Biden administration invites Taiwan to democracy summit – .

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Biden administration invites Taiwan to democracy summit – .


WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (Reuters) – The Biden administration has invited Taiwan to its “Democracy Summit” next month, according to a list of attendees released on Tuesday, a move likely to anger China, which considers the island democratically governed as its territory.

This one-of-a-kind rally is a test of President Joe Biden’s assertion, announced in his first ruling foreign policy speech in February, that he would return the United States to world leadership to face authoritarian forces led by China and Russia. .

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

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

The invitation to Taiwan comes as China has stepped up pressure on countries to degrade or sever relations with the island, which Beijing sees as having no right to state traps. Read more

Taiwan, an autonomous country, says Beijing is prohibited from speaking on its behalf.

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

While Biden reiterated the United States’ long-standing support for the “One China” policy under which it officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, he also said he “strongly opposes unilateral efforts aimed at to change the status quo or to undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait ”. said the White House.

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

Rights groups wonder if the Biden Democracy Summit can push guest world leaders, some accused of having authoritarian leanings, to take meaningful action.

The State Department’s list shows that the event will bring together mature democracies like France and Sweden, but also countries like the Philippines, India and Poland, where activists say democracy is under threat.

In Asia, some allies of the United States like Japan and South Korea were invited, while others like Thailand and Vietnam were not. Other notable absentees were the allies of the United States, 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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Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Peter Cooney and Michael Perry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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