US President Joe Biden will host the virtual “Summit for Democracy” today with representatives from 111 different nations.
The gathering’s theme is that no nation’s democracy is perfect, so these democracies should come together and engage in a dialogue over what everyone can do to improve democratic rights domestically and globally.
The list of participants is highly inclusive, but perhaps the most interesting development is Taiwan’s invitation and China’s exclusion. This follows Biden’s mixed policy on China and Taiwan, telling Chinese President Xi Jinping that he would abide by the One China policy, but then vowing to defend Taiwan if China invaded.
The summit probably will not make much noise, but it will build some good will abroad as it will show the US is willing to have a constructive dialogue with other nations. On Taiwan, legislators from the EU and US have visited the island nation over the past month to show their support for its sovereignty in the face of China’s aggression. For now, the US and its allies will likely continue these symbolic acts but are likely to largely hold off on sign any firm defense guarantees or security commitments to Taiwan in the long-term.
Todd is a Current Developments Analyst at The Daily Brief. He specializes in the Former USSR and writes for several publications on topics in international law.