China: Joe Biden Invite to Taiwan for Democracy Summit ‘Wimpy’

Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty, Drew Angerer/Getty

The State Department announced this week it would host a “Summit for Democracy” online, featuring the sovereign nation of Taiwan among its participants. While the U.S. government does not recognize Taiwan as a country, China protested that it, the world’s most prolific human rights abuser, was not invited.

The Chinese Communist Party, through its mass media propaganda arms, also called Taiwan’s invitation both a “mistake” and “wimpy.”

Taiwan has been an independent, sovereign country for decades and has never been ruled by a government in Beijing. Despite this, the Chinese Communist Party insists the world treat Taiwan as a rogue Chinese province. To appease the communists, the United States has not recognized Taiwan’s status as a country since the administration of President Jimmy Carter decided to recognize the violent communist regime of dictator Mao Zedong as legitimate.

America’s perception of Taiwan has become a point of increasing debate, and confusion, under the administration of President Joe Biden, who has made several unclear declarations regarding how he views the relationship between Washington and Taipei. Biden has repeatedly stated this year that the United States has a commitment to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion; on one occasion, he appeared to incorrectly compare America’s relationship to Taiwan to its relationship with NATO nations, which it is treaty-bound to defend in the event of an attack. White House spokesmen have intervened in each occasion to insist that Biden’s remarks do not actually change longstanding policy on Taiwan.

Biden’s Summit for Democracy events will consist of “virtual summits” in which, according to the State Department, participants will “set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.”

“It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: the ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the United States Constitution puts it, ‘form a more perfect union.'” the State Department announcement asserted.

The State Department noted that participants will include “leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector,” leaving unclear which category it considers Taiwan’s government to be participating in. It described the protocol for choosing participants as being based on “geographic representation, political context, and subject matter expertise.”

The Biden administration appears to treat Taiwan as a country, however, because it appears on a list of participants that does not include any other entities that are not uncontroversially considered states. While all other invitees listed are countries, some do not neatly adhere to the definition of a democracy. Nations facing longstanding questions regarding the freedom of their people – like Angola, Georgia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Pakistan – are scheduled to participate in the virtual summit.

Taiwan confirmed through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs that its government, and not merely civil society representatives, will attend the event.

“Many thanks to [Biden] for inviting #Taiwan to attend the Summit for Democracy,” the official Twitter account of the foreign ministry confirmed, naming officials who will “fly the flag for the country” at the event.

China, through its Global Times propaganda outlet, complained that the summit was “wimpy” and that it was not invited, despite being one of the least democratic regimes on earth.

“The act of listing the island among sovereign countries reflects the U.S. is turning this so-called democracy summit into another ideology-driven clique in its campaign to contain China,” the Global Times complained on Wednesday. “And by excluding countries like China and Russia, more people will realize how American politicians use the so-called values to instigate confrontation, observers said.”

Its examples of “observers” were all either Chinese regime officials or regime-approved “experts” the Global Times regularly quotes to make its arguments.

The Times nonetheless acknowledged that nothing in the text of the various announcements regarding the summit overtly stated that Taiwan is a country.

“The U.S. has been playing a crafty tactic on this matter, as the Biden administration did not specify the summit is for heads of state only, which means different levels of officials and executives from private sector or NGOs could also attend,” the propaganda newspaper noted, citing an “expert.”

More officially, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that it “firmly opposes” Taiwanese participation in the event on Thursday.

“We solemnly urge the U.S. to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, stop providing ‘Taiwan independence’ forces with any platform or bolstering and emboldening them,” spokesman Zhao Lijian, who has falsely accused the U.S. Army of causing the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, told reporters at a regular press briefing. “Those offering platform [sic] to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces will find themselves in an embarrassing place.”

Zhao repeated a violent threat that dictator Xi Jinping reportedly relayed personally to Biden during their video conversation last week: “Those playing with fire with ‘Taiwan independence’ forces will end up getting burned.”

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