US invites Taiwan to December summit, ticking off China

Washington DC - The US government has invited Taiwan to a so-called "Summit for Democracy" being held in December, despite tense relations with China.

US and Taiwanese flags seen waving in Chinatown, San Francisco.
US and Taiwanese flags seen waving in Chinatown, San Francisco.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The US State Department on Tuesday published a list of more than 100 participating countries, including Taiwan. China and Russia are not on the list.

The summit is intended to "set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action," according to the official website.

Taiwan’s US diplomatic envoy Bi-khim Hsiao and the Digital Minister Audrey Tang will attend the summit on December 9 and 10.

Taiwan presidential spokesperson Xavier Chang on Wednesday thanked US President Joe Biden and the US government for the invitation.

Hsiao and Tang said they will demonstrate Taiwan’s firm determination to defend democracy and share its experience in enhancing governance through technology.

In Beijing, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, called for the White House to adhere to Beijing’s one-China principle, saying China is firmly opposed to the invitation.

Zhao warned the US that "playing with fire with Taiwan independence forces will only end up getting itself burnt."

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the self-governing democratic island part of its territory.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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