China says US must dispel Pelosi’s ‘negative influence’ before resuming climate talks

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China said on Wednesday that a condition for the resumption of bilateral climate talks with the US was Washington dispelling the “negative influence” left by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month.

In response to the visit on August 2-3, China on August 5 suspended bilateral cooperation with the US in a number of areas, including climate talks and dialogue between senior-level military commanders.

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US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry, who earlier this month said the suspension of bilateral climate talks punished the entire world, urged Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, in an interview with the Financial Times, to resume the discussions.

The former US Secretary of State, who is currently the Biden administration’s top climate diplomat, also told the newspaper he was hopeful the countries could “get back together” ahead of the UN’ COP27 climate summit in November in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

China, which claims the self-ruled island of Taiwan as its own territory, responded to Kerry’s remarks on Wednesday by stating that the resumption of climate talks with the US was dependent on actions taken by Washington to address the “negative influence” of Pelosi’s Taiwan visit.

“The US side should dispel the negative influence of Pelosi scuttling to Taiwan, this is an indispensable condition of China-US climate change cooperation,” China’s foreign ministry said in a written statement sent to Reuters.

The statement also said China would continue to actively participate in international forums on climate change.

Beijing’s response highlights the divergent approaches to global climate change cooperation between the world’s two superpowers.

While officials in the Biden administration, including Kerry, have repeatedly expressed hope that US-China cooperation on climate change would not be affected by tensions on other fronts, Beijing has rejected any separating of issues in US-China relations.

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