There is little doubt that China was already giddy that they get to deal with U.S. “climate envoy” John Kerry, but having watched Biden’s weakness in Afghanistan, they aren’t even being coy about it any more. They are openly telling Kerry that the U.S. won’t get any Chinese cooperation on climate change unless the U.S. backs off pressuring China on other issues, such as trade, human rights, etc. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
HONG KONG—Senior Chinese officials told U.S. climate envoy John Kerry that continued U.S. hostility on a range of issues could jeopardize cooperation on fighting climate change, though Mr. Kerry said that working-level talks were productive in the run-up to a November climate summit.
Mr. Kerry, wrapping up a two-day visit to the northern port city of Tianjin, was warned repeatedly by his hosts that climate cooperation couldn’t be kept separate from worsening geopolitical ties between the two countries.
On Thursday, Yang Jiechi, leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign-policy aide, told Mr. Kerry in a video call that the U.S. had interfered in China’s internal affairs and harmed its interests, causing difficulties in the bilateral relationship.
A day earlier, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, while describing climate-change cooperation as an oasis in the desert, said that “cooperation on climate change cannot be divorced from the overall situation of China-U.S. relations.”
Given how single-minded Democrats are on climate change, expect them to cave to China. And since China’s climate pledges always involve action many years in the future, they don’t actually have to do anything for the duration of the Harris-Biden administration.
Another sign that the ChiComms are fast learners: back in the Cold War, it was the U.S. that insisted on “linkage” in arms talks with the Soviet Union. Now it’s China that wants linkage, and the U.S. that is resisting it.