Taiwan is among the 110 delegations invited to President Biden’s “Summit for Democracy” next month, according to a list released by the State Department on Tuesday night.
Why it matters: Taiwan’s inclusion is sure to infuriate the Chinese government, which views the self-governing island as a breakaway territory and opposes any attempts to legitimize it on the international stage.
- Biden has repeatedly expressed his ironclad commitment to helping Taiwan defend itself from a potential Chinese invasion.
- He has at times gone further than the official U.S. government position on a potential war over Taiwan, only to have the White House press office clarify that the policy has not changed.
The big picture: The invitation list for Biden’s summit, which will be held Dec. 9-10, underscores the messy nature of 21st-century democracy and U.S. relations with certain allies and partners.
- Hungary, whose far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is a staunch proponent of “illiberal democracy,” is the only member of the European Union not invited to the summit.
- NATO ally Turkey was also not invited, amid President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian antics and drift toward Russia.
- The Biden administration did, however, invite Poland, India and the Philippines, which have also experienced democratic backsliding over the past several years.
Details: The summit is expected to focus on three principle themes — “defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights,” according to the State Department.
- In addition to world leaders, Biden will convene members of civil society and the private sector for an array of events focused on “designing concrete commitments and deliverables for the summit.”
- In approximately one year, Biden will host a second summit — this time in-person — to “take stock of the progress made and forge a common path ahead.”