China is willing to work with Washington on reducing global warming as long as its political demands are met, the country’s vice president told U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Wednesday.
Vice President Han Zheng told Kerry that addressing climate change was “an important aspect of China-U.S. cooperation,” but was predicated on mutual respect, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. He said it must proceed “on the basis of U.S. attendance to core issues that concern both parties, fully engaging and exchanging ideas.”
Ties between the countries have hit a historic low amid disputes over tariffs, access to technology, human rights, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and threats against self-governing Taiwan.
Kerry said he had “very detailed meetings with a lot to catch up on” during his three days of talks, following China’s suspension of most contacts with President Joe Biden’s administration last August, including over efforts to address global warming.
China was displaying its anger over then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy China claims as its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary. Kerry, a former secretary of state and presidential candidate, said there “are a lot of things that we very clearly agreed on after all this time,” but limited his comments at a news conference mainly to climate issues.