Taiwan has filed a letter of intent to join an Asian infrastructure development bank led by China, a risky venture as Beijing claims sovereignty over the proudly self-ruled applicant and the two once bitter rivals have tested economic cooperation only over the past seven years. A lot of Taiwanese still fear China will use economic ties to erode their island’s de facto autonomy. Officials in Beijing say they welcome Taiwan’s application to the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, which is due to launch by year’s end with money pooled from at least 27 member nations for total subscribed capital of $50 billion. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s government dismisses public anxiety and says membership in the bank would help the export-driven island economy integrate better into the rest of Asia. The two sides will negotiate through mid-month, Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance estimates.
Scenario One: China approves Taiwan’s full membership under a name that implies neither statehood nor part of China.