The first of its kind is a test of President Joe Biden’s claim, announced in his first foreign policy speech in office in February, that he would bring the United States back to the global leadership to meet authoritarian forces led by China and Russia.
There are 110 participants on the Foreign Ministry’s invitation list to the virtual event on 9 and 10 December, which aims to help stop democratic backwardness and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide. The list does not include China or Russia.
On Wednesday, China’s Office of Taiwan Affairs called the inclusion of Taiwan a “mistake,” saying Beijing opposed “any official interaction between the United States and China’s Taiwan region.”
“This position is clear and consistent. We urge the United States to adhere to the ‘one China’ principle and the three common communiqués,” Zhu Fenglian, a spokesman for the office, said at a news conference.
China’s ruling Communist Party regards autonomous democracy as part of its territory, though it has never ruled it.
The bid’s invitation to Taiwan comes as China has increased pressure on countries to downgrade or sever ties with the island, which is considered by Beijing not to be entitled to a state’s jewelry.
Autonomous Taiwan says Beijing has no right to speak for it.
While Biden reiterated long-standing US support for the “One China” policy, under which it officially recognizes Beijing instead of Taipei, he also said he “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. . ” said the White House.
Xi said those in Taiwan seeking independence and their supporters in the United States were “playing with fire,” according to the Xinhua State News Agency.
Rights groups question whether Biden’s Democracy Summit can push the invited world leaders, some accused of harboring authoritarian tendencies, to take meaningful action.
The Foreign Ministry’s list shows that 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 threatened.
In Asia, some US allies like Japan and South Korea were invited, while others like Thailand and Vietnam were not. Other notable absentees were the US ally Egypt and NATO member Turkey. The representation from the Middle East will be thin, with Israel and Iraq the only two countries invited.
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