The United States is sending its climate envoy John Kerry to Shanghai and Seoul this week, making him the first high-ranking American official under U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to visit China.
Kerry will make the trip from April 14 to 17 in his current capacity as U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, the Department of State announced.
He was expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua to discuss potential joint efforts between the two nations to tackle challenges on climate change, the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
The visits come ahead of a virtual climate summit on April 22 and 23 to which Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
As the U.S. and China battle for global influence, conflicts are prevailing in the areas of trade, human rights and national security.
Kerry served as U.S. secretary of state from 2013 to 2017, when Barack Obama was president. His upcoming trip is seen as underscoring the commitment of the Biden administration to maintain cooperation while competing with China.
The former top diplomat has repeatedly said the global climate crisis is an important issue and should be dealt with separately, and that joint efforts are much needed between the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest producers of greenhouse gases.
During an earlier trip to India, Kerry expressed hopes for bilateral cooperation but was at the same time not confident about it.
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