Halting climate talks with US won’t hinder China’s contribution in addressing global issue
Published: Aug 06, 2022 07:44 PM
John Kerry Photo:VCG

John Kerry Photo:VCG

China on Friday announced a series of countermeasures in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to the island of Taiwan, including suspending bilateral talks on climate change. But the White House hasn't offered a single explanation or introspected itself. Instead, it is making all kinds of accusations against legitimate moves by China.

US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry claimed that the suspension of cooperation "doesn't punish the US - it punishes the world." Some other White House officials, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby made the similar remarks.

Under such circumstances, the political mutual trust established between the two countries in the past decades has almost wholly crumbled down. It can be said Beijing and Washington now have the tensest political relationship ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations, with the two great powers on the verge of conflict at any time.

Climate change was expected to be one of the issues on which China and the US could work together the most. But no matter how important such cooperation is, it is still part of the bilateral political ties. Thus, in the context of the current tension, which was singlehandedly caused by Washington, it doesn't make much sense for either side to continue climate change talks. It would be better to halt the discussions for some time so that the US can "cool itself off" and have some proper introspection.

Although addressing climate change has been a critical agenda for the Biden administration, the US has never taken its cooperation with China in this area seriously. As we all know, technological innovations and developing relevant products are vital to solving the issue. But the US has been strengthening the containment of Chinese clean energy technology development and product sales by intentionally creating various obstacles. This includes imposing punitive tariffs on China's solar products and hyping up the "threat" China's wind power development has posed to US strategic interests.

In short, Washington has never cooperated with Beijing in the technology aspect - one of the most important areas to deal with climate change. Therefore, the complaints and worries from the US officials about China's decision are pure nonsense.

In my view, by suspending cooperation, China hopes to reconsider if the two sides should continue bilateral cooperation on the basis of the confirmation of the general political direction between the two.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has used the "three Cs" to define relations with Beijing - competition, confrontation and cooperation. But the US has determined to set foot solely on the path of confrontation, entirely ignoring the other two approaches.

Since the US focuses on confrontation with China, the two countries now should mainly focus on how to get out of the political conflict. After all, confrontation benefits nobody. China's decision is also an opportunity for the US to think about why both sides should pretend to cooperate if it only wants conflict.

Apparently, what White House officials said is an attempt to smear China. But the halt of China-US climate change talks is surely not a punishment for the world, because China will continue its cooperation with other parties of the global community. It will continue endeavoring to fulfill its commitment to peak carbon emissions and reach carbon neutrality, as well as developing renewable energy.

In contrast, just look at what the US is doing. Washington is falling way behind on its climate goals, while US President Joe Biden has taken steps way smaller than he promised during his presidential election campaign in 2020. It is utterly unreasonable for White House officials to attack China to address climate change. Their recent remarks only prove these people are extremely hypocritical and disconnected from reality.

The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Xia Wenxin based on an interview with Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn