In the third high-level U.S. official visit to China in about a month, U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry emphasized efforts to stabilize the bilateral relationship.
“Now we’re in a place where because of the efforts of President Biden and President Xi to try to stabilize the relationship, we can now I hope, make progress between now and the meeting in the UAE, in December, of COP 28,” Kerry said Tuesday, in opening remarks at a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.
About a week earlier, Li met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in the same building. In late June, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also met there with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Blinken’s visit brought a thaw to increasingly frigid relations in which climate talks, one of the few areas of cooperation, have even seen temporary suspension.
The U.S. and China are also the world’s largest polluters. In recent weeks, global temperatures have climbed to record highs.
The world faces great “challenges” in responding to climate change, Li said.
“It is incumbent upon China, the United States, and indeed all countries in the world to strengthen coordination with consensus and speed of actions,” he said, according to an official translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kerry also emphasized stability in his meeting with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi.
“Biden is very committed to stability within this relationship and also to achieve efforts together, that can make a significant difference in the world,” Kerry said.
“Our hope is now that this could be the beginning of a new definition of collaboration and the capacity to resolve the differences between us.”
Climate talks between the U.S. and China were temporarily suspended after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August last year, drawing the ire of Beijing.
China considers the democratically self-ruled island as part of its territory.
Tensions between the U.S. and China have also spilled over into technology, with U.S. efforts to limit Chinese access to high-end semiconductor technology.
“Of course, pushing for cooperation on climate change is under the larger scope of China-U.S. relations,” Wang said, according to a CNBC translation of the Mandarin.
He said the two countries could resolve problems as long as the dialogue was based on “equality” and with “mutual respect.”
Following the latest U.S. senior official visits to Beijing, high-level Chinese officials are expected to visit the U.S. at an unspecified date.
Since arriving in Beijing on Sunday, Kerry has focused on talks with his climate counterpart Xie Zhenhua. Kerry is set to depart on Wednesday.
Parts of meetings open to the press were tense.
During the meeting with the Chinse premier, Kerry brought up a report of a 52°C (125.6°F) temperature reading in China a few days earlier. Li interjected to question whether it was from an official weather report or “small” media, and whether it was a reading from the ground or air.
“Oh. Well, it may not be,” Kerry said. He said that he’d seen the news on TV and said his point was about the rate of change and predictions for the future.
State-run China News Agency on Monday said an “automatically” recorded temperature from a local weather station showed the Sanbao township in Xinjiang reached a record high of 52.2°C on Sunday.
Source : CNBC