Biden administration invites Taiwan to its Summit for Democracy

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has invited Taiwan to its “Summit for Democracy” next month, according to a list of participants published Tuesday, a move that angered China, which wants the democratically governed island to be part of its territory. sees as.

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The gathering, the first of its kind, is a test of President Joe Biden’s claim, announced in his first foreign policy address to office in February, that he would return the United States to global leadership to confront authoritarian forces led by China and Russia. . ,

There are 110 participants on the State Department’s invitation list for the virtual event on December 9 and 10, which aims to help prevent democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms around the world. The list does not include China or Russia.


Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the government would be represented by Digital Minister Audrey Tang and Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington Hsiao Bi-khim.

“Our country’s invitation to participate in the ‘Summit of Democracy’ is an affirmation of Taiwan’s efforts to promote the values ​​of democracy and human rights over the years,” the ministry said.

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China’s foreign ministry said it “strongly opposes” the invitation.

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing, “The US action only goes to show that democracy is not capable of pursuing its geopolitical objectives, oppressing other countries, dividing the world and serving its own interests.” There’s just a cover and a tool for it.”

The invitation to Taiwan comes as China has increased pressure on countries to downgrade or break ties with the island, which is considered by Beijing to have no authority over a state net.

Self-ruling Taiwan says Beijing has no right to speak for it.

Sharp differences persisted over Taiwan during a virtual meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month.

While Biden reiterated long-standing US support for a “One China” policy, under which he officially recognizes Beijing instead of Taipei, he also said he would “change the status quo or seek peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.” Strongly oppose the unilateral efforts to undermine it.” The White House said.

Xi said those who want independence in Taiwan and his supporters in the United States are “playing with fire”, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

Rights groups question whether Biden’s Summit for Democracy can inspire world leaders who have been invited, some accused of harboring authoritarian tendencies, to take meaningful action.

The State Department list suggests the event will bring together mature democracies such as France and Sweden, but also countries such as the Philippines, India and Poland, where activists say democracy is under threat.

In Asia, some US allies such as Japan and South Korea were invited, while others such as Thailand and Vietnam were not. Other notable absentees were US ally Egypt and NATO member Turkey. Representation from the Middle East will be slim, with Israel and Iraq being the only two countries invited.

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