Biden Inks Climate Deal with China 3 Weeks After Promising Tough Action


While he said that Chinese leader Xi Jinping was a “smart, smart guy,” Biden said “he doesn’t have a democratic with a small D bone in his body,” according to a transcriptof the March 25 event.

“I made it clear to him again what I’ve told them in person on several occasions, that we’re not looking for confrontation, although we know there will be steep, steep competition,” Biden said.

“Two, that we’ll have strong competition, but we’ll insist the China play by the international rules, fair competition, fair practices, fair trade. Thirdly, in order to compete effectively, I indicated that we’re going to deal with China effectively” through, among other things working with our allies “to hold China accountable in the region.”

And, in his first major action to hold China accountable on a matter that can be tied to trade, the Biden administration went and reaffirmed the most one-sided agreement both the United States and China are a part of.

In a joint statement produced after a meeting between U.S. climate envoy John Kerryand his Chinese counterpart in Shanghai, the key takeaway seemed a commitment that said “the United States and China are firmly committed to working together and with other Parties to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

In fact, the only real win the United States got was that China said “they are committed to pursuing such efforts, including by taking enhanced climate actions that raise ambition in the 2020s in the context of the Paris Agreement with the aim of keeping the above temperature limit within reach and cooperating to identify and address related challenges and opportunities.”

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