torsdag 15. april 2021

John Kerry's Shanghai visit tests whether US and China can cooperate and disagree at the same time

The bipolar nature of the current US-China relationship is on full display this week, as envoys from Washington land in both Taipei and Shanghai, prompting Beijing to issue angry rebukes and hopes for greater engagement respectively. John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, has begun three days of meetings with his Chinese counterparts ahead of a leaders' summit on the environment being held by President Joe Biden later this month.

As the world's worst polluters, action by the US and China is vital to staving off climate disaster, and this has been seen as a key area where there is room for cooperation and joint-leadership between the two superpowers. Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged China would achieve net zero emissions by 2060, with emissions peaking before 2030, though this week one climate group warned that to meet such ambitious targets, China must shut down nearly 600 of its coal-fired power plants in the next 10 years.