Taiwan wants in on the Beijing-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) amid reservations by mainland officials.
Beijing considers Taiwan as a renegade province and has limited its membership in many regional and international groupings including the World Health Organisation.
The Taipei government applied to join the new bank on Monday, the Financial Times reported Thursday, citing presidential spokesman Charles I-hsin Chen.
The decision came just in time for the March 31 application deadline for countries to be considered founding members.
“Joining the AIIB would help our nation to fit into regional economic integration and enhance the opportunities for our nation to participate in international affairs, as well as boosting international business opportunities and enhancing our odds of joining other international trade groups in the future,” Chen said.
Several European countries have applied to join the AIIB, despite US efforts to dissuade them, since Britain broke ranks with America on the issue earlier in March.
Japan’s ambassador to Beijing said this week that his country would probably sign up to the development bank by June, leaving the US the only large economy on the sidelines.
South Korea and Australia, which along with Japan are key US allies in the region, have also said they would join.
Trade between China and Taiwan is extensive and Taiwanese companies are some of the biggest investors in the mainland.
But Beijing has never given up the threat of invading Taiwan to gain control, even during a period of improved ties under Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and China’s former president Hu Jintao.
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