U.S. President Joe Biden’s campaign saw the invitation of over 100 world leaders, civil society and private-sector representatives to his long-touted “Summit for Democracy” held on Dec. 4 and 5. The virtual summit included independently governed Taiwan, sparking predictable protest from Communist China, which claims the island as part of its territory.
As a response, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) released a report titled “China: Democracy that works”, claiming in it to have perfected “a full process of people’s democracy,” and how its formula has achieved economic and structural success.
On Dec. 5, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a report on the “Democracy in the United States”, criticizing the American democratic system. The report claimed that there are many different ways to achieve democracy, and that each country’s political system should be decided by its own citizens.
In the paper, China says its “full process of people’s democracy” will enable the people’s will to be reflected and their voices heard in all aspects of the country’s political and social life.
‘Bullets, murder and tanks’
Winston Sterzer, a video producer who follows China issues, tweeted in response, “It’s disgusting that China is now trying to claim it’s “democratic.” Remember when Chinese students asked for democracy in 1989? Bullets, murder and tanks is what the CCP gave them instead.”
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit organization focusing on raising awareness on human rights abuses around the world, also said in a Tweet: “For the Chinese government, a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics (because of Beijing’s severe repression) is a “travesty” of the Olympic spirit, but detaining one million Uyghur/Turkic Muslims for forced indoctrination somehow isn’t.”
‘Democracy doesn’t happen by accident’
On Dec. 9 and Dec. 10, Biden will host another virtual summit for government representatives, civil society and leaders from both the private and public sectors. The summit will focus on issues of “confronting authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.”
Biden has repeatedly said the phrase: “Democracy doesn’t happen by accident,” and that Democratic nations around the world have a moral obligation to uphold it. “We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it,” he reiterated.
In recent days, a series of attacks were launched by Chinese state media and diplomats targeting the U.S. governing system. On Dec. 3, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian both publicly criticized the American democracy system.
‘The U.S. will pay for its wrongdoing.”
Zhao said in a daily press briefing on Dec. 7 that the U.S. attempting to “interfere with the Beijing Olympics” only shows its malicious intention and claimed that by boycotting the Olympics, it showed “loose moral principles and credibility.”
When asked about the rampant allegations of human rights abuse against Chinese prisoners of conscience and Uyghur Muslims, Zhao said that the allegations were all fabricated lies and, “speaking of genocide, the US fits this label better than anyone else for the evil crimes they committed against Native Americans.”
The White House officially announced on Dec. 6 that the U.S. would not send any government officials to the Games in February 2022, due to “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.” The decision will keep American dignitaries, but not athletes, from partaking in the Games.
The U.S. and other nations traditionally send high-level delegations to each Olympic games. For the Summer Olympics held in Tokyo this year, first lady Jill Biden embarked on her first international solo trip leading an American contingent, while second gentleman Doug Emhoff also led a delegation to the Paralympic Games in August.
Biden: US May Boycott 2022 Beijing Olympics Over Human Rights Concerns
The official announcement prompted a stern response from Zhao, warning that: “The U.S. will pay for its wrongdoing. You can wait and see.”
On Dec. 2, Beijing also held a democracy symposium to criticize the United States, boasting that China is a deserving democracy and should be seen as a model of success for the world.