Could US climate envoy John Kerry be ‘channel for communications’ with China?
In what could be seen as a potential thawing of ties, US climate envoy John Kerry has been invited to visit China for climate talks, marking the highest-level exchange between the two powers since the Chinese balloon episode. Analysts have suggested that this could be a tentative first step towards a new era of cooperation between the US and China.
Kerry, who served as the Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017, stated in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that he had been invited by Beijing to visit in the "near term" for climate talks. He also noted that US President Joe Biden had authorised the meeting, but the timing of the trip has yet to be determined.
The development comes after China suspended cooperation and talks with the US in areas including climate and security last year in response to Nancy Pelosi's visit to self-ruled Taiwan in August. The suspension was seen as a significant blow to the relationship between the two nations, which was already strained due to a variety of geopolitical and economic issues.
The invitation to Kerry signals that China may be willing to resume climate cooperation with the US, which is considered crucial for global efforts to combat climate change. The two nations are the world's largest carbon emitters, and their cooperation on climate policy is seen as essential for the success of the Paris Climate Agreement.
While Kerry's visit would be focused on climate talks, it could also serve as a platform for broader discussions between the two nations. The US and China are currently engaged in a trade war, and tensions have risen over issues such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Analysts caution that any efforts to improve relations between the US and China will likely be slow and difficult. However, Kerry's visit could represent a first step towards a new era of cooperation between the two nations, which could have significant implications for the future of global politics and the fight against climate change.