Update: Listing Taiwan as participant to democracy summit among sovereign countries ‘dangerous provocation’: experts
Published: Nov 24, 2021 11:10 AM Updated: Nov 24, 2021 10:29 PM
Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. (Xinhua/Zhu Xiang)

Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. (Xinhua/Zhu Xiang)

Shortly after the Biden administration officially released the list of participants to its upcoming "summit for democracy," which includes the island of Taiwan, the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said "it's a mistake" and reiterated its firm opposition to any formal interaction between the US and the island. 

There are in total 110 participants on the list that was officially published on the website of the State Department to this virtual event scheduled from December 9 to 10, Reuters reported on Wednesday, and the US President Joe Biden invited the island to the summit by listing "Taiwan," which the US does not officially recognize as a country, among other countries. 

Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office, said in a briefing on Wednesday morning that the way the US listed Taiwan as a participant to this democracy-themed summit "is a mistake."

"We firmly oppose any form of official interaction between the US and the island, which is a clear and consistent stance," she said, urging the US government to uphold the one-China principle and three joint communiqués between China and the US by properly handling the Taiwan question. 

During the latest virtual summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on November 16, the Chinese top leader warned that the intention of some Americans to use Taiwan to contain China is "just like playing with fire" and that "whoever plays with fire will get burnt." 

The act of listing the island among sovereign countries reflects the US is turning this so-called democracy summit into another ideology-driven clique in its campaign to contain China. And by excluding countries like China and Russia, more people will realize how American politicians use the so-called values to instigate confrontation, observers said.

The matter has severe implications as the Biden administration invited the island and listed it among sovereign countries by calling it a "participant" instead of an "observer." The decision definitely touches on our bottom-line on the matter, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The US has been playing a crafty tactic on this matter, as the Biden administration did not specify the summit is for heads of state only, which means different levels of officials and executives from private sector or NGOs could also attend, the expert noted. "Also, the Biden administration did not have such courage of listing Taiwan under the name of 'countries,'" he said. 

"This is a typical way of how the US manipulates the Taiwan question, by seeking to increase the island's exposure in the international community by echoing the secessionist DPP authority," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Despite the Chinese side warning American politicians not to play with fire on this question, the US indeed has continued to take dangerous steps on the Taiwan question by increasing the interaction with the island, Li noted.