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US leaves China fuming after it invites Taiwan to democracy summit

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Calling it a “mistake” and asking Washington not to collude with Taiwan’s “independence” separatists, China slammed the US for inviting the island country to a democracy summit in December.
“China firmly opposes the US invitation to the Taiwan authorities to participate in the so-called Summit for Democracy,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. “Taiwan is “an inalienable part of Chinese territory”, he added.

Zhao added that “…there is only one China in the world, and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and the one-China principle. It is a generally accepted norm of international relations. Apart from being part of China, Taiwan has no other status in international law.”

Reacting to Taiwan being included in the summit, the mainland’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said “it’s a mistake” and reiterated its firm opposition to any formal interaction between the US and the island. “We firmly oppose any form of official interaction between the US and the island, which is a clear and consistent stance,” Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office said on Wednesday.

Joe Biden administration officially released the list of participants to its upcoming “summit for democracy”, which includes the island of Taiwan, a self-ruled democracy claimed by Beijing as a breakaway region. The invitation comes days after President Xi Jinping and Biden held a video summit where the Chinese President warned Biden that encouraging Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire”.

A total of 110 participants appear on the US state department’s invitation list for the virtual event on December 9 and 10 including India; however it does not include China and Russia. The summit, according to Washington, aims to help stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide.

Beijing has never ruled out using force to reunify the island of some 23 million people. During his meeting with Xi Jinping, Biden had reiterated long-standing US support for the “One China” policy under which it officially recognises Beijing rather than Taipei.

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