India in, China out as Biden to hold democracy summit

Washington: President Joe Biden has ignored China but has invited Taiwan along with India, Pakistan, and Iraq to a virtual summit on democracy in December. After a three and half hour long bilateral virtual meeting with President Xi Jinping last week, the move by Biden risks angering Beijing for flouting the “One China Policy”.

The virtual conference is scheduled for December 9-10.

Turkey, a member of NATO, is also missing from the list of participants. Only Israel and Iraq are among the countries of the Middle East that were able to secure the much-coveted invitation while traditional Arab allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, are not invited.

Interestingly, President Biden has chosen to invite Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro who was a firm supporter of Donald Trump.

In Europe, Poland was invited to the summit despite persistent tension with the European Union over its human rights record. Hungary, led by hardline nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, was not invited.

While House had announced the summit back in August and had said that the meeting would “galvanize commitments and initiatives across three principal themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.”

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy The Straits Times)

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