China warns poor relationship with US could affect climate issues

China must step up efforts to cut carbon emissions to curb rising global temperatures, US President’s special climate envoy John Kerry said yesterday, while Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) warned that deteriorating US-China relations could undermine cooperation between the two on climate change.

The US State Department said Kerry – who was in Tianjin, China – told Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng (韓正) in a virtual meeting that there was “no way” for the world to solve climate problems without “China’s full engagement and commitment”. .”

“Secretary Kerry has underscored the importance for the world to take serious climate action during this critical decade and to enhance global climate ambition,” the department said in a statement.

Photo: EPA-EFE

China’s Xinhua news agency quoted Han as telling Kerry that China had made “tremendous efforts” in tackling climate change and had achieved “remarkable results”.

China “hopes the US side will create appropriate circumstances to jointly fight against climate change based on the spirit of conversations between their leaders,” Han said, citing Xinhua.

On Wednesday, Wang warned Kerry during a videoconference that the cooperation cannot be separated from the broader China-US relationship.

Relations between Washington and Beijing have been strained by disputes over trade, technology and human rights.

However, both sides have identified climate issues as a possible area of ​​cooperation.

China gets around 60% of its electricity from coal and is opening more coal-fired power plants.

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Teresa H. Sadler