In the latest dent in US-China relations, Beijing has accused Washington of “a mistake” by inviting Taiwan to participate in a democracy summit along with 109 other democratic governments for a summit. China’s response came after Taiwan was included in the list of participants for the upcoming Summit for Democracy next month, which was published Tuesday by the US State Department. Although Taiwan has never been ruled by China, it has gone on to claim the democratic self-ruled island as its own “demolished province.”
The inaugural meeting by the United States is reportedly seen as a test of US President Joe Biden’s commitment to return the country to leadership on the global stage against authoritarian forces such as China and Russia. It is pertinent to note that although Taiwan is included in the list of more than 100 countries, China and Russia have been excluded from the summit, which will take place from December 9 to 10.
In response to the US action, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday the inclusion of the island was a “mistake,” according to The Global Times. She also reportedly said Beijing is “resolutely opposed to official interaction between the island and the US.” In a press conference, Zhu also reportedly called on the US to adhere to the “one China” principle and the joint communiqué of three.
Biden’s invitation to Taiwan came as China significantly increased pressure on nations to reduce the independent relations the island is building with the rest of the world. While China opposes building a separate relationship with Taiwan, the self-governing island has said Beijing has nothing to say about it.
Taiwan thanks the Biden administration
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised US President Joe Biden’s decision to include Taiwan and expressed its gratitude. It also said that the representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwanese Ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao and Digital Minister Audrey Tang will fly to the United States at the inaugural event of the global armed forces “for good”. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented, “Together we are stronger.” However, Chinese President Xi Jinping has previously said that those in Taiwan seeking independence and such supporters in the US were “playing with fire,” Xinhua reported.