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Taiwanese minister attends democracy summit amid China's opposition

By Yonhap

Published : March 18, 2024 - 21:43

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Audrey Tang, Taiwan's minister of digital affairs, speaks virtually during a session of the third Summit for Democracy, in this image captured from the YouTube channel of the summit on Monday. (Yonhap) Audrey Tang, Taiwan's minister of digital affairs, speaks virtually during a session of the third Summit for Democracy, in this image captured from the YouTube channel of the summit on Monday. (Yonhap)

Taiwan's digital minister on Monday virtually attended a session of the third Summit for Democracy in Seoul amid Chinese opposition against inviting Taiwanese officials to the gathering.

In a video message, Taiwan's Minister of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang participated in the session, stressing the risk of cyberattacks in elections around the globe this year.

"Bad actors in the pay of authoritarians pulled out all stops, coming close to poisoning our information climates and interfering in the outcome but the government and people of all political persuasions stood as one in the really insidious efforts to sow the seeds of division and discord," she said, noting Taiwan's presidential elections in January.

"I am proud to say that in the year of balloting worldwide, we ably demonstrated what can be achieved by doubling down on democracy to free the future together," she added.

China has strongly opposed South Korea's invitation for Taiwanese authorities to attend the summit.

Lin Jian, the new spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, told a press briefing Monday that Beijing urges Seoul to respect the "One China" principle and to stop providing a "platform for Taiwanese independence forces."

The annual summit was launched in 2021 and has been led by the United States with the aim of strengthening democracy and confronting authoritarianism around the world.

Tang has attended both of the previous summits, including the second summit that was held in March last year and co-hosted by South Korea, the US, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and Zambia. (Yonhap)