United States President Joe Biden has invited 110 countries, including India, to a virtual summit on democracy on December 9 and 10, according to a list published on the State Department’s website on Tuesday.
“For the United States, the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal,” the United States State Department said in a statement.
At the summit, the participating nations are expected to discuss three topics extensively – defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.
Notably, the United States has not called China to the virtual event but extended an invitation to Taiwan.
On November 16, Biden had said the United States opposed “unilateral efforts” of China to disturb peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. China sees Taiwan – a self-governed territory – as a province that is to be unified with the mainland.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had responded to the United States’ statement by saying that encouraging the independence of Taiwan would be like “playing with fire”.
For December’s virtual summit, the United States has also excluded Russia from the list of participants. The United States had accused Russian intelligence officers of hacking the 2016 presidential elections in which Donald Trump had emerged victorious.
In July 2020, the United States, along with the United Kingdom and Canada had said that a group of hackers with links to Russian intelligence were trying to steal coronavirus vaccine data from pharmaceutical companies.