china news

Joe Biden has invited Taiwan to a virtual summit on democracy alongside more than 100 countries — a move that sparked indignation from authoritarian China, which is not on the list.

Taiwan thanked Biden for the invitation and said the gathering would be a rare opportunity for the self-ruled democracy to burnish its credentials on the world stage.

“Through this summit, Taiwan can share its democratic success story,” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang told reporters.

China said it “firmly opposed” the inclusion of an island it regards as “an inalienable part of Chinese territory”. Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory to be re-taken one day, by force if necessary.

The global conference was a campaign pledge by the US president, who has placed the struggle between democracies and “autocratic governments” at the heart of his foreign policy.

The “Summit for Democracy” will take place online on December 9 and 10 ahead of an in-person meeting at its second edition next year.

The meeting was long advertised, but the guest list — published Tuesday on the State Department’s website — will be closely scrutinized.

Unsurprisingly, America’s main rivals China and Russia are not on it.

The invitation is a major coup for Taipei at a time when Beijing is ramping up its campaign to keep Taiwan locked out of international bodies.

Only 15 countries officially recognize Taipei over Beijing although many nations maintain de facto diplomatic relations with the island.

The US does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country but it holds it up as a rare model of progressive democracy in Asia and maintains it as a crucial regional ally.

China balks at any use of the word “Taiwan” or diplomatic gestures that might lend a sense of international legitimacy to the island.

“I agree Taiwan more than qualifies — but it does seem to be (the) only democratic govt invited that the US govt does not officially recognize. So its inclusion is a big deal,” tweeted Julian Ku, a Hofstra University law professor whose specialties include China.

India, often called “the world’s biggest democracy,” will be present despite increasing criticism from human rights defenders over democratic backsliding under Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

So too will Pakistan, despite its checkered relationship with Washington.

– Democracy in decline –

Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was dubbed an “autocrat” by Biden, did not make the list.

The city-state of Singapore and Bangladesh — one of the world’s most populous democracies — did not make the list either.

In the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq were invited. The traditional Arab allies of the US — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — are all absent.

Biden also invited Brazil, which is led by controversial far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

In Europe, Poland is represented, despite recurring tensions with Brussels over respect for the rule of law, but Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban is not.

On the African side, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Niger are invited.

“For this kick-off Summit… there’s a case for getting a broad set of actors into the room: it provides for a better exchange of ideas than setting a perfect bar for qualification,” Laleh Ispahani of the Open Society Foundations told AFP.

Rather than using the summit as an anti-China meeting, Ispahani urged Biden to address “the serious decline of democracy around the world — including relatively robust models like the US.”

This summit is being organized as democracy has suffered setbacks in countries where the US had placed great hopes.

Sudan and Myanmar have experienced military coups, Ethiopia is in the midst of a conflict that could lead to its “implosion,” according to US diplomats, and the Taliban took power in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops after two decades.

TECH NEWS RELATED

How and When the Earth and Moon Formed

Artist impression of the Moon-forming event. Credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech/T. Pyle The Earth formed over 4.6 billion years ago out of a mixture of dust and gas around the young sun. It grew larger thanks to countless collisions between dust particles, asteroids, and other growing planets, including one last giant impact ...

View more: How and When the Earth and Moon Formed

Dell Cyber Monday deal saves you $380 on this VR laptop

Get over 20% off this powerful gaming VR laptop from the Dell Cyber Monday deals.

View more: Dell Cyber Monday deal saves you $380 on this VR laptop

Save 35% on a DJI Mini 2 Drone for Cyber Monday

This beginner-friendly drone is $245 cheaper today.

View more: Save 35% on a DJI Mini 2 Drone for Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday streaming deals: Discounts on Disney Plus, Hulu and Paramount Plus

These Cyber Monday streaming deals will give you tons of great sci-fi content for you to enjoy.

View more: Cyber Monday streaming deals: Discounts on Disney Plus, Hulu and Paramount Plus

Russian Anti-Satellite Weapon Test: What Happened and What To Do Now?

If a satellite is destroyed, the debris fans out in orbit and poses serious threats to other satellites or crewed spacecraft. Credit: ESA/ID&Sense/ONiRiXEL On November 15, 2021, U.S. officials announced that they had detected a dangerous new debris field in orbit near Earth. Later in the day, it was ...

View more: Russian Anti-Satellite Weapon Test: What Happened and What To Do Now?

Nissan to launch 23 new electric models, 15 new EVs by 2030

In the world of global automotive development, companies that have long relied on gas-powered motors are announcing new plans to transition to electrification on a nearly daily basis. Today, Nissan became the most recent company to announce electrification plans, pledging to launch 23 new electrified models and 15 new ...

View more: Nissan to launch 23 new electric models, 15 new EVs by 2030

A Gravitational Lens Shows the Same Galaxy Three Times

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope are often mind-bending in both their beauty and wealth of scientific wonder. And sometimes, Hubble captures light-bending images too. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) snapped a photo of a galaxy where the light has been bent by gravitational lensing, so that the ...

View more: A Gravitational Lens Shows the Same Galaxy Three Times

Interesting biotech developments for self-sufficient Martian colonies

According to Elon Musk, to ensure the continued survival of the human race, we must become an interplanetary species. With Musk’s company, SpaceX, promising boots on Mars by the end of this decade and NASA following in the 2030s, new bioengineering solutions need to be developed to enable a Mars ...

View more: Interesting biotech developments for self-sufficient Martian colonies

Could a human enter a black hole to study it?

Astronomers discovered there might be countless 'exo-earths' hidden from us

Wandering Earth: rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet!

Astronauts Could Rely on Algae as the Perfect Life Support Partner

Baking meteorites gives scientists insights into young planets' atmospheres

How long has the ice on the Martian north pole been there?

Mysterious levels of methane on Enceladus not explainable with known geochemical processes

Future Mars colonists may have company from 'locals' after all

Scientists determined that photosynthesis within the Venusian atmosphere could sustain life

Over 5,200 tons of micrometeorites from outer space land on Earth every year

SpaceX: will the average person need to exercise during a commercial spaceflight?

Life could have existed deep under the surface of Mars

OTHER TECH NEWS

;