Taiwan had submitted a last-minute application to join the AIIB as a founding member yesterday.
The problem, as mainland China sees it, is the name under which Taiwan would be listed as a member of the AIIB. As the AIIB is led by China, it is setting the rules for membership, while Taiwanese officials hinted at setting conditions to join the bank.
China’s Taiwan Affairs office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said, “[W]e welcome Taiwan’s participation with an appropriate name.” That could mean that it would require Taiwan to be listed as Chinese Taipei.
Last night, Taiwanese citizens attempted to occupy the Presidential Office Building in protest of the application to join the AIIB. Security and police prevented the group from entering the building. Some of the protesters were arrested.
42 countries have applied to join the AIIB. Australia, Denmark, the UK, France, and Germany applied to join the bank, while Japan and Canada decided against applying.