Beijing became agitated upon learning that the Biden administration has invited Taiwan to attend its virtual democracy summit scheduled next month.
The Summit for Democracy listed 110 world participants on Tuesday, Nov. 23, who would gather together on Dec. 9 and 10 to discuss authoritarian forces, corruption, and human rights issues.
China and Russia were not invited.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian said the U.S. was making a “mistake” by including Taiwan, a self-ruling island that China has been trying to reclaim territory, in the event, according to The Guardian.
Reuters reported that Zhu accused Washington of a divisive act and only wanted to “serve its own interests.”
Taiwan, which appreciated the invitation, declined that Beijing has the authority to speak on its behalf.
“Taiwan will cooperate firmly with like-minded countries to protect universal values such as freedom, democracy and human rights; and also safeguard regional peace, stability and development,” said Xavier Chang, spokesman for Taiwan’s presidential office.
As Beijing grew more aggressive in demanding ownership of Taiwan, President Joe Biden had insisted on defending peace in the region, although he did not explicitly say he supported Taiwan’s independence.
The sensitive subject has become one major stumbling block, among other reasons that has impaired the relationship between Beijing and Washington. Biden remained uninfluenced despite constant warnings from the Communist government to back away.
At a virtual summit between Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping last Monday, Nov. 15, the Chinese leader said the U.S. was playing “with fire” for its interference in the Taiwan conflict.
Responding to the heated language, Biden insisted that the U.S. “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”