The Biden administration has invited Taiwan to its “Summit for Democracy” scheduled to be held next month, a move that infuriated China, which views the democratically governed island as its territory.
The first-of-its-kind gathering was announced in the first foreign policy address of President Joe Biden in February, when he stated that he would return the United States to global leadership to face down authoritarian forces led by China and Russia.
China and Russia have been excluded from the 110 participant list on the State Department’s website for the virtual event on 09 and 10 December, which aims to help stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the Government would be represented by Digital Minister Audrey Tang and Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador in Washington.
“Our country’s invitation to participate in the ‘Summit for Democracy’ is an affirmation of Taiwan’s efforts to promote the values of democracy and human rights over the years,” the ministry added.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it was “firmly opposed” to the invite.
“U.S. actions only go to show democracy is just a cover and a tool for it to advance its geopolitical objectives, oppress other countries, divide the world and serve its own interests,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing.
Meanwhile, several other countries, including Sri Lanka have not been invited while India, Pakistan, Nepal and Seychelles have been invited to the summit.