China warns US has made 'major strategic miscalculation' as tensions soar during meeting

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Tensions have soared following a dispute on climate change targets, after US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry called on China to increase its efforts to tackle emissions. This comes after Mr Kerry had two days of talks with Chinese leaders in the city of Tianjin. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr Kerry said he had told the Chinese that “climate is not ideological, not partisan and not a geostrategic weapon”.

He added: “It is essential… no matter what differences we have, that we have to address the climate crisis.

“We have consistently said to China and other countries… to do their best within their given capacity.

“We think that China can do more.”

But Foreign Minister for China, Wang Yi, slapped back, stating the US should “stop seeing China as a threat” and accused Washington of a “major strategic miscalculation towards China”.

Wang and Kerry

The tension arose out of back and forth on climate change targets (Image: PA)

Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping has claimed that he is aiming for China to become carbon neutral by 2060. (Image: PA)

He added: “It is impossible for China-US climate co-operation to be elevated above the overall environment of China-US relations.”

This warning means their delicate relationship threatens to become an obstacle to future cooperation to tackle climate change between the two countries.

It is not helped by the fact that relations were already being soured by issues on China’s domestic human rights record, especially the Uighur Muslim “correctional camps” in the Xinjiang province in Western China, where China has been accused of carrying out genocide.

But Beijing has claimed that these camps where Muslim slaves are held do not exist, despite the evidence.

There are also military tensions in the South China Sea, and tension around the issue of the origins of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Chinese shamed for megacity pollution

John Kerry

Mr Kerry told Chinese “climate not ideological” (Image: PA)

These climate negations are all happening in the run up to the COP26 climate summit, which is to be held and Glasgow, and world leaders will meet to discuss climate change targets.

Mr Kerry is hoping to meet Chinese leaders there again and push for better climate goals.

This news also comes after a study showed that 23 of China’s megacities were included in a list of the top 25 megacities responsible for 52 percent of all global urban greenhouse gas emissions.

China became the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide in 2006 and is now responsible for more than a quarter of the world’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

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Wang Yi

Wang Yi (Image: PA)

China meeting

Mr Kerry is hoping to meet Chinese leaders again and push for better climate goals. (Image: PA)

President Xi Jinping has said that is aiming for China’s emissions to reach their highest point before 2030.

Mr Jinping has claimed that he is aiming for China to become carbon neutral by 2060.

But it is not yet clear how he plans to achieve this as China continues to emit more greenhouse gases than any other country.

This has also come after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on climate change which issued a “code red for humanity” and urged immediate action to tackle the climate crisis.

William Murphy

William Murphy

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