In a significant development, the Biden Administration has invited Taiwan to its “Summit for Democracy” scheduled to take place next month.
The summit, the first-of-its-kind gathering of democracies, marks a test of US President Joe Biden’s assertion that he would return the United States to global leadership in the face of growing global influence from authoritarian regimes including China and Russia.
The “Summit for Democracy” will see the participation of 110 countries, which are on the State Department’s invitation list for the virtual event scheduled for December 9 and 10; the summit is aimed at stopping the backslide of democracies and the erosion of human rights and freedoms in the world.
Washington’s invitation to Taiwan comes at a time when Beijing is trying to apply pressure on countries to downgrade or sever relations with the country, on which it has laid territorial claims. A belligerent China has made territorial claims with all its neighbours including with Russia’s Vladivostok, with which it does not even share a land border.
Taiwan has made it lucidly clear that it does not share Beijing’s stand or point of view.
There have been sharp differences over Taiwan during a virtual meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Biden has reiterated long-standing U.S. support for Taiwan and “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said the White House.
Notable absentees in the summit include Egypt and Turkey, the latter a NATO member. Egypt is also allied to the US. Representation from the Middle East is also slim with Israel and Iraq representing the region.
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