China has warned the United States that bilateral diplomatic tensions could slow cooperation between the two countries on climate change, the two main emitters of greenhouse gases.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Climate Envoy John Kerry that China-US climate cooperation will benefit mankind, but it cannot be separated from it. worsening of the state of relations between the two countries.
Wang pointed out that the US side described cooperation on climate change as an “oasis” of Sino-US relations.
However, if the oasis is completely surrounded by deserts, then sooner or later the “oasis” will be deserted, Wang said, according to Chinese state media.
Wang spoke via video link with Kerry, who is traveling to the northern city of Tianjin, about 100 km from Beijing, for climate talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, China’s special climate envoy. .
“We have shown our sincerity,” Wang said, quoted by state broadcaster CCTV. “Everyone who has met you will have to spend two weeks in quarantine, but we are prepared to pay that price, to discuss cooperation with the United States on matters of mutual interest.”
“Past achievements have indicated that the two countries should respect each other and seek common ground while setting aside differences to achieve win-win results,” he said.
“However, a major strategic miscalculation by the United States has led to the sudden deterioration of bilateral relations in recent years,” Wang said, adding that the ball is now in Washington’s court.
Kerry, a former US secretary of state, said China “plays a super critical role” in efforts to fight climate change, according to a brief video clip of the meeting broadcast on national television.
“Considering the science and what’s going on, we’re all going to face this for the rest of our lives,” Kerry said, adding that climate cooperation would also create opportunities to resolve the difficulties facing the relationship. American-Chinese.
“This challenge is as important as any that we face on a global scale, and China, my friend, plays an extremely critical role,” he added.
Relations between Beijing and Washington have been strained over high-profile trade, technology and human rights disputes.
China has also been relentless in its strong criticism of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which Beijing sees as a hasty and poorly planned withdrawal.
But the parties have identified the climate crisis as a possible area of cooperation. “Chinese leaders have long said that they are engaged in climate action not because of external pressure, but because it benefits China and the world in general,” Alex Wang, climate expert and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). .
“If so, US-China tensions should not slow down Chinese climate action,” Wang added.