Headline RoundupJuly 18th, 2023

Kerry in Beijing: Can the US and China Bridge the Geopolitical Divide on Climate Policy?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry met with Chinese officials in Beijing on Tuesday to discuss cooperation on climate policy. 

Key Quotes: At a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Kerry said, “Now we’re in a place where because of the efforts of President Biden and President Xi to try to stabilize the relationship, we can now I hope, make progress” before the COP28 climate summit in December. Li appeared to mirror Kerry’s sentiment, saying, “It is incumbent upon China, the United States, and indeed all countries in the world to strengthen coordination with consensus and speed of actions.”

For Context: The talks come just two weeks after the world saw its highest average temperatures ever recorded — and a day after China reported lower-than-expected economic growth. Kerry is the latest in a series of U.S. officials to visit China, as the Biden administration seeks to rebuild ties. Other visiting officials have included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, whose visit was preceded by a Chinese hack of State Department officials, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who reportedly received a warmer welcome. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was often split in its focus. Some coverage from the left highlighted record heat in China — framing Kerry’s visit as “crucial” to reduce emissions from the “world’s two biggest polluters.” Meanwhile, some coverage from the right framed Kerry, a Democrat, as hypocritical for his use of carbon-emitting private jets. Others on the right criticized efforts to reduce carbon emissions, saying Kerry was pleading with China “to hurt its economy.”


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