China warns US: Back off or we’ll sink climate cooperation

  • Date: 02/09/21
  • GWPF & Kyodo News

There can be little doubt that America’s military and strategic failure in Afghanistan is having detrimental consequences for its global reputation and its international climate diplomacy. In the aftermath of Biden ’s Afghanistan debacle his international standing and credibility is being challenged head on by China’s communist leaders.

Unsurprisingly, Biden’s credibility crisis is being exploited by China which is demanding that the US back off challenging China’s political and economic ambitions or face opposition to Biden’s climate agenda.

In a video meeting with US climate envoy John Kerry China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that

the US has made a major strategic misjudgment against China. Now that the ball is in the US court, the US should stop seeing China as a threat and opponent, and stop the whole world from besieging and suppressing China…”


The main problem a significantly weakened US administration now faces is that after the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, Joe Biden and his climate envoy look rather weak. Having made the climate and Net Zero agenda his key policy priority, Biden is inviting China’s leaders to call his bluff and challenge the US head on. 

China tells U.S. prolonged tensions would hurt climate cooperation

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has told U.S. climate envoy John Kerry that prolonged tensions between the world’s two major powers would make it difficult for them to work together in the climate field, according to official Chinese media.

Wang’s remarks on Wednesday came as Beijing has been at odds with Washington over several issues, including its alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong, and security challenges to Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Kerry, secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, has been in China’s Tianjin since Tuesday. He and Wang held talks by video link, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The United States had described climate change cooperation as an “oasis” of China-U.S. relations, but if it is all surrounded by deserts, then sooner or later the oasis will turn to desert, Wang was quoted by Xinhua as telling Kerry.

China-U.S. cooperation on climate change serves the interests of both sides and the world as well as enjoying broad development prospects, but such cooperation cannot be sustained without an improvement in bilateral relations, Wang said.

Wang also urged the United States to stop viewing China as a threat and rival, cease containing and suppressing the Asian nation, and take concrete steps to improve ties, according to Xinhua.

Kerry told Wang that the United States is willing to join hands with China to enhance dialogue, demonstrate leadership and set an example for meeting goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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