MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte will join the more than 100 participants in the "Summit for Democracy" hosted by the United States this week, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Duterte “has accepted” US President Joseph Biden’s invitation to participate in the Dec. 9 to 10 summit, the Office of the President said in a statement.
“President Duterte likewise welcomes the opportunity to share the Philippine democratic experience and commitment to democratic values and nation-building at the Summit for Democracy,” it added.
Biden will convene world leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector at the virtual summit. It will focus on 3 themes, namely, strengthening democracy and countering authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights, the US Department of State said in its website.
"Individually and collectively, democracies must continually demonstrate that they can deliver for their people. President Biden expects the Summit for Democracy to serve as a rallying point to do just this," said the agency.
China was not asked to take part in the event, but Beijing-claimed Taiwan was.
Chinese state media and diplomats in recent weeks have ramped up criticism of democracy in the United States, touting what they describe as preferable outcomes in its system of "socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics" on measures ranging from COVID-19 management to social mobility.
Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng described the Washington event as the "very opposite of democracy" because, he said, it is divisive and "points fingers" at other countries.
"China's whole-process people's democracy is not the kind that wakes up at the time of voting and goes back to dormant afterwards," Le told foreign media at an event in Beijing on Thursday.
Communist Party-ruled China, widely considered to have become increasingly authoritarian under President Xi Jinping, first used the phrase "whole-process democracy" in 2019, and the concept was enshrined in law this past March.
China, which will release a white paper on its democracy on Saturday, defines its version as consultative, with voting permitted at the very local level and public feedback collected before any law is implemented.
— With a report from Reuters