This combo photo shows Xie Zhenhua (left), China's special envoy for climate change affairs, and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. (PHOTOS / CHINA DAILY & AFP)
Top climate envoys from China and the United States will hold a widely watched meeting in Shanghai to discuss possible climate cooperation between the world's top two economies, China's environment and foreign ministries confirmed on Wednesday.
At the invitation of Beijing, US special climate envoy John Kerry is visiting China from Wednesday to Saturday, making him the first senior official in US President Joe Biden's administration to visit China.
The two sides will exchange views on Sino-US climate cooperation and the COP 26 United Nations climate change conference to be held in the United Kingdom in November, according to a news release by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment
During the visit, Kerry will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Shanghai. The two will exchange views on Sino-US climate cooperation and the COP 26 United Nations climate change conference to be held in the United Kingdom in November, according to a news release by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also confirmed the news at a daily news briefing on Wednesday, without giving more details.
Before arriving in China, Kerry visited India, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates, ahead of a two-day virtual Leaders Summit on Climate that Biden will host on April 22 and 23.
During his Asian trip, Kerry has mentioned climate cooperation between the US and China on several occasions. "Our hope is that we're going to be able to deal with yes, China," he said in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, according to a Reuters report.
Zou Ji, president of Energy Foundation China, said that China and the US have the foundation for climate cooperation as they both have the willingness to promote global climate progress, and both know that their cooperation is in line with the shared interests of the international community.
"With political trust and the spirit the two countries developed before the Paris Agreement (on fighting global warming) was reached in 2015, I believe the cooperation could resume," he said.
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Zou said he doesn't see any factors on the Chinese side that might hinder the cooperation. The US, however, needs to address "domestic political interference", he said.
The meeting of Kerry and Xie has been widely anticipated and expected, also because of their personal relationship.
A climate veteran, Xie, 71, led the Chinese delegation in global climate negotiations from 2007 to 2018.Under the administration of former US president Barack Obama, China and the US were lauded for laying the foundations of international support for the Paris Agreement. At the time, Kerry was US secretary of state.
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