Tensions have spiked recently regarding the autonomy of Taiwan, which China views as a province under its control and has repeatedly threatened to subjugate with military force if necessary.
The Biden administration appears to have exacerbated the situation by inviting Taiwan to attend the upcoming Summit for Democracy.
“Three principal themes”
According to the Daily Caller, Chinese officials have called the move a “mistake” on America’s part.
Such an invitation seems to upset the decades-long balancing act by which the U.S. informally supports the Taiwanese government while officially withholding formal recognition of that same government out of consideration for China’s assertion of sovereignty.
President Joe Biden initially announced in August that it would convene the first-ever Summit for Democracy in early December, describing it at the time as a virtual meeting of democratic world leaders to be followed next year by an in-person summit.
As the White House explained, the purpose of this event is to highlight “three principal themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.”
About two weeks before the summit is set to take place, the State Department has released a list of participant nations. Taiwan is among the 110 countries invited to join. China was excluded from the list, according to Axios, as were Russia, Hungary, and Turkey.
“A powerful example”
A spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office made it clear that the regime stands in opposition to “any official interaction between the U.S. and China’s Taiwan region.”
Reiterating China’s “clear and consistent” stance on the issue, spokesperson Zhu Fenglian added: “We urge the U.S. to stick to the ‘one China’ principle and the three joint communique.”
The statement referenced formal agreements maintaining a status quo under which Beijing purportedly has sovereign control over Taipei.
Of course, the U.S. Department of State argued that Taiwan’s inclusion in the upcoming summit does not violate any of those prior agreements.
“We believe that Taiwan can make meaningful commitments toward the Summit’s objectives of countering authoritarianism, fighting against corruption, and advancing respect for human rights at home and abroad,” the agency explained. “Taiwan’s experience in advancing a more transparent, responsive, and vibrant democracy serves as a powerful example.”