US climate envoy Kerry to visit China, Korea this week

16-Apr-2021 Intellasia | Kyodo | 5:02 AM Print This Post

US climate envoy John Kerry will travel to Shanghai and Seoul from Wednesday to Saturday for discussions on efforts to tackle climate change, the White House said, as tensions between the United States and China remain high.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that during his visit to Shanghai, Kerry is scheduled to hold talks with Xie Zhenhua, special representative on climate affairs for China, the world’s largest carbon emitter.

It will be the first trip to China by a senior official of the administration of US President Joe Biden, who took office in January. Kerry will visit Shanghai as requested by the Chinese side, the ministry said.

The United States, the second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, wants to work with China on combating the impacts of global warming despite their increasing rivalry for military and economic supremacy as well as ongoing bilateral confrontation, including in areas related to human rights, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The talks in Shanghai are aimed at “raising global climate ambition” ahead of a virtual climate summit Biden is planning to host next week and a UN climate change conference scheduled later this year, the White House said Tuesday.

Kerry is expected to arrive in Shanghai later Wednesday.

Attention is growing on whether the talks will lead to an easing of tensions after a meeting between the two countries’ top diplomats in Alaska in March exposed deep divisions over each other’s policies and visions for the international order.

Biden, who has made climate change issues a priority in his foreign policy, has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to join the two-day climate summit starting April 22.

China has said it is “seriously considering” whether Xi will participate in the online gathering.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the details of the summit are yet to be finalised, including whether there will be bilateral meetings, but the Biden administration is approaching its relationship with Beijing as one “not of conflict but of competition.”


Category: Korea

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