Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

President Joe Biden’s ‘s administration to invite Taiwan to a “Summit for Democracy” next month has angered China – mainly because it creates a perception that the sovereign Asian island is not under Beijing’s rule.

(photo courtesy: http://www.news.yahoo.com)

More than 100 countries are scheduled to take part in the virtual democracy summit, which is scheduled for Dec. 9 and 10. The State Department issued a list of participants for the first-of-its-kind event late on Tuesday — and Taiwan’s on it.

The summit is part of Biden’s foreign policy agenda, which includes efforts to reassert the United States as a leader on the global stage. Biden said in a foreign policy speech in February that “democracy is back at the center” of U.S. foreign policy.

The United States has long adopted the “One China” policy – which means it formally recognizes mainland China as the legitimate “China,” although Taiwan also claims the name. Most countries of the world, including the United States, do not formally recognize Taiwan as a nation.

Beijing, on the other hand, claims ownership over the island and routinely cracks down on anything that questions that control. China responded with anger last week when Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in the Baltic nation.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said that digital minister Audrey Tang and diplomat Hsiao Bi-Khim will participate in the U.S.-led summit.

“[Taiwan will] happily share with all countries Taiwan’s democratic success story,” the ministry said.

The inclusion of Taiwan on the State Department’s event list has drawn a strong rebuke from China.

“It’s a mistake,” Zhu Fenglian, spokeswoman for Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office, told the state-run Global Times.

“We firmly oppose any form of official interaction between the U.S. and the island, which is a clear and consistent stance,” she added.

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