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China slams US for inviting Taiwan to democracy summit

China slams the United States’ decision to invite Taiwan to a December democracy summit, calling it a “mistake” and urging Washington to avoid cooperating with Taiwan’s “independence” separatists

“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, adding that Taiwan is “an inalienable part of Chinese territory”.

China reacted after the Obama administration officially released the list of attendees for its upcoming “summit for democracy,” which includes Taiwan, a self-governing democracy claimed by Beijing as a breakaway region.

The invitation comes just days after President Xi Jinping and US Vice President Joe Biden held a video meeting in which Xi warned Biden that encouraging Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire.”

On the US State Department’s invitation list for the virtual event on December 9 and 10, 110 people are listed, including India, but not China or Russia.

According to Washington, the summit’s goal is to help stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms around the world.

The naming of Taiwan has enraged China, which has increased pressure on the island in recent months and accused the US of collaborating with those who promote “independence” for it.

Beijing has never ruled out using force to reunite the 23 million-strong island. The mainland’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said the inclusion of Taiwan in the summit was “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, adding that the way the US listed Taiwan as a participant at the summit “…is a mistake”.

The Chinese foreign ministry expressed strong opposition against Taiwan being invited to the “so-called summit of democracy” with spokesperson Zhao Lijian urging the US to stop colluding with Taiwan “independence” separatists.

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,” Zhao said.

Biden had reiterated long-standing US support for the “One China” policy, which recognises Beijing rather than Taipei, during the presidential summit with Xi Jinping.

But, according to the White House, Biden had also said he “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

Xi, according to the official news agency, Xinhua, said that those in Taiwan who seek independence, and their supporters in the US, were “playing with fire”.

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