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China and Russia urge India to boycott Biden's democracy summit

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China and Russia has called upon India to boycott 'democracy summit' convened by US President Joe Biden on December 9-10.

This came during a meeting of foreign ministers of China, India and Russia when they urged India to get out of the "democracy trap" of certain countries and oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of democracy.

The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of China (Wang Yi), Russia (Sergey Lavrov) and India (Subrahmanyam Jaishankar) was held Friday through video link.

Biden has embraced Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which prides itself as the world's largest democracy. But democracy monitors like the U.S. think tank Freedom House say India's democracy is increasingly marred by pressure on human rights groups and journalists, limits on political and civil liberties, especially for minorities, and an increase in violence and religious strife.

For China invitation to Taiwan is the most controversial. "Playing with 'Taiwan Independence' will eventually lead to fire," warned Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian during a briefing Wednesday.

Biden has continued to foster closer U.S.-Taiwan ties, including by holding a high-level economic dialogue this month and easing restrictions on meetings between U.S. and Taiwanese officials.

Only 15 countries officially recognize Taipei over Beijing, although many nations maintain de facto diplomatic relations with the island.

Tellingly, the US does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country but maintains it as a crucial regional ally and opposes any change to its status by force

Who is not invited?

Bangladesh is not among the 110 countries that are invited to the US President Joe Biden's virtual Summit for Democracy.

Professor Delwar Hossain, an international relations analyst and former chairman of the Department of International Relations at Dhaka University, observed that the China factor might be the biggest consideration in not inviting Bangladesh since the United States has been working to corner China in the international arena.

According to him, China's relations with Bangladesh have been very good in recent times. China's relationship with Sri Lanka is also getting stronger day by day. Therefore, the US might have sent a message to China and these two countries by not inviting them, he feels.

Among the South Asian countries, India, Pakistan and Nepal are invited to the conference. Afghanistan and Sri Lanka also could not make it to the list.

Only two Middle East countries were invited are Israel and Iraq. Traditional Arab allies of the US - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - are not invited.

Perhaps most notably absent is Turkey, a NATO ally, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been seen increasingly autocratic.

Biden invited Brazil even though its far right president Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized as having an authoritarian bent and was a firm supporter of Donald Trump. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Hungary, as well as Venezuela are excluded.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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