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Biden invites Israel, Taiwan to global democracy summit

i24NEWS - AFP/Reuters

clock 3 min read

US President Joe Biden gestures before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, United States, on November 23, 2021.
AP Photo/Luis M. AlvarezUS President Joe Biden gestures before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, United States, on November 23, 2021.

The 'Summit for Democracy' aims to stop democratic relapse and the erosion of rights around the world

The Biden administration published on Tuesday a list of participants for its virtual summit on democracy next month, inviting Taiwan and Israel alongside 108 more countries. 

China, which is not on the list, is likely to be provoked as it views Taiwan as its own territory, Reuters reported.

As a first-of-its-kind gathering, United States President Joe Biden during his campaign placed the struggle between democracies and “autocratic governments” as the focus of his foreign policy. 

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The “Summit for Democracy” will take place December 9-10, and aims to stop democratic relapse and the erosion of rights and freedoms around the world. 

Published on the US State Department’s website, the guest list of the long advertised meeting will be closely scrutinized, AFP suggested.

Notably, China and Russia were not included on the list of invitees. 

In the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq were invited.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates - all traditional allies of the US - were absent from the list.

The invitation for Taiwan comes as China continues to pressure states to downgrade or sever relations with the democratic island. 

During a virtual meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, sharp differences over Taiwan persisted. 

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Laleh Ispahani of the Open Society Foundations, a network that financially supports civil society groups around the world, told AFP that the summit will provide “for a better exchange of ideas than setting a perfect bar for qualification.”

Rather than using the summit as an anti-China meeting, Ispahani urged Biden to address “the serious decline of democracy around the world.”