The US government has invited Taiwan to an international summit next month, angering Chinese officials.

Taiwan’s invite to the Summit for Democracy was announced on Tuesday when the list of invitees was published by the US State Department.

There are 110 participants on the invitation list for the virtual event on December 9 and 10, including Australia.

The summit aims to help stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide.

The list does not include China or Russia.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the government would be represented by Digital Minister Audrey Tang and Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador in Washington.

“Our country’s invitation to participate in the Summit for Democracy is an affirmation of Taiwan’s efforts to promote the values of democracy and human rights over the years,” the ministry said.

The invite for Taiwan comes as China steps up pressure on countries to downgrade or sever relations with the island.

China claims the self-governing island as part of its territory, but Taiwan’s government has repeatedly said Beijing does not have the right to speak for it.

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China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Beijing was “firmly opposed” to the US inviting Taiwan to its summit.

“US actions only go to show democracy is just a cover and a tool for it to advance its geopolitical objectives, oppress other countries, divide the world and serve its own interests,” he said.

Sharp differences over Taiwan persisted during a virtual meeting earlier this month between Mr Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

By don

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