Biden Administration Invites Taiwan to ‘Summit of Democracy’

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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.

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.

The sharp differences over Taiwan continued during A virtual meeting earlier this month Between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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 US 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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