Joe Biden has invited Taiwan to a virtual summit on democracy alongside more than 100 countries — a move that sparked indignation from authoritarian China, which is not on the list.
Taiwan thanked Biden for the invitation and said the gathering would be a rare opportunity for the self-ruled democracy to burnish its credentials on the world stage.
“Through this summit, Taiwan can share its democratic success story,” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang told reporters.
China said it “firmly opposed” the inclusion of an island it regards as “an inalienable part of Chinese territory”. Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory to be re-taken one day, by force if necessary.
The global conference was a campaign pledge by the US president, who has placed the struggle between democracies and “autocratic governments” at the heart of his foreign policy.
The “Summit for Democracy” will take place online on December 9 and 10 ahead of an in-person meeting at its second edition next year.
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