Suspending climate cooperation affects the world, not US: Blinken tells China

Tackling climate change has been a key area of cooperation between the two superpowers



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Sat 6 Aug 2022, 12:56 PM

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of "irresponsible steps"— halting key communication channels with Washington— and said its Taiwan actions showed a move from prioritising peaceful resolution, towards the use of force.

His comments came as Chinese aircraft and warships continued to practice, on Saturday. These are a set of steps taken by Beijing, after a visit by the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, earlier this week.

China's retaliation by stopping bilateral processes in eight key areas including defence, narcotics, transnational crime and climate change, were moves that would punish the world, not just the United States, Blinken told a news conference in Manila.

"Those include several military to military channels, which are vital for avoiding miscommunication and avoiding crisis," he said.

"Suspending climate cooperation doesn't punish the United States, it punishes the world, particularly the developing world. We should not hold hostage cooperation on matters of global concern because of differences between our two countries," he said.

Tackling climate change has been a key area of cooperation between the two superpowers, who are also the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Blinken said that the United States had been hearing concerns from allies about what he called China's destabilising actions around Taiwan, but would remain steady in its handling of the situation.

He said he had conveyed to China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at a regional meeting in Cambodia, that the United States was determined to keep communication channels going to prevent miscalculations, as countries around the world expected them to.

"Maintaining dialogue is arguably even more important when we're in a period of heightened tensions... We seek to de-escalate those tensions. And we think dialogue is a very important element of that," Blinken concluded.

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