Taiwan has been invited to the Biden administration’s Democracy Summit
The invitation comes as China has increased pressure on countries to downgrade or cut ties with Taiwan, which Beijing believes has no right to the trappings of statehood.
According to a list of participants published on November 23, the Biden administration has invited Taiwan to its “Summit for Democracy” next month, a decision that is certain to enrage China, which regards the democratically ruled island as its territory. The one-of-a-kind event will put President Joe Biden’s claim, made in his maiden foreign policy address as president in February, that the US would reclaim global leadership to combat authoritarian forces led by China and Russia to the test. On the State Department’s invitation list for the virtual event on December 9 and 10, which aims to help avert democratic backsliding and the degradation of rights and freedoms, there are 110 people.
The invitation comes as China has increased pressure on countries to downgrade or cut ties with Taiwan, which Beijing believes has no right to the trappings of statehood. Taiwan, which is self-governing, claims Beijing has no authority to advocate for it. During a virtual conference between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, sharp divisions over Taiwan remained. While Biden reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing support for the “One China” policy, which recognizes Beijing over Taipei, he also stated that he “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” according to the White House.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, Mr. Xi said people seeking independence in Taiwan and their allies in the United States were “playing with fire.” Rights groups are questioning whether Biden’s Summit for Democracy will be able to compel the world leaders who have been invited, some of whom have been accused of having authoritarian tendencies, to take significant action. According to the State Department’s list, the event will bring together established democracies such as France and Sweden, as well as countries where advocates feel democracy is under threat, such as the Philippines, India, and Poland.
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