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US invites Taiwan to democracy summit

9 of Taiwan's diplomatic allies also invited to Summit for Democracy

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Tri-Service Honor Guards raise Taiwan's national flag. (Reuters photo)

Tri-Service Honor Guards raise Taiwan's national flag. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. revealed on Tuesday (Nov. 23) that Taiwan is on its list of invitees to a democracy summit slated for December.

The U.S. State Department released a list of 110 countries that have been invited to the Summit for Democracy, including Taiwan but notably excluding China. Prior to the event, which will be held virtually from Dec. 9-10, the Biden administration will consult with experts from government, multilateral organizations, philanthropies, civil society, and the private sector on three themes:

  1. Defending against authoritarianism
  2. Addressing and fighting corruption
  3. Promoting respect for human rights

Leaders representing the participating countries will be asked to present plans and pledges to enact reforms and international initiatives that will promote the summit's goals. The commitments are to include domestic and international actions that will "counter authoritarianism, combat corruption, and promote respect for human rights."

Other Asia Pacific countries to be included in the summit are Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Maldives, Mauritius, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Samoa, Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Pakistan, and Vanuatu. China, Bangladesh, Brunei, Bhutan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos have been left out.

Major European powers on the list include the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, while Russia has been excluded.

Out of Taiwan's 15 diplomatic allies, nine have been invited, including the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Belize, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Lithuania, where Taiwan opened a representative office on Nov. 18, has also been invited.

While attending a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 10, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged he would invite Taiwan to the summit. During the hearing, Brinken said that Taiwan has a strong democratic system, is an important technology hub, and "is also a country that can contribute to the world, not just to its own people. COVID-19 is a good example of this."