Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Biden calls on world leaders: Taiwan invited, China not

US President Joe Biden has invited 110 countries to a virtual summit on democracy on December 9-10, excluding China, Turkey, and Russia, according to a list posted on the State Department website on Tuesday. The list includes Taiwan which is likely to increase tension between US and China. Turkey, a member of NATO, is also missing from the list. The list includes major Western allies of the US. It also includes India, Pakistan and Iraq. In the South Asian region Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka have been excluded.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear program. Biden and Xi Jinping held an “in-depth and constructive” meeting for over three hours and exchanged views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

“The two leaders also exchanged views on key regional challenges, including DPRK (North Korea), Afghanistan, and Iran. Finally, they discussed ways for the two sides to continue discussions on a number of areas, with President Biden underscoring the importance of substantive and concrete conversations,” the White House said in a statement.

During the meeting, President Biden raised concerns about China’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. Biden also discussed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific and communicated the continued determination of the US to uphold our commitments in the region.

Underscoring his country’s commitment to the “one China” policy, Biden strongly opposed unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Reiterating the importance of freedom of navigation, Biden stressed that the US will continue to stand up for its interests and values to ensure the rules of the road for the 21st century advance an international system that is free, open, and fair.

“On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States remains committed to the ‘one China’ policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances, and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the White House said in a statement.

This meeting was held amid deteriorating relations between Beijing and Washington on several issues. Recently, Beijing has increased its military incursions in Taiwan and continues to claim sovereignty over the democratic island. During his meeting with the Chinese President, Biden also underscored the importance of managing strategic risks. “He noted the need for common-sense guardrails to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict and to keep lines of communication open. He raised specific transnational challenges where our interests intersect, such as health security.”

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