China and the United States can use climate cooperation to redefine their strained diplomatic relations and take the lead in the fight against global warming. The US climate envoy John Kerry told senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on Tuesday.
Kerry told Wang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing that the talks could mean a fresh start for the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. The two countries are mired in disputes over Taiwan and trade, among other things. “Our hope is that this can be the start of a new definition of collaboration…to eliminate the differences between us,” Kerry told Wang in a conference room in the building.
Wang described Kerry as “my old friend” and said they “worked together to resolve a series of issues between the two parties”. Kerry also spoke about their past collaboration, including in Iran nuclear talks. Kerry served as Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017.
Kerry had a nearly 12-hour meeting with her counterpart Xie Zhenhua at the Beijing hotel on Monday. US State Department officials declined to comment on the meeting. Wang praised Kerry and Xie for their “hard work” during the talks. Kerry will be in China until Thursday.