US envoy to travel to China, restore climate talks

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US envoy John Kerry will travel soon to China to discuss cooperation on climate change, a US official said Friday, as the rival powers gradually resume diplomacy after high tensions.

A State Department official confirmed an upcoming trip to China by the former secretary of state, his third since he took the climate position under President Joe Biden, without giving details.

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Kerry in an interview with The New York Times said the trip would take place next week and seek “genuine cooperation.”

“China and the United States are the two largest economies in the world and we’re also the two largest emitters. It’s clear that we have a special responsibility to find common ground,” he told the newspaper.

Kerry would follow Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who last month paid the highest-ranking US visit to Beijing in nearly five years, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who is in China this week.

Kerry has enjoyed comparatively cordial and consistent relations with China, with the Biden administration identifying climate as an area for potential cooperation despite tensions elsewhere.

But China last year briefly said it was suspending talks on climate in anger after Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House of Representatives, defiantly visited Taiwan, the self-ruling democracy claimed by Beijing.

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