21:41 GMT +306 December 2019
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    Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) takes photos with guests of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 24, 2014.

    China Blocks Taiwan's Bid to Join AIIB as Founding Member

    © AFP 2019 / Takaki Yajima /POOL
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    China has said "no" to Taiwan’s bid to become a founding member of the Beijing-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

    China has rejected Taiwan’s bid to become a founding member of the Beijing-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, but said that Taiwan may join the bank as an ordinary member in the future, sources said.

    According to Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office, China is ready to "gather more opinions" and ultimately find an "appropriate name" for Taiwan joining the bank.

    China sees Taiwan, the self-ruled island of 23 million people as a renegade province; it considers Taiwan part of its territory and has repeatedly pledged to take it back, with the use of force being mulled as an option.

    As for Taiwan, it competes in international sporting events as "Chinese Taipei" and earlier entered the World Trade Organization as the "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu."

    "Chinese Taipei" is the name Taiwan wants to use when joining the AIIB.

    Commenting on Beijing's rejection, Taiwan’s cabinet spokesman Sun Li-chyun said that the country's premier "has already asked relevant government agencies to take the necessary measures." He added that the final decision is expected later this week.

    A whole array of countries, including the United States, does not recognize Taiwan because of China's pressure.

    Despite the fact that relations between China and Taiwan have been chilly since 1949, the past ten years have seen a thaw in bilateral ties and the signing of at least 21 trade agreements.

    Formed in October 2014, the AIIB is seen by some as a rival for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

    Almost all Asian countries and most major countries outside Asia have already joined the AIIB, except the US, Japan and Canada.

    Topic:
    China's World Bank: Opportunity or Threat? (57)

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    bid, member, province, name, territory, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China, Taiwan
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