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          moreby Sebastian Hughes

 

The Biden administration extended an invitation for its “Summit for Democracy” to Taiwan, upsetting China, which views the island as its own.

The list of invitees for the summit, which will be held in December, was released Tuesday by the State Department. The gathering was originally announced in February, with three main themes, “defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights,” according to the White House.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office called Taiwan’s inclusion a “mistake” on Wednesday, as Beijing opposes “any official interaction between the US and China’s Taiwan region,” CNN reported.

“This stance is clear and consistent. We urge the US to stick to the ‘one China’ principle and the three joint communiques,” Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said, CNN reported.

President Joe Biden previously said the U.S. would defend Taiwan if it were invaded, but the White House later walked back the president’s words. Biden held a virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month where he affirmed U.S. commitment to the ‘one China’ policy.

“Taiwan has been and will be engaged in Summit participation in a manner consistent with the U.S. ‘one China’ policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances, and in recognition of Taiwan’s role as a leading democracy,” a State Department spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.

“We believe that Taiwan can make meaningful commitments toward the Summit’s objectives of countering authoritarianism, fighting against corruption, and advancing respect for human rights at home and abroad,” the spokesperson added. “Taiwan’s experience in advancing a more transparent, responsive, and vibrant democracy serves as a powerful example.”

China has ramped up pressure on Taiwan recently, with record incursions into the island’s defense zone. Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang previously said the country was “on alert” due to the number of incursions China had performed.

A total of 110 participants were included on the invite list, with both China and Russia excluded. Hungary is the only member of the European Union to be excluded, and NATO ally Turkey, whose president recently strengthened authoritarian policies, also did not make the cut, Axios reported.

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Sebastian Hughes is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “President Tsai Ing-wen” by Taiwan Office of the President CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

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Tags: biden administration china summit for democracy taiwan one china’ policy china’s taiwan china’ policy one china’ state department the white house the president

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China says 85% of citizens will use Mandarin by 2025

BEIJING (AP) — China is launching an aggressive campaign to promote Mandarin, saying 85% of its citizens will use the national language by 2025.

The move appears to put threatened Chinese regional dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien under even greater pressure, along with minority languages such as Tibetan, Mongolian and Uyghur.

The order issued Wednesday by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, said use of Mandarin, known in Chinese as “putonghua” or the “common tongue,” remains “unbalanced and inadequate” and needs to be improved to meet the demands of the modern economy.

Critics have sporadically protested changes to the education system and employment requirements that have steadily eroded the role of minority languages, calling it a campaign to eradicate cultures that don’t conform with the dominant Han ethnic group.

Along with the 2025 goal, the policy aims to make Mandarin virtually universal by 2035, including in rural areas and among ethnic minorities.

The promotion of Mandarin over other languages has sparked occasional protests, including last year in the Inner Mongolia region when the Mongolian language was replaced by standard Mandarin as the language of instruction.

China’s ruling Communist Party has denounced all such movements as a form of separatism and repressed them ruthlessly. It says language conformity is necessary for the sake of the economy and national unity.

The policy is backed up by legal requirements and the document issued Wednesday demanded strengthened supervision to “ensure that the national common spoken and written language is used as the official language of government agencies and used as the basic language of schools, news and publications, radio, film and television, public services and other fields.”

It calls also on officials to “vigorously enhance the international status and influence of Chinese” in academia, international organizations and at global gatherings.

Government attempts to promote Mandarin through its worldwide network of Confucius Institutes have been controversial, with critics denouncing them as an attempt to promote the party’s agenda and quash discussion of topics such its human rights record.

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