Thursday, May 6, 2021
Home OP-ED Editorial Beijing, Washington cooperation is vital

Beijing, Washington cooperation is vital

China and the US issued a joint statement on Sunday after the two countries’ special envoys for climate change held talks from Thursday to Friday in Shanghai, which emphasized strengthening cooperation to tackle the climate crisis. Both countries are looking forward to the US-hosted Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22-23. They share the summit’s goal of raising global climate ambitions on mitigation, adaptation, and support on the road to COP 26 (26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) in Glasgow which begins on November 1. Kerry is the first senior official of the Biden administration to visit China. Judging from the statement, it is fair to say that China and the US have communicated quite effectively and achieved some results. However, global opinion has been cautious in assessing the outcome. With China yet to announce plans for its top leader to attend the summit on climate, more analysts are waiting for things to become clearer. Again, the general environment among the big powers is not good, thus dampening people’s optimism. At about the same time as Kerry’s visit to China, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited the US, and the joint statement of the US and Japan struck an unfriendly tone toward China. Also recently, the US expelled 10 Russian diplomats on Thursday, and Russia announced Friday it would expel 10 US diplomats in retaliation. The US wants to show leadership by working with China and Russia to address the climate challenge, while it is also obstructing China and Russia in other spheres. That is not what normal relations between great powers should be like. The UN climate action involves the fundamental interests of humanity and the specific arrangement for reducing emissions concerning all countries’ major development interests. Developed countries are particularly concerned about the issue. In addition to the urgent challenge of climate change, it is also because these countries have completed industrialization, therefore climate change is now one of their priorities. However, developing countries are still in the process of industrialization and some have just started this process. People’s living standards are still low in these countries, and it is particularly important to create more resources to improve people’s livelihoods through further industrialization. Their right to subsistence is different from that of developed countries. The previous US administration flatly withdrew from the Paris Agreement and the current administration has come back. US’ interests have been behind both decisions. A tough stance is the biggest feature of US foreign policy in recent years. The US does not hesitate to push forward its domestic agendas through confrontation. From resisting the Paris Agreement to leading its implementation, will Washington use national strength as a lever to force other countries take more obligations while it is seeking more interests? Countries should be vigilant against this.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times News Exchange Item

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