Protestors clashed with police outside Taipei’s Presidential Office yesterday evening after the government unilaterally announced that Taiwan would join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) under the auspices of the “One China” policy.
According to The Diplomat, Beijing had said it would welcome Taiwan to the bank, which a number of Western countries have recently scrambled to join, as long as it applied in accordance with the “one China” principle. Last night Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council faxed its letter of intent to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO).
Critics say that by applying through TAO rather than via the usual diplomatic channels used to join international organisations, the Taiwanese government is conceding to China that Taiwan is indeed a renegade province, rather than a de facto independent country.
Upon hearing the news, around 30 members of the Black Island Youth Front, one of the organisations taking part in last year’s Sunflower Movement, held a protest outside the Presidential Office in Taipei. Some were reportedly taken away by police.
— Ketty W. Chen (@HelloKetty1998) March 31, 2015
Taiwan is the latest US ally to be tempted by the China-backed AIIB, which the US fears will undercut the IMF and World bank, increasing China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Previously on Shanghaiist:
Britain applies to join China-backed Asia bank, US is furious
More European countries sign up to China-backed Asia bank, US looks foolish
By Dominic Jackson
[Images via @HelloKetty1998]