Taiwan, a self-ruling island as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary, is among 110 invitees to the Washington-led Summit for Democracy to be held December 9-10, the US State Department announced on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden is to host the summit bringing together leaders from governments and civil society and China was omitted from the list of invitees, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Invitees from the Asia-Pacific region also include India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Most European countries are also invited, including Serbia, but not Bosnia and Herzegovina or Hungary.
China for some time has been attacking the democracy summit, saying that the US cannot hold a patent for it and the event is aimed at dividing the world.
But Beijing appears to have been surprised by the invitation to Taiwan to take part in the democracy meeting as it came in the backdrop of the recent virtual summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Biden.
Sharply criticising the US move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing that China “firmly opposes the invitation to Taiwan by the US authorities for Taiwan to take part in the Summit for Democracy.”
“There is only one China in the world and the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the sole legal government representing China,” he said.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and the One China principle is a widely-recognised norm of international relations, Zhao emphasised.
“Taiwan has no other international status in the international law than being part of China,” he said.
“We solemnly urge the US to abide by the One China principle, stop providing a platform for Taiwan independence forces, and stop emboldening them. Giving them the stage only makes the US hurt and puts it in a difficult situation. Playing with fire the pro-independence forces (of Taiwan) only getting themselves burnt,” he said.
He also attacked the Democracy summit, saying that the aim of the US in holding the meeting is to divide the world.
“Democracy is a common value of humanity and not a patent of a few countries. What the US did was that the so-called democracy is just an excuse for the US to pursue its geopolitical goals, suppress other countries, divide the world and serve its own selfish interests of maintaining its hegemony in the world,” Zhao said.
“In the name of democracy, the US is creating bloc politics and stoking confrontation. This is a revisit to the Cold War mentality. It is questioned and opposed by people holding fair views in the world,” he said.