China Accuses US of “Mistake” After Biden Invites Taiwan to Democracy Summit

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The Chinese government accused Joe Biden of “a mistake” by inviting Taiwan to participate in a democracy summit alongside 109 other democratic governments.

Taiwan was on the list of attendees for next month’s Democracy Summit, released by the State Department on Tuesday. Taiwan is a democracy and self-government, but Beijing claims it is a province of China and has accused its government of separatism.

The inaugural rally is seen as a test of Biden’s promise to return the United States to a position asserting global leadership to challenge authoritarian forces led by China and Russia. Neither is included in the virtual summit, scheduled for December 9-10.

Chinese Taiwan Affairs Bureau spokesperson Zhu Fenglian on Wednesday said the inclusion of Taiwan was a “mistake” and Beijing objected to “any official interaction between the United States and the Chinese region of China. Taiwan ”.

“This position is clear and consistent. We urge the United States to stick to the “one China” principle and the three joint communiques, ”she said.

The United States’ one-China policy recognizes that Beijing claims Taiwan as a province, but does not say that it recognizes that claim.

Since taking office, Biden and the White House have reiterated the United States’ long-standing support for their “one China” policy, which officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, but also said the United States “s ‘strongly oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine the peace. and stability across the Taiwan Strait ”.

A spokesperson for the Taiwanese presidential office thanked Biden for the summit invitation and said they would be “a force for good in international society.”

“Taiwan will firmly cooperate with like-minded countries to protect universal values ​​such as freedom, democracy and human rights; and also safeguard regional peace, stability and development, ”said spokesman Xavier Chang.

At a virtual summit with Biden last week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said Beijing would have “no alternative but to take drastic action” if their “red lines” were crossed. In August, the Chinese state-owned media tabloid Global Times warned against inviting Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to the summit and said the United States should use the Apec model, presumably by referring to Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei”.

The editorial said not to do so would constitute a “serious escalation” that would not be tolerated by Beijing.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund in the United States, said Chinese experts have been informed that Taiwan will be invited and the main question is who will represent Taiwan.

“I’m really not sure the end result for Beijing is just that Tsai is not allowed to participate,” Glaser said. “But she won’t be invited, so maybe they can tell their domestic audience that the United States has backed down in the face of Chinese pressure. “

The event will bring together democracies like France and Sweden but also countries like the Philippines, India and Poland, where activists say democracy is under threat.

The announcement came shortly after the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance released a report claiming that the United States “has also been itself the victim of authoritarian tendencies and has been knocked down a significant number of steps on the democratic ladder, ”Bloomberg reported.

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