China Criticizes U.S. for Inviting Taiwan to Democracy Summit
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What’s the story?
As part of an ongoing effort to increase Taiwan’s involvement in international bodies, the U.S. has invited the nation’s officials to an upcoming summit for democratic governments, prompting outrage by the Chinese Communist Party.
The inaugural Summit for Democracy will be a virtual gathering held on December 9th and 10th with a focus on resisting authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting human rights. Over 100 democratic governments will be invited, although countries like China, Russia, and other authoritarian regimes will be excluded.
Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the U.S. and another government minister are set to attend the summit. Taiwan’s ministry of foreign affairs released a statement expressing gratitude for the invitation to the summit. The statement noted that “Taiwan is a front-line state standing firm in the face of authoritarianism,” and added, “As a force for good in the world, the country is committed to working with like-minded partners and civic groups from home and abroad in related areas of mutual concern”.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the CCP opposes Taiwan’s invitation to the democracy summit and warned the U.S. to stop promoting Taiwan’s autonomy in international venues. Zhao told the media at a briefing in Beijing that, “Playing with the fire of ‘Taiwan independence,’ you will eventually get burned.”
Beyond the rhetorical posturing, China has recently stepped up its campaign of military intimidation against Taiwan by repeatedly flying its military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in a bid to tire Taiwan’s military, which responds to the incursions by scrambling aircraft to intercept and tracking them with surface-to-air missile batteries.