China Not Among Invited to Biden’s Virtual ‘Summit for Democracy’

Biden administration has managed to infuriate China by enlisting the democratically governed island of Taiwan, which Beijing views as its territory, among around 110 countries invited to its virtual “Summit for Democracy” in December.

President Biden will host on December 9-10, 2021, the first of two summits aimed at setting forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and tackling through collective action the greatest threats democracies are faced with today.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stressed that Beijing is “firmly opposed” to the invite, accusing Washington of using democracy just as cover and a tool to advance its geopolitical objectives and divide the world to serve only American interests.

The summit will test Biden’s assertion, announced in February in his first foreign policy address in office that the United States will resume global leadership to face down China and Russia-led authoritarian forces.

According to the list posted on the State Department website, the event will be attended by 110 participants, including most of the Western allies, but it does not include China or Russia, Turkey, which is a member of NATO like the US, Hungary, which is led by hardline nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán nor the traditional Arab allies of the US like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar or the UAE.

Israel and Iraq are the only countries of the Middle East that will participate in the online conference, scheduled for 9-10 December.

It comes as a surprise that Brazil is among the invited countries even though its far-right president and a firm supporter of Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, has been criticized as having authoritarian tendencies. The second surprise on the list is Poland, despite its human rights record that creates persistent tension with the EU.

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