Beijing, 18 July 2023 (TDI):  In a significant development for the bilateral relationship, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry embarked on his third high-level official visit to China within a month on July 17.

During his visit, Kerry emphasized the urgent need to stabilize the ties between the two nations and make substantial progress in climate cooperation ahead of the upcoming COP 28 meeting in the UAE in December.

In a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Kerry commended the efforts made by President Biden and President Xi Jinping in seeking stability in the relationship.

He expressed optimism about the potential for both nations to work together to address the pressing climate challenges facing the world.

This comes after a thaw in relations was initiated by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China the previous month, which saw a temporary suspension of climate talks, one of the few areas of cooperation between the two global powers.

Collective action by the world’s largest polluters

Both the United States and China are recognized as the world’s largest polluters, and the recent record-high global temperatures have underscored the critical importance of collective action.

Premier Li Qiang acknowledged the gravity of the situation and stressed the responsibility of all countries, including China and the United States, to strengthen coordination, find common ground, and take swift actions to combat climate change.

Kerry’s visit focused primarily on meetings with his counterpart Xie Zhenhua, aimed at finding avenues for enhanced climate collaboration.


While progress was made, parts of the meetings were marked by tense exchanges, such as a discussion on a scorching 52°C temperature reading in China a few days earlier, indicating the sensitivity of the climate issue.

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Addressing the broader scope of China-U.S. relations, Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi expressed that cooperation on climate change was pivotal.


He emphasized the need for dialogue based on equality and mutual respect to resolve problems between the two nations, which have also experienced tensions in the technology sector due to restrictions on Chinese access to advanced semiconductor technology.

Kerry’s visit signals a potential turning point in the relationship between the United States and China, especially concerning climate cooperation.

Following the latest series of senior U.S. officials’ visits to Beijing, high-level Chinese officials are expected to reciprocate the gesture by visiting the United States in the near future.

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As John Kerry’s visit concludes, hopes are high for a new era of collaboration between the two nations, demonstrating their shared commitment to addressing climate change and working together to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

The progress achieved during these diplomatic engagements offers a glimpse of the positive strides both countries can take when they prioritize stability and seek common ground.