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US, China agree to facilitate COP27 success, but differences remain

Highlights

China yet to resume climate talks with US outside COP27

White House says senior officials to 'maintain communication'

Disputes over trade, technology remain unresolved

  • Author
  • Ivy Yin
  • Editor
  • Manish Parashar
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power Energy Transition

US and China agreed to facilitate the success of the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, but key differences between the two largest economies remained.

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US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in person for the first time in three years in Bali, Indonesia, ahead of the G20 summit.

Official statements released by the White House and China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nov. 14 and Nov. 15, respectively, carried different emphases about the meeting but showed that the two leaders seem to have reached a common ground to help repair strained ties.

Biden said the US and China must work together to address transnational challenges -- such as climate change, global macroeconomic stability including debt relief, health security and global food security.

"The two leaders agreed to empower key senior officials to maintain communication and deepen constructive efforts on these and other issues," the White House statement said.

China and the US should devote efforts to make the list of collaboration agendas longer and longer, rather than shorter and shorter, Xi said, according to MOFA.

MOFA said both leaders agreed to jointly facilitate the success of COP27. However, China did not explicitly announce resuming official climate dialogues with the US outside of COP27.

Disputes remain unresolved

Though constructive outcomes have been achieved, China expressed concerns over "barriers" set by the US that target Beijing and impact various decarbonization technologies as well as low-carbon products, such as solar PV, electric vehicles and chips.

"Trade wars, technology wars, 'walls and barriers' that are deliberately built, unreasonable push of decoupling and breaking global supply chains ... all disobey the fundamental rules of market economy and disrupt the international trade rules. Ultimately, it will harm others and will not benefit oneself," Xi said in the MOFA release.

"China and US should not play a zero-sum game, in which one wins at the price of the other's loss. The world in 21st century should not enter another Cold War," Xi added.

The US will continue to compete vigorously with China, including by investing in sources of strength at home and aligning efforts with allies and partners around the world, Biden said.

This competition should not veer into conflict, and the US and China must manage the competition responsibly and maintain open lines of communication, Biden added, according to the White House release.