Nov 23, 2021 - World

U.S. unveils invitation list for Biden's "Summit for Democracy"

Data: State Department. Axios Visuals.

Taiwan is among the 110 delegations invited to President Biden's "Summit for Democracy" next month, according to a list released by the State Department on Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Taiwan's inclusion is sure to infuriate the Chinese government, which views the self-governing island as a breakaway territory and opposes any attempts to legitimize it on the international stage.

  • Biden has repeatedly expressed his ironclad commitment to helping Taiwan defend itself from a potential Chinese invasion.
  • He has at times gone further than the official U.S. government position on a potential war over Taiwan, only to have the White House press office clarify that the policy has not changed.

The big picture: The invitation list for Biden's summit, which will be held Dec. 9-10, underscores the messy nature of 21st-century democracy and U.S. relations with certain allies and partners.

  • Hungary, whose far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is a staunch proponent of "illiberal democracy," is the only member of the European Union not invited to the summit.
  • NATO ally Turkey was also not invited, amid President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's increasingly authoritarian antics and drift toward Russia.
  • The Biden administration did, however, invite Poland, India and the Philippines, which have also experienced democratic backsliding over the past several years.

Details: The summit is expected to focus on three principle themes — "defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights," according to the State Department.

  • In addition to world leaders, Biden will convene members of civil society and the private sector for an array of events focused on "designing concrete commitments and deliverables for the summit."
  • In approximately one year, Biden will host a second summit — this time in-person — to "take stock of the progress made and forge a common path ahead."

Go deeper: Participant list ... Schedule of events ... State Department FAQs.

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