Home Asian News Kerry goes to China to talk about the climate - The Diplomat

Kerry goes to China to talk about the climate – The Diplomat


Chinese power | Environment | East Asia

In a sign that the issue is of importance in the overall relationship, climate special envoy John Kerry will be Biden’s first senior official to travel to China.

Secretary of State John Kerry then shook hands with the Chinese Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua before the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the COP21 Climate Change Summit in Paris, France, on December 8. 2015.

Credit: Photo of the US Department of State

US climate envoy John Kerry is heading to China to negotiate between the world’s two biggest carbon emitters ahead of President Joe Biden’s climate summit with world leaders.

Kerry will travel to Shanghai and Seoul, from April 14 to 17, the State Department said in a statement the day before he left. News is also published by Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

Former foreign minister will speak with China’s top climate negotiator, veteran diplomat Xie Zhenhua, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on April 14. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the media: “The two sides will have discussions on Sino-US climate cooperation and the COP26 of the UNFCCC.

Kerry and Xie have a long history of climate issues, working together when Kerry was secretary of state under former President Barack Obama. The two men played a key role in creating a deal between China and the United States on climate change in 2014, thus paving the way for a meaningful global deal at the climate conference. Paris next year. Xie got out retired for the first part of this year to once again become China’s top climate negotiator, a move seen specifically aims to give Kerry a veteran interlocutor in the Chinese government.

Kerry’s trip to Shanghai marks the highest-level visit to China known ever to Biden government officials. That reinforces the perception that climate change is one of the few issues that China and the United States can find in common – and that can even be difficult.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, speaking just over a week after Biden’s inauguration, previously said that US-China cooperation on climate issues would be affected by disagreements in various fields. other areas. “I would like to emphasize that the cooperation between China and the United States in specific areas, unlike flowers that can bloom in a greenhouse despite winter cold, is closely linked with the bilateral relationship,” said general, ”Zhao said in a press conference on January 28, respond specifically to a question about Kerry’s efforts in climate change cooperation. “China has stressed many times that no one should imagine they can ask China to understand and assist them in bilateral and global affairs when they blatantly interferes in China’s domestic affairs and undermining China’s interests ”.

The governments of Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden are arguing over trade, human rights within China and China’s increasingly assertive actions in the larger Indo-Pacific, among other stress points. As an example of related challenges, Kerry’s visit would overlap with an unofficial US delegation. trip to Taiwan, the first such exchange under the management of Biden. In response, Zhao issued routine warnings against interactions between Taiwan and the United States “to avoid further serious damage to US-China relations”.

There is a lot at stake as Kerry and Xie try to find ways to cooperate. By far, China is the largest contributor to the harmful smoke from burning oil and coal. The United States is the second largest emitter – and the leader in a two-to-one factor when taking into account past emissions. That makes cooperation between the two great powers essential for any success of global climate agreements.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Xi, to the summit on virtual climate April 22-23. The United States and other countries are expected to announce their goals. the country is more ambitious about cutting its carbon footprint before or at the meeting, along with a pledge to finance the climate efforts of less richer nations. Kerry urged global leaders directly and over the internet ahead of the summit on climate effort commitments and alliances.

China has yet to confirm whether Xi will attend the virtual summit. Zhao, the State Department spokesman, declined to comment when asked about Mr. Xi’s participation.

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